Stacked Cake Disaster!-Top Layer Slid Off

Decorating By ginster Updated 4 Jun 2015 , 10:23pm by SquirrellyCakes

ginster Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 2:06am
post #1 of 27

I made a stacked filled cake for a Baby shower that was held today--I torted each layer & filled with rasberry filling--chocolate cake. The cake came out beautiful! The women came this morning to pick up the cake and she loved it. I have an airconditioned house and carried it from room to room to make sure it was stable--It was a 10" with 6 inch. I put it in her van and it was fine when she got to the venue to take the cake out of the car the top layer had slid off and smashed! She purchased a sheet cake at a grocery store near by and put the bottom layer on the table with my fondant designs and the chocolate baby bottle that was on the top layer. I felt awful even though it was ruin during transport...I offered to giver her her money back but she said that it was alot of hard work and if I wanted to reimburse her for the extra cake she purchased that would be fine. Two questions-did the tier fall off due to the heat and the filling? Is it expected that I return the cost of the cake even though it was fine before transport and I was not the one that transported it. I put dowels between the tiers so not sure what made the top fall off. Any info would be appreciated.

26 replies
CWR41 Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 2:14am
post #2 of 27

The top layer probably slid off from having too much raspberry filling. If it was the heat, the same would probably have happened to the bottom layer and/or tier as well.

Dowels in the bottom tier support the top tier from crushing it, but doesn't prevent the top tier from sliding off... a center dowel would help to prevent that. Also, a few skewers in an overfilled slippery cake or extra tall tier would help to prevent the layers from sliding apart from one another.

Lcubed82 Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 2:34am
post #3 of 27

Not a professional here, but I know many have a waiver signed by the customer relieving the baker of responsibility for any damage or problems after the cake leaves the bakery.

Not knowing if you have a waiver, and knowing that you already offered her her payment back, I would probably go with her suggestion to pay for the layer cake. If she is happy with that, then you still have a mostly satisfied customer.

My first thought was too much raspberry filling also.

LKing12 Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 2:57am
post #4 of 27

I baked a very small 3 tiered cake for a friend's anniversary-no order, just wanted to do something special. My husband was driving and maybe took a curve too fast, or went over an unexpected speed bump too enthusiastically, but when we arrived the top tier was on the floor in the back of the van. I was upset, my husband was speechless, but my friend just laughed and served the rest of the cake.
I have decided that anyone who picks up a cake will get a non-skid mat to put under it and a warning about curves and speed bumps.

cai0311 Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 6:44pm
post #5 of 27

Did you have a dowel pounded through the entire cake and into the cake drum/bottom board? If not, what would prevent the top tier from sliding off?

carmijok Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 6:59pm
post #6 of 27

I make sure my cakes are cold when delivered and when dealing with tiered cakes...even 2 tiers...I put a center dowel in. Not a huge one. But enough so that if there were a sharp turn it would hold the tier on. If the cake is cold it is more solid and won't easily slide sideways through the dowel.

ginster Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 2:04am
post #7 of 27

thank you for all your comments--After your comments I believe it was a combination of things. I too believe it was the filling and I should have put a dowel through the center. I did speak to the women though and she did not take it easy while driving--she drove normal!! Not only are the roads from here to the venue bumpy there are a lot of turns!! Live & Learn I guess. She was not upset and actually took home the top part to have with whipped cream in a bowl....the bottom was eaten at the shower. Next time I will warn the person picking up the cake that unless I deliver it is at their own risk. Thanks for all the pointers!! Hope this does not happen again --I did return the cost of the additional cake--she is someone I see all the time and I did not want it to ruin our friendship!

sweettreat101 Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 8:53am
post #8 of 27

I agree with adding the center dowel. I honestly don't like using gel fillings as they tend to slide and are not as stable as butter cream or a mousse filling. She probably took a turn to fast and it slide off. I always tell people to drive slow especially when making turns. I also let the know that once the cake leaves I am no longer responsible if the cake gets damaged.

