There are some cakes that I work on that just seemed doomed. No matter how well planned out you have yourself, no matter how early you start, everything about certain cakes just seems to fall apart.
I was working on a 8" square cake today. I was using the yellow butter super moist DH cake mix. It requires that you use a stick of butter instead of the 1/3 c oil that you would normally use. The instructions also say to only grease the very bottom of the pan. I use parchment on the bottom of my pans and then I covered it with shortening and even floured the bottom for good measure. When I went to take the cake out of the pan, the cake stuck to the sides and ripped a little. I figured "no problem, I can fill it with icing". So I get the cake filled, and a put a crumb coat around it. I notice one corner looks like it might break off, but I cover it in icing and let it sit for a bit. I then use an icing tip to cover the whole cake with icing. As I am smoothing out the icing, I notice that one side is dipping so I add a little more icing to the corner. Then the corner starts to push out and I can still see the cake coming through the icing. So I start to take the icing off the cake and the WHOLE corner comes off. There must have been an air pocket in the cake cause the sucker just comes right off. I have the rest of the day to re-bake this cake but now I really just want to give up for the day.
It makes me wonder if anyone has ever had to call a customer and tell them you would not be supplying them with a cake after all and how they took the news...
I've never had to call a customer and tell them that I couldn't provide a cake for them. Just last weekend, however, had to call a customer and tell her that her flavor would have to be changed. She wanted vanilla and it was just completely sinking in the middle. I baked that dang vanilla cake 3 times! Chocolate rises differently for me, so I told her that we may have to switch to that. We ended up putting a vanilla layer under her cake and she was fine with that.
The culprit was the stupid stand-up teddy bear pan from Wilton. I've used it before, but this time it was just not good. It may have been my new oven though.
I think some cakes are cursed from the beginning! Last week, I had two cake orders. One was a technically challenging cake that required detailed carving, chocolate work, all fondant etc. and it went together like a charm. The 2nd cake was a two tier, torted cake with buttercream and fondant accents. The 2nd cake should have been a breeze but for some reason, it fought me the entire way. At one point I was in tears, threatening to throw it against a wall and giving up. I pushed through and finished it but I wasn't happy with the finished product. The customer was happy so I guess that's the important thing but I will secretly refer to it as the @#%^^&%$ cake forever!
I was supplying a bride with the wedding cake and groom's cake for her wedding. That week my husband had to go to the hospital for meningitis so my schedule was thrown off for cakes. The wedding cake came out fine, but the 6" groom's cake was causing me all sorts of fits. I tried to get a hold of the bride to explain the situation but she never got back to me. So I delivered the wedding cake with no groom's cake and immediately sent a refund check in the mail.
This is the one time I have ever seen the bride while setting up. I explained what happened and that I tried to get a hold of her but she never got back to me. I also told her the refund check was already in the mail. She start crying and locked herself in the bathroom.
I was shocked she didn't leave me a terrible review online.
I have never thought about leaving someone without a cake. When a cake does not cooperate with me, I am surprising calm and figure out what I need to do to get the cake done. However, I find that I always need a cake break when this happens to regroup myself.
OP, something similar happened to me with a wedding cake using BC French Vanilla. I baked the straight box mix twice and the corner of the middle tier (square) tore off/crumbled both times when I placed the fondant on. Three hours before delivery, I baked a WASC version of French Vanilla and was able to deliver on time. However, you could see the cake seems through the fondant on this tier. It was presentable, but not my best work. I took a cake break until yesterday, when I baked 4 dozen cuppies for an order today. So, hang in there! It will somehow get done. Then you can take a little cake break, if you need to do this.
Hi whisperingmadcow (great name btw! heeh)
Just wanted to pass on my sympathies... I had my own disaster this past weekend... you can read about it on my post just above!! Just wanted to say ... hang in there... though have to admit my disaster definitely shook my confidence and am nervous about baking cakes for anyone till I figure out what happened! heeh!
Anyway... big hugs!!
i can relate to your post. so many times ive wanted to give up.
i dont use DH cake mixes that calls for butter instead of oil. ive learned the hard way that there is such a difference- the cake never comes out right.
the only time i use butter in my cake mix is when i make a cake from scratch.
i dont know why there is such a difference, but there is.
i have a window plaque that says "never, never, never give up"
everytime im at the sink i read that saying, it keeps me going.
There have been many times I wanted to give up, but I wouldn't do it in a million years. I had to cancel a cake tasting because I had to have an emergency c-section 3 weeks early. I was panicked to death about it, and it was still 9 months before the wedding, lol!
I sympathize with you. I've had this problem before with cake breaking and all that nonsense I learned from toba Garrett about what she calls spackle paste, its pretty much cake scraps mixed with a little frosting and filling. (another great reason to save your cake scraps instead of trashing them, besides cake pops of course) It saved me on a cake that fell apart. It creates almost like a cement or glue for your cake, I use it to fill holes and gaps between my layers it stays put and holds better than icing alone especially when you need to glue two pieces of cake back together! I have wanted to give up plenty of times on a cake but I agree with cakegirl, sometimes a break can make the world of a difference. Sometimes I have to tell myself "just step away". I usually come back from a cake break with a clear head and am able to fix the problem.
I went through two weeks of that, and it was my busiest two weeks. For the first time a cake had me in tears. For the first time I wanted to throw the cake against the wall and sink to the floor and cry. But the thought of having to call my friend and tell her I could pick up a Costco cake on the way to the party was unbearable. So I sucked it up and got it together the best I could. In the end, I was the only one who knew it wan' what I wanted it to be, but it killed me. Since then I have cut way back and told my friends I am on an extended vacation from Cakeland. I am just a hobbyist, so I want to enjoy the process, not cry and feel the stress. That is my luxury, freedom to say no without the worry of paying rent, employees, utilities, and so on. Nope, don't think I will ever open a business.
So you are not alone, just stick with it and remember it is supposed to be fun!!!!