Well, I just experienced my first cake disaster (More like NEAR disaster, but felt like a disaster to me).
A friend asked for a Strawberry cake with strawberry filling. My first cake with an actual filling. And I usually use Duncan Hines boxed mixes doctored. But I had to use a Betty Crocker and a Pilsbury to get Strawberry. Neither mix holds a candle to DH in my opinion. And since I had never used a filling before I searched CC recipes for a simple one. So I used a mix of Cool Whip and a good Strawberry preserve.
My design was to be an 8" single layer topped with a 6" dbl layer. First huge mistake: Let hubby con me into changing my design! He had me dbl the bottom layer and fill it. I pipped the frosting dam to hold the filling inside and added the dowels. 2nd big mistake: Hubby didn't cut the dowels slightly taller than the bottom layer like I had asked.
I've taken a liking to using a cake "Spackle". I like that it gives me a nice solid surface to frost on or cover with fondant. So I "Spackled" my cake, frosted and decorated. I used Gumpaste for the first time too. And I now love gumpaste and can't wait to learn more about it. The cake was doing fine when completed 'cept for a slight lean.
We get in the car to deliver the cake, thankfully not too far away, and there were several times on the ride that I thought for sure we were going to lose the cake altogether on the drive. We pull up in front of the house, the girl came out to take the cake from us, but we couldn't let her take it for fear it would topple, we knew what was happening and could better watch it. We got the cake to the table to see that it's leaning far more than it was when we left the house and that the bottom tier is beginning to bulge with a sagging cake.
I didn't want to take their money for an imperfect cake!!
I know there are several things that I need to do differently next time. 1) I need a sturdier cake and filling. 2) Don't let hubby direct my design. 3) Cut the dowels myself and maybe add a couple of extra.
I was so very upset that my cake was falling apart. I have never delivered such a sad cake. But I am self taught and I am still learning all the little tricks and stuff to making perfect cakes.
CCers, Any feedback on what I could have done differently to have made my cake more stable would be appreciated.
My attachment didn't work but I was able to upload my pics to my gallery.
Well, first, it's not a disaster . BUT it does look like you maybe didn't level the bottom tier? It should be trimmed so it's flat and level. I do agree with your husband that it should have been 2 layers, not one but I don't know if Cool Whip is stable enough to use as a filling. Was your dam really, really stiff? I don't know if this really adds anything to the stability of my cakes but when I'm using a filling that's not bc I add a "bull's eye" in the middle of the cake with my dam bc and fill around and inside it.
I'm sure they loved the cake, it really is very cute
Thank you Elcee (I love your name!!),
I might could have gone stiffer with the Dam frosting. And I do like your idea of adding another ring of Dam frosting in the middle of the cake giving a little more structure for the next layer to sit on. I will remember that tip, thank you.