MissFortunate Posted 22 Apr 2011 , 2:40pm
post #1 of

I had a 4-tiered 16th birthday cake that I tried to deliver today. It was beautiful .... until it wasn't. The cake slid on the 45 minute commute. It was such a disaster, that it couldn't be repaired. The bottom layer slid and crumbled and the rest followed. I borrowed a mini-van and drove slowly and avoided bumps. The cake was buttercream with strawberry filling. I used wooden dowels on each layer and a center dowel. I used an icing dam and made sure not to overfill the filling. How can I avoid a future disaster?? I was up until 1 am last night finishing the cake, so I'm sick. Now, I'll be redoing tonight and will be trying to drive it again tomorrow.

20 replies
cai0311 Posted 22 Apr 2011 , 3:24pm
post #2 of

Make sure your dowels are exactly the same length. Any difference in length will cause a shifting problem.

clare076 Posted 13 May 2011 , 12:23pm
post #3 of

not sure, I personally would try and assemble on site rather than trying to juggle a 4 tier cake.

CindiM Posted 13 May 2011 , 12:58pm
post #4 of

When I use Stawberry or Raspberry fillings, I put a "blob" of stiff buttercream in the middle of the layer (like a small island) and put my filling around it, then I put the next layer on it. This will make the layer less likely to slide. I would use less filling and stack on site like clare076 said.


Fill the cake a night or two before the date needed, to let it rest,
when possible, refrigerate to help it "set up".
I have 2 weddings this weekend.
I filled my 9 (2 layer) tiers last night (Thursday)
and I will ice/fondant them today (Friday) and they will be solid for my one hour drive tomorrow, (Saturday).

Marianna46 Posted 13 May 2011 , 1:08pm
post #5 of

I never stack more than two layers before delivery. Well, for one thing, I have to transport in the trunk of my car, and more tiers won't fit. But I get the feeling that this has saved me from more than one disaster. I'm so sorry this happened to you. There's almost nothing worse than that awful sinking feeling you get when a cake comes apart. I'm glad for you, though, that there's time for you to re-do, although I don't envy you the hours you'll have to put in on the SAME cake.

sjlilley Posted 16 May 2011 , 3:47pm
post #6 of

This has only ever happened to me once and it was with strawberry filling. I wondered if I made it too thick. It was my son's birthday cake so at least it wasn't the worst it could have been. I disappointed myself more than anyone.
I also used 4 dowels to support the 2nd tier and one dowel thru the center of both tiers and the cardboard circle. It slipped sideways and just fell apart. I actually had to pick up handfulls of cake off the deck of the van. It was lemon wasc. I have been afraid to make another cake with strawberry filling since.

maymay0829 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 1:40pm
post #7 of

So sorry to hear, i also think you should assemble buttercream cakes on site.

LisaPeps Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 2:02pm
post #8 of

Did you use any non slip material under the cake drum or box? I always put one inside the box and one under the box

cakegrandma Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 2:03pm
post #9 of

You should not transport cakes that are stacked that high, too many chances of it doing just this sliding that you had. Transport no higher than 2 tiers and stack the rest at the venue. There is nothing worse than having this happen to a beautiful creation no matter how carefully you drive. Try this next time and hopefully you will have better results.
evelyn

Jody130 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 2:04pm

Use the SPS system, It really works, I wouldnt use dowels again, especially if I have to transport a tiered cake.

tiggy2 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 2:11pm

Also make sure the vehicle is cooled prior to loading the cake in. Heat is not friendly to BC or any other filling.

buttercuppie Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 2:13pm

Was it a straight strawberry filling or strawberries mixed with something like buttercream or pastry cream. I know strawberries can ooze a lot of liquid once they're cut and come into contact with sugar. I'm thinking that may have been your problem more than the structure. Also...I noticed that you said it was buttercream was it on the sunny side of the car...sometimes that can get you as well.

I've stacked a 4 tier cake and delivered it 2 1/2 hours away and not a problem at all.

