Torting And Filling - Super Frustrated

Decorating By trishvanhoozer Updated 5 Oct 2010 , 2:17am by dholdenrn

trishvanhoozer Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 8:45pm
post #1 of 39

I have been baking for many years. I think I am pretty good, I love the creativity in it. However, I am self taught and have never taken any class. I use cake mixes (not doctored) and have never torted or filled the layers. Just used the full 2 inch layer with icing in between and the next layer. So today I tried a few filling recipes on CC and they were delicious! BUT even after torting, building a dam with my icing and putting the filling in the cake, it was a disaster. The cake is lopsided and super soft. I doweled a two tier cake with 6 straws and it stll just fell apart. What in the world!!!! I apparently have no clue how to tort and flil a cake correctly.

38 replies
cakeythings1961 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 12:49am
post #2 of 39

Mix cakes are too soft for what you're trying to do. Take a look at these videos:




See how dense the cakes appear as they torte them? And they aren't even attempting to stack! Try the WASC or another doctored mix recipe that has a dense crumb and firm texture.

I would also add that I only use a thin layer of filling...........I'm still trying to master the process, myself!

trishvanhoozer Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 1:07am
post #3 of 39

I saw SweetWise's video, and that made me think I could do it!! LOL thank you for them both, I have not seen the second video and it was very good. I was hoping I wouldn't have to use doctored mixes, they intimidate me tremendously but the even layers in the torting are such a big selling point, I want to be able to master it. Do you have any favorite basic flavor doctored mix recieps? There are sooo many to choose from!

Normita Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 1:20am
post #4 of 39

I use the WASC recipe by Rebecca Sutterby. I really like this cake and its super easy to make. As far as variations...I use the WASC and use different creamers for the water and add extracts.

Take a look at this document and you will see a lot of yummy recipes..

https://docs.google.com/Doc?id=df4f9hbq_46cs9f28fs

trishvanhoozer Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 1:28am
post #5 of 39

Thank you so much. I am so hesitant to deviate from the norm -- but I know it has to happen! LOL
I appreciate your help tremndously!

cakeythings1961 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 1:30am
post #6 of 39

Well, not every doctored cake mix will result in a sturdier cake. You want something that adds more flour or solid fats (like butter) or gelatin mixes. In addition to the WASC cake, I like the Jello cake recipe:

http://cakecentral.com/recipes/16510/strawberry-jello-cupcakes-cake

You can actually use any flavor combination of cake mix and jello. My DH loves it made from lemon cake mix/lemon jello. My DD likes what I call "dreamsicle cake" which is vanilla cake mix and orange jello mix.

Also, have you tried pound cake mix? That would be a firm cake, too. icon_smile.gif

tokazodo Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 1:34am
post #7 of 39

I have not had luck with the wasc cakes, some people swear by it.
I have however only used boxed cake mixes, un-doctored for over 25 years.
I prefer Pillsbury brand cake mix.
I have stacked many of cakes and not had problems with them.
I freeze my cakes at least overnight, if not a week in advance.
I take them out and torte them while partially frozen.
By the time I have torted, filled, iced and crusted, they are still quite cool and firm, the same way I was taught when I apprenticed in the bakery.


Yesterday I stacked a 10", 8" and 4", all cake mix cakes, no problem.


hope this helps.

trishvanhoozer Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 1:34am
post #8 of 39

I guess I just equate sturdy with dry, tasteless cake. I haven't had any luck with the few recipes I have tried (and when I say few, I mean three). I have always used boxed mixes (with the exception of my carrot cake, fudge cake, red velvet cake and a few other specialties) and I am so worried about the end result being heavy and dry and tasteless. I have looked over all these receips, and it is so overwhelming, but I think I will take your advise and make a few test runs per week til I get comfortable with it. I sure hope it doesn't take long!
Thanks!

tokazodo Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 1:41am
post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by trishvanhoozer

I guess I just equate sturdy with dry, tasteless cake. I haven't had any luck with the few recipes I have tried (and when I say few, I mean three). I have always used boxed mixes (with the exception of my carrot cake, fudge cake, red velvet cake and a few other specialties) and I am so worried about the end result being heavy and dry and tasteless. I have looked over all these receips, and it is so overwhelming, but I think I will take your advise and make a few test runs per week til I get comfortable with it. I sure hope it doesn't take long!
Thanks!





I think this is a very wise choice, you need to find what works for you. I am beginning to think that different cake brands work differently, in different parts of our country. (Geesh! I said different too much!)

