Wedding Cake Collapse

Decorating By LSUmomma36 Updated 19 Jul 2014 , 4:02am by LSUmomma36

LSUmomma36 Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 7:16pm
post #1 of 44

I've been decorating cake for years. Started out doing kids bdays etc and then a little shower cake her and there and then a wedding cake and what started as a hobby turned into more. I don't profess to be a professional. I'm self taught with a few classes here and there and you tube, magazines, cake places like this and craftsy. I've had my share of problems from time to time but nothing I haven't been able to fix, until this past Sat!!! The family had rented me a cabin on the grounds of the wedding. I had baked all layers at home because I like my own oven plus wanted to be a step a head, so baked and wrapped layers for travel 3 hours away. Filled and crumb coated cakes and put in fridge. The next morning I take cakes at to frost and decorate. The fridge is not cooling well and water is dripping in the back making a puddle under the drawers. My cake boards are damp and cakes feel damp. They were extremely hard to decorated. Icing kept wanting to fall away. Had to change a few decorations because the conditions were causing things to slide off. Needless to say at this time I am in panic mode. Finally am able to finish, dress and head out down the road to set cake up. Upon arrival part of the back side of the cake had fallen away. I wanted to break into tears. Just as I popped the back of my SUV it came a rain from hell, sideways! We managed to bring cakes in with little water damage but it was bad.This is someones special day! In a rush I had to stack and redecorate the fallen away part as best I could. As soon as I was done I back away and it appeared to be leaning! I was and have been mortified. I couldn't enjoy the wedding because I was so disappointed in my self and the cake. I cried and have considered I maybe shouldn't do this anymore. Needless to say I didn't charge them a dime. The parents were great! They said it's fine, the bride said it's fine. But I was just so beaten down. I think I know that it wasn't just one problem, it was multiple but I am curious to know the thoughts and ideas of my fellow bakers. Please help. I have another wedding cake in exactly one month that I will be traveling for!!!!! 

 

Thanks in advance for any ideas, advice etc.

Karen

43 replies
aneal Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 7:24pm
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AThe furthest I have traveled to deliver a cake was 4 hours but I delivered the four (4) tier wedding cake already stacked which inlcuded the two (2) tier grooms cake. My SUV was extremely cold. If you are not comfortable travelling with cakes already stacked, depending on the layers of the cake(eg.) four tier cake, travel with two tiers already stacked. All you have to do when you get to the venue is stack one of the two tiers on the other two tiers.

Good luck!

-K8memphis Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 7:33pm
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Aidk -- you gotta know your equipment is going to perform for you -- leaky crapped out destination fridges happen - often they are stinky too -- sounds like you didn't have the cakes wrapped up, protected in there?

you gotta prepare for nasty cake weather or if you break down during a delivery --

it's cool that you travel to where you work but wow you need to have some back up plans for your back up plans-- like freezer packs or ice bags secured inside corrugated cardboard boxes -- you gotta be able to really scramble and control your cake's environment--

oh gosh I'm so sorry that happened

LSUmomma36 Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 8:40pm
post #4 of 44

Thanks so much y'all. Thats the reason Im here today....trying to get better prepared for the next cake. I never want to ruin someone's day. Just really nervous now

cai0311 Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 9:08pm
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AI am wondering why the family rented you a cabin near the wedding? Was that so you didn't have to travel the three hours it would have taken you from your house to the venue?

I have once delivered a cake for a friend's wedding 7 hours away. I did everything at my house except the stacking. This was for all the reasons you just listed in your post going wrong.

Last month my SIL's wedding was 4 hours away. Again, I did everything but stack the cake at my house. I did the stacking on sight.

The only condition I give my long distance clients is that they can't pick a filling that needs refrigeration because of how long the cake will be out of the fridge during travel/delivery.

LSUmomma36 Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 9:14pm
post #6 of 44

Yes I guess they figured it would just be easier and I guess I did as well. I have learned a hard lesson. I have a wedding on August 16 in Miss and I'm in Louisiana. Needless to say I'm a nervous wreck and so I've been seating the forums high and low for suggestions. I do believe that cakes got to moist. I'm looking for some good recipes for some more firm, dense, yet delicious cakes. I guess I never trusted my skills to travel a decorated cake that far. Perhaps this is the time. 

bikemom3 Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 10:35pm
post #7 of 44

ATry researching a SPS system to stack your cakes. I recentlt did a large wedding cake on the hottest day of the year 100+.degrees. The system was really stable ( I did my research on CC)and greatly reduced my worry.

LSUmomma36 Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 11:00pm
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thank you bike mom. I'll look now

bikemom3 Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 11:03pm
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AGood luck! It'll be fine

Natka81 Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 11:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSUmomma36 
 

Yes I guess they figured it would just be easier and I guess I did as well. I have learned a hard lesson. I have a wedding on August 16 in Miss and I'm in Louisiana. Needless to say I'm a nervous wreck and so I've been seating the forums high and low for suggestions. I do believe that cakes got to moist. I'm looking for some good recipes for some more firm, dense, yet delicious cakes. I guess I never trusted my skills to travel a decorated cake that far. Perhaps this is the time. 

Have you ever tried sour cream cake?

2 eggs + 1 cup of sugar, beat with mixer until well blended,

add 1 cup of sour cream and 1/8 cup of water, mix until  well blended.

Mix 1 cup of flour with 1 tea spoon of baking soda in a separate bowl.

Add dry ingredients to liquid. Beat about 30 seconds. 

Enough for 8 in. round form.

This is not a suggestion to use it on the  coming wedding cake that you have to bake in one month, because it would be something new for you and you would probably have to make modifications to your taste, but this recipe is worth a try, it is not as crumbly as cake with butter in them, but  dense enough and delicious.

