Beautiful Disaster

Decorating By oceanslayer Updated 25 Apr 2010 , 11:43pm by aswartzw

oceanslayer Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 6:45pm
post #1 of 19

I worked so hard to make the most beautiful wedding cake for my husband's best friend's wedding. I've been planning this cake for 2 months. I say planning but I've really been obsessing. Anyway, finally the big day was here. I worked all through the night and when it was finally over, I had created a beautiful cake. I stressed and stressed about the drive to the wedding but that went flawlessly as well. Finally, it was over. I was SO proud!!! I had about 5 people ask me for my card (which I don't have because I am really, really new to cake decorating and only do it for fun at this point) and everyone at the reception raved about it. The bride and groom cut the cake. I served the cake. The end right? No!!! I finally decided to taste the cake myself... it was the most horrible tasting cake I have ever had. It was SO dry it just crumbled and I had to take a sip of my drink just to swallow it. I couldn't believe it! I was humiliated! icon_redface.gif

I don't know what went wrong. I guess it was because I had to freeze the cakes a couple of days beforehand. Maybe the recipe I used was just not a good one. I don't know. I have always been a great cook. The grooms cake I made was wonderful - moist and tasty but it was a box mix. The wedding cake was from scratch. I also didn't freeze the grooms cake so maybe that was it. I don't know. Needless to say, no one else asked me for my card once they had tasted it. icon_cry.gif

18 replies
Caths_Cakes Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 6:54pm
post #2 of 19

Im sorry this happened to you, I doubt it was the freezing though, I freeze ALL my cakes, scratch and box and have never had one come out dry, it must have been dry when it went in, Treat this as a lesson well learned! always try you cake before you decorate!

mygirlssweet Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 6:54pm
post #3 of 19

I freeze my cakes all the time before I thaw and decorate them. I doubt that was the problem. Some scratch recipes are just dry and crumbly. What I do it is, I level my cakes once they are cool from the oven and that gives you a chance to taste the cake before you go any further in decoarting. I make my cakes a few weeks before, that way if I have a flop I have a chance to remake. Sorry to hear this happened to you but don't give up. I test recipes on my family and that way I know if it's a keeper or junk.

cupcake_cutie Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 7:01pm
post #4 of 19

It seems as if the recipe that you used was not a good one. Usually freezing a cake makes it more moist. I'm so sorry that this happened to you.

all4cake Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 7:10pm
post #5 of 19

I'm sorry this happened to you! I hope you find a good one before the next order

Care to share which one didn't work for you?

MyDiwa Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 7:13pm
post #6 of 19

I'm really, really sorry about this. I can't even imagine! I dont know what could have gone wrong, but I dont think freezing was the problem beacuse that usually actually helps with keeping cakes moist and fresh. The only thing I can think of is maybe if it was a butter based recipe it can taste dry if it didnt get enough time to warm back up after the freezing.

momma28 Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 7:13pm
post #7 of 19

What cake recipe did you use? I dont freeze cakes for customers but I have for my own family use and they are always fine. I only bake from scratch. Was it a yellow cake?

emiyeric Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 7:20pm
post #8 of 19

The very first time I ever tried fondant, I levelled and torted my cake ... and then left it out while I was doing other things, and then came back to crumbcoat and cover it later. I'd never had to spend a long time decorating a cake before, and since everywhere you look it says that the fondant keeps the moisture in the cake, it didn't occur to me how much it would dry out BEFORE putting the icing and fondant on it . The result was, as yours, surprisingly gorgeous, but dry as anything. I wonder if your layers may have dried out too much before putting them in the freezer, or before icing? I will add my voice to the crowd saying how much more moist a cake is once it's been frozen.

tyty Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 7:22pm
post #9 of 19

So sorry this happened to you. I freeze all my cakes because I bake ahead and have never had a problem. I always taste the cakes before I wrap and freeze, like another member stated, if it's not right or dry you have time to bake again. My cakes are 90% scratch, I use WASC for white cakes.

leah_s Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 7:50pm
post #10 of 19

I bake early enough because I *plan* to freeze every cake. It makes them moister, with a couple of big ifs. If the cake is properly wrapped, and (ideally) if it is in a non-self defrosting freezer.

I really don't think the freezing was the problem. Nor do I think it was the sitting out prior to decorating.

I only bake from scratch.

And I torte every cake, also, just so I can see what's inside.

oceanslayer Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 8:37pm
post #11 of 19

If it wasn't the freezing, then I don't know what it could have been. I got my recipes from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I made a vanilla tier and a white chocolate tier. I baked the cakes, let cool, wrapped in Saran and foil, and froze them. Now I wonder if maybe I UNTHAWED them wrong. I unwrapped them and let them thaw on the counter for about an hour before icing. Should I have kept them covered in the wrapping while it unthawed?

oceanslayer Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 8:44pm
post #12 of 19

I guess the lesson learned from this whole experience is that you should put as much care into your cake recipe as you do your cake decorating. I should have made a test cake just to taste it and make sure it was good.

momma28 Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 9:03pm
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I bake early enough because I *plan* to freeze every cake. It makes them moister, with a couple of big ifs. If the cake is properly wrapped, and (ideally) if it is in a non-self defrosting freezer.