You try a little at a time, tweak a recipe here or there and find what you are most comfortable with.
Good Luck!

cakeythings1961 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 1:47am
post #10 of 39

The WASC and Jello cakes are not the least bit dry! They're very moist and full of flavor. Good luck with your experimentation. icon_smile.gif

All4Show Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 2:05am
post #11 of 39

The Cake Mix Doctor is an excellent book to start with if you are a little bit hesitant to try doctoring.

Vanessa7 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 2:07am
post #12 of 39

There are sooo many recipes on this site and it can definately get overwhelming. I typically look at the rating and how many people have rated it. Of course, those tried and true recipes are the ones with high ratings by lots of people. Don't be afraid to venture out, it's so much fun to run across those awesome recipes. icon_biggrin.gif

One of my most requested cakes is the Darn Good Chocolate Cake found here on CC. I substitute chocolate milk for the water, use butter instead of oil, 3 eggs, and Pillsbury Dark Chocolate Cake Mix. It is to die for! Very rich and the unexpected mini chocolate chips is a real treat. It is a very sturdy cake which you can torte easily. The original white almond sour cream (WASC) cake recipe is also a wonderful firm cake and one that can be easily altered. Change up the cake mix and the flavoring as desired. If you double this recipe be sure to put flower nails in the center of the batter to help it cook evenly. Sometimes the top can be sticky if you don't quite cook it long enough.

http://cakecentral.com/recipes/2163/darn-good-chocolate-cake
http://cakecentral.com/recipes/7445/the-original-wasc-cake-recipe

tmac670 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 2:25am
post #13 of 39

I prefer to use the 'tiered cake directions' for boxed cake mixes. DH used to print the directions on the inside of the box, but sadly they don't do that anymore. For DH mixes you simply adjust the oil to 2 tbsp for yellow and 3 tbsp for chocolate- same liquid amount, same egg amount. Not too scary, right?

emiyeric Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 2:34am
post #14 of 39

Here is yet another vote for the WASC!!! I am one of those that swears by it, and any one of it's bazillion variations. Two other comments, though ...
One: if you are going to be Torting and filling cakes on a regular basis, I would definitely consider investing in an agbay.those things are expensive, but sooooooo worth it!!! I am a hobbyist, but have aves hours upon hours by using mine - worth every penny. I tried the Wilton leveller, knives, string, you name it, but the agbay tortes an entire cake (two 10in, two 8in, two 6in rounds) in seven minutes flat, and the cakes are perfect every time, absolutely no uestions asked.
Two: be careful not to put too many dowels into your cake! You canactually be shooting yourself in the foot by mking Swiss cheese of your structure. counter-intuitive, but true!
That's pretty much it ... My two cents icon_smile.gif. I'm far from from producing some of the works of art you'll see here, but I can lay a later of filling between my wasc layers as thick as the cake layers themselves, and make for a beautiful slice anywY (my toy story cake in my pics has a picture of the slice inside, and this was after having been destroyed by someone else hacking at it with a knife before me, but at least you can see the amount of filling). Hth!

caymancake Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 2:40am
post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmac670

I prefer to use the 'tiered cake directions' for boxed cake mixes. DH used to print the directions on the inside of the box, but sadly they don't do that anymore. For DH mixes you simply adjust the oil to 2 tbsp for yellow and 3 tbsp for chocolate- same liquid amount, same egg amount. Not too scary, right?




Just to clarify - does that mean you reduce the oil to that amount, or you add that in addition to the regular amount of oil...sorry if it seems like a silly question but I was just wondering.

Many thanks!

_christina_ Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 3:24am
post #16 of 39

What kind of frosting are you using for the dam? Is it store bought or home-made? That can make a difference, too. If the icing isn't firm enough to act like a damn, your filling will ooze through and you'll have the same issue.

Vanessa7 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 4:10am
post #17 of 39

I agree with emiyeric about the agbay leveler. I purchased one and just love it. If you're gonna tort on a regular basis it is absolutely the best. You will be the torting queen with it!

cakeythings1961 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 11:29am
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmac670

I prefer to use the 'tiered cake directions' for boxed cake mixes. DH used to print the directions on the inside of the box, but sadly they don't do that anymore. For DH mixes you simply adjust the oil to 2 tbsp for yellow and 3 tbsp for chocolate- same liquid amount, same egg amount. Not too scary, right?




Very interesting! I've never heard of this, but that makes sense. What a shame they stopped printing this on their pkg, but thanks for passing that along!! icon_smile.gif

TerriLynn Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 11:53am
post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by trishvanhoozer

I have been baking for many years. I think I am pretty good, I love the creativity in it. However, I am self taught and have never taken any class. I use cake mixes (not doctored) and have never torted or filled the layers. Just used the full 2 inch layer with icing in between and the next layer. So today I tried a few filling recipes on CC and they were delicious! BUT even after torting, building a dam with my icing and putting the filling in the cake, it was a disaster. The cake is lopsided and super soft. I doweled a two tier cake with 6 straws and it stll just fell apart. What in the world!!!! I apparently have no clue how to tort and flil a cake correctly.



