Need Help With A Tall Character Cake

Decorating By wpmontgomery Updated 9 Apr 2010 , 12:53am by cheatize

wpmontgomery Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 9:19pm
post #1 of 5

I just did my practice run for my son's R2D2 cake for his birthday. I did tons of research online before starting and thought I had a good plan. Here are the steps I followed and what went wrong.
1. Baked several 10" rounds to stack for his body. I used 1 flower nail in each of the rounds, and bake even strips but they did not bake even and fell apart when I removed them. Oh, I should probably say at this point that I did use boxed cake mix for all of them. So my question for this part is should I have made the cakes more dense? What more can I do to keep them from sticking and falling apart when I take them out of the pans?
2. Once they had fully coolled, I cut each round horizontally to make 2 layers. Then stacked with buttercream. By the time I got six layers high, the cake was not flat at all on top and leaning quite a bit. So for this step, I'm assuming I should have added dowel rods and cardboard rounds, would that have fixed by leaning and not flat issue? Should I freeze the rounds before cutting and stacking them?
3. Once all tiers were stacked, It was a large, crumbling mess. Should I refrigerate the cake before trying to smooth the sides or will crumb coating hide all the cracks and crevices?

4 replies
Kitagrl Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 9:36pm
post #2 of 5

1. Baked several 10" rounds to stack for his body. I used 1 flower nail in each of the rounds, and bake even strips but they did not bake even and fell apart when I removed them. Oh, I should probably say at this point that I did use boxed cake mix for all of them. So my question for this part is should I have made the cakes more dense? What more can I do to keep them from sticking and falling apart when I take them out of the pans?

Maybe try adding pudding mix and an extra egg, and reducing the water to one cup...


2. Once they had fully coolled, I cut each round horizontally to make 2 layers. Then stacked with buttercream. By the time I got six layers high, the cake was not flat at all on top and leaning quite a bit. So for this step, I'm assuming I should have added dowel rods and cardboard rounds, would that have fixed by leaning and not flat issue? Should I freeze the rounds before cutting and stacking them?

Every two layers you should ice like a regular cake...then add supports (dowels or bubble tea straws) and a circle of wax paper, some icing, and then a cardboard. Then add two more layers of cake. Once you are done you can put a sharpened dowel down through the entire thing. If you see the cakes are not going up straight, just level them with a knife as you go, if necessary.


3. Once all tiers were stacked, It was a large, crumbling mess. Should I refrigerate the cake before trying to smooth the sides or will crumb coating hide all the cracks and crevices?

I would definitely crumb coat and then refrigerate until nice and firm before attempting to ice it. And then, refrigerate again until firm before attempting fondant.


Good luck!!!

wpmontgomery Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 9:55pm
post #3 of 5

Cannot thank you enough. I'll try this again in a couple of days. I have 3 weeks until the Birthday Party. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

katies_cakes Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 12:31am
post #4 of 5

try buying some cake release for your pans (or make it yourself, i think there is a recipe here for it) i use wiltons and i dont know how i ever managed without it. i also use a circle of parchment paper at the bottom, and now i never have any cakes sticking to the tin or breaking. my fingers are crossed for you, at least you had the sense to do a trial run, i havent with my TT thats due sat and im having major issues, i really wish i had done a trial run first!! lol

cheatize Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 12:53am
post #5 of 5

They're leaning?
Are they stacked on straight- one exactly on top of the other? Or is each cake not exactly the same size? I've used the same pans before and yet every once in awhile they are not all the same size for whatever reason. If you throw off the center of gravity enough, that could cause the lean.

The other reason they could be leaning is if all the layers aren't level.

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