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Sorry..this site is not working well on my phone. U can see how the cake leaned to the left. I have 3 dowels in the bottom tier but none in the top. I didn't think it needed them, being that the minnie mouse hat is made of Styrofoam!
I think 3 dowels arnt enough for the bottom tier. what size is the upper tier. i would have placed four or five. in the upper tier atleast 2 to hold up minis head/hat. although its styro, the fondant is heavy . thats my opinion.
Did you cut the dowels all to the same size?
I also find 3 tricky because if one fails there is no support at all as a cake can't rest on 2 dowels. Put 4 at least. And they have to be ALL THE SAME LENGTH.
While I never use less than 4-5 dowels even in a small two tier, I am not sure the problem is your doweling. I can't be certain from the picture, but it doesn't really look like the lower tier has been compressed by the weight of the upper tier, it looks like something happened in the top tier itself...note how the side is bulged out. What was the cake/filling of the top tier. Looks like either the cake was too soft or too much filling was used and the weight of the fondant crushed the tier.
How was the cake stored, and how long after completion did this happen?
@Jeff_Arnett you've got a point there. To me it looks like a combination of the two: too much weight from the ears/ fondant causing one dowel to shift (maybe it wasn't straight or too short) and then the top cake itself. Not sure if it's the filling, could also be air bubbles. If you look at the front there is another huge air bubble at the upper edge (and that can't be the filling!).
Is your top tier on a board? If not, perhaps it sunk a bit?
Ahh. I see. The bottom was a 10" (3" high) top 8" (4" high)
Yes they were all the same length. I see your point now with at least 4
Hmmmm...the frosting was wilton's bc recipe, medium consistency. I think nku I kept the layers of it fairly thin, but who knows? Maybe too much?
Yes, There was a huge air bubble that appeared in the front to begin with. Sorry, I didn't even mention that. Do you think it was all related to that? If so, how did it happen?
The top tier is on a board
@3cupcakes, this was kept in the refrigerator for 3 days at most while decorating
Are you sure each layer was level? Could it be uneven layers? Also when fondant 1st came around we were advised to never frig it. I'm wondering of your 3 days of moisture in the frig softened the fondant allowing for air pockets that resulted in your bubbles. I cannot understand why people are putting a b'cream crumb coated cake in the frig - especially if you are going to cover that w/fondant. The b'cream needs to be fresh (sticky) for the fondant to stick to it so no air pockets/bubbles form. Again, I was taught to immediately cover b'cream w/fondant. And learned from experience that fondant smoothers do a much better job of adhering the fondant to the b'cream than using your hands to rub all over.
I had never heard of putting fondant right onto the cake after frosting. I usually do my cakes in stages (bake one day, make frosting the next, tort and frost the next, decorate the next) because I work full time. Maybe I'll try your way next, but I feel like I've always done my cakes this way and never had this big of an issue with bubbling! And I always use my fondant smoother, but I guess I also find myself using my hands.
So you would NOT refrigerate a fondant-covered cake? I'm not sure how I can avoid that...
Thank you everyone for your suggestions and thoughts! I was mortified! I hope using your suggestions will prevent this from happening again!
I always ice the cake, cover it in fondant right away, let it sit around to see if any air bubbles are going to form after a few hours, then refrigerate it.
I vote with the group that says that something happened to the top tier itself, not to the bottom one. The bottom tier doesn't look messed up at all, and if a dowel collapsed in it there would be some shifting of the fondant and decorations. The top tier is the one that's doing something wonky, like it's collapsing on itself.
What kind of filling was in the top tier? Someone asked that but I didn't see an answer, unless you meant that it was also filled with the Wilton recipe buttercream.
@costumeczar, It was all filled with wilton's bc frosting
Does anyone have a link to share that can teach me how to properly dowel the tiers so that this doesn't happen again?
If you do much reading on this site (and others) you will see that what works for one might not work for others:) I see costumczar learned the same way I did :) I have put some fondant covered cakes in the frig long after they were finished but not before. I don't use perishable fillings so there is no need for frig them unless you live in a very warm humid location. As for doweling put one in your cake, mark/note exactly where it meets the icing, remove and cut ALL being used in that tier to that size. Mark the size of the next plate/cakeboard and place dowels about 1" in from that edge. I prefere to use thick plastic drink straws and a minimum # so as to not destroy my cake with unnecessary holes. Be sure when you push them into the cake that they are *straight*. If they lean in any direction they will not hold up the other tiers. I usually push it in about 1" turn the cake completely around (on my turntable) making sure it is straight, then repeat until they are completely pushed in.