ChilliPepper Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 9:04am
post #9 of 27

If you didn't use a centre dowel right through cakes then I honestly think you should refund the money as balancing a top tier on top of another with nothing through the centre makes the cake unstable for transport and therefore this really is your responsibility.

Sorry if this opinion hurts but I would never send a tiered cake out without a centre dowel.

icon_sad.gif(((

CP x

Emmar308 Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 9:22am
post #10 of 27

I don't understand the use of a centre dowel - cake is not going to be held in place by a centre dowel. If someone takes a corner sharply the dowel is not going to save the cake, it will simply rip through the cake as it slides.

indydebi Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 10:06am
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmar308

I don't understand the use of a centre dowel - cake is not going to be held in place by a centre dowel. If someone takes a corner sharply the dowel is not going to save the cake, it will simply rip through the cake as it slides.


yep, that's what happened to mine. car in front of me slammed on it's brakes and the cake slid thru the center dowel. The cardboard stayed in place but the cake slid forward!

on the flip side, I was delivering a 2-tier and had it sitting on a wilton plate with legs. Took a turn and the cake tilted over on the legs (think bicycle on a kickstand). I pulled over, ran to the back of the van, righted the cake up .... and realized the top tier had stayed in place just fine. Wow.

leah_s Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 11:10am
post #12 of 27

[quote="Emmar308"]I don't understand the use of a centre dowel - cake is not going to be held in place by a centre dowel. If someone takes a corner sharply the dowel is not going to save the cake, it will simply rip through the cake as it slides.[/quote]

So true. The center dowel is false security.

May I suggest SPS?

Tea42 Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 12:30pm
post #13 of 27

May I suggest SPS?[/quote]
I will be doing a 4 tier cake soon and plan to use the sps; but the top tier is 4 1/2 " and no plate that size. How do you use sps with the top tier?

HappyCake10609 Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 12:40pm
post #14 of 27

I'm an SPS convert! After many deliveries with me screeching at my husband to slow down or turn slower because I felt like the cake was going to fall, I recently started using the SPS system. Maybe it's all in my head, but the cakes just "feel" more solid. I delivered a baby shower cake for a friend in another state. We had to drive 2 hours to get to my mom's house, and then another hour the day of the shower. The cake held up just fine to all of the in and out of the car, up and down stairs, and driving on, at times, rough highway (roadwork). I still wouldn't let my husband drive as fast as he wanted to, but I really had confidence in the cake structure and it was much less stress!

When I think about trying to balance a cake board on top of a bunch of dowels, I don't think I could, but the pillars of SPS stand up on their own, even before locking into the plates.

HappyCake10609 Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 12:51pm
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tea42

May I suggest SPS?



I will be doing a 4 tier cake soon and plan to use the sps; but the top tier is 4 1/2 " and no plate that size. How do you use sps with the top tier?[/quote]

I just did a graduation cake with a soccer ball on top. The base of the ball was about 4 1/2 - 5 inches, so I could not use an sps plate. i used the columns (3 of them) and then placed the cake, on it's cake board, on top with some royal icing to act as glue. I also but a dowel through just the ball and the tier below, to give it some side to side stability- I was nervous because the shape of the ball (narrower at the base than the middle) and didn't want any chance of "rolling." I drove 40 minutes with the cake like that and it seemed very solid.

Alternately, you could use the sps pillars and just place the top tier when you get to the venue.

kaat Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 1:04pm
post #16 of 27

Sorry this happened to you.

Things I have learned about cake pick-ups:
"Drive carefully" does not mean the same to everyone. I let hubby drive with a cake in the car ... ONCE. Take the corners slow to me was not the same to him.
"Flat" I have stopped using this word. So many people hace told me they have a "flat" back seat. I now use the word "level".

