sparkle25 Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 10:49pm
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Has anyone else had a topsy turvy fall over or am I the only one? This was my first (and LAST) attempt at making a topsy turvy cake. My whole top tier completely fell apart and all my layers bulged even though I let them settle first. Argh! Not to mention all my troubles with my fondant today. This cake was a disaster from start to finish. I just want to give up....

23 replies
CWR41 Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 11:00pm
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If you'd like a diagnosis, post a photo.

olleharr Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 1:30am
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Funny you should ask.....I just had one collapse on me today in the car. I have made many with no problem but today it was a disaster.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 7:05pm
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I've made two topsy turvy cakes and they both turned out great! I used Sharon Zambito's DVD. She teaches you to do it the way that is acutally an optical illusion - there's a hole cut out to put the next tier on, so that the tiers are actually sitting flat on top of each other. Is this the way that you did it?

carmijok Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 7:54pm
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I really don't need to hear this...I'm going to do my first wedding cake in August and she wants a mad hatter cake...not so topsy turvy, but still carved. I need to know what happened to cause the disasters so I don't do it to !! Help!

nicunurse Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 7:58pm
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I have had a disaster too. My cake was too moist and couldn't support the weight of the second tier, and bulged like crazy. This despite ganache and 24 hours of settling with weight and dowels. Devastating at 11pm when then the cake was due the next day! Had to start from scratch and this time I used a denser cake, and didn't brush on syrup. I feel your pain but I learned from this caktastrophe!! icon_smile.gif

Karen421 Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 8:07pm
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Don't give up!! With everyone you do, it will get easier. Try using the SPS system for your support and you will be golden - and it won't matter what kind of cake you use! icon_biggrin.gif

Monirr04 Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 8:10pm
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Sparkle I so feel for you! I just had a topsy turvy that just got picked up for a friends childs bday. I've been up ALL night!!!!! I had it all finished up last night and about 3 this morning the top two tiers jumped off the bottom tier. I stayed up all morning rebaking/decorating the three tier cake and the second time around it came out great!!

Dont get discouraged. Just learn from your disasters and go on! I definately learned from this one.

carmijok Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 8:20pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monirr04

Sparkle I so feel for you! I just had a topsy turvy that just got picked up for a friends childs bday. I've been up ALL night!!!!! I had it all finished up last night and about 3 this morning the top two tiers jumped off the bottom tier. I stayed up all morning rebaking/decorating the three tier cake and the second time around it came out great!!

Dont get discouraged. Just learn from your disasters and go on! I definately learned from this one.




So what did you learn? I think it's as important to learn what NOT to do, as well as learn how to. And I do need to learn!

Monirr04 Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 8:28pm

I learned to make sure when you carve out the middle to put the next tier into that you completely clean it out so it is a level surface!!! And you make sure you push down your tier so it hits that level surface. I failed to do both things. Oh..and I didnt have that second tier completely centered. The weight not being centered was just too much so down she came. Bet i wont make that mistake again. I posted the pic in my photos so you can see how the good one came out.

carmijok Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 8:34pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monirr04

I learned to make sure when you carve out the middle to put the next tier into that you completely clean it out so it is a level surface!!! And you make sure you push down your tier so it hits that level surface. I failed to do both things. Oh..and I didnt have that second tier completely centered. The weight not being centered was just too much so down she came. Bet i wont make that mistake again. I posted the pic in my photos so you can see how the good one came out.




Thanks! That helps.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 9:29pm

Some important tips about topsy turvy cakes:

Use a very dense cake. If you use mixes, use onlly half of the oil (or less) that it calls for.
Make each cake tall, if you don't it will look 'squat'. Use 3 two-inch layers for each tier.
Use a very thick double dam because when you carve the cake you will loose some of the dam.
As someone else said, make sure that the carved out hole is perfectly level (put a cake pan inside with a level on top to check).
Make sure to use dowels (but only within the hole obviously) and a sharpened wooden dowel down the middle.