I really don't think the freezing was the problem. Nor do I think it was the sitting out prior to decorating.

I only bake from scratch.

And I torte every cake, also, just so I can see what's inside.




Ok I have to admit I am suprised by so many people saying it makes the cake even more moist to freeze them. While I dont think it degrades the quality of the cake I never thought of it improving it. Could you please share your method for freezing (do you wrap while still slightly warm? do you leave wrapped while thawing?)

To the OP just because the recipe came out of better homes doesnt guarantee it was a good one. Scratch recipes (especially yellow ones) need to be tested and tweaked if necessary. They are not as fool proof as boxed mix (although worth it in my opinion) If you search you will find that for most people the search for a recipe that suits them is a sometimes exhaustive process. Im sure this was a hard lesson and im sorry icon_sad.gif

leah_s Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 9:29pm
post #14 of 19

Freezing "locks" in all the moisture.

I let the cake cool completely, wrap in plastic film and put in the non-self defrosting freezer. A self-defrosting freezer actually cycles the temp up and down to eliminate frost. A non-self-defrosting freezer just holds at a low temp and let s the frost build up.

When I take the cake out of the freezer, I let it sit on the counter wrapped while I assemble whatever I'm going to be using. Then I wash, fill, and wrap up the tier using the same plastic film, put the weight on top and let it sit 3 hours or overnight.

(Or if you read my near-panic on the Friday Night Cake Club thread, it doesn't sit long at all.)

I think the problem was the recipe, or it was simply overbaked.

momma28 Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 10:05pm
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

Freezing "locks" in all the moisture.

I let the cake cool completely, wrap in plastic film and put in the non-self defrosting freezer. A self-defrosting freezer actually cycles the temp up and down to eliminate frost. A non-self-defrosting freezer just holds at a low temp and let s the frost build up.

When I take the cake out of the freezer, I let it sit on the counter wrapped while I assemble whatever I'm going to be using. Then I wash, fill, and wrap up the tier using the same plastic film, put the weight on top and let it sit 3 hours or overnight.

(Or if you read my near-panic on the Friday Night Cake Club thread, it doesn't sit long at all.)


Thank you. so you let it sit overnight wrapped before you crumb coat?
I think the problem was the recipe, or it was simply overbaked.


Adevag Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 10:31pm
post #16 of 19

I'm sorry it ended like that for you.
I also made that mistake once, I made a cake using a new scratch recipe. Like you, I realised that I need to test them ahead of time.
Many recipes tell you to take your cakes out when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. I can only speak for myself, but if I wait that long the cakes will become dry. For me, my cakes are done when there are moist crumbs on the toothpick.
Also, when baking from scratch, the amount of flour can vary depending on how you measure it. To get the most accurate result you should weigh at least your flours.
Most recipes use volumes, not weights. I am just about to order my own scale to convert my recipes. As of now, I always sift the flours before i measure using cups. (not saying you don't sift or weigh, just wanted to share with my mistakes and hopefully prevent someone from repeating them)

cathyscakes Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 10:42pm
post #17 of 19

People like to think that freezing is bad, its not, the cakes turn out so moist coming out of the freezer. It definitely had to be your recipe. I have made white cakes from scratch that taste horrible, had scratch cakes at wedding that I couldn't even eat. So there are bad recipes out there, I still haven't found a white scratch cake I like. I make great carrot cakes, chocolate, everything but white, I haven't found the perfect white yet.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 11:19pm
post #18 of 19

Freezing would make your cake more moist if anything. Was this by chance a white cake? I bake all of my cakes from scratch except for white cake. I always use a Pillsbury mix as the base for my white cakes. I have found many white cake recipes that had great flavor, but were too dry. I've cook at lower temps, adding mayo, everything. I just can't seem to find the right scratch, white cake recipe. Lesson learned: Never, never bake or cook a new recipe for someone else that you haven't tested yourself.

aswartzw Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 11:43pm
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcake_cutie

It seems as if the recipe that you used was not a good one. Usually freezing a cake makes it more moist. I'm so sorry that this happened to you.




This exactly. I never use an untested scratch cake recipe for any cake but practice. Too many bad ones! lol

I froze both my sister's and my own wedding cakes because I simply didn't have the time to juggle freshly baked cakes with all the other wedding drama. Now I freeze every single cake I bake, even if I make it one day ahead. It's so much better.

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