My Cake Fell Apart!

Decorating By Rethy Updated 21 Jul 2009 , 2:35pm by Rethy

Rethy Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Rethy Posted 18 Jul 2009 , 7:45pm
post #1 of 10

I made the most beautiful pirate ship for my grandson's birthday. I had froze it to carve it, then I iced it, then I put it in the freezer and took it out a few days later to finish it up. It looked great! I went to the church to clean and when I came back the back side of the ship had fallen off! I fixed it the best I could. I figure it would be that noticable. I was transporting it over to the church to use their fridge, and when I got there, I opened the trunk and the cake had broke in 3 pieces. It was also split straight down the middle. It was nonrepairble. Could it have been something I did with freezing it? I know others that do this but don't seem ot have any problems. What could I have done wrong? I had dowel rods in it to support it. I am afraid the new one I am making will not be as nice looking as the other one and I am afraid I will get really frustrated. What should I do? I need answers quick, His BP is tomorrow afternoon. Please answer ASAP. Thanks!

9 replies
CutiePieCakes-Ontario Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 19 Jul 2009 , 3:30am
post #2 of 10

I am no expert by far, but I can repeat what I've read here.

Did you use a boxed cake mix, or make it from scratch. I haven't done a carved cake yet, but everything I've read here says scratch (esp. pound cake) holds up better to carving. Boxed mix is just not strong enough to keep its shape.

Maybe the "in and out of the freezer" did something to its integrity? I know some freeze their cakes before BC, but I don't recall anyone freezing, frosting, freezing ... but I could be wrong.

Most of all, all I can say is your grandson won't care what it looks like. He'll know grandma loved him enough to make a special cake. Only you'll remember the horror of opening the trunk to that sight ... and only you.


Unlimited Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Unlimited Posted 19 Jul 2009 , 8:14am
post #3 of 10
Originally Posted by Rethy

I opened the trunk and the cake had broke in 3 pieces.

What???? You put the cake in the trunk! I think that's the reason it fell apart. Sorry, but I thought everyone knew that was a no-no. Icing breaks down around 80 degrees... do you know how hot it can get in a trunkin the summer?

-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 19 Jul 2009 , 12:43pm
post #4 of 10

If it broke in three pieces even though you used dowel, it seems you still needed more inner structure. Evey 4-5 inches of height of cake you need the cardboard and dowel.

The trunk may or may not be an issue. I can lay down my back seats and my trunk is actually cooler because it gets no direct sunlight so that's a definite maybe but maybe not. My trunk is probably cooler than some bigger vehicles because my air can be more efficient.

The decor mighta pulled the cake apart.

And using cake mixes does not mean this will happen. I use lots of cake mix for sculptures.

You just gotta engineer the cake properly.

The top of the cake would be bigger than the bottom for a ship so the top is heavier so...

Very sorry you had that happen

Fully chill the cake before delivery--not frozen just fully chilled.

-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 19 Jul 2009 , 12:55pm
post #5 of 10

So you have to cheat on the sculpting somewhat--cheat the eye--I mean I'm just guessing on the potential error and trying to give some helps since you got the time crunch.

You gotta make the ship appear to be precariously smaller on the bottom as ships are but like there'd be cake there disguised as waves there to camoflage and provide support --stuff like that.

It can be smaller on the bottom but not too much and there has to be really good support --

You could even grab a little stack of cardboard circles or foam and carve out the small bottom so no worries of it not being stable. Then just ice it up of course.

Be careful of the weight you place on top--like if it was all buttercream iced then a fondant deck on top--lotsa weight--if it's also smaller on the bottom and not secure--it's gonna split.

Just guessing on some possible helps for you.

Hope it all works out for you--you can do it!!!

Rethy Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Rethy Posted 21 Jul 2009 , 1:38am
post #6 of 10

Thanks for all your suggestions. I did put 4 bags of ice around my cake where it would not touch it. I then pulled down the back seat to let air get back to the trunk. I was freezing in the car, I had to were a jacket. I was suprised about that. Anyway, I seen somewhere someone used sometype of thing called a fir. I don't know what that is, does anyone else? Once again thanks again.

Molly2 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Molly2 Posted 21 Jul 2009 , 1:56am
post #7 of 10

I just made a pirate ship cake this past weekend for my nephew (its in my Pics) I traveled 130 miles with this cake I used the WASC recipe and used dowels the cake was also covered with fondant if you used a box cake mix it may have been too soft and maybe you needed to use a denser cake for the ship I'm sorry this happend to you


Loucinda Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Loucinda Posted 21 Jul 2009 , 1:11pm
post #8 of 10

I am pretty sure it wasn't the cake mix - I use them all the time, and carve different cakes out of them all the time. It is the support system in the cake that more than likey was the problem.(as k8 said above) In this case, I think the bubble tea straws would work better than plain dowels, (since dowels displace cake and the straws do not) I am sorry this happened to you. icon_sad.gif

DenaB Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
DenaB Posted 21 Jul 2009 , 1:56pm
post #9 of 10

I carve cakes all the time and always use a mix. But I do think your cake was soft (after it defrosted) You can get a firmer cake from a mix just by the way you mix up the cake. Put in your eggs, oil and cake mix first....sour cream or butter count in with the oil as your fat in the mix. Mix those together until very smooth and no lumps....this will form gluten in the flour. Then add your water...a little less than the box mix calls for is better. Bump it until the water is not all sitting on top and then mix on medium for 1 min 30 sec.

Also, you can freeze the cake to carve it and crumb coat it but don't decorate it like that....EVENTUALLY IT WILL DEFROST...and then what? You don't have the same consistancy of cake and icing with