Icing Slid Off Wedding Cake

Decorating By mcdonald Updated 4 Jun 2008 , 4:00pm by indydebi

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mcdonald Posted 26 May 2008 , 9:52pm
post #1 of 22

I have been doing cakes for a long time and this week end was my first real disaster. After staying up til 3:00 am and up again at 5:30 to finish, we went to deliver a wedding cake for 150 people. The humidity index here in Texas yesterday was 100%. Well, the air was all the way down in the car and about 15 minutes away I turned around to look and icing was falling off the sides of the cake. Then the groom's cake was in my lap (husband driving) and we looked down at it and the icing was sliding off the side of it. Of course I didn't have all my tools but fixed it as best I could. I cried all the way home. I have never been so embarrassed, disappointed in all my life. I obviously did not take payment for the cake because I didn't feel right.

I don't want to do another cake for a long time after this. I am so discouraged.......

21 replies
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Texas_Rose Posted 26 May 2008 , 10:13pm
post #2 of 22

I've had that happen (not to a wedding cake though because I haven't made one in summer). It's the weather here, it's not your fault. Adding meringue powder to your buttercream will help a little bit, using crisco and butter flavoring instead of using any butter in your buttercream helps too. Fondant seems to hold up better than buttercream in the summertime...I don't have air conditioning in my car and I took my sister's cake to her on Mother's day and it wasn't affected by the heat at all on the trip over.

The other day when I was in Walmart, I noticed that the borders were sliding off of their cakes, the ones in the center aisle, not the bakery case. It really is just the weather here.

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mcdonald Posted 27 May 2008 , 2:30pm
post #3 of 22

thank you for your kind words!!!!

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TooMuchCake Posted 27 May 2008 , 4:02pm
post #4 of 22

I'm so sorry this happened to you!!!! {hug} I'm in Texas too, and delivered two cakes for a wedding on Saturday. It was SO hot in the reception hall that the coconut-pecan icing on the groom's cake started to look gooey. It's in my contract that once we photograph the cakes and leave the venue, they aren't my problem any more. Thankfully, the bride emailed me Sunday and said everything was fine and they were very happy.

One wedding I did the cake for, the icing slid off. This was the only time that's happened to me, and it freaked me out. (It also prompted the "icing experiment" cake in my pics.) The venue staff were terrific. They moved the cake table against the wall so that the repaired side was against the wall so it didn't look so bad. I actually got sick to my stomach over this cake and called the venue during the reception to ask one of the staffers to peek in and see if the cake was okay. It was.

Moral of the story - take all the tools necessary to make repairs, extra icing, a camera... And understand that some things really ARE out of our control.


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mcdonald Posted 27 May 2008 , 6:10pm
post #5 of 22

I'm glad to hear (not in a mean way!!) that this has happened to someone else. It made me sick to my stomach also!!! I was afraid to call and check... just didn't want to know I guess. I emailed the bride's mom this morning and haven't heard back from her but I think she isn't at work today so we will see. I am hoping she sends me something to cover my costs but if she doesn't I totally understand... what a nightmare!!!

Thank goodness this wasn't outside!!! It would have lasted 10 minutes after I fixed it!!!

Thanks ya'll for listening...I just hate to have people think that is my work!!

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harlemcakelady Posted 27 May 2008 , 6:52pm
post #6 of 22

Don't quit! This is what my husband told me this past Sunday when I had my own disaster.

The four tier cake was ready to go. I wake up in the morning to find that all the buttercream icing had cracked. I also had a big gash in the top tier as if someone pushed it from the inside out.

I took it apart and re-iced it. I figured I'll just stack it at the reception. To make things worse, my husband put his fingers through the side of the cake by mistake, the middle tier slid and the top tier ended up with a hole in the side. The cake looked awful. Between the anxiety attack to follow by asthma attack afterward, to patching up this monstrosity I called a cake I also quit.

Do not be discouraged. One cake does not cancel out all the other beautiful cakes you've done.

