SweetTzippy Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 3:37pm
post #1 of

Cake was 8â & 24â high (replica of a building tower), it had 2 dummies on bottom and 4 â 3â high tiered cakes on top. It was supported well with plenty of wooden rods between tiers and a long thick rod on middle attached to bottom board. Had BC all around and was covered with thick fondant.

I let it cool and set on fridge overnight. It looked perfect.

It was transported on my minivan with A/C at max, I drove slowly so it took me over 1 hr to get to the venue, a place on the country side. It collapsed on the drive, fondant cracked all over and began to slowly drag down the sides.

Please⦠expert professionals out there⦠help me understand⦠what went wrong? icon_cry.gif

15 replies
Sparklekat6 Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 3:54pm
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I am confused about the "let it cool" overnight, this was BEFORE you decorated correct?

SweetTzippy Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 4:53pm
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Sparkle, thanks for asking.
I cooled it overnight with the 2 layers of BC spread all over it and then again overnight after covering with fondant. I am emphasizing the fact that the cake had, in my opinion, enough time to "set".
I forgot to mention that I brushed it with piping gel to act as "glue" before covering with fondant. Now I wonder if the piping gel was not a good choice, although I've used it before and it worked.
What do you think went wrong?

SweetTzippy Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 4:54pm
post #4 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparklekat6

I am confused about the "let it cool" overnight, this was BEFORE you decorated correct?




Right Sparkle, it was cooled overnight twice before I decorated it.

Sparklekat6 Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 5:00pm
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Perhahs the fondant was too heavy? Was is scratch cake or boxed cake? The box cake usually can't hold up to a lot of weight on it.

SweetTzippy Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 5:04pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparklekat6

Perhahs the fondant was too heavy? Was is scratch cake or boxed cake? The box cake usually can't hold up to a lot of weight on it.




Scratch. Yes fondant was thick and probably heavy.

Sparklekat6 Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 5:16pm
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Yeah I once had a tall cake like that with too much fondant on it. It too cracked and slid.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 5:40pm
post #8 of

Sorry this happened to you. Hopefully some of this will help you in the future.

This cake points out exactly what I've thought for years - tiered cakes are like buildings. And you need building methods to construct them.

Tall buildings have an internal skeleton made of steel. All pieces are attached at each end. Wooden dowels do not do this. They provide a modicum of support and stability, but not nearly enough for a cake like you described. They will help with downward pressure on a cake, but have little or no lateral stability.

A system that would have worked would be a plate and separator system. There are a few on the market. When the pillars lock into the plates, you get vertical and lateral stability, regardless of the type of cake.

Good luck in the future.

SweetTzippy Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 5:57pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewkyrankelly


A system that would have worked would be a plate and separator system. There are a few on the market.




Thank you for your insight Matthew. Can you direct me as to where I may find this plate and separator system?

Vertically, cake arrived well as it was in one piece. It is the fondant that slid through the sides after starting to crack from the top so probably it was much too heavy. You make me think about lateral stability now... wondering if there is another way to cover with fondant, perhaps by sections...

BakingIrene Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 6:29pm

I think the problem was the fondant.

Too long a strip will come off this way because some fondants have very little tensile strength. Too thick fondant will come off faster than a very thin layer.

The pros use chocolate clay for this reason, on their largest structures that are RKT on top of wood or plastic frames.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 6:52pm

Search on separator plates - SPS and Wilton both make different styles. There are other styles out there as well. They provide a lot of stability.

leah_s Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 7:13pm

Cakes need supprt every 4 vertical inches. I absolutely recommend SPS. So every 4 verticsl inches there would be a plate and leg assembly.

kakeladi Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 7:21pm

From what i read in your posts, the *cake* did not collaspe but the fondant came off/cracked etc. Big difference.

It sounds to me like you rolled the fondant too thickly. There was too much weight.

SweetTzippy Posted 28 Aug 2012 , 3:32am

Thank you Kakeladi... You are right, cake resisted well, it was the Fondant that collapsed, so BakingIrene you might be right that it could have been the weight of the fondant that caused it as I rolled very thick.
BTW.... What is chocolate clay?
Thank you all for replying... I am loving this site! thumbs_up.gif

Evoir Posted 28 Aug 2012 , 4:02am

I would suggest 3 things for the future for this sort of cake:
1. Use ganache under fondant, instead of BC.
2. Mist water on ganache as your adhesive for the fondant instead of gel.
3. Apply your fondant in bands around the cake, instead of vertical 'drapes'. Make each band 4-8" wide, or even wider if you're comfortable handling sheets this big, roll off board onto your pin, then vertically apply around your cake. Joins can be hidden with building 'floor' levels, or other decoration.

It's not your dowels that were the problem, the cake itself did not fail. It was your application of fondant. While not as stable as SPS, using dowels and separator boards every 4" will also give you vertical AND lateral support as the boards interact with the dowels. Centre doweling provides a bit more lateral stability, especially when affixed to the thick base board.

HTH icon_smile.gif

SweetTzippy Posted 28 Aug 2012 , 5:27am

Thank you very much Evoir!
I am saving yr suggestions for the future. Really appreciate it icon_smile.gif

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