Collapsing cupcake- what went wrong?

Decorating By h0mesweeth0me Updated 2 Feb 2014 , 4:26am by h0mesweeth0me

h0mesweeth0me Posted 18 Jan 2014 , 4:44pm
post #1 of 13

AI was working on Sharon Wee's castle cake from her craftsy class. I carved the top tier from chocolate mud cake, covered it in ganache and then froze it for a few days. Then I brought it room temp and covered it and it looked perfect. The room temp was about 22c and it was left out overnight. About 6 hrs later the back of the cake sort of collapsed, and my cupcake was a slumped mess. I am attaching two photos, but I really want to understand why this happened and how I can prevent this in the future. It was so cute and I would love to make it again![ATTACHMENT=1455][IMG ALT=""][/IMG] [IMG ALT=""][/IMG] [IMG ALT=""][/IMG] [/ATTACHMENT]


12 replies
h0mesweeth0me Posted 19 Jan 2014 , 6:53pm
post #2 of 13

Please please someone help!  I really want some advice on this one!

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 19 Jan 2014 , 7:02pm
post #3 of 13

I have zero experience working with mudcake, but I know with my own cakes there would have to be a board and dowels in the giant cupcake.
It looks to me like the cakes is either settling or collapsing into itself, it's hard to see though, since I am using my phone.

h0mesweeth0me Posted 19 Jan 2014 , 9:20pm
post #4 of 13

AThanks scrumdiddlycakes- I think you are right that dowels could have helped. I thought the top part was too heavy for the bottom, and it was collapsing. But in Sharon's video she doesn't use support and also doesn't fridge it after fondant. I just don't get it. And I followed the video to the letter!

810whitechoc Posted 23 Jan 2014 , 12:45pm
post #5 of 13

What kind of chocolate did you make your Ganache out of? At 22c the Ganache should set firm.  The chocolate you use needs to have 45-50% cocoa butter, the cocoa butter makes the Ganache set.  If you used a compound chocolate it could be the Ganache didn't have the structure it needs to set and therefore softened and started to slide down underneath the weight of the fondant.

auzzi Posted 24 Jan 2014 , 2:52am
post #6 of 13

Did you do an Internet "search" ?


Question and Response to your problem is on her Blog:

h0mesweeth0me Posted 24 Jan 2014 , 9:08am
post #8 of 13

Thanks for that link. it is interesting.  But my cake didn't sink it the middle after baking.  it was fine and the mud cake was sturdy and great to work with. i ganached it and covered it with fondant and only after it was completed did the cake start to droop! i think it may have been more of a structural cake problem.

BeckyRink Posted 24 Jan 2014 , 12:23pm
post #9 of 13

How big was the cupcake?  It could have been from the weight if it was larger.

h0mesweeth0me Posted 24 Jan 2014 , 2:08pm
post #10 of 13

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions!  The base was about 4 inches and the top portion was about 3 inches.  Sharon Wee replied to my query privately, so I thought i would post it as I think she was right:

"The issue is with the buttercream which is the reason why all my carved cakes are done with ganache.
[TY: I used chocolate SMBC between the layers of the base and ganache on the top and on the outside]
The buttercream layers on the bottom is supporting all the weight from the top of the cake (which is ganache and heavier) together with the fact that the bottom of the cupcake tapers in so there is not much support is causing your cake to split. Especially when the buttercream starts to get soft at room temperature.
In the future, if you want to use buttercream you may have to use a board in between the base and the top of the cupcake with dowels to support the weight.
Or use ganache entirely. The ganache is firm so any slight weight on top will not cause the fillings at the bottom to ooze out."


I wanted to add that I googled melting point of butter vs chocolate.  Indeed, butter softens at a slightly lower temperature and therefor also doesn't provide as much support.


well, we learn a little something from every new challenge, right?

Susan0614 Posted 1 Feb 2014 , 8:52pm
post #12 of 13

I also had a large cupcake collapse before.  I made a large cupcake cake for my daughters Pinkalisious party completely done with buttercream and with in 5 hours of getting it perfect it collapsed.  Thank goodness I also made a bunch of cupcake

h0mesweeth0me Posted 2 Feb 2014 , 4:26am
post #13 of 13

AWhat a shame! Well, hopefully this thread has put out a number of good ideas to prevent others from going through the same frustrations that we did!

Quote by @%username% on %date%