My Living Nightmare

Decorating By BobbiA Updated 29 Aug 2008 , 3:25am by Tashablueyes

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BobbiA Posted 24 Aug 2008 , 6:15am
post #1 of 20

So I decided to make this really cool cake I saw here on Cake Central - a beer barrel birthday cake for my hubby and his brother. This was really important to me. My 12 yr old daughter helped me with it so it was a really special cake.

I've made cakes before, I know what I'm doing. I know all the little secrets....well obviously I don't. I asked different people on tips to make the sugar bottles. I couldn't believe how easy they were. I made a few of them just in case something horrible happened. I made the cakes on Wednesday so they wouldn't be too soft when I stacked them. I torted them and frosted them. I let it sit just to make sure if anything happened I could fix it. So far so good. Slowly and patiently I rolled my fondant and lovingly placed it on the cake. Still going great. I brushed on the color then added the bands around the barrel. PERFECT!! I put the labels on the bottles. Oooohhhh it looks soooo cool!!!! I cut holes in the top of the cake to slide the bottles into. Still good. I added the rock candy......WOW this is the BEST cake I have EVER made!!! I was so proud of myself. I cleaned up the edges and took my pictures and placed it in the fridge. My daughter and I downloaded the pics and were beginning to upload them to CC and I heard the sound every caker dreads. The sound of something falling. I thought it was some of the rock candy falling off. Nope. The whole cake fell apart!!!!!! So silly me, I thought I'd put string around it to hold it together until tomorrow when I could try and salvage it. HAHA what a joke!!!! It just made it worse.

I want to cry....more than I already have. My hubby didn't even get to see it. He was asleep and got up to see how it was going only to find me and our daughter in tears in front of the fridge. What went wrong????

19 replies
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lynda-bob Posted 24 Aug 2008 , 6:30am
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icon_sad.gif Oooh Sorry this happened to you. I've never made one of these, but I do make lots of cakes that have 'heavy' stuff on them. Did you have support under the bottles some kind of way? I always put some kind of straws or something under my heavier toppers. I'm sure someone with more experience in this particular type of cake could better tell you what went wrong... Anybody?

Sorry again,

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kayla1505 Posted 24 Aug 2008 , 6:30am
post #3 of 20

omg that is just soo horrible!!i saw your pic and it was soo good i hope you cant fix it some how

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GenGen Posted 24 Aug 2008 , 6:34am
post #4 of 20

what did you use for the cake? was it mix or scratch. i wonder if =-if it was from mix- if that was too spongy- too soft to hold the weight of the fondant. ... more experienced members will know soon.

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ClassyMommy Posted 24 Aug 2008 , 6:34am
post #5 of 20

What a bummer! I don't really have an answer for what happened because I am new to cake making, but I figured I could offer some sympathy. How did everything turn out?

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GenGen Posted 24 Aug 2008 , 6:35am
post #6 of 20

btw it sounds lovely icon_smile.gif just show your hubby the pic with the cake bits and tell him this is before and after, and btw it still tastes the same lol icon_smile.gif

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steph95 Posted 24 Aug 2008 , 6:50am
post #7 of 20

I don't have any words of wisdom, just thoughts of sympathy. You should be extremely proud of yourself. You did a fantastic job on it. I would have been in tears, too.

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panchanewjersey Posted 24 Aug 2008 , 6:57am
post #8 of 20

I'll cry with you, I just went through that just 2 days ago my Mario Brothers cake fell apart as I was delivering it. I wanted to scream my head off and give up on cakes. lol Funny now but it wasn't then. I forgot to put a dowel through both cakes once I put top tier on. Sorry to hear about it, it was real nice though.

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SweetResults Posted 24 Aug 2008 , 7:29am
post #9 of 20

Oh Bobbi how heartbreaking!!! You did such a wonderful job too! You really got the bottles down perfect and the labels are amazing.

I wish I had an explanation, but all I can do is cry with you! Do you have any time to re-bake? All that hard work - you poor thing!!! Looks like you need a REAL beer to go with your cake icon_sad.gif

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CakesByJen2 Posted 24 Aug 2008 , 2:25pm
post #10 of 20

So sorry that happened, but at least you got pictures of the finished cake to show. It looked really nice; I would've thought those were real beer bottles. How did you do the labels? Are the bottles life-size? Very cool!

Maybe if you post an "after" picture, someone could give you a better idea of what went wrong. I would guess it has to do with the weight of the bottles, the angle they are put in, and he holes cut into the cake. I know you have to have the holes to secure the bottles, but it does create a weak spot, and with the angle the outer bottles are at, it may focus too much stress and cause the cake to crack. Was the cake chilled before you cut the holes and put the bottles in? I would be sure the cake was chilled to firm it up, amybe line the hole with fondant or BD and chill again for more structure and support, and put the bottle more upright. If the bottles are very heavy they may need dowels.

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BobbiA Posted 24 Aug 2008 , 3:25pm
post #11 of 20

To address all who have respond with questions and sympathy.......

The cake was made from scratch. I probably should have known better with this particular recipe. In the past this cake is a pretty sturdy cake - moist but really sturdy. I thought the mere fact I made them so early in the week that they would have firmed up more. Usually this recipe does.

