From Never Before To 2 In A Row, *sigh*

Decorating By LizzieAMG Updated 5 Jun 2014 , 6:10pm by cheeseball

LizzieAMG Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 6:49pm
post #1 of 18

AI'm at a loss, I've been making cakes for a couple of years now and this had never happened to me and now the last 2 cakes I've made have collapsed. I hope someone can enlighten me. This past weekend I made a small 2 tiered cake, 8" and 5". I inserted dowels in the bottom tier to support the top tier like always, but I didn't dowel the top since it was just a small 5". Top tier started leaning (that's another question) not sure if it was because it wasn't doweled or because my filling had gotten warm. (Party was at the park, cake was in the shade though and was more than 76), so the part of the bottom cake gave way and it came crashing down. Should I have inserted dowels in the small cake as well? Or one long one down both? Last cake I made was just a small 6" and that one collapsed as well. Luckily both were friends who have seen my work before so they said not to worry. I can't have it happen again. [IMG ALT=""][/IMG]

I have another question, does everyone refrigerate their cakes? I've heard both ways, that you should for it to make it better to travel and some that they don't because it causes a lot of moisture problems.[SIZE=3][/SIZE]

17 replies
acakedecorator Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 7:03pm
post #2 of 18

Do you happen to have any pictures of the collapsed cakes?

LizzieAMG Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 7:07pm
post #3 of 18

ANo I was to embarrassed to approach the cake after it collapsed.

thecakewitch Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 7:28pm
post #4 of 18

AWhat's the filling? Buttercream or cream based? No reason to dowel a cake that won't have another cake on top of it. What kind of dowels did you use?

LizzieAMG Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 8:39pm
post #5 of 18

AI used a pastry cream mousseline that I've used before and nothing like this had happened. As for dowels I used wooden ones.

cheeseball Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 9:14pm
post #6 of 18

May I ask the material of your cake board?

cakegrandma Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 10:30pm
post #7 of 18

I never use wooden dowel any more cause I had a large wedding cake start to collapse as a couple slipped inside the bottom tier.   I now use the plastic dowels although many say they use straws, I 've never tried them. How many layers of cake is the bottom?  If you have more than 2 layers then you need to put another cake board in. even if it is 3 layers. This helps give more stability. When you put dowels in you should put one more than the size of the cake on top so if you had a 5" cake going on top then you should have 6 dowels. I would put one in the center and the others spaced around.

If I do not have a filling that needs refrigerated then I keep my cake out on the counter. If it does need refrigerating then of course I do so, and if you use fondant on a cake it can set in the fridge without any problems.  Like anything coming out of cold then moisture will come on the piece as it is coming to room temp.  Fondant on? Don't touch anything as it will leave finger prints until coming to room temp.

As far as tops leaning when it was out in a higher temp then I would find out where the cake will be placed.

If it is going to be an out side event then I would see if there is any refrigeration available. If not I think I would keep it in the fridge as long as I could before delivery and put a dowel in the center.

You cake is really cute, whoever got it would love it no matter what happened.  ;-D

thecakewitch Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 10:33pm
post #8 of 18



Originally Posted by LizzieAMG 

I used a pastry cream mousseline that I've used before and nothing like this had happened. As for dowels I used wooden ones.

It could be: 1. The filling got too soft. Pastry cream mousseline needs refrigeration. 2. Dowels not cut evenly. 3. The cake board might not be sturdy enough, use foam board. 

LizzieAMG Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 10:41pm
post #9 of 18

AI use standard cardboard cake boards

LizzieAMG Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 10:45pm
post #10 of 18

AThank you so much everyone for your suggestions and insights. @cakegrandma I think I went low on dowels since I only used 4. I've never used plastic but might have to give them a try, I don't want this to happen again

cheeseball Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 11:22pm
post #11 of 18



Originally Posted by LizzieAMG 

I use standard cardboard cake boards

In your picture, it looks like a single cardboard cake really want to double that for even one tier.  For that size cake, I'd use a minimum of three taped together with the grain of each board going in a different direction or as thecakewitch suggested, foam core cut to size.  If your base bends even a little, it can cause problems.  You put in too much effort to have it all go sideways because of the board!:-D 

cai0311 Posted 4 Jun 2014 , 5:58pm
post #12 of 18

AI glue 2 cardboard cake boards together for tiered cakes. Always. It helps support the cake a little more while moving, stacking, icing...

For supports I love bubble tea straws. I use them from 2 tiered cakes to 5 tiered cakes. They work great!

All my cakes (buttercream, fondant, ganache...) are chilled at least 8 hours prior to delivery. This just makes delivery less stressful IMO.

The non calapsed pic is really cute!

LizzieAMG Posted 4 Jun 2014 , 7:59pm
post #13 of 18

[email protected] & cai0311 do you double up on cake boards for both tiers? If I use the decorative 1" foam do you still recommend I double up?

@cai0311 wow I must try those straws! Do you dowel the middle all the way down for taller cakes? I guess I'm doubting everything I've done before, my confidence is in the gutter

cai0311 Posted 4 Jun 2014 , 8:34pm
post #14 of 18

AThe bottom tier on my cakes only has 1 cardboard cake board glued (hot glue gun) to the decorative cake drum. All the remaining tiers have 2 boards glued (again, hot glue gun) togeter.

For small cakes I use 1 wooden dowel through the center of the cake. For larger cakes (3 tiers or more) I use 2 wooden dowels offset from the center. I use 2 because with 1 the tiers can still "spin" on the wooden axis. I had a couple of instances when while wrapping a ribbon around a tier it spun a little. After that, I started using 2 dowells.

Norasmom Posted 4 Jun 2014 , 8:44pm
post #15 of 18

This is interesting because in every tutorial I have ever watched, there is only one single, thin cake board on the tiers.  Can someone tell me if I am seeing things?

cheeseball Posted 4 Jun 2014 , 10:35pm
post #16 of 18

Nope, you're not seeing things - I see that all the time too:grin:.  I actually quit using cardboard a while back, mostly because it's easier to get foam core sheets in the teeny village I'm in right now.  I've never had a collapse due to the cardboard absorbing moisture from the cake, but I started to get twitchy when I saw it happen to someone else.  I would probably use the SPS system if I were at home, but I have to use what I can easily get.  I also prefer the clean look of the foam boards, although cutting them can be a pain in the heiney.  I usually use a single board between tiers and when I use foam board as a base, I do three or four layers to get the height I want.

lcubed83 Posted 5 Jun 2014 , 3:00pm
post #17 of 18

Cheeseball, do you cover your foam boards with plastic wrap before placing the cake on?


FYI, with SPS, you still use a cardboard (or maybe foam) to place the cake on, then onto the plastic plate.

cheeseball Posted 5 Jun 2014 , 6:10pm
post #18 of 18

Icubed83, since you're in the States, for your reading pleasure:)...  All sorts of opinions and options in here, including ordering them precut and covered:grin:

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