Not matter how well a cake is supported, non-cakers driving can kill a cake! I'm tempted to start sending a glass 3/4 full of water, placing it on their dashboard. If you can drive without spilling it, then you can drive with cake! icon_smile.gif

Sassy74 Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 1:22pm
post #17 of 27

SPS convert here. I bake for friends and family, so it's pretty easy to get my equipment back, sanitize it, and use it more than once. It's been worth the money many times over.

kearniesue Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 1:28pm
post #18 of 27

I use SPS for EVERY tiered cake I do. If there isn't a size to fit my tier, I use the next size down with no problem. Works liek a charm icon_smile.gif

Karen

luddroth Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 1:36pm
post #19 of 27

I have nightmares about things like this, so I go with a belt and suspenders approach: SPS with 2-inch holes drilled through the plates so I can transport in the Cake Safe. Delivered a 4-tier wedding cake over the worst New York City pot-holed roads in pouring rain and it arrived in perfect condition. The Cake Safe protects from rain, dirt, humidity, sunshine, and to a certain extent, heat. Expensive, but the peace of mind is worth it.

ChilliPepper Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 4:42pm
post #20 of 27

Well you must be really motoring and anchoring on the brakes for the cake to rip but then again in The States you seem to ice most of your cakes with butter cream which isn't a stable medium being very soft. We don't use BC to ice cakes in the UK as it's too 'sickly' for our palette and tend to ice cakes with fondant or in very rare cases these days, royal icing.

idontknow Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 4:55pm
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChilliPepper

If you didn't use a centre dowel right through cakes then I honestly think you should refund the money as balancing a top tier on top of another with nothing through the centre makes the cake unstable for transport and therefore this really is your responsibility.

Sorry if this opinion hurts but I would never send a tiered cake out without a centre dowel.

icon_sad.gif(((

CP x




CP - how do you put a dowel through the cake boards we get in the UK? They are quite thick and sturdy, do you use something else as a cakeboard under each tier, like thin cardboard or something? thanks!

carmijok Posted 29 Jul 2011 , 5:52pm
post #22 of 27

If your cake is cold, a center dowel most certainly helps as cold cake is more dense and solid and will not 'rip' as easily as a room temp cake. Besides, if you're taking a turn fast and sharp enough that your cake rips through a dowel, you've got bigger problems! icon_eek.gif

chelleb1974 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 4:59pm
post #23 of 27

I live in New England (where we are not strangers to driving on icy roads), and when someone else is driving one of my cakes (which does not happen very often), I tell them to drive like there's ice on the roads: no quick turns, no quick stops and no quick starts. Gradual is the key word to remember. So far, everyone that has followed that advice has arrived with an intact cake. I use cardboard and bubble tea straws for support (no center dowel), and as of yet, have not had any problems. The cake in my avatar (5 tier, fondant covered) traveled 60 miles completely assembled (not the topper) up and down some pretty steep roads and arrived intact at the wedding.

~Chelle

jgifford Posted 4 Jun 2015 , 9:38pm
post #24 of 27

KayEhm, this thread is 4 years old.  You're posting on many old threads here and you're not going to get much of a response.

May I suggest that you check the "Posted" date when you read a thread. 

thecakewitch Posted 4 Jun 2015 , 9:58pm
post #25 of 27


Quote by @jgifford on 15 minutes ago

KayEhm, this thread is 4 years old.  You're posting on many old threads here and you're not going to get much of a response.

May I suggest that you check the "Posted" date when you read a thread. 

Because KayEhm is spamming to get people to go to her website that sells cake support system. 

SquirrellyCakes Posted 4 Jun 2015 , 10:02pm
post #26 of 27

Haha, I was just about to report the posts too.  The cakewitch is right.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 4 Jun 2015 , 10:23pm
post #27 of 27

Incidentally, there seems to be a couple of brand new members pulling up old threads and responding and linking to their blogs or sites.  Nearly every post they make or picture they post links back to their sites.  Guess it is one way to get traffic, advertisers and business.....I feel so used, haha.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%