Have You Ever Seen A Cake Melt?....literally

Decorating By Leauna Updated 2 Aug 2012 , 7:04pm by sallyices

Leauna Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 7:42pm
post #1 of 16

You know at the end of the movie 'Raders of the Lost Ark', when the power crazed Nazis and the fame obsesed archeologist (no, not Indy, the other one...) decided it would be a good idea to open up the ark, and all sorts of bad things happened, including one Nazi-face melting and turning to liquid? Well, a wedding cake I made for a neighbor did the same thing. No...it didn't discover a forbidden archeological treasure and opened it on a small island in the pacific ocean, it melted (like the Nazi-face) into a puddle of sweet, sticky goo. icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif
Lucky for me it was done as a favor for somebody who didn't have a lot of resources instead of a Bridezilla who has to have everything on a gold (silver is so last centruy) icon_razz.gif platter.
Now, before anybody says "that's what happens when you try something new"...I didn't. The cake was a recipe that I have used for over a year now, and had some wonderful results. The frosting on the other hand was Wilton's "new and improved" icon_confused.gif recipe. It just ddin't play well with the heat.
And of course the combination of the two, the frosting that wouldn't stay in a solid state, and the cake that had the weight of the world (or at least two other cakes) on its shoulders...let's just say that the 3 tier became a 2, and the hour long ceremony/congratulation/photo shoot became a mad dash to repair the damage that a cool day in the Sahara (the Ford Expedition without really good air conditioning) caused.
I really wish I had a picture of the cake before I fixed it, (icing melting down the sides making it look like a topsy turvey cake), but I don't, I only have this one that my DH took, it isn't great, but the Bride was still extreamly grateful to me for providing a cake for her and I quote from my posting today on FB;
Bride: Love it! It was so beautiful icon_smile.gif thank you thank you thank you icon_smile.gif your the best! icon_smile.gif
Me: You're welcome. I still feel bad that it wasn't perfect. : )
Bride: It was perfect for me icon_smile.gif thank you icon_smile.gif
I really feel lucky to know this person. She is wonderful in all sorts of ways. And I guess if she is happy with the outcome that is all that matters. icon_smile.gif
So, lessons learned?....Don't use the wilton "improved" recipe, (sticking with my never failed recipe), which I didn't use because I didn't have the right shortening) Do listen to leah_s and use SPS, (I will be investing after this incident, the plastic dowls on my bottom layer shifted sideways) And use high fat shortening. icon_smile.gif

Sorry for the long rant. Incase you want to see the fixed cake, it is the one with the gerber daisies. Trying to post it here.

15 replies
CWR41 Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 11:38pm
post #2 of 16

Buttercream starts to break down around 85 degrees.

Here's Bronwen Weber's melting wedding cake video:

Leauna Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 2:53pm
post #3 of 16

I used an all shortening based recipe (no butter) along with meringue powder and some cornstarch. But hot is hot and everything melts if it is hot enough. Even me icon_biggrin.gif

Thanks for the video, I just love Bronwen!

ibeeflower Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 6:50pm
post #4 of 16
Originally Posted by Leauna

I used an all shortening based recipe (no butter) along with meringue powder and some cornstarch. But hot is hot and everything melts if it is hot enough. Even me icon_biggrin.gif

Thanks for the video, I just love Bronwen!

My mom is having a 25th wedding anniversary this summer in Texas where it is currently 100 degrees and will only get hotter. I am going to have to use all shortening too!

leah_s Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 7:13pm
post #5 of 16

IndyDebi's bc recipe is heat tolerant as is Charlotte's Whipped Cream Buttercream. I use Charlotte's.

I left a sample cake outside in July in 90+ degree weather with matching humidity for 5 hours. Nothing moved, nothing melted. For fun I put swags, roses and all sorts of icing crap on it to make the icing heavy. Srsly, nothing moved.

I use Alpine shortening WITH trans fats.

leah_s Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 7:15pm
post #6 of 16

Oh and about SPS. The beauty of the system is that the legs fit securely into the plate. Any support you use where the legs and *not physically tied to/embedded* into the plate have a chance of shifting, negating your support.

Leauna Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 7:31pm
post #7 of 16

leah_s you are just awesome, I really admire you and value what you bring to this forum. I am always telling my husband, "well leah_s said this leah_s said that...." I probably drive him crazy but that's marriage icon_lol.gif
I will take a look at those two recipes, Thanks for the info! And I WILL be purchasing SPS.