Hi1 I wonder if the sinking cake could have anything to do with using straws instead of dowel rods to stack the cake (?) I just took the Wilton "Tall Cakes" class and the instructor said to not use straws because they can bend if the cake is too heavy. I have only stacked one cake and the wooden dowel rods worked very well. Hope this helps. icon_smile.gif

Sweetwise Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 12:55pm
post #20 of 39

Scratch cakes are always more stable. I like the Vanilla Cake recipe in "Confetti Cakes". Dry? Scratch cakes can be. Make sure you pay attention to the section in the torte and fill video where I talk about using flavored simple syrup to counteract that. I would never make a scratch cake without it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oLhbNjMNWM&p=178BA8A7498017F9&playnext=1&index=1

Debcent Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 1:36pm
post #21 of 39

I use this recipe and have had nothing but compliments. I also have used many different brands of cake mix for this recipe and all turns out well. Its a very thick batter and bakes well.
http://cakecentral.com/recipes/1972/durable-cake-for-3d-and-wedding-cakes

TexasSugar Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 2:51pm
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeythings1961

Mix cakes are too soft for what you're trying to do.




Really? I have torted plain mix (none doctored) cakes plenty of times with out any issues. You just need a cake board or the cake lifter to move the torted pieces.

indydebi Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 3:23pm
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeythings1961

Mix cakes are too soft for what you're trying to do.



Really? I have torted plain mix (none doctored) cakes plenty of times with out any issues. You just need a cake board or the cake lifter to move the torted pieces.


same here.

mayo2222 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 3:41pm
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeythings1961

Mix cakes are too soft for what you're trying to do.



Really? I have torted plain mix (none doctored) cakes plenty of times with out any issues. You just need a cake board or the cake lifter to move the torted pieces.

same here.




And here

cakeythings1961 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 6:38pm
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayo2222

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeythings1961

Mix cakes are too soft for what you're trying to do.



Really? I have torted plain mix (none doctored) cakes plenty of times with out any issues. You just need a cake board or the cake lifter to move the torted pieces.

same here.



And here




And the advice the three of you have for the OP is..............?

TexasSugar Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 7:11pm
post #26 of 39

My questions would be, what was the filling recipes? Were they soft or thin? Was too much used? Was it level?

What was used to make the damn? How thick was it?

When torted, was a knife or a leveler used?

What size cake are we talking about?

LindaF144a Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 7:45pm
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetwise

Scratch cakes are always more stable. I like the Vanilla Cake recipe in "Confetti Cakes". Dry? Scratch cakes can be. Make sure you pay attention to the section in the torte and fill video where I talk about using flavored simple syrup to counteract that. I would never make a scratch cake without it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oLhbNjMNWM&p=178BA8A7498017F9&playnext=1&index=1




I disagree with this statement.

Scratch cakes can be dry for all sorts of reasons, except that they are made from scratch. My MIL's cakes, all made from mix, are very dry. I have learned to make sure ice cream is around whenever she makes one.

My scratch cakes, on the other hand, have been dry once. And that was when I used a cheap store brand of cocoa instead of e good stuff. And even then I
was in the minority in thinking it was dry.

Scratch cakes can be dry because of the ingredients, how they batter is put together, how they are stored, etc. But a box mix does not guarentee a moist cake.

LindaF144a Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 7:49pm
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

My questions would be, what was the filling recipes? Were they soft or thin? Was too much used? Was it level?

What was used to make the damn? How thick was it?

When torted, was a knife or a leveler used?

What size cake are we talking about?




In my first Wilton class the teacher trotted a cake box mix cake and she had no problem whatsoever.

Yesterday I trotted a scratch cake and one of the layers had to be pieced back together. Why? I was too much of a hurry to get a cake board to slide it onto. I was just glad I could get it back together and get it iced.

Briarview Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 8:12pm
post #29 of 39

What I would like to know how would you torte a cake with lemon curd or raspberry jam or the such like which is soft and runny. Would you make a dam of buttercream icing and then place filling inside the dam. Most of my cakes are covered in fondant and always have a problem of the line showing. The layers are usually 1½" thick and only do two. I've heard of placing in fridge but wouldn't they soften once they reached room temperature. Would love to master this. Thanks.

TexasSugar Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 9:16pm
post #30 of 39

With the thinner, softer fillings you need to do thin layers of them. The thicker layers of slippery fillings is what can cause layers to slide around.

When you do the icing dam are you doing in about a 1/4th of an inch inside of the edge of the cake or right on the edge?

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