I made a vegan groom's cake yesterday, which I thought would be pretty simple. It was supposed to be an old Macintosh computer, which is pretty much just a box shape. This was four 8" squares, stacked with dowels and boards between them, so it had plenty of support.
First I was going to cover it with black fondant, then white so that I could cut out the white to make the screen, but that was too heavy for the cake. (I never realized how soft the vegan cake was, and I've made a ton of them before. I guess I never did one for a shaped cake, though.) So I took the fondant off and let it sit for a while.
I then noticed that it was starting to tilt forward, so it wasn't "square" like it had started out. I pushed it back into place and nailed it into place with two dowels going all the way through the cake. Once it was secure I covered it with fondant again. After a while it started schlumping down so it wasn't as angular as I wanted it to be. So I took the fondant off again.
I put two boards on the sides of the cake to support it flat, and made a mental note to tell the person cutting it not to cut into the sides Covered it again with the fondant, this time it looked like it was going to stay in one place. I left it for a while again to see what would happen and went to deliver another cake.
Turns out that the bride who ordered the schlumpy cake was having her rehearsal at the same place I was delivering the cake yesterday, so I was able to take her aside and tell her that I was having issues with it, and not to cut into the side! She was fine with it, so at least I knew she'd been warned. I set up the other cake and went home to see what was going on with Mr. Schlump.
Sure enough, the sides were fine, but the front of the cake was bowing out. Being optimistic, I went ahead and drew the screen on it, but I didn't like the way it looked, so I cut the front off and cut the cake flat, and covered it with fondant again. It looked flat, so I drew the screen on again. I had been planning on making it much more elaborate, but the weight of the extra fondant pieces would have made it worse, so I just drew everything on with food coloring.
I decided to leave it out overnight to see what it would do, and of course it had bowed out slightly by the morning. I just threw in the towel at that point and stuck it in the fridge to get it cold before transporting it in the 94 degree heat. I took it over this afternoon, and I had my daughter with me. When I was setting it up some people from the wedding were hanging around, and they came over to watch. We were talking about the menu being vegan, so of course, I said "oh, this cake is kind of saggy, it's vegan and the cake is softer than I thought," etc. etc.
We left, but the reception was at the museum and my daughter wanted to look around, so we went into the museum for a while. When we were leaving we went past the room where I'd set up the cakes, and there were a bunch of people all huddled around the schlumpy little groom's cake TAKING PICTURES OF IT!! I was going "NO!! Don't photograph it!" it was so awful. I hope they thought it was cute, I'm convinced they were taking pictures so that the bride can sue me for giving her a crappy cake!
Wow, that cake gave you a run for your money!
I have never made a vegan cake. What do they taste like?
Do you have to make a special frosting?
I'm sure they were taking pictures because they loved it. You had spent so much time on it, it must have looked great.
Oh, I'm sure you are being too hard on yourself! It is always the people that are aware that it isn't perfect that freak out but did at least a passable job. The over-confident people are often the ones that have cakes that look like it is their 3rd cake *ever* and want to start a wedding cake business! Do you have a picture? I know it gets said over and over, but really most cake muggles don't see that, and only fellow cakers do. Maybe try to brush it with melted chocolate and refrigerate to keep it firm, or try not to cut off too much of the cooked edges.
AHHHH! I just figured it out! They were taking pictures to send it to cakewrecks!!!
Vegan cakes are usually a little crumblier, since you can't use eggs. This one was REALLY soft, though. Oh well, I'll just have to watch cakewrecks to see if it shows up!