kpry Posted 19 Sep 2010 , 6:35pm
post #1 of

I made my first topsy turvy cake for my sister's 40th birthday. I used the method of carving out a circle from the tier and setting the next tier in that spot. This was a three tier pound cake. I prepared the cake on Friday night and stacked on Saturday morning. The tiers were supported with bubble tea straws (my first time using) and the tiers were on foam core.

As I was working on the borders I noticed small cracks in the icing on the top of the bottom tier. I patched them up and them a couple on the middle tier. As I was taking the cake to the van the side of the cake started to fall. I brought it back in and put some skewers in the side.

I headed back out to the van and when placed in the van the side fell off the bottom tier. I then took the top two tiers off for the trip over. In route the bottom tier sides just fell - from where the middle was carved out.

So we just decided to use the bottom for a "kitchen" cake and use the remaing two tiers. The cake sat for about 6 hours and then the middle tier side fell.

We ended up just using the top tier and cut the rest from the back.

Does anyone have any idea what I did or did not do that resulted in this disaster?

27 replies
peg818 Posted 19 Sep 2010 , 6:43pm
post #2 of

Not sure, but it sounds like you carved the tier too much. Adding too much of a slant on the sides of these cakes can cause what you are describing

kpry Posted 19 Sep 2010 , 6:53pm
post #3 of

I wasn't sure how far to go down. So I carved about an inch and a half. That may have been it!

TexasSugar Posted 20 Sep 2010 , 8:53pm
post #4 of

How many straws did you put in each layer?

kpry Posted 20 Sep 2010 , 10:10pm
post #5 of

I put seven straws in each tier - which had three layers each.

leah_s Posted 20 Sep 2010 , 10:32pm
post #6 of

Actually it may have been a diameter issue. What were the diameters of each tier?

kpry Posted 20 Sep 2010 , 10:37pm
post #7 of

The botton was 12"-11"-10" the middle was 10"-9"-8" and the top was 6"-6" they were all tappered.

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 20 Sep 2010 , 10:37pm
post #8 of

Sounds like straw overload. Lemme guess. They cracked right at or near the straws?

kpry Posted 20 Sep 2010 , 10:45pm
post #9 of

It craked from about 1" past the straws. Basically from where the bottom of middle tier was on the top of the bottom tier. I would have never thought about too many straws.

tmcakes Posted 20 Sep 2010 , 11:37pm

Oh wow!!! So sorry that happened to you! but it sounds like it was definitely tapered too much! I don't think I would have tapered it that much more if using graduating sized cakes. I think using graduating sizes is to avoid having to taper as much. I did one just this weekend using formecore bubble tea straws, a cutout center and drove it over 60 miles to the city and had no problem. So im pretty sure it had to be the tiers being tapered too much. Don't let this one keep you from doing another one! (((((HUGS)))))

momma28 Posted 20 Sep 2010 , 11:58pm

While It sounds to me like too many straws weakening the cake I think the taper was probably pretty severe too. I make them fairly frequently and I always start with 3 rounds of the same size for each tier and taper gently after slanting the top. I am very sorry for this hard lesson learned, I wish it was for a practice cake and not for a person special to you icon_sad.gif

I am sure you will master this type of cake in the future.

kpry Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 12:00am

Well lesson learned, and I am going to try one again. One with less tappering I owe my sister a birthday cake!

Loucinda Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 3:16am

My opinion is that you didn't carve the hole out enough and the pressure from setting that 2nd tier in it on the sides that weren't carved enough is what caused it to break apart. (ask me how I know this??) icon_wink.gif

Even though you took that tier back out, the damage to the base tier was done. I have used bubble tea straws and foam core and not had any trouble after figuring out how big to cut the hole for the next tiers.

I don't think you needed that many straws - I used 5 in the base, 4 in the middle tier and then a center dowel down through the base board.

kpry Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 5:50pm

I made the size of the cut based on the pan size, which did not allow for much wiggle room. That is a good point that is was not cut out enough.

