All My Cakes Fell Apart...why??

Baking By cakefort Updated 11 Apr 2010 , 2:41am by cakefort

cakefort Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 12:43am
post #1 of 15

I am doing a trial run for a wedding cake due next month. It is a simple 6,9,12 stacked cake, but I have never done 3 tiers and never did a 12 inch before. 3 6inch rounds and 2 12 inch rounds all fell apart and I have no idea why. I thought that maybe I skimped on the Crisco and flour on the first batch, so I coated the next round really well. I also added some meringue powder in hopes it would add stability. They still all broke to some degree coming out of the pan and my 12 inch broke when I tried to move it to cut off the top dome. I can't even imagine what is going to happen when I torte it (if I am that brave)! I let it cool, I ran a knife around the edges. I don't know why they all were a complete mess, like they were missing the "glue" that keeps cakes from being a pile of crumbs.

I used a WASC and the only things I did differently from usual, was I used whole eggs, but half the amount (so instead of 8 whites, I used 4 whole) and I used BC White instead of my usual DH, because I didn't see any DH White.

Was it the eggs that made the difference? The mix? Or just really bad luck? Forget the effort and day wasted. Forget the money spent to make a cake for 100 that I have no one to feed it to. Forget that I ate more cake scraps than I wanted to icon_redface.gif . I am terrified now that I am not going to be able to pull off this wedding cake next month!


14 replies
tesso Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 12:49am
post #2 of 15

If I use a box.. I only use DH.

Too much egg..use whites only.

What temp are you cooking at? It should be 325 degree. No higher.

No need to use meringue

I you trim your cakes.. remember to toss it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes first. Much easier that way.

HTH.. happy baking..

BlakesCakes Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 1:07am
post #3 of 15

I make WASC using DH most of the time.

Unless it's a cake that has to be as white as possible, I ALWAYS use 6 whole eggs in place of the 8 egg whites.

I can honestly say that I never have problems with this recipe.

I think that adding meringue powder can make cakes lighter and fluffier--and that type of cake can break apart easily. That's not what I want when I make a cake, so the addition of whole eggs makes it more dense and more moist.


cakefort Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 1:23am
post #4 of 15

Thanks, Tesso and Rae. I will search for a DH White next time.

Tesso, I did have it at 325. I will try putting the cake in the fridge before trimming next time, although I have never needed to before.

I also only did the meringue when the first batch was a disaster and I couldn't figure out why, but it certainly does stand to reason that it would make it lighter and fluffier!

kakeladi Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 1:32am
post #5 of 15

I have used my *original* WASC recipe with Betty Crocker mixes. My recipe calls for whole eggs.

There are many things you don't tell us. Did you leave the cakes to cool about 10 minutes before trying to take them out of the pan?
Did you let the depaned cakes (expecially the 12") cool longer before handling it? About 30-60 minutes is usual.

Cool your cakes on a cake rack - slightly raised off the table so air can circulate under and all around the cake.
Did they have a hump in the center when you took them out of the pan?
One or maore of those factors could have contributed to your problem.

Ursula40 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 1:42am
post #6 of 15

When I take the cakes out of the oven, I immediately place a cakeboard the exact size of the cakes on top and press down slightly to minimise any bumps. That flattens the cake top a bit and does make the cake a bit denser, but that is ok. I don't use any mixes though. After cooling for 10 mins, I invert them onto cooling racks to cool completely, not having the large bump also helps with not cracking, then place them overnight, well wrapped and in the cleaned pans overnight. Next day I even the cake. The cooling helps the crumb to bind itself, so the cake becomes more stable for cutting or carving

indydebi Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 1:47am
post #7 of 15

Did you trim the dome top before you remove them from the pan? Even if a cake is upside down for just a few seconds, sitting on a rounded dome top, gravity will do it's thing and pull down on those corners of the cake, causing the cake to crack and sometimes just break in half ... before you even get a chance to flip it back on it's flat bottom.

Do you do the push-down method? I started using that after reading about it on CC .. take a clean towel (or a cake cardboard) and push down on the dome of the cake before leveling or removing from the pan. I found this pushed the excess air out of the cake and actually helped the cake be a little denser.

I STILL leveled the cake after doing the push-down, but I could tell a difference in the density and handling of the cake.

My cakes are always leveled and removed from the pan within 2 minutes from coming out of the oven.

I am a Betty Crocker only gal (I find DH too "light and fluffy" for working with big cakes), but I go back and forth between using whole eggs and just egg whites. If I use whole eggs, I dont' decrease the number of eggs ..... just makes the cake taste richer when using whole eggs! thumbs_up.gif

craftybarb Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 1:54am
post #8 of 15

I have been having the same problem with DH and I could not figure out what I was doing wrong. I went to my cake decorating supply store and they told me not to add the oil to the cake mixes that it make it to soft. Well tryed that and they were better. But I decided to try another brand and I did not have that problem at all so I don't no what was wrong.

BlakesCakes Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 1:58am
post #9 of 15

Well, I should add that aI do use the WASC that calls for 4TBSP of oil and when using DH mixes, I also add 1 box of instant pudding mix per cake mix used.


cakefort Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:07am
post #10 of 15

Indydebi, this was actually the first time tried the push-down method, although I did it somewhat gingerly. At first I thought that that was the problem...that it actually ruined the stability of the cake, so I stopped with subsequent cakes.

I don't have any rule of thumb for cutting the dome. Sometimes I do it before and sometimes after I turn it out (figuring it would be easier when cooler). Surely, I can see where doing it after could cause problems to the structural soundness, so to speak, of the cake.

Interesting that there doesn't seem to be consensus on the egg situation.

Kitagrl Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:11am
post #11 of 15

If you were supposed to use 8 whites and you used only four eggs, then that is probably part of it. Four yolks will not take the place of four whites, since the whites are what help, I believe, bind the cake.

cakefort Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:16am
post #12 of 15
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

If you were supposed to use 8 whites and you used only four eggs, then that is probably part of it. Four yolks will not take the place of four whites, since the whites are what help, I believe, bind the cake.

Oh, well, that could be the problem, then. It surely seemed less cohesive and more crumbly than normal.

pastryjen Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:31am
post #13 of 15

I prefer using BC and I prepare my cakes similar to Ursula 40.

Perhaps the stars weren't aligned properly that day. Sorry!

Kitagrl Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:36am
post #14 of 15

Indy that's funny...I tried BC one time and felt it was "too light and fluffy". haha. I felt DH was more stable!

I also use whole eggs instead of just whites...the yolks don't make much of a difference, yeah just adds a bit of richness.

But (to the OP) I never cut BACK on the eggs, or replace whites with yolks, because whites and yolks are totally different. The cake needs the technically does not need the yolks, necessarily. If a recipe asks for eight can either use eight whites, or eight whole eggs...but can't use less.

I know, OP, that you already acknowledged that haha sorry...was just like further explaining...rambling rather! icon_redface.gif

cakefort Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:41am
post #15 of 15

lol. Thanks, Kitagrl.

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