Mel2085 Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 11:42pm
post #1 of

Okay so I was to deliver a cake tonight at 5:30...which means I had to leave the house at 5.....I made a 2 tier 12 in square and 8 in square....all decorated Zebra stripped on the bottom top layer with circles. A gum paste car, phone, music notes and a bit "16" on top.....and as I am picking it up to walk out the door....the bottom cakes literally crumbled!! I don't know why! I made the cakes on Thurs. night (like I do all the time) I have been moving them around all day....turning them on the turn table...everything! Nothing seemed to show that anything was wrong! I even had the torte done on them yesterday so they could settle!

The only thing I can think of was Duncan Hines might have changed their "formula" when they changed the packaging. Anyone else having these problems....or is it just me?!?

Oh and to top this all off, I am 10 weeks pregnant so with the hormones going on in my body....I was literally in tears for about 45 min! My husband has been cleaning it up off the floor. And the people I made the cake for (my boss!) when I called they didn't seem to be bothered by it she said she would run down to the grocery store and get a cake and it was no problem! Which is a relief a little....I kind of wish they were mad so I can feel justified so I can be so upset!

UGH!! Thank you for letting me vent and please let me know if you have any problems with the "new" Duncan Hines!

27 replies
-K8memphis Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 11:47pm
post #2 of

Define 'literally crumbled'--I'm imagining buildings crumbling like in an earthquake.

Didja forget eggs? Too much oil in cake?

Didja have dowel??

Didja have too many dowel??? (Indy, start your engine!!! icon_lol.gif )

Mel2085 Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 11:51pm
post #3 of

it crumbled....it started on the outside corner and just kept falling...which took the top later and all decorations. I had all the ingredients because I have just enough eggs to do the recipe and i measured out the oil....I had it dowels in it....i had 3 in a diagonal the middle one all the way through the two layers and then the other two were just in the bottom layer.

pattycakesnj Posted 5 Dec 2010 , 11:59pm
post #4 of

2 dowels is not enough, I would have used 4 but at least 3 dowels. The top tier resting on only 2 dowels is a disaster waiting to happen because the top tier can tilt off the 2 dowels. (Think of a table with 2 legs, doesn't work, you need at least 3 for stability)

Mel2085 Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 12:08am
post #5 of

There were 3....I have done this cake before and I've never had this problem.

leah_s Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 12:12am
post #6 of

OK, picture in your mind a square table with three skinny legs on the diagonal. Would it stand up?

The dowels would at least have to be positioned in a triangle, like a stool. A 3-legged stool stands just fine.

Sorry, but your support system just wasn't supporting.

carmijok Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 12:12am
post #7 of

I think your problem must have been the dowels too. I just made a three tier square cake (10, 8, 6) and had five dowels on the bottom tier (four to support corners of 2nd cake and one through the center. I was afraid I had not put enough because these things were heavy! It lasted through an hour delivery and several hour event so I breathed a sigh of relief. So sorry about your cake though... thank goodness it wasn't a wedding cake!

Mel2085 Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 2:32pm
post #8 of

okay well I thought there was only 3 dowels in it...but my husband told me he doweled it (because i was feeling the effects of morning sickness at 4:30 pm!!!) and he told me he didn't listen to me but put dowels in each corner to hold the top layer and one down the middle. so it wasn't a dowel issue. It had to be the cake. He also said when he was picking it up off the floor he said it was just falling apart.

He told me it tasted good....i guess he felt the pieces that didn't actually touch the floor could be eaten! HAHA I asked him if it was dry or not done and he said it wasn't either it was perfect! So now I am really baffeled at what happened!

-K8memphis Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 2:40pm
post #9 of

That's a very strange occurance for your cake to implode like that. And I always think people are so brave to post about their booboos. So you are brave. And your husband is a sweetie to put in the dowel for you and to clean up the mess and to taste test the rubble and encourage you.

I'm sorry it didn't work out, maybe chalk it up to a strange complication from the pregnancy!!! Just kidding just kidding...kinda... icon_biggrin.gif

Or--did he cut each dowel to the height of the top of the cake or did he cut them all the exact same height??? Those are two different important things.

Edited to say--was the cake ever chilled? It must have been too fresh??? Fresh cake crumbles.

kelleym Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 2:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel2085

okay well I thought there was only 3 dowels in it...but my husband told me he doweled it (because i was feeling the effects of morning sickness at 4:30 pm!!!) and he told me he didn't listen to me but put dowels in each corner to hold the top layer and one down the middle. so it wasn't a dowel issue. It had to be the cake. He also said when he was picking it up off the floor he said it was just falling apart.