I am going to try again! I have received a lot of advise and I really appreciate all the help!

Thank you.

SugarMoon Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 9:29pm

I went with the advice of leah_s when she was explaining on her SPS tutorial. I think a topsy turvy is about 6 inches high since you have to use 3 cakes. If you cut the hole down 1 layer, you get exactly 4 inches high. Plus, it's easy to make sure the hole is level since you're cutting down to the "filling" so to speak and can easily see the frosting. If the tier above is cut small enough, you'd have an inch of cake all the way around, so it'd be structurally sound and your little wall of cake shouldn't fall off either. Hopefully this helps? I've never used bubble tea straws before, so I couldn't tell you if it was straw overload or not.

kpry Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 1:37am

I am going to try that method. Thank you for the advice!

sugarshack Posted 23 Sep 2010 , 3:59am

I thin u needed more "ledge" between the tiers. For instance my topsies are 6,10,1 4, each tier taperd down 2 inches.

kpry Posted 23 Sep 2010 , 5:57pm

I will try to have more of a ledge for the next time. I am really getting some good advice and will be trying this cake again.

Thank you.

all4cake Posted 30 Sep 2010 , 1:17pm

I would be leaning toward loucinda's reasoning (for the same reason too...found out the hard way). The tell tale cracks then areas falling off ... the pressure from the above cake forcing the lower cake to expand. Even if all of your supports were perfectly level, you wedge in a cake too big for that hole, it's over.

I try to make sure there's a good gap all the way around the base and that hole it's being placed in. The gap can be masked by mortar, icing, border, anything, after that upper tier is in place.

No picture of it before or after???

tat2edprincess Posted 30 Sep 2010 , 6:27pm

I am doing my first fondant cake which will be the topsy turvy...i am using wooden dows....6 in the the bottom tier (8 inches) 5 in the middle ( 6 inch) but do i need them in the top? if so that will be 4 of them....

Oh i hope it doesn't fall over!!!

kpry Posted 30 Sep 2010 , 9:25pm

I didn't get a picture of the cake before, I thought I would get the picture when I dropped it off. I should have got the picture first. My sister took one of the after, but I don't have it.[/quote]

Karen421 Posted 30 Sep 2010 , 9:59pm

Wooden dowels were the down fall of my first topys turvy. I would suggest SPS. I haven't had any problems since I started using that method. Bubble t-straws and foam core would have been my second choice though!

tat2edprincess Posted 30 Sep 2010 , 10:03pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen421

Wooden dowels were the down fall of my first topys turvy. I would suggest SPS. I haven't had any problems since I started using that method. Bubble t-straws and foam core would have been my second choice though!




oh no!!!! what is sps? where can i get that

Karen421 Posted 30 Sep 2010 , 10:10pm

Single Plate System

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-603925.html

I love this system!

tat2edprincess Posted 30 Sep 2010 , 10:26pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen421

Single Plate System

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-603925.html

I love this system!




what are bubble t straws?

Could i use the wooden dows then place the cardboard in the holes for the tiers?

Karen421 Posted 30 Sep 2010 , 11:18pm

Bubble t-straws are a fat (1/2) straw. Some people use the fat straws from Burger king, I get my either on e-bay or at the Asian food store. (they are for the bubble tea at avian restaurants) I don't like dowels, they displace the cake, the more you use the more you displace. The cake pushes out and that is how my cake collapsed. Now some people love dowels, it's all what works for you. icon_lol.gif

tat2edprincess Posted 30 Sep 2010 , 11:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen421

Bubble t-straws are a fat (1/2) straw. Some people use the fat straws from Burger king, I get my either on e-bay or at the Asian food store. (they are for the bubble tea at avian restaurants) I don't like dowels, they displace the cake, the more you use the more you displace. The cake pushes out and that is how my cake collapsed. Now some people love dowels, it's all what works for you. icon_lol.gif





thanks Karen....looks like i'm heading to BK.....i hope they don't notice my handful of straws....hahaha

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 30 Sep 2010 , 11:29pm

Nice.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%