Leauna Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 7:34pm
post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by leah_s

IndyDebi's bc recipe is heat tolerant as is Charlotte's Whipped Cream Buttercream. I use Charlotte's.

You don't have to keep it refridgerated?

Luckily, I have a bakers cash and carry here and will be buying some of the sweetex (have used and love).

newbaker1979 Posted 17 Jun 2012 , 4:46am
post #9 of 16

i had this happen to me only with cream cheese icing. i spent all day trying to make my dad a golf ball cake . when i covered it with fondant the creamcheese melted and the entire thing fell apart. i was so upset. after seeing the cakes and all the amazing talent on this web page i feel like i dont even deserve to be on this site lol . i guess i am gonna have to take a cake class or something i have always wanted to decorate cakes such as i see on this site.

costumeczar Posted 20 Jun 2012 , 2:22am
post #10 of 16

Personally I wouldn't use an all-shortening icing because it's too greasy for my tastes, and it will still melt, just slower. I only do fondant for outdoor weddings in the heat because of melting and it's just not worth taking the risk. I did a similar melting cake experiment with a little cake and it didn't go well. If a tiny little cake did this, what would happen to a larger one? I don't want to find out. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/07/baby-its-hot-outside.html

dillonsmimi Posted 20 Jun 2012 , 12:33pm
post #11 of 16

OMG, yes I have!
Made a gorgeous 3 tier square Tuxedo (sort of, used the stabilized whipped cream with chocolate drizzle) Cake for my stepson's groom's table.
Last October we were still having temps in the 100's so was promised that cake service would be inside the Gma's home.
Set up both cakes (did her's also) then went to "freshen up" (re : reapply makeup as it had all melted off).
Came back to an empty table.
One of her attendents had had moved everything outside.
You can imagine the rest.
Got total raves on both cakes....
Was glad no one got sick and died from the cream cheese filling.

OT... Same attendant was serving the bride's cake. Was telling everyone to peel the fondant off B/C "it tastes nasty".
I use Fondarific so I KNOW how soft and yummy it stays.
Stood next to her telling everyone to just try one bite before they took her advice.
Yep again.
Just about everyone came back for seconds and the attendant (this was a small town and she was the "go to" for cakes) wanted to know my "secret recipe" for MMF ??!

LNW Posted 17 Jul 2012 , 3:01pm
post #12 of 16

My little sisters wedding cake (made by her BFF who had no idea about cake decorating, she just picked up a Wilton Yearbook and followed the directions) melted into a puddle. It was awful to begin with but after sitting in the hot July sun for an hour the fondant just melted into a big puddle of ooze.

I felt bad for her. But that's the only time I've ever seen a cake melt.

cheeseball Posted 17 Jul 2012 , 6:48pm
post #13 of 16

Yeah...cuz I live in the tropics icon_lol.gif

shanter Posted 17 Jul 2012 , 7:12pm
post #14 of 16
Originally Posted by leah_s

IndyDebi's bc recipe is heat tolerant as is Charlotte's Whipped Cream Buttercream. I use Charlotte's.

This is the link to the recipe for Charlotte's:

mamabear813 Posted 28 Jul 2012 , 2:37am
post #15 of 16

I HAVE seen a cake melt! Today! I made a practice cake, thank goodness! The buttercream was a variation of several recipes I read and I can tell it tried so hard! LOL But the filling was a coconut cream pudding with dream-whip mixture and it was not sturdy enough once it got hot to keep things in place. The top layer slid off the bottom layer!! Thank goodness it was just the practice!

sallyices Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 7:04pm
post #16 of 16

Something like this happened to me once. For my daughter's birthday years ago, I made a cake resembling a wedge of Swiss cheese, with frosting mice around and in it. I put it in the fridge to keep it cold overnight. When I brought it out for the party the next morning, I found that the mice had melted in such a way that their little bodies warped and ran down the sides of the cake. icon_eek.gif They looked like gray Mister Fantastic mice... all stretched out.

We were living in Washington (state), it was in the cooler part of autumn, and the cake was in the refrigerator, so heat did not seem like it could have been too much of an issue. Needless to say I never used that frosting recipe again.

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