Hindsight tells all. I have been baking for friends for years. And this is my first big fail.
this cowgirl cake party was going to be held in a real barn in a rural area. Cake baking,stacking all went well.. Then the problems started. The mother in law did not show up for pick up on time, which meant that the cake waited at pick up location for 2 hours. Ok, now it's warm. The pick up person. was her husband ( not the person I gave the instructions to) that was also pulling a large trailer on their truck. The cake was "buckled in" and went 2 hours. And thirdly I used a strawberry filling, that is now warm. My stacking procedure was 4 bubble tea straws and a dowl down the center. ( you may notice that the baby's goes from 2 years old to her first birthday) mistake I caught before I went to bed that night. You know your kinda loopy by then.
Anyway I am sure if I had used plate system this series of events probably would not have happened. Hopefully someone can learn from my unfortunate series of events
Oh, that's a painful picture...The main problem was probably the warmth, but strawberry filling is evil...This is also a good example of how a center dowel isn't always going to make a bit of difference. Sorry this happened to you :(
i'm sorry that happened -- it really sucks -- and fwiw was the cutest cake love those boots!
Awww, man, that's awful. So sorry for you. It really was an adorable cake and you did a great job on it. Thank you for sharing though. It's good that we can share these things and learn from each other.
And, I agree, strawberry filling is evil.
Ouch. I'm guessing from "buckled in" that it was also placed on a car seat, which likely wasn't level, which can't have helped.
exorcising slick filling is the easy peasiest -- pipe a blob of icing in the middle (as well as pipe a worthy dam of course) to glue the layers together -- if it's a very large tier you can pipe a few spokes radiating out -- no worries --
and i have a question -- were the straws cut all the same length then inserted or were they inserted and then clipped off to the top of the tier -- just curious --
i use five dowel in a bottom tier because if one fails the cake will still stand but if one of four slides it's probably going down especially with the weeny straws as opposed to the wider 3/4" hollow plastic dowel --
just tossing out construction thoughts
I am so sorry this happened to you. By the way, your cake was beautiful!! Also having a driver who did not drive carefully did not help matters. Hang in there!!
I'm sorry for your little catastrophe. But you can't take all the blame. Sitting for 2 hrs before being picked up, inappropriately transported. Ahh..me thinks the recipients family have to take some of the responsibility.
Thank you for the support. I t just makes me sick to even look at the picture. The family was very gracious, the "transporter" admitted to "probably driving to fast" but I can't really blame him, I should have been more aggressive with the instructions. I was very irritated at the time when they did not show up for pick up.
k8 Memphis I will be using buttercream glue from here on out!
That is a wonderful suggestion. Also yes I did cut the straws after inserting, not at the same time. I realize now that they might not have been all exactly the same. The wierd thing is that I asked if the straws actually bent, she said that they were not bent, they just all leaned together.
The reason I have not used the sps is because I always felt that you needed a center dowl to keep all the tiers snug, and that the tiers would slide off the plates.
Lessons learned... frosting glue, KEEP refrigerated, more or better dowls, and stay away from that evil strawberry filling, and don't let a cowboy drive your cake!! Lol.
That cake was beautiful, I can see how you might be upset. But you did not do the transport and once cakes are picked up it's no longer the baker's responsibility, beyond doweling well. A 2-hour wait with strawberry filling is unfortunate!
I've made over 1K cakes with SPS without a fail. Its structurally sound and the cakes do not slide off the plates, if you do it right.
So sorry for your cake. It was adorable!
So sorry to see that.
My opinion is that when heat, slippery filling, and possibly poor driving come into play, something bad will happen. Those three things together will cause lateral shift within the tiers themselves. In cases like that, boards and supports can stay in place while the cake moves sideways around the supports and then the unbalanced weight pulls the tier down.
I also like another thread where the baker included WRITTEN transportation instructions along with a final line of something similar to "Baker not responsible once the cake leaves their immediate control".
I LOVE SPS! I used to use the center dowel and I always felt it would help. After I had a cake mishap similar to yours, I knew I needed to find something more stable. With the SPS system I never have to worry at all about the cake falling or tipping or anything happening to it. Just my opinion!
Such as shame was a great cake. Here is my method and I have never had a cake slide to date:
- I use a wooden base board and fix the central dowel to it (drill a hole, glue and screw so its solid)
- Each cake board (for each tier ) has a hole just a tiny bit bigger than the diameter of the central dowel (do this before you put the cake on it)
- ice and decorate cake then dowel each tier (I use wooden dowels) Use one of the dowels to make a guide hole in the centre of the cake.
- Thread the cakes onto the central dowel using royal icing to stick each tier to the next.
I don't think the support system was the issue here. The clue, "buckled in" is a clear indicator the cake was on a seat, most likely had a slant or slope. You can see by the pic the cake was tilted and not on a level surface.
Every time I take a cake order, and then again when I deliver or have a cake picked up, I ALWAYS tell them the cake MUST be transported on a level surface. It needs to either be the trunk of a car or back of a van or suv, or the front passenger floor (depending on size of space needed for cake).