He told me it tasted good....i guess he felt the pieces that didn't actually touch the floor could be eaten! HAHA I asked him if it was dry or not done and he said it wasn't either it was perfect! So now I am really baffeled at what happened!



"Dowels in each corner to hold the top cake.." In the corners of the bottom tier?

I still think it was your support system. A cake that's properly supported doesn't just crumble. If you don't use SPS, I recommend the hollow plastic Wilton tiers. I'm sorry this happened to you. icon_sad.gif

LindaF144a Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 3:32pm

I'm voting for the support system also. And don't take this the wrong way, but the person who did it too.
If one of those dowels went in crooked in the most teeniest of ways, it will collapse like you said.

Your cake being all falling apart makes no difference. If the correct support system is not used, you will have issues. I used the SPS system the one and only time I moved a tiered cake. I will not use any other.

At the cakery where I work, she uses straws. Plain old ordinary straws. BUT, her cakes are so cold when the leave the door that is the coldness of the cake and frosting holding everything together when they lift it. If they had to lift one of those cakes at room temp with just straws it would fall like yours did.

So next time you could either use a stronger support system, or make sure you do to to ensure they go in straight. Or keep your cake chilled for the delivery and deliver it in plenty of time to come to room temp before it is eaten.

Kimmers971 Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 3:54pm

"I had it dowels in it....i had 3 in a diagonal the middle one all the way through the two layers and then the other two were just in the bottom layer."

You put dowels on a diagonal icon_confused.gif That doesn't make any sense?

Mel2085 Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 4:02pm

K8memphis - I made the cakes on thurs night. So they weren't fresh.

And I don't think it was the support system because i know my husband is anal.....and he uses a sewing gage and makes sure the are all level....and the part that came apart first was the outside corner of the bottom layer (no cake on top of that section) and from there it just went crashing down.....I seriosuly can't figure it out!!

LindaF144a Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 4:14pm

You have figured it out. No offense here, but you are not listening. You used the wrong support system. I am sure your husband was extremely careful about this, but even experts can put in one dowel the wrong way. Search here on CC. I have read about the best of them having this happen.

Plus the cake was room temp since Thursday, but that doesn't matter because it was not a matter of the cake being dry or moist. You also said you were moving the cakes around on the turn table, torting them a day early. How much did you move it AFTER it was stacked? You torted them Saturday and let them rest, so this means they weren't stacked since Thursday. You must have stacked them Sunday? And it may not be instantenous, but the strain of the weight of the upper tiers will take its toll eventually and cause the cake to crash. That is why you see so many cakes on cake wrecks where it looks good at first, but then you start to see it sag. A cake crashing because of support system doesn't necessarily have to happen the instant you stack it. It can happen several hours latter also.

And I don't see any other photos of stacked cakes in your photo section either. So is this your first stacked cake?

It is not the cake formula. Keep an open mind and listen to the experts here. They are giving great advice. Even Indydeb wrote about a cake disaster from doweling and it was not her first cake either.

Sassy74 Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 4:29pm

I also had a bottom-tier-crumbling disaster not too long ago, and I've just come to accept that it was my support system. My cake also wasn't fresh, dowels were in perfectly, etc etc. My cake wasn't chilled because my fridge isn't big enough to put a three-tier monster into.

My support system failed...no question. I'll not send another fully assembled tiered cake out of my house without SPS. Nuh unh.

Sorry this happened, dear, but live and learn. Cakes don't just crumble for no reason, so use this as a lesson. And be thankful that the intended recipient had a great attitude lol .

Minstrelmiss Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 4:49pm

Ok, I totally get what everyone is telling you and I agree that three dowels wasn't enough BUT!!!! I have a VERY similar problem last week. I posted a question too "Why did my cake just crumble??!!" and no one responded. It was Duncan Hines too!

While I am sure the doweling contributed, I also wonder if DH has changed their recipe. My cake was just a 9" round, nothing stacked. I had to rebake twice. The first cake fell apart when I torted it while the second cake didn't have problems until I applied the fondant. I ended up making 5 cakes for only project!

Any other DH problems out there? Makes me rethink my recipes...good luck Mel

emiyeric Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 4:53pm

Remember that if the support system is in correctly, your cake will never really have to support any weight at all ... Whcih means you could have a soft crumbly look-but-don't-touch cake at the bottom, and it still should not fall apart. Also remember that the cake is an entirestructure, so if it was supporting undue weight in the middle, it DOES make sense that the corner would crumble, even if it wasn't supporting anycake directly over it. Compromise a beam in a building, and you've compromised the corners of the building as well. The fact that you've made this cake before and nothing bad happened doesn't mean it's not the supports, you might have gotten lucky before (and yes, if your cake was softer than usual, it wasn't up to taking the extra weight the rowels weren't holding). Sorry this happened to you!