I'm just glad you had time to redo...that's a luxury most don't have when they have a cake mishap!

costumeczar Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 12:38pm

Strawberry fillings are notorious for causing sliding layers. I don't know what kind of filling it was that you used, but when I do strawberry inside the cakes now I torte them and do two layers of strawberry preserves (thin layers, not thick) and one layer of strawberry IMBC. If you were using a sleeved filling that pretty much explains it right there, those are nasty and slimy and will cause a slider in no time. The real preserves and IMBC are a little more stable, so it minimizes that.

cakesmith_duane Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 1:06pm

First of all - sorry for your mishap. unfortunately, it happens to everyone and I do mean everyone.

Quick advice - a large tiered cake should always be transported as separate tiers or if it's a large 4 tier, try two and two with dowels in place. Then, when you are there put it together. Don't be afraid to use the transport as a mobile kitchen. I have spent many hours working in my van putting cakes together and decorating - right before taking it inside.

Take a clean gallon of water, roll(s) of papertowels, a clean cutting board, a tub (tupperware) with essentials (tools, extra icing, fondant, etc.). Then, when or if the S$$t hits the fan - you are ready. Even the "so called" hot shots on TV have problems. Oh, and just between you and me - I beat one of the those hot shots in a competition last year, so again - it happens to everyone. Take care - Cakesmith

leah_s Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 1:32pm

SPS was CREATED so that customers could transport assembled tiered cakes on their own. It's perfectly fine to transport an assembled bc cake with a great support system. There's no reason to transport all bc cakes and assemble on site, unless they're so big you can't lift them.

A lot of cakers on here have switched from dowels to SPS and had great success. It's de-stressed a lot of cake maker's work! Check it out.

DeniseNH Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 5:47pm

COLD, COLD COLD, That's what the cakes needs - refrigerate over night. I transport all my cakes fully assembled, base plate is thick wood (covered) with a hole drilled in the center. We glue a sharpened center post inside the hole then cut holes in the center of all foamcore boards and slide the board and cake down over the central post, dowel heavily then deliver in an ice pack filled cooler my husband made me. Such a pleasure to deliver cakes now.

bakingatthebeach Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 6:06pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

SPS was CREATED so that customers could transport assembled tiered cakes on their own. It's perfectly fine to transport an assembled bc cake with a great support system. There's no reason to transport all bc cakes and assemble on site, unless they're so big you can't lift them.

A lot of cakers on here have switched from dowels to SPS and had great success. It's de-stressed a lot of cake maker's work! Check it out.



thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif
4 tier square wedding cake in my pics transported stacked, no issues, using SPS. Wont use anything else now!!!

poohsmomma Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 6:15pm

I'm just a hobbyist, but I tried SPS, and I will never go back!

CakeInfatuation Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 6:30pm

These are the things that I do that really help alleviate stress when transporting bigger cakes.

First... I use adequate support. If it's not a very tall or very heavy cake, I use bubble tea straws.

I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS chill a cake prior to delivery.

If it is a BIG, heavy cake with 3 or more tiers... It gets SPS on at least the bottom 2 layers.

I always transport assembled. Always Chilled. Always with a non-slip mat under it. And always with my sign on the back of my car of the turtle with the cake on his back that says "Cake In Transit".

I don't let anyone push me around with a cake in my car. I don't care how badly they want to get around me, tailgate me, or honk at me. Whatever impatience they have can't be worse to the sick feeling I would have if I let them force me to move faster and my cake crashed down.

sadsmile Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 6:47pm

Centripetal force is hard on cakes also, going around curves and corners to fast can cause that. Hang a small heavy marble ball on a string from your review mirror. And watch that ball as you drive. If it's swinging then you are driving to aggressively for having a cake on board.

Feel the ride as the cake will.

But chill that cake before taking it and pack it on non skid in a box also on non skid on a totally flat surface in your vehicle.

emrldsky Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 4:58pm

I will say that SPS is awesome for stacked cakes, but it won't hold up to Mario Andretti driving the car. icon_wink.gif However, it will keep the damage to a minimum.

A coworker ordered a two-tiered cake for his wife's birthday. He didn't tell her there was a cake in the car, and she insisted on driving the 4 hours to their destination.

She didn't drive very carefully, and the top tier kind of popped off the top SPS plate, but it hit the box and didn't fall onto the bottom.

Coworker said it was delicious and next time he'll drive. icon_wink.gif

So yes, get SPS. It's totally worth it.

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