This weekend I made my husband's 40th birthday cake. It was a 3-tiered, fondant-covered iceburg with penquins. The cake was a hit at the party. My problem was serving the cake. As I struggled to take off each layer to cut up and serve, the cardboard cake circles I used were soggy and floppy, It was very difficult to get the tiers off the cake. Then, to my humiliation, as I lifted each tier off, the fondant from the top of the tier below came off!!! I had naked cake! I was so embarassed!!! What did I do wrong? I used cardboard cake circles and wooden dowels in between the tiers. The cake was frozen so that I could carve the slide and then crumbcoated and wrapped in fondant. How do I prevent this problem from happening again? Should I be using separator plates instead? I've been reading various topics in these forums and it seems many people are using cake circles and wooden dowels without problems...what went wrong in my case? This was only my 2nd tiered cake and I'm nervous about doing any more in the future after this experience. Please advise!!!!
You can use a circle of waxed paper to prevent sticking.
Were the boards you used coated (shiny) or dull non-coated?
One time I ordered cake boards from some website (that I can't remember right now) but they were just plain non-coated cardboard. I knew they'd suck up all of the fat/moisture from my cakes so I didn't use them.
That could be one reason why yours became floppy.
I also find the Wilton boards to be pretty flimsy.
And I agree a circle of parchment cut a bit smaller than the tier sitting on it will keep the fondant/icing from pulling away when you disassemble the cake.
Cakestyles: the cakeboards were not shiny and were the Wilton brand. Does it matter if I use wax paper or parchment paper between the layers? I guess either one would keep the moisture away from the board, huh? Do you put a piece of wax/parchment paper between the cake tier and the cakeboard (to prevent the board from absorbing the moisture from the tier sitting on it)? So many questions, so little time!!!! Thanks for your help!
My Wilton instructor recommends putting something like shredded coconut, brown sugar, or cookie crumbs between the board, or plate, and the tier. I haven't tried it yet, but she said it keep the board/plate from sticking and removing the icing.
I think your problems came from those flimsy Wilton cakeboards.
If you can't find the coated ones near you, you can always cover the Wilton ones in something like press and seal wrap to keep the moisture of your cakes from seeping into the boards.
But if at all possible try to find some sturdier cake circles/boards, it makes a huge difference. Or place them on separator plates.
Wax or parchment paper is fine...I just happen to use parchment because that's what I keep on hand.
I did a 2 tier wedding cake last month and used a Wilton cake board. I did not cover it with anything and was scared once I got it together thinking it might be soggy. I was lucky it was perfect. I put a bit of powdered sugar on top of the bottom tier before I added the second and no problem.
I cover each cakeboard with lightweight foil or butcher/freezer paper and then place the cake on it. Before placing one tier on top of another you can sprinkle a little coconut on top of the cake below to prevent the board from sticking to the fondant or frosting.
From my understanding, if you freeze cakes you should let them defrost a bit to prevent the cake from sweating which is what probably made your cake become soggy and stick to the boards. I also do line my cake boards with wax/parchment paper. Live and learn right