Help! I've Worked So Hard And It's Collapsing..what To Do?

Decorating By dsateri Updated 13 Nov 2011 , 12:47pm by tokazodo

dsateri Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 11:28am
post #1 of 15

I made a sugar beer bottle in a silver ice bucket cake and it looked so good at first. It seems like its slowly collapsing... what should I do? There is a defnite seam in the fondant (that's getting deeper and deeper) around the middle where I have the support in there.. I was thinking about making something (like a bow) and putting it around the cake to cover it up but will it make it through the car ride to the delivery? What do you do if you are delivering a cake and it gets ruined? What do you say? I will cry.

14 replies
sillywabbitz Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 1:37pm
post #2 of 15

Can you give us more details? What is collapsing? Exactly how is it supported? Can you tell us where the boards and dowels are? Is it the weight of the beer bottles ? Pics would be helpful. You can't attach pics to the posts do just upload them to your photos and include a link in the post.

dsateri Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 12:26am
post #3 of 15

okay, I'm going to tell you exactly what I did to make the bucket cake....I made one of each 8x3", 9x3" and 10x3"... torted each and after the first 3 layers of cake, I used an 8" wilton separator plate with the hidden columns, then put the remaining 3 layers on top of that... then after letting it harden up in the fridge, I carved it ever so slightly into a bucket shape.... then I did a crumb coat of icing and stuck it back in the fridge over night. It seemed very sturdy at that point.. I"ll figure out how to get the pics off of my phone and attach..... then I covered it in fondant, painted it silver, added a little fondant edge to the top of the bucket... then I cut four holes in the top, put my bottles in and added the crushed ice.. it looked great at first...but, slowly the fondant started sagging and I began to see a real indent where the separator plate was.... Luckily most of the sagging was in the back and I ended up putting a ribbon around the center of the cake which concealed a lot of the damage. But, I want to understand why my fondant sags like that. I was really afraid the whole cake was going to collapse which is what happened to me once before when I made a giant cupcake cake... and keeping that in mind, I was extra careful with each step of this cake.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 1:18am
post #4 of 15

I saw the picture of the cake.. it's awesome! I'm so sorry this is happening to you! I've had my share of disasters too. Just curious what type of fondant you used? I so hope it all works out okay!

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 1:27am
post #5 of 15

What did you use for the crushed ice? Not real ice right?
If it was real ice, that would definately be the problem.
If not, maybe the holes for the beer bottles caused the problem.

luckylibra Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 1:48am
post #6 of 15

I use a small spray bottle on fine mist and spray some water on my buttercream before attaching the fondant.. it seems to adhere well that way, not sure if that may be part of the issue or not, so sorry this is happening to you. Best of luck

tokazodo Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 1:55am
post #7 of 15

The way I am understanding your support, you torted the 8", filled and put half of the 9" on top, then used the hidden columns and added the separator plate, then the remaining 9", and then the torted and filled 10 inch on top of the supported separator plate? It sounds like it's enough support, but after carving the 8" to make it narrower, and placing a filled 9 and 10 inch on top, I am wondering if there was enough support to begin with. That plus the added weight of the sugar bottles and I am assuming you used isomalt for the icecubes? Did you use a center dowel down through the middle of the cake to keep it from shifting or sliding?
I am not judging, just *thinking* out loud.
I am sorry this happened to your cake! I know how nerve racking it can be when you put so much time into something and to have weird stuff happen.

It's a very nice cake, by the way! icon_smile.gif

jhay Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 2:00am
post #8 of 15

it might also have something to do with what kind of icing you're using. If it's one that tends to get soft, you could have some shifting and lack of support from the outside of the cake. Unfortunately, I know from experience that soft icings that don't firm up can reak havoc on a cake that needs good support.

dsateri Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 11:40am
post #9 of 15

The_Sugar_Fairy : I use Satin Ice

dsateri Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 11:42am
post #10 of 15

The_Sugar_Fairy: and no, I did not use real ice. I made it out of sugar and corn syrup.

dsateri Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 11:46am
post #11 of 15

tokazodo: You have it right, but I really didn't have to carve the 8" cake at all. I only carved the bottom layer of the 9" and the bottom layer of the 10", just to taper it in slightly. The ice is made from sugar and corn syrup and neither the bottles or the ice seemed too heavy. My husband thought that maybe since I angled the bottles backwards when I put them in that it added weight to the back and that is why most of the damage was in the back. I was lucky to be able to pull that cake together and fortunately the client placed right up against a wall so the back wasn't visible. I just can't figure out how other people do it and I can't. icon_sad.gif

dsateri Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 11:48am
post #12 of 15

jhay: I wondered about the icing as well... I use a basic buttercream, butter and crisco. Any suggestions?

cakeyouverymuch Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 12:24pm
post #13 of 15

Are you sure your support columns were perfectly upright? With the cake being top heavy anyway, and with the support columns already displacing cake, any deviations from perfectly vertical is likely to cause internal pressure which will eventually translate to buckling on the outside and eventual collapse.

Just a thought.

dsateri Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 12:35pm
post #14 of 15

cakeyouverymuch: I guess that is possible. I did measure them and cut them and then I stood them up on their own to make sure they looked perfectly upright but I guess it's possible that they were slightly off. THat's a good thought.

tokazodo Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 12:47pm
post #15 of 15


Don't give up. Your other cakes are amazing. I am sorry I do not have the exact answer for you. Sometimes we need to trouble shoot these things over and over in our heads and sometimes remake the cake to find the correct answer.

A last month, I made a three tier (something I've done 100 times) and had structural issues with it. I tried to figure out what I had changed in the cake equation, to change the result.
When I figured what I had done (there were 2 factors) I considered that the cause of the problem and promised myself I would never do it again.

Honestly, I think sometimes cake and sugar have minds of their own. For me, buttercream icing tends to react to the climate outside such has heat and humidity and barometric pressure. I hate caking on low pressure stormy days because I know it's gonna be a bear to ice and stack a cake.

Chin up, don't give up, and keep up the good work. It was a beautiful cake!

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