Omg Wedding Cake Collapsed......my Fault??

Decorating By wittylorrie Updated 11 Aug 2010 , 12:08pm by Eisskween

wittylorrie Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 9:52pm
post #1 of 12

I'm sitting here with such sadness and tears filling up as I type.
Scenario: Client comes to me with a photo of a cake by Colette Peters. It's a cake with missing slices that have been sealed with fondant to look like you are seeing the inside of the cake. I was very hesitant as it was 5 tiers and I was concerned but I accepted the order. It was stacked.
16" base 4" high, 14", 12, 8 and 6". Fantasy sugar flowers throughout the cake.
16" & 14" were a dense yellow with almond and french custard.
12" & 8" were a dark choc with a choc butter-cream mousse/espresso flavor. The last 6" was yellow again. Very solid construction. 16" had 12 support columns from a 1/2" on each side of open slice. Te remaining tiers all had heavy support as well. Foil wrapped cardboard rounds. I had the tiers very well chilled and they were all very firm. Got to the location at 5:30pm. Sun blaring. The reception was in a large tent. No air conditioning. They set up the cake table at the West wall near a main tent opening. The dirt ground was covered. We set up the cake in about 15 to 20 min. It was very warm easy 80 to 85 at the time. It collapsed sometime that evening. Not sure when. They blame me. (Gasp) Is this my fault? Am I responsible?

11 replies
therese379 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 10:01pm
post #2 of 12

NO it's not your fault.... they choose the location and chose to set it up in the HEAT... You should not be at fault, you delivered it in great condition. It's the clients responsibility after the decorator leaves.... hot day is disaster for stacked wedding cakes... icon_cry.gif I'm sure your cake was beautiful... icon_wink.gificon_wink.gif

Doug Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 10:01pm
post #3 of 12

i'd want a lot more info.

considering location -- could EASILY have been bumped and knocked over, not collapsed.

even a strong wind gust could have knocked it over

and was the ground perfectly level?

did someone stumble on the ground cover and cause it to shift and there by wobble the table and the cake?


not to mention -- no way a cake should be out that long in the heat -- the bride should have made arrangement for it to be more properly displayed


at this point

N O ! ! -- you are NOT to blame.

Ozzysmom Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 10:09pm
post #4 of 12

I have in my cake contract about outside weddings, I'm not responsible if the cake is set outside and a problem with the cake develops due to outdoor conditions ( heat, wind, rain, Humidity, sudden storm, unstable ground, sprinklers, animals, etc)



I also take a picture of the cake after it is set up to prove that it was in perfect condition when I left

my brides are aware of this at the time they order

you are not responsible!!

CWR41 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 10:18pm
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by wittylorrie

16" had 12 support columns from a 1/2" on each side of open slice. Te remaining tiers all had heavy support as well. Foil wrapped cardboard rounds.




I'd be concerned with your support statement. What do you mean when you say you used 12 support columns? If you mean dowels, any more than 7 is overkill because it's like cutting a dotted line for the cake to fall apart along. If you mean columns, like hollow pillar supports or Single-Plate Separators, all you need is 4.

To properly diagnose what happened, we'd need to see a photo of the cake after it collapsed.

sweetpea223 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 10:18pm
post #6 of 12

I agree with everyone. I am not a professional baker or don't do this for business... if you delivered your cake intact and left the venue without it falling off...it's not your fault. If it fell in your presence, then it is. Some people just want to get a big discount for something that they might have caused.

mamawrobin Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 11:45pm
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

Quote:
Originally Posted by wittylorrie

16" had 12 support columns from a 1/2" on each side of open slice. Te remaining tiers all had heavy support as well. Foil wrapped cardboard rounds.



I'd be concerned with your support statement. What do you mean when you say you used 12 support columns? If you mean dowels, any more than 7 is overkill because it's like cutting a dotted line for the cake to fall apart along. If you mean columns, like hollow pillar supports or Single-Plate Separators, all you need is 4.

To properly diagnose what happened, we'd need to see a photo of the cake after it collapsed.




I'm going to agree with CWR41 about your support statement. I'm thinking that you may have used too many. You said that you "12 support columns" (In a 16" with a slice missing?) and "remaining tiers had heavy support as well" What kind of "heavy support? "Heavy" isn't really a good thing for support. I think your cake may have been unstable because of having too many holes poked in it. Like CWR said..it makes it like "swiss cheese" .

I'm also confused as to why you would wrap cardboard rounds in foil? icon_confused.gif They are designed to go on the cake between tiers just as they are..no need for covering them..especially with foil. I'm guessing you had no center dowel? icon_confused.gif Anyway..do you have photos of the cake after delivery and set up? What did you use for supports? plastic dowels, wooded dowels (size) or straws? Without knowing these things it's kind of hard to figure out just why this happened to the cake.

momma28 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 11:51pm
post #8 of 12

My contract says that I am not responsible for any damage to the cake after I leave (I too take pictures at the venue to prove it was in perfect condition and I have them sign off on the invoice that it was received as ordered and undamaged). I also have a clause that says that optimal room temp for a cake is 75 degree F or below and any venue not meeting that temp may lead to cake damage (paraphrasing since my contract is not in front of me).

You are not to blame....5 tier cake outside in the heat...wow what were they thinking.

Karen421 Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 4:00am
post #9 of 12

I am so sorry this happened. I lost a middle tier of a topsy turvy once due to what I call the perforation problem, to many dowels. I dont use dowels anymore!
I think Doug is right - you need more information. It sounds like your cake was fine for a while. Therefore; it could have been a combination of so many things, possibly to many supports, the heat, and possibly someone bumping into the table. Unfortunately you may not get the whole story from the bridal party. Did you take a picture before you left?

wittylorrie Posted 23 Jun 2010 , 4:26pm
post #10 of 12

WHEW!!!!! Thank you all!! What an amazing community you all are.

OK.....I might have exaggerated the amount in the 16" It was 10 of those smooth plastic dowels made to go inside the cake. The 14" had 8, the 12 had 6 and the 8 had 4"
I wrapped the cardboard in foil because it was exposed on each tier where that missing slice was. It showed.
I understand the concept of Swiss cheese with the dowels but they were pretty thin and there seemed to be plenty of cake in between but it is a possibility???
The DJ was maybe 12 feet away...plenty of vibration....main tent entrance right next to the cake....??
Unfortunately No photo icon_cry.gif We were so pressed to finish because I had to drive and pick up two full size sheet cakes for them as well. The photographers were snapping away at it so I figured we would get good photos from them. I always take photos.. Not this time.
My question was also how it failed? Did it collapse like a building? Did one tier go and the rest slid? They mentioned they saved two tiers to use for photos. How if it collapsed as mentioned? It was a small table. Long ways to the ground!

costumeczar Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 11:59am
post #11 of 12

I'm getting in on this very late but for other people who might run into this kind of situation...I have a blog entry going up later today about how people can probably use photoshop to show that every cake could have fallen over. Don't ask for photos, call the reception site and ask to talk to the person who was there cutting the cake. They'll be able to tell you from a neutral third-party perspective about what they saw and what really happened.

Eisskween Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 12:08pm
post #12 of 12

Getting in late here too. The perfect climate for fondant is between 70 and 75 degrees farenheit. I actually have this written into my contract. If they were informed of this and decided to take their chances, then it's on them. If you weren't aware of this, then yes, it may just be your fault.

Sorry if it's not what you wanted to hear, but it is my honest opinion. Hope things get better for you.

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