LindaF144a Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 5:03pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minstrelmiss

Ok, I totally get what everyone is telling you and I agree that three dowels wasn't enough BUT!!!! I have a VERY similar problem last week. I posted a question too "Why did my cake just crumble??!!" and no one responded. It was Duncan Hines too!

While I am sure the doweling contributed, I also wonder if DH has changed their recipe. My cake was just a 9" round, nothing stacked. I had to rebake twice. The first cake fell apart when I torted it while the second cake didn't have problems until I applied the fondant. I ended up making 5 cakes for only project!

Any other DH problems out there? Makes me rethink my recipes...good luck Mel




This part I can't help you. Which this is probably why I didn't answer your post last week. I only bake from scratch, so I have no idea if DH changed their formula. I do know when I did use box mixes DH was the only one my kids liked and I had no problem with it falling apart. But the last time I made a box mix was a couple of years ago.

emiyeric Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 5:10pm

I routinely use DH for my WASCs. No problems even after new packaging.

NanaSandy Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 5:10pm

regarding the DH cake mixes. I personally stopped using them. They don't taste as good, and I don't think they hold up when using them with decorating. I always use Betty Crocker. They taste better, are moister, and hold up great to decorating. I have never (knock on wood) had a problem with them.

Minstrelmiss Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 5:18pm

I don't care for the texture of BC. We use scratch for home goodies but friends prefer the box-what they grew up with ya know. Crazy thing, I have used DH since my crumbling problem and had no issues.

Mel2085 Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 7:21pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a


And I don't see any other photos of stacked cakes in your photo section either. So is this your first stacked cake?




yes I have done stacked cakes....I've even done a three teir topsy Turvy, I just don't post pictures on here anymore because I have been told I "stole" someones idea. Which I didn't....I was doing what a customer wanted and added things that I thought of. I didn't even look on here for ideas because she knew exactly what she wanted. So instead of getting rude messages from people that feel that I have "stole their work and can't use my own imagination" I just am no longer going to post pictures and just use the forum section of the website!

Karen421 Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 7:27pm

I wouldn't stress over this - especially being pregnant. I use DH a lot and have not had a problem from that end. I did have a tier collapse like you described and it was from using dowels. I had 4 or 5, but dowels displace the cake and if you have to many, or not enough they can cause problems. I love the SPS or bubble tea straws, the cake will go inside these and no more collapsing! Good Luck!

pattycakesnj Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 9:45pm

mel2085, don't stress over people saying you stole their ideas, if they don't want people "stealing their ideas" they shouldn't post them for the world to see. Some people have nothing better to do than gripe, ignore them and keep posting.

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 8 Dec 2010 , 4:32pm

I use only DH and have noticed no change in the formula even after the packaging change. I do not use those think wooden dowels any more. Like a previous poster stated just going in a bit ajar makes your cake unstable. I don't have the SPS, but use the hollow plastic dowels. They are much more stable IMHO and less likely to shift like the wooden dowels do.

Kitagrl Posted 8 Dec 2010 , 4:51pm

With the right support system any cake, even fluffy soft ones, should stand okay....

And its possible maybe that you doubled a cake mix and forgot to double eggs or oil? Esp if you were not feeling well? If truly he said that it was crumbling apart even on the floor....

I use DH mix all the time so its not the formula.

alival Posted 8 Dec 2010 , 5:32pm

Not too long ago, I made a box mix cake. I had only two eggs but I really wanted to make a cake! The recipe of course called for 3 eggs. The final product: a cake that held together alright but was so crumbly I couldnt even put a layer of frosting on it. I learned my lesson and will never do that again. Maybe you can try the recipe again and make another cake and see how that one turns out.

cakelady2266 Posted 8 Dec 2010 , 6:35pm

Sorry you had such a horrible experience. I have always used Duncan Hines cake mix but I have had a problem with the Duncan Hines yellow cake mix since they changed the package, nothing as bad as what happened to you. It has a harder crust and it flaked off really bad making it had to ice, even frozen. I noticed it didn't rise up as well either and in general the texture seemed crumblier.

I have been doing cakes 21 years and never had a dowel rod or support system break down, I use 1/4 inch wooden dowel rods for stacked cakes. I have seem your work and it is awesome. And since this is not your first rodeo I'd be inclined to think that it may be a new formula of mix. And as with all things when the packaging changes so does the formula.

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