The bottles are life-sized and some actually have bottoms so they stand on their own if I wanted them to. In fact, hubby was picking up his beer bottles one evening and grabbed a sugar one to toss out.

My co-worker helped me with the labels. We scanned in the labels and he did some computer magic. Thank goodness for graphic designers and modern day technology!!!

There is no way I can salvage my cake. It looks like it was dropped on the floor. It fell more over night even after I took out the bottle and some of the candy. I do have time to rebake but no time or enough fondant to recover so I'm making a flat cake (and keeping it in the pan!!!!) and making that look like a cooler of ice. I had to make another bottle and didn't have enough corn syrup so I may have to use one of my practice bottles.

I do have to give the hubby some kind words. This morning I started all over and he actually said it was no big deal, not to worry about it that he and his brother didn't need a cake. That just makes me more determined to do it all over.

Oh and SweetResults - I was looking for a beer to drink but hubby drank them all!!!!!!

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seasonsmoke Posted 25 Aug 2008 , 1:18am
post #12 of 20

Oh how upsetting. I would cry to. It is really good to hear that your husband was supportive in his own way. I'm sure when you do re-make the cake it will be even better then the 1st one.

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-K8memphis Posted 25 Aug 2008 , 1:31am
post #13 of 20

Wait wait did you have any supports in there???

It's way way awesome and how very very cool that you had the presence of mind to get a great photo!!!!

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indydebi Posted 25 Aug 2008 , 1:40am
post #14 of 20

I've never made a cake this awesome but wanted to tell you what a great job you did on it .... the detail is incredible!!

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BlakesCakes Posted 25 Aug 2008 , 2:32am
post #15 of 20

Oh, my! That was one cute cake--your bottles are superb.

I think your cake was crushed to death by the extreme weight of the sugar bottles and sugar ice. icon_cry.gif Toghether, those 2 elements probably weighed nearly as much as the rest of the cake.

Sadly, other decorators have found out in the same manner that full sugar bottles can be too much of a good thing. The compromise has been to just do half bottles (just from the label up).

I think if I were to do this type of cake with full bottles, I'd actually core out the cake where the bottles would sit (wouldn't leave much cake, I guess) and then shore up the area by inserting a dried gum paste/pastillage "tube" into the hole and then putting the bottle into that--hope that makes sense. I think that way there'd be no stress on the cake, itself. I'd dowel the rest of the cake, put small pieces of cake board in between the bottles, and then cover that with the "ice".

If using half bottles, I'd dowel the cake, put down a cake board, stick the 1/2 bottles down with sugar, chocolate, or royal and then cover with "ice".

I don't know if this is helpful--just my .02

Happy Decorating!

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BobbiA Posted 25 Aug 2008 , 4:23am
post #16 of 20

I appreciate all the incoming advice for my next venture with this design. Everyone was impressed with the cake I did bring to the party. They all thought the bottle were real and I just changed the labels. Everyone was so impressed when hubby told them they were sugar. I took along the photo of what the original cake looked like and get this - I may have gotten a job out of it!!! My niece's boyfriend works for Budweiser and he said they'd love a cake like this for one of their parties!!!

P.S. Can you imagine the mess I would have had if the cake collapsed in my lap on the way to the party???

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jules06 Posted 25 Aug 2008 , 4:38am
post #17 of 20

I'm not sure if this contributed to your cake collapse or not( & what a fabulous cake it was !! ) but fondant shouldn't be put in the fridge - it gets all wet & sticky...fondant covered cakes are perfectly fine out of the fridge.

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SweetResults Posted 25 Aug 2008 , 1:01pm
post #18 of 20

Next time - don't put the bottles in until you get to the party, and I do cut out holes for them to sit in as well. I have never doweled the bottles, just the cake. Your bottles are hollow, right? I usually do full size bottles , but the are open on the bottom and hollow.

I hope you do try again as your bottles are superb!

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sadsmile Posted 26 Aug 2008 , 11:30pm
post #19 of 20
Originally Posted by SweetResults

Next time - don't put the bottles in until you get to the party, and I do cut out holes for them to sit in as well. I have never doweled the bottles, just the cake. Your bottles are hollow, right? I usually do full size bottles , but the are open on the bottom and hollow.

I hope you do try again as your bottles are superb!

That sounds like really good advice (I haven't even attempted this in my dreams) but it seems to make sence. Hey if the bottles are bottomless couldn't you just cram them into the cake and they would be like hollow straws and suport themselves?(with the exception of bottles that are really leaning)And if they are hollow and bottomless then could you also place a brown painted dowel through more of the cake and up through the bottle to support it?(as long as the dowel is supporting the top side of the leaned bottle and up inot the neck a bit) Can you tell I am interested in trying this one day?


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Tashablueyes Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 3:25am
post #20 of 20

My first thought was "oh no! Why didn't she wait to put everything on the top until right before the party?!" and then I read on... I am a cake weenie, so I always wait until the last minute to put any of the heavier deco on. I'm so glad you at least got pictures before it went down! It was an awesome cake!

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