LSUmomma36 Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 11:24pm
post #11 of 44

I will definitely give it a try on a smaller birthday cake for a family member. I was watching a Craftsy video today of Joshua John Russell and his cakes were very firm. Looked easy to work with. I just worry about the flavor of a dense cake but I can see where it would be easier. ty for the recipe :0)

Natka81 Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 11:28pm
post #12 of 44

Forgot to say bake it at 335 F for 45 minutes.

cai0311 Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 3:49pm
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AMy cakes are not dense at all. I do chill the finished cakes overnight to firm the cake and icing for delivery. I do this whether my delivery is 2 miles or 200 miles from my house.

I don't like SPS for supports. I use bubble tea straws and wooden dowels. If I stack on site at the venue I do not insert wooden dowels into the cake.

This is the cake I made for my SIL's wedding 4 hours from my house: http://cakecentral.com/g/i/3235679/a/3482192/i-made-this-cake-for-my-sister-in-laws-wedding-champagne-cake-with-strawberry-filling/

-K8memphis Posted 15 Jul 2014 , 10:16pm
post #14 of 44

i was just perusing m. braun's website and she did a 'destination' wedding cake too --omg!

 

http://www.margaretbraun.com/2000-individual-cakes/

LSUmomma36 Posted 16 Jul 2014 , 2:58pm
post #15 of 44

That cake is stunning!!!!! I hope this next one that I do turns out as pretty as that. I have always chilled my cakes. I just think the circumstances at the location, i.e. fridge not cooling and defrosting water to the inside was a huge factor. Still I'm fretting about the Aug cake like a little kid.

costumeczar Posted 16 Jul 2014 , 11:52pm
post #16 of 44

AI don't know if you were using cardboard rounds under the tiers,but if you use corrugated plastic boards instead, or a regular plate and pillar system, the cake won't collapse from having damp boards sitting on each other.

LSUmomma36 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 1:26pm
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yes I was. Didn't realize there were different ones. Are these types available readily? 

leah_s Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 1:49pm
post #18 of 44

Of course, I love, love, love SPS.  It's easy, sturdy and cheap.  

LSUmomma36 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 1:51pm
post #19 of 44

I must get some!!!! hank you guys so much!!!!

costumeczar Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 2:21pm
post #20 of 44

I use tuffboards but they went out of business...now this company seems to be selling the same thing. These are much, much better than using cardboards! http://freshboards.net/

LSUmomma36 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 2:32pm
post #21 of 44

I only see scalloped there....now plain, reg rounds

costumeczar Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:35pm
post #22 of 44

Quote:

Originally Posted by LSUmomma36 
 

I only see scalloped there....now plain, reg rounds

I use the scalloped ones and it deosn't bother me icing the tiers flat. If you want, you can just take a pair of scissors and trim them to size, or cut off the little scallops.  No big deal, and they don't absorb moisture and get floppy and collapsey, if that's a word.

FioreCakes Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 11:39pm
post #23 of 44

Quote:

Originally Posted by cai0311 

My cakes are not dense at all. I do chill the finished cakes overnight to firm the cake and icing for delivery. I do this whether my delivery is 2 miles or 200 miles from my house.

I don't like SPS for supports. I use bubble tea straws and wooden dowels. If I stack on site at the venue I do not insert wooden dowels into the cake.

This is the cake I made for my SIL's wedding 4 hours from my house:
http://cakecentral.com/g/i/3235679/a/3482192/i-made-this-cake-for-my-sister-in-laws-wedding-champagne-cake-with-strawberry-filling/

 

 

uhhhhh, you put the cakes on top of each other without dowels or straws if stacking on site??

costumeczar Posted 18 Jul 2014 , 12:26am
post #24 of 44

Quote:

Originally Posted by FioreCakes 
 

 

 

uhhhhh, you put the cakes on top of each other without dowels or straws if stacking on site??

I was wondering about that too! Sometimes it's better not to know.

morganchampagne Posted 18 Jul 2014 , 2:36am
post #25 of 44

ADo the boards come without that scalloped edge?

cai0311 Posted 18 Jul 2014 , 3:27am
post #26 of 44

AI said I don't use wooden dowels if I stack on site. I never said I didn't use bubble tea straws for support. I always use bubble tea straws for support in all my cakes, no matter the size.

costumeczar Posted 18 Jul 2014 , 11:28am
post #27 of 44

A

Original message sent by morganchampagne

Do the boards come without that scalloped edge?

I don't think so, but you can cut them off.

Out of curiosity, why is everyone worried about the scalloped edge? The board is the same size as the cake, so it's not like you're going to be scraping away on the board when you ice the tier. Is it that common that people use the board as a guide? Because when I ice a cake i put it on one of those flexible cutting boards so that i can move them around, or I pu it on a larger board, and i totally ignore what it's sitting on when i do the actual icing of the tier. i never use a bottom board as a guide, i just use a bench scraper that has a square edge that can be pressed on the flat area outside the bottom edge of the cake so that the sides are straight. i never touch the board that the cake is sitting on.

FrostedMoon Posted 18 Jul 2014 , 12:09pm
post #28 of 44


I've always learned to use the cake board as a guide.  My cakes are just a smidge smaller than the boards always.  I trim them to be that way if needed.  I suck at keeping a straight edge without that guide, even with having the bench scraper square to the cake turn table.  

LSUmomma36 Posted 18 Jul 2014 , 2:56pm
post #29 of 44

I've always used the board as a guide plus I figured the scalloped boards cost more, but since that place doesn't sell any there is no comparison there. 

morganchampagne Posted 18 Jul 2014 , 5:19pm
post #30 of 44

ADitto to using the board as a guides. I was actually concerned about when I go to stack them that the scalloped edge would show too.

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