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First wedding cake disaster - Page 3

post #31 of 41
I agree with peg818. The one cake I had that sunk and cracked was a 16, 12, 8. I used cardboard circles and it sat on display for probably six hours. By the time we cut it I noticed the back of the bottom tier was collapsing and had a large crack going down it. Lucky for me hardly anyone noticed since it was on the back and I was serving the cake.

As I worked my way down the tiers while serving it, I noticed how soggy the cardboard circles were. The circle under the 12 inch had two of the dowels from the bottom cake poking up through it so the weight of the 12 inch was squishing the one below it. I'm amazed actually that it didn't look worse from the outside once I saw what was going on with the structure inside.

That experience taught me not to rely on cardboard. I now use foam core wrapped in plastic wrap, still use wood for my dowels and have not had a problem since.

Please don't get discouraged, cake stability is a common challenge for us newbies. You have the knack for making beautiful cakes, now you just need to learn the tricks of the trade!
post #32 of 41
Don't be too hard on yourself... it was your first really big cake. Chin up and next time use a better support system like the SPS (single plate system) by Bakery Crafts. It's in expensive and VERY VERY sturdy and you won't have sinkage issues. That's what it looks like happened... either a dowel wasn't in perfectly straight and is slid or the dowels started to go through the cardboard cake board and the pressure of the top tiers crushed the backside of the cake causing it to fracture off.

Everyone makes cake mistakes... it's a part of life. Now you know better for next time. No matter what you do now, she is going to mouth off about it, so make her the free cake you offered and don't think about it anymore. ((hugs))
post #33 of 41
soobsessedwithcake the cake was lovely,you did your best at that tme and if the ungrateful bride couldn't see that, it's her problem.
Judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.
Judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.
post #34 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the positive words!

I did use an inner circle and outer circle with the dowels and I don't think it was because my cake boards had too much moisture because they were covered in plastic contact paper. I do believe the cake itself was just too moist and my dowels must not have been all perfectly even and the weight just caused a crack.

I thought about using a plastic support system but since I was not sure if I would continue to do wedding cakes the cost was too much for me to pay at the time. However, now I am thinking I should have just done it and been safe rather than sorry. Live and learn I guess.

The bride wasn't horrible to me, pretty nice compared to some I have read about. Just one of those that are nice to you and then say little things behind your back. I hate to have my name associated with a bad cake happening before I even really get my name out there ya know. OH well what can you do. It is over with and I must move on.

Thanks again for all he help and support! It really means a lot!
post #35 of 41
okay, I just started decorating and I can't tell you that I've experienced the same thing but I can say this: that cake was adorable! I know that as a new caker (really I just started baking as well--quite a bit for learning at once) I'm still in the "wow that's amazing, i wish i could do that!" stage and that cake made me feel like that as well. I can say that I had worse things than that happen to me at my wedding; dj cancelled 3 days before, found out that flowers weren't being delivered, and more. Please keep it up, it was an awesome looking cake...don't let one entitled bride burst your bubble!
I've definitely been bitten by the caking bug. My boss called me one night after work (not a normal thing)- I saw the caller id and thought "maybe she needs me to make her another cake!!!!
I've definitely been bitten by the caking bug. My boss called me one night after work (not a normal thing)- I saw the caller id and thought "maybe she needs me to make her another cake!!!!
post #36 of 41
I really love this cake. So classy and beautiful. I would have never guessed it was your first wedding cake. I definatley think you should keep on cakin'!!!!!!
more cake pictures at!
more cake pictures at!
post #37 of 41
It is a really nice cake!

I do agree with Peg818, it looks to me like the tender layers started to pull apart from the dowels. All you need was for 1 of the dowels to slip and the weight would cause a collapse.

Also, how long had it been from baking to icing the cake... tender layers really need to be stone cold before you start putting dowels in. (I stick with pound cake, it can take a lot more abuse.)

I just do this as a hobby, but either way it does get better. I hate every cake I do while I am doing it and swear I'll never do another. Soon as it is done that all goes right out the window. Kinda like childbirth!
post #38 of 41
MBHazel-Your so right! Much like childbirth. I've had a few cakes that made me swear I'd never do it again. But oh when they're done....awww it was worth it!

Soobsessed-I predict you'll take some time to bounce back and then you'll be at it again.
post #39 of 41
hmmm, the cake is so pretty, what is used on top for the letter. By looking at the cake, it looks like someone moved that second layer and then tried to fix it, if it would have collapsed then the front wouldn't have detached itself so much, its like it got shifted and then someone tried to push it back.
post #40 of 41
I totally agree with Tiredmomx4. The third layer has been moved, you can see where the bottom border has been pulled off from the cake itself but is still attached to the layer under it. That cake was moved. I would bet they tried to pull the top 3 layers off to make it easier to move and then when they tried to put them back on they squished the bottom cake.

It's always easier to blame the person who isn't there, that would be you icon_sad.gif

It was a VERY beautiful cake. You should be proud of the work you did, it's wonderful.
post #41 of 41
You did an excellent job decorating your first cake.
The 3rd tier slid, probably due to support collapsing in the base tier.
One thing I have not seen mentioned is how did you place the 3rd tier on the bottom tier? If you slid it at all it can knock your dowels sideways. Even a small shift in the dowels can weaken your support and no one needs to bump or move the table or cake to make it collapse. Also if your dowels don't go in 100% straight they can shift as the cake sits. 10 dowels placed in two circles is probably not as supportive as one in the center and 9 in a larger circle. With a firm board the 12" would do well with dowels in a 9 or 10 " circle under it. You can even use a 9 or 10 inch pan to keep your circle consistent.
Another thing I have not seen mentioned is the table itself. Did you check to see if the table was level before you set the cake up? It floors me how m any venues are surprised when I pull out my level to check the table. I can't believe that's not the first thing everyone checks. If the table isn't level the cake won't be level no matter how well you supported it. If you didn't check it can you get back into the venue to check the area or the table to see if it sits level?
Please don't take any of this wrong. I only want to help you not have this problem in the future. You shouldn't be afraid to do weddings - you did a beautiful job with this one. Much better than my first wedding! Figuring out what went wrong will give you more confidence the next time, whether it's a bday or a wedding.

You mentioned having someone sign that the cake was standing when you left. Just my opinion but I think that is worthless unless you can prove the cake or table was moved. It is our responsibility to make sure the cake is supported correctly and that the table is level. Cakes can fall after the decorator leaves even if no one is in the building. If a dowel is crooked or gets bumped the cake could stand for quite some time before something gives.
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