I had Crisco buttercream melting on my cake. I couldn't believe it. Then the manager tells me the wedding is off and then on again.

This cake was doomed from the beginning.

You are not the first and you won't be the last. Look at is as learning experience and continue to move forward.

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planetsomsom Posted 27 May 2008 , 10:45pm
post #7 of 22

I worry about that happening. I haven't made nearly enough cakes for that to happen yet. But I did find SOMEWHERE a helpful chart that listed different kinds of icing, what temperature/humidity they should never experience and how long it can stay out before going bad. Wish I could remember where it is.

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cheeseball Posted 28 May 2008 , 12:30am
post #8 of 22

I used to think that fondant was the never fail in high heat and humidity, until I walked into the room to see a literal puddle around the base of the cake I had just covered icon_cry.gif. I figure that the lesson was that when it's that humid, ya can't refrigerate the cake and then cover it, because the condensation plus humidity is a recipe for disaster. I think that fondant holds up once it's had a chance to dry on the outside, but if it's so humid that it can't dry, yikes! I had to scrape everything off and was shocked to find that regular ol' buttercream (with no added liquid except for vanilla) held up perfectly! icon_rolleyes.gif Time will heal you, but I'll admit that episode had me really rattled and took months to get over!

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crazy4sugar Posted 28 May 2008 , 1:30am
post #9 of 22
Originally Posted by mcdonald

I turned around to look and icing was falling off the sides of the cake.....

God, that's so awful...I'm sorry that happened to you! It was completely out of your control and you did nothing wrong.

Last August I had all my fondant melt right off my 3D boat cake. It was such a horrible feeling because I couldn't save it -- After the panic, I just sat there and watched the cake fall apart. icon_cry.gif

I'm better now (after lots of psychotherapy) thumbs_up.gif

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cupsncakes Posted 28 May 2008 , 12:57pm
post #10 of 22

I'm so sorry that this happened to you, I think that you did all you could in the situation you were in. I've really been wanting to do a buttercream cake like all the beautiful ones Ive seen on this site, (most Australian decorators don't do them due to our extreme weather) now I'm thinking twice! Fondant often looks great on the outside when it's really hot, but sometimes it's a mystery what's going on underneath. I once did a traditional fruit wedding cake covered in fondant on a 50C (yes 50! I don't know what that is in fahrenheit, but it's REALLY hot). The outside of the cake looked great, but it wasn't able to be cut up and bagged for the guests because on the inside it was sweating and it had gone soft like Christmas pudding. The bride was great though, (what else could she do on a 50C day??) She just took it home, went on her honeymoon and then sliced it and delivered it to her friends and family a week later. By then it had cooled down and 'set' again.

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mbh724 Posted 28 May 2008 , 1:05pm
post #11 of 22

The Wilton website has two recipes for high humidity buttercream icing. Maybe that would help.

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BlueRoseCakes Posted 28 May 2008 , 1:13pm
post #12 of 22

The heat was probably the main factor, but I'm wondering if you were using trans-fat free crisco/shortening? (I know it's pretty much common knowledge by now, but just to check). I had a very similar problem with the first wedding cake I did, though it was in a cooler month. Turns out it was the trans-fat free crisco I didn't even know I was using.

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harlemcakelady Posted 28 May 2008 , 5:17pm
post #13 of 22

My icing use to be great. Never problems with melting or cracking until I started using the crisco no trans fat version.

I find that the icing is not behaving the same way. I think I will be switiching to the hi-ratio shortening.

I am not willing to have another cake disaster because of icing. It was an awful feeling. icon_cry.gif

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southerncake Posted 28 May 2008 , 5:35pm
post #14 of 22

I was wondering the same thing with the trans-fat. I had this happen with two different cakes last summer. One was for a very wealthy client that I really wanted to impress with this fancy cake she had ordered. I was mortified!! I then discovered it was the Crisco, I switched to hi-ratio, and I have never looked back!!

I'm so sorry this happened to you though! Keep your chin up and try again!

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strawberry0121 Posted 28 May 2008 , 5:46pm
post #15 of 22

I'm so sorry! That really stinks!

