So, I made my first wedding cake this weekend, took me all week, cost a lot of money (which was supposed to be my gift to the couple) and the cake didn't even make it to venue. Well it did make it to the venue, smushed in about a million pieces in the back of my car
(It's the most recent picture in my photos) It was a three tier, the bottom tier was a styrofoam dummy that i was using as the base. I used bubble tea straws, but no centre dowel, which in hindsight probably wouldn't have even helped anyways. I am not really sure how it happened, but the top tier slid off the cake and pretty much took out the bottom two tiers on it's way down. I just couldn't fix it.. the longer i stood their staring at the wreck, the worse it got.. it was litterally crumbling/collapsing in front of my eyes and there was nothing i could do about it
Anyway.. lessons learned.. A LOT of them.. the hard way. i don't really know what else to say. I'm just bummed out.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Oh my goodness...I am SO sorry that happened to you. I delivered my first 3 tier cake yesterday evening (just added it to my photos). I thought I would have a heart attack on the way there, I'm lucky mine made it. I don't know exactly what went wrong for you, I used bubble teas straws and a center dowel, I rode in the back of my SUV with it while my boyfriend drove, it seemed pretty solid. I hope you feel better soon, I really feel for you! Have a strong drink...or some chocolate...or both.....
I'm so sorry for you! This was my exact story a few months ago. In hindsight, i used too few straws and, in extra hindsight, i now only use the sps system & assemble on site. Trust me, in time the horror, humiliation, & second guessing will pass! Your cake was beautiful & i know how hard you worked! Hang in there!
I just posted on the Friday night cake club thread where you first told this story--but here's a recap.
I always use a plastic dowel down the center of all three tiers. Yes, it would have made a difference, because even if your cake moved, the boards under each tier would have stopped the sliding if you'd had a center dowel. Always make sure to transport a cold cake...it's denser and less prone to cracking and your frosting is sturdier. Use 'grippy pads', the rubber mesh shelf lining you get at the grocery store and keep your cake on that. It will not slip or slide unless you slam on your brakes...so put your cake in a box. I use packing boxes that have been split down the sides so i can slide the cake in and out (another grippy pad underneath). Make the box is the size of the board so your cake won't get beat up. I learned all this at a bakery I worked for and they never had a caketastrophe. So far (knock wood) neither have I. So sorry it happened. It was a pretty cake.
Thanks guys! I needed the kind words.. Im still beside myself.
Camijok, thank you so much for all tips. I will pm you in a little while because I have some questions.
just wanted to say sorry this happend to you I kind of had my first cake missup today and man the stress was a horrible feeling but in the end it turned out ok dont let this get you down look at what you created and you will learn from this I purchased cake stackers for my sisters wedding cake and it worked like a charm its not cheep but for me it was worth it maybe you can look into it but please stay strong and move on it happens to everyone at one time or another take care
Thanks for the support ladies.. it means so much to me.. I'm just so Thankful that the bride and groom were so good about what happened. I couldn't have possibly been more horrified. I guess the one positive thing is that this happened now, while i'm sitll learning/new, rather then later if i ever get to the point where i'm accepting money for orders. Dear god, if this was a paying customer i think i would have just had a heartattack right then and there!
I know a lot of people prefer to transport assembled, but if I have far to go or it's a bumpy or steep, winding road, I assemble on site. It's less stressful to me to possibly have to assemble the cake in front of people than it is to be worried every time I reach a bumpy patch of road.
A center dowel is your best friend when you're transporting an assembled cake.
I also like to use the hollow plastic dowels, they're a little less convenient to cut than bubble straws, and they do cost more, but they're super sturdy.
I think im either going to use sps, or my safest bet would be to just assemble on site. I have no idea why I didn't just do that in the first place! Thinking back, there's just so many things i did wrong, and i should have known better with everything I've read here.
You can cut the dowels (or straws) ahead of time and insert them into the tiers, to make the assembly go faster. I use foamboard circles covered with press and seal wrap to set my tiers on, then set those circles into a box, on top of a square of nonskid drawer liner. Then the boxes go into the back of the vehicle, on top of more squares of drawer liner.
I know on the cake shows on tv they show people hauling around enormous, pre-assembled cakes...but some of us don't, or even can't (a big cake is heavy!) cart around cakes like that.
What do you do about borders? Say if youre adding a fondant ball border or something.. Do you just make the balls ahead and assemble them around the border when you get there?
I don't do ball borders very much (I'm lazy) but it would work fine to make the balls and then add them at the venue.
I use bubble tea straws as the support for all my cakes. I then hammer 2 sharpened wooden dowels offset from the center all the way through my stacked cake into the cake drum. All my cakes are delived stacked.
Thanks Cai.. What if you're not using a cake drum? Do you still use the dowels and just push them in as far as they will go? Or do they have to be anchored to something?
So sorry this happened to you. SPS is the only way in my humble opinion. I will never use anything else & I do like to assemble on site even if I am adding a border. The wedding cake in my photo's with the orchid sprays & bamboo border. I made bamboo & sprays well in advance , assembled the cake & glued the bamboo around the bottom of each tier with sugar glue.
I am sending you a BIG (((HUG)))
I always use a cake drum on the bottom. The principle is the same if you were using foam core too. Or several cardboards glue together for added support.
I personally hate SPS. I have used it several times but I never liked it. For me, bubble tea straws and 2 wooden dowels works great.
I had the same thing happen to me a couple of years ago. It's a nightmare. I just stood there and stared at the cake in the back of my car. I was able to save the top and the middle. This is why I don't like using gel fillings. From the picture the top cake looks like it's leaning just a little. A center dowel would have worked great. Anything over two tiers gets a center dowel from now on.
Thanks everyone.. Cant tell you how much I appreciate all your support!
So sorry that happened to you, but thank you for sharing your story so that we all can learn for each others mistakes. Lessoned learned you will do great with your next stacked cake and travel. It was a beautiful cake.
I stack my tiers on cardboard circles on each tier...So I'm guessing I couldn't do a center dowel through each cardboard circle? What should I do instead? HELP!
if you are doing a 3 tiered cake it cardboard rounds between the tiers (which you always should have), you sharpen the end of a wooden dowel and hammer is through all the tiers untill you hit the bottom board. It sounds terrifying but i have a "cake" hammer that i keep in my caddy and hammer away. good luck.
Cool! Thanks, I will DEFINITELY be practicing first! Ha! I heard a great quote today..."Even painful growth leads to greater blessings." Here's HOPING!!! Thanks again!!!
Help me out...what is SPS?