I've made two topsy turvy cakes (you can see them in my photos). I almost threw up the day I made the first one, I was so worried because the lady I made it for had to travel for a good hour with it in the car. I heard it arrived safety and was the talk of the party, then I could breath again! I owe everything to Sharon Zambito. She's awesome and her DVDs are awesome! Good luck! Any questions, just ask! icon_smile.gif

debbiek37 Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 10:56pm

Thanks for the info about the densenss of the cake. I made my first topsy turvy about 3 mths ago and I was so excited and it was so beautiful, just exactly what I wanted and not nearly has difficult as I had thought. But it had to travel 2 hours to my granddaughters birthday party and it didn't make it. It collapsed in the trunk. I put it back together as best I could and then it totally collapsed again. I cried and cried, but I can't wait to make another one. They are so neat looking! The tutorials should include information about how to make the cake, they have the stacking down pretty good but I had no idea about the cake texture, etc.

dguerrant Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 12:28am

wheni do topsy turvy cakes, i use sps or something like that. NO EXCEPTIONS. i pass the additional cost along to the customer since the legs and plates can get pricey as well as the addition time constructing the cake. I've done them with dowels and double cardboards circles, but now I only use SPS with these cakes!!!!!

sparkle25 Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 1:11am

Thanks everyone for the advice. I used a dense cake recipe that was specific for these types of cakes. All my tiers were 3 - 2 inch layers with cake boards in between the top layer. I also did the cut the hole technique, but for whatever reason it still fell apart icon_cry.gif I ended up with a one tiered cake (and a whole lot of cake to make cake pops). I think next time I will try using the SPS system, I think that will definitely work better.

I do wonder if it was my dowels. This is the first time I used bubble tea straws (I've heard some people use them instead of dowels and that's what they used in the tutorial I watched). I think I might just stick with my wooden dowels from now on.

Kitagrl Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 1:36am

I always use bubble tea straws in topsy turvy cakes. You do have to use plenty of them...you can't just use 4-5 and have it hold up. they should be about 2" apart or so. With the cut-out method, at times I don't even use a center dowel because I feel that the process of hammering the dowel through actually puts pressure on the cake and can shift the supports.

I also refrigerate everything (I know that's controversial) but it keeps everything nice and firm and less likely to vibrate apart during transport. It never ruins the fondant or gumpaste and it keeps the buttercream and fillings firm and stable. Because even if you use dense cake, you still end up having filling that is not dense. (I use any cake pretty much). The weight should be on the supports, not on the tier below.

I don't use really wimpy fillings like preserves or mousse...did that ONE time and it was a nightmare...the cake made it, but it was bulging some and it was only by God's grace it did make it without collapsing!!!!

kearniesue Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 2:00am

I just did my first one this weekend, and it was great. I used SPS and covered and filled it with ganach. I rode with it on my lap for 30 minutes with no issues. That'll be my method from now on..

Karen

kearniesue Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 2:03am

Oh, and I made it using the tutotial on this site.

sparkle25 Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 3:32am

[quote="Kitagrl"]I always use bubble tea straws in topsy turvy cakes. You do have to use plenty of them...you can't just use 4-5 and have it hold up. they should be about 2" apart or so.

Yup that was my problem I bet. I used the bubble tea straws like I would wood dowels. Definitely need to either put more in next time or most likely I'll just stick with wood.

Karen421 Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 11:48am

Dowels is what caused one of my topsy turvy disasters! Dowels can displace the cake and cause the cake to push out. Bubble tea straws allow the cake to go inside and make a strong support, the SPS kinda of locks the top tiers in place. Since I switched, to the SPS system no more topsy turvy tears!!! icon_biggrin.gif

Lovelyladylibra Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 12:31pm

what is SPS?

traci_doodle Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 12:36pm

I had a topsy turvy disaster a few months ago. It was my first attempt. I think my problem was I made the angle too steep. I carved through the entire top layer to make the angle, so I ended up with one side being four inches taller than the other. That thing was toppled and smashed before I even tried to assemble the tiers. I also had a terrible time with the fondant. I haven't made many fondant cakes, but something always seems to go wrong.

sparkle25 Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 3:47pm

Lovelyladylibra SPS stands for Single Plate Separator system. There's a bunch of tutorials on here about it.

Lovelyladylibra Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 11:38pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkle25

Lovelyladylibra SPS stands for Single Plate Separator system. There's a bunch of tutorials on here about it.



oh thanks, this one didnt have the yellow box pop up so i had to ask lol

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