I get sick to my stomach every time I have to drive a cake down the mountain we live on, so I understand!

I haven't bitten the bullet yet and gone hi-ratio, but I like the Walmart brand of regular shortening. It is thick and creamy and still has trans fat (dark blue label). There is a trans fat free version, too. But if you don't want to bite the bullet yet, try it out on a test cake and see what you think. I have also heard that adding Dream Whip (I think that's what it's called) can help offset the new Crisco.

Just keep caking!!!!

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kayleighlovesjacob Posted 28 May 2008 , 5:51pm
post #16 of 22

I'm so sorry for your unfortunate disaster, the same thing happened to me this past weekend. I am very new to cake decorating... and I live in texas so I was very prone to lots of disasters. I made a practice cake that held up just fine and then the next day I made the real cake. It was supposed to be a purse but because of the humidity the next day after it was all finished it split in half and I even had the joy of watching it fall apart... all I could do ws laugh b/c that's just my luck... luckily I had about 6 hours to make another one and that one started to split too! That time I wanted to cry but I was able to "save" it by laying it down even though it looked like crap... I tried to give them the money back but they wouldn't take it... so don't worry it's just good ol Texas weather... not you don't give up yet!

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harlemcakelady Posted 28 May 2008 , 5:51pm
post #17 of 22

Thanks. I thought I was going crazy.

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cakebaker1957 Posted 28 May 2008 , 6:34pm
post #18 of 22

Hey i try to shake these things off , especially when i watch Ace of Cakes and they have mishaps , but it still bothers you if we didnt care about our cakes it wouldnt bother us, we love or cakes and want them to look and taste good , hang in there,

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projectqueen Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 2:51am
post #19 of 22

DON'T QUIT!!!!!!

I'm sorry this happened to you, but I think if every cake decorator who ever had a disaster quit there wouldn't be a single cake decorator anywhere. icon_wink.gif

You did your absolute best, everything else was out of your control.

Now take a deep breath and go bake a cake!!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

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shadowgypsie Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 3:49am
post #20 of 22

My bad Icing day was last Friday and Saturday. I had two wedding cakes going out an hour apart, thank god they were simple cakes because I couldn't get the Butter cream Icing to stick to my cakes. What was even worse both cakes had a layer of red Velvet as the middle tier, which bled through the icing Friday night so I had to try and re-ice the cakes. no matter what I did the icing wouldn't stick to the cakes.

No offense but I don't even live in Texas, I am in Georgia. After my day of icing trouble I really feel for ya. But don't give up. some day we will come across the perfect weather resistant icing.

Just got to have faith in the icing gods.

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emrldsky Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 3:49pm
post #21 of 22

I'm sorry that happened to you!!!

My sister-in-law's wedding cake had some real problems, and it wasn't due to the weather. Her reception was in an air-conditioned venue and it was a nice June day in Indiana, and the icing on the back of the cake POPPED off because the cake bulged. She didn't see it until it was time to cut it.

But you know what? It wasn't the end-all of her day. We might think of that cake as the most important part because that's what we (not I...I stick to hobby cakes) do, but most brides don't (not to diminish our hard work, of course). icon_wink.gif

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indydebi Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 4:00pm
post #22 of 22

It sounds like this was the weekend for it. I had a 4 tier cake, bottom 3 basketweaved (which held up fine ... crusted great) but I had some slight sliding issues on the top tier.

ANd it was totally my own fault. I ran out of p.sugar when making the icing and was just a little short. So the fat-to-sugar-ratio was off ... too much fat in relationship to the amount of sugar. So against my better judgement, I thought, "Oh it will be fine!"


It was just a little icing that slid ... and it was of course on the FRONT of the top tier!! I mooshed it together, pointed it out to the bride and said, "We had a little melting right here today" and she said "oh it looks ok!" and proceeded to do the cake cutting.

So lesson learned .... no matter how short I am on sugar ... it IS worth a trip to the store to pick up another little 2 lb bag!

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