Which Topsy Turvy Technique To Use?

Decorating By tashistation Updated 10 Feb 2010 , 11:51pm by KoryAK

tashistation Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 5:36pm
post #1 of 26

I'm making my first TT cake for my son this weekend. It's going to be just two tiers (three 8 inch and three 6 inch cakes are already baked and in the fridge).

I'm trying to decide which way to make it. I often see the tutorials where you carve out a bit of the bottom tier and nestle the top tier into that hole.

but then I came across this technique which seems easier for a first timer:
www.flickr.com/photos/deliciously_decadent/se ts/721576162

Any advice or pros and cons to each method? i'm gettin' nervous icon_smile.gif

25 replies
TexasSugar Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:04pm
post #2 of 26

That link isn't working for me.

KoryAK Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:14pm
post #3 of 26

The link didn't pull it up for me...

But I like the cut out method. A couple more steps but in the end all the cakes are sitting flat and happy which I would think is the BEST scenario for a first timer.

Kitagrl Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:19pm
post #4 of 26

I actually tried the cut out method and found it very difficult! I prefer to gently slant the tiers, and also taper the bottoms to add to the whimsey look...and then use bubble tea straws for support and a dowel or two through the center.

tashistation Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:20pm
post #5 of 26

sorry somehow there an errant space got into the URL


please try again, thank you!

tashistation Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:22pm
post #6 of 26

arg so frustrating, that link didn't work either...

ok, try this icon_smile.gif


sadsmile Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:26pm
post #7 of 26

A lot of first time Topsy cakes look a bit off like they tapered the bottom tier and then didn't tapper the top tiers. What ever style you chose to do make it one way all the way throughout the cake tiers. thumbs_up.gif Good luck! I don't have a reason to make a cake that big yet, but can't wait to try it. When I do i think I am going to do it this way...

KoryAK Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 6:32pm
post #8 of 26

Part of the reason I like the cup out method is that I can use any type of cake and filling I like. When the final cakes are going to be actually slanted, I would worry about warming mousses, etc not staying very happy. I don't know what other ppl have tried and been successful with, but you can see in the tutorial that there is just a smear of filling, I like to use about 1" in a 4" cake.

tashistation Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 7:09pm
post #9 of 26

I wonder if I can do the method on that flickr page since I won't be transporting the cake? Or if I should just learn the "right" way while practicing on my family? The whole thing just makes me nervous.

sadsmile Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 7:23pm
post #10 of 26

next time you are making a simple cake just for nothing take something and stick it under one side of the plate and let it alone over night and see if your filling can hold up or does the layers slide right off of your tier. Then you'd have your answer. icon_wink.gif

UpAt2am Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 7:31pm
post #11 of 26

i agree with sadsmile on janell's topsy turvy tutorial....

i use this method for all of my topsy turvy cakes!

CakeMommyTX Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 7:39pm
post #12 of 26

I like the cut out method as well, it's a bit more work but the cake sits flat which cuts down on the stress of transport.

tashistation Posted 14 Jan 2010 , 2:56pm
post #13 of 26

So I did my first TT cake using the cutout method in Janelle's video. You can see other views of the cake in my photos, it's the most recent upload with a Thomas Train coming out of a tunnel. I had some problems and am hoping you guys can help.


The top tier appears to be "sitting" inside the bottom tier, instead of having the illusion of resting on top of it. There is a slight billowy/pillowy edge where the two cakes meet, and I think it breaks the illusion that the top cake is sitting all wonky on the bottom cake. this was also my first time covering a cake with irregular shapes. Maybe I need some pointers about how to get crisp edges on odd shapes?

Also, my top tier wasn't tapered enough at the bottom. It was made of 3 6" rounds. How small should the bottom be after carving to get the right effect?


Win Posted 14 Jan 2010 , 3:15pm
post #14 of 26
Originally Posted by UpAt2am

i agree with sadsmile on janell's topsy turvy tutorial....

i use this method for all of my topsy turvy cakes!

Some people can make things look so easy! Inspirational. One of these days, I'm going to have a reason to try a topsy turvy, and this will be the video to which I refer!

sadsmile Posted 14 Jan 2010 , 6:57pm
post #15 of 26

You did Amazing!!! I very thin rolled rope boarder around the base of both cakes would be all that cake needs to conceal what you are concerned with. thumbs_up.gif

KoryAK Posted 14 Jan 2010 , 9:21pm
post #16 of 26

Yep, a border is a great, quick way to make them look more separate. Also, did you mold the fondant into the hole in the bottom tier or did you cut it away? I cut it away and then you end up with a very crisp line instead of the rounded edge that shows more of what the cakes actually are.

tashistation Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 2:41pm
post #17 of 26

I molded it into the hole. Next time I will try cutting it away. Do you cut it right at the top of the hole or a little bit inside?


sadsmile Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 3:13pm
post #18 of 26

Sharon Zambito Cuts it away ... and anything Mrs. Sugar Shack does... thumbs_up.gif

KoryAK Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 5:41pm
post #19 of 26

right at the edge.

lyndim Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 9:06pm
post #20 of 26

The cut-out method works pretty good and not too difficult. thumbs_up.gif

MARTIEQZ Posted 2 Feb 2010 , 8:27pm
post #21 of 26

KORYAK, I just saw that entire flickr tutorial. I was looking for some tips since I have a 4 tier for 250 next weekend!!!! I had it all planned out in my head to do the cut out way with the SPS like the tutorial from here on CC....but then this flickr tutorial (by Deliciously Decadent, I believe) says she ONLY these cakes (which are awesome and unbelievable) in a dense chocolate cake covered with chocolate ganache. So, needless to say my self-confidence has hit rock bottom. My customer wants butter pecan and marble flavors and I always use BC and MMF. PLUS.....last night I watched CAKEBOSS and Buddy had issues with a 5 tier cake in which the bottom layer was not pound cake like he wanted! Do I need to rework my strategy and flavors?

cakeymom Posted 2 Feb 2010 , 9:28pm
post #22 of 26

MARTIEQZ I don't think you need to rework your flavors just make sure that the cake is dense enough without being gummy and too heavy. You may want, just like suggested in Cake Boss, adjust your layering. Instead of three maybe do two, or add additional cake boards and doweling within the layers of the bottom cake for extra support??

Good Luck,


KoryAK Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 4:49am
post #23 of 26

I use all my same recipes and mousse fillings and the whole bit regardless of size and shape. The only difference is more/stronger dowels as the cake gets bigger. I don't remember... but isn't the flickr one NOT cut out? Yes, you would need to control the cake better with that method. With the cut out one, each tier is as sturdy as if it were sitting on the ground.

MARTIEQZ Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 7:18pm
post #24 of 26

Thanks KORYAK. I hoped the cutout method was better, especially with SPS!

MARTIEQZ Posted 8 Feb 2010 , 3:23pm
post #25 of 26

One more thing KORYAK....Any tips on covering with fondant at that angle? I always struggle.

KoryAK Posted 10 Feb 2010 , 11:51pm
post #26 of 26

Just a cold cake and run your finger over the top edge first so that it's not so sharp. Then just work fast! icon_smile.gif

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