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My first cake disaster :( :(

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I had my first major cake disaster today, and I'm trying to figure out what went wrong. I was trying to recreate the Coach Cake in my photos and it just flopped. The only good part was the bow! icon_confused.gif

When I got to my destination, the icing was starting to slide down the sides of the cake. I'm using Indydebi's recipe, so I don't think it's the recipe...granted it is about 100 down here in Louisiana today. I suspect that it is either because 1) I had the icing too thick on the cake or 2) I tried to transport the cake too quickly after assembly or 3) the cake was chocolate.

The cakes were baked yesterday and room temperature when iced. I waited until this morning to fill, ice and decorate.

I'm a little nervous b/c I have several family events this month and now I'm worried that those cakes will flop too icon_redface.gif Can anyone give suggestions on timing? Should I always aim to complete a cake the day before it is due? I waited until this morning b/c I was worried the cake would look dried out if I finished it yesterday. icon_sad.gif


Any suggestions are appreciated. TIA
post #2 of 27
I'm not professional at all but I always complete my cakes the day before the event - especially if they will be transported. The one time that I didn't do this, I had problems with the cake. I personally think they need time to settle and firm-up a bit.
post #3 of 27
You say the cakes were baked yesterday but iced today? Where were they stored before you iced them? Why you had issues I have no idea...sounds like you did everything right. I've just started using indydebi's recipe but it holds up to heat really well...maybe 100 was just too much for any icing to stand up to for any length of time. I have no idea if refridgerating would have helped or not. The reason I ask about where you stored the cakes is due to your "dry" question. I have heard that storing a non frosted cake, even well wrapped in the fridge can dry it out. I freeze mine after cooling, double wrapped, and then fill/crumbcoat them the next day and let them sit for 3 hours to settle before the final coat of buttercream or fondant. My cakes are always very moist and never dry. I'm sure someone here will tell you about what may have happened and how you may have been able to prevent it but with that high of heat it just may be too hot for a cake to withstand any time out in the heat. Good luck!

Cat
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. The cakes were wrapped on the counter overnight.

so I just iced a small cake b/c I had extra batter from the first cake and the icing is "sagging" down on this one too...it hasn't gotten to the point where the cake is exposed though...

My A/c is at 76 and I don't find it humid in the house. I haven't brought this one outside but I have a feeling it would do the same.

would crumb coating help and then putting the buttercream on thinner???

I have two baby shower cakes to make in a couple weeks and I'm terrified that the same thing will happen...HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! icon_cry.gif
post #5 of 27
I think your cakes are just too "tender" to hold the icing well. My only real cake disaster to date was under just such circumstances - minus the heat (and humidity). I made a cake in the morning, iced it in buttercream and put about a month's worth of gumpaste flowers on top (it was my MIL's 102nd birthday, and I was just learning to make gumpaste flowers). She only lives about six blocks from me, but by the time I got the cake to the car, it had totally fallen apart. I always bake my cakes at least two, and usually three, days in advance, freeze them for a day or two, and thaw, unwrap, crumb-coat and ice (or cover with fondant) at least the day before. Cakes really do need time to settle before being iced and again before they're moved after being iced. The trick for keeping them fresh is to ice them as soon as you unwrap them, so you don't lose any moisture. I wish you the best in solving this problem, because know just how frustrating this can be!
Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
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Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
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post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
I suppose I should add that I used Sweetex to the make the icing...not Crisco.

I've been searching the forums and it seems like others have had issues with chocolate cakes, but I'm not seeing how to "fix" the problem...
post #7 of 27
I have no idea what difference Sweetex would have on the icing...I used Crisco and it seems to stand up to the heat well. Maybe it was too thin? I always do a thinner crumbcoat first then let the cake settle for 3 hours while it comes to room temp and then add a regular stiffness buttercream on the outside....not as stiff than what I use for roses but not as thin as the crumbcoat...about a medium stiffness. I wonder if your buttercream had been thinned down too much to hold up to the heat?

Cat
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
My husband (being the cake expert that he is) thinks my icing may have been too thick....I consider it medium - couldn't make a rose with it but would thin in if I wanted to write with it...

Thanks for your replies!
post #9 of 27
So sorry about your cake. I freeze my cakes after baking. Let the layers thaw in the wrapping, then level, torte and fill. I use an icing dam between the layers. Then I crumb coat and let them sit for about 3 hours before the final coat. I just made a 3 teir wedding cake and two of them were chocolate. The cake was in the car for the 25 miles I had to drive. It was between 85 and 90 degrees outside. I did put the cakes in the frige for about hrs before I left. They had to be taken in individual boxes because it had pillars. Since I started using the icing dam, I have not had a problem.
MYW
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MYW
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post #10 of 27
Southernswthrt....I am in Louisiana so wanted to throw in my 2 cents worth. I ALWAYS crumb coat and let set overnight in the frig to "settle". I ice and decorate the next day. I have iced the same day if I had HOURS in between crumb coating and icing...but I usually never do. I travel with tiered cakes all the time and have never had my icing fall. I do not use IndyDebi's, but it is a very good recipe for our heat here in Louisiana. I actually use a 1/2 shortening, 1/2 butter recipe, so if anyone, I am asking for disaster! LOL. Your icing may not be too thick, but I think since you are not crumb coating (not that everyone does), you are putting too much on. Hope your next ones work out for you!!!
Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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post #11 of 27
Have you tried a little meringue powder in you icing. This really helps when you have to deal with heat and humidity. I too agree with the freezing the cake after cool and then thawing the day before you need the cake. After thawing, give it a crumb-coat and let set to settle. Then add final coat of icing.
post #12 of 27
some tips already mentioned i use too. one routine that helps mine stand up better is:

when the cake comes out of the oven take a dish towel and drape over across the cake and press down gently till you feel resistance (cake is still in the pan at this time icon_smile.gif). this helps especially if the cake comes out uneven. the other benefit to this is it compresses the airpockets in the cake and makes it all around sturdier and more stable. less spongey.

then as others have said- wrap and freeze. some do this when absolutely cool or give it sometime to cool then freeze.

i then crumb coat (making sure you've added your filling too if you are)

then i toss mine back in the freezer again for about oh 15 min to an hour depending how long it needs to firm up good. then remove and ice.

then i like to take my cake knife, dip in HOT water, tap knife to remove excess water then smooth icing to desired finish.

then i allow the cake to come to room temp - you'll notice it "sweating" at this point and then it dries. i dont like to do this if i've used dark colors for the icing such as red or black though. if you are using these shades some "repair" or smoothing etc after the "drying" time is over may be needed. most of this you'll find what works best for you. no one method is key for everyone.

hope some of this helps
i've gone crazy~ but it keeps me from going insane! heheheh
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i've gone crazy~ but it keeps me from going insane! heheheh
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post #13 of 27
good point, i forgot to add meringue powder to my list above lol. now days with crisco the way it is- etc its a must for warm weather.
i've gone crazy~ but it keeps me from going insane! heheheh
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i've gone crazy~ but it keeps me from going insane! heheheh
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post #14 of 27
FYI....Meringue powerder is not required. I ommited it a long time ago from my recipe. I have cakes that sit out side and survive the Louisiana heat.
Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for the replies.

I think I will try crumbcoating...Can I leave a cake out overnight if it is crumbcoated?
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