Bottom Of Topsy Turvy Bulging

Decorating By ingy Updated 12 Feb 2011 , 3:17am by Sassy74

ingy Posted 11 Feb 2011 , 3:39pm
post #1 of 9

i recently attempted a topsy turvy i built three tiers and was very pleased with the shape etc. however, i stacked the second tier ( put 4 wood dowels in the first tier with a cardboard separator) i noticed asi was decorating that the first tier had lost its shape and started to bulge. it seemed to be squished almost from the weight of the first tier. this cake was just a practice one , trying to get techniques downpat before selling cakes. just not sure why this happened, cakes were in the fridge setting up individually etc as i was working! any thoughts would be much appreciated!

8 replies
Sassy74 Posted 11 Feb 2011 , 7:25pm
post #2 of 9

Did you make your tiers from 2 layers of cake or 3? Are the tiers tapered? Also, did you use buttercream to ice them, and are they covered in fondant?

Not sure what method you used to do your TT, but I can suggest Sugarshack's topsy turvy dvd. It's WON-DER-FUL. It's the only method I've used, and it comes out perfect every time. Worth the investment, especially if you plan to sell your cakes.

There could be a hundred reasons for your bottom tier bulging. Cake not dense enough, dam/filling not stiff enough, dowels not cut long enough...lots of reasons.

I've stopped using dowels completely. They displace cake and actually create "fault lines" on which your cake might split if put under pressure. I use bubble tea straws for TT's (got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond, but can be ordered on-line or found at Asian markets), and SPS for regular tiered cakes.

If you give a little more info about your cake, perhaps some others might be able to offer an opinion of what might have gone wrong. Good thing it was only practice lol !

ingy Posted 11 Feb 2011 , 7:31pm
post #3 of 9

sorry yes, i used 3 layers of cake, tapered, butter cream to dirty ice and then fondant, they looked perfect before i stacked them, beautiful shape i was quite proud! i also used a dam before filling with ganache! i will check out the dvd you suggested as well as purchase the straws.

thanks for the help i appreciate it!

Sassy74 Posted 11 Feb 2011 , 7:54pm
post #4 of 9

Sugarshack's dvd teaches you to ice with ganache. If you're using three layers of cake iced BC then covered in fondant, the tier is prolly bulging just from the weight as it comes back to room temp after having been in the refrig. All that cake, icing, and fondant is HEAVY lol . By icing in ganache, you give the cake a shell that supports the weight wonderfully. Also, you can get very sharp edges by icing in ganache and letting it set up. As I said, I won't do another TT without ganache!

And you're so welcome!

Jody130 Posted 11 Feb 2011 , 8:06pm
post #5 of 9

where do i find sugarshacks topssvy turvy dvd??

ingy Posted 11 Feb 2011 , 8:30pm
post #6 of 9

well you are absolutley right! now that i think about it, the tier was probably bulging when it was brought back to room temp ( thank goodness it was a practice run! lol ) i have just looked at the sugarshack dvd's and i will be definitely be ordering!

thanks again for all your help i really appreciate it!

Sassy74 Posted 11 Feb 2011 , 11:26pm
post #7 of 9

Jody, you can go to sugarshack's website ( and order any of her dvd's and supplies. I recommend any of them, but especially the ones that cover the basics (buttercream, fondant, topsy turvy's, etc). She's incredibly helpful!

sillywabbitz Posted 11 Feb 2011 , 11:42pm
post #8 of 9

Sassy 7, is there any special reason you don't use SPS for the tipsy turvey cakes? This is when I find it the most useful. Just curious if you've had issues with it in the past.

Sassy74 Posted 12 Feb 2011 , 3:17am
post #9 of 9

Sillywabbitz, no, I've never had issues with SPS and TT's, it's just habit to use bubble tea straws lol . I don't do a lot of TT's, and I've just used the same method for them when I've done them...the same way Sharon does it in her dvd. So, it's just force of habit. Maybe one of these days I'll just make a big SPS order so I can just have a lot of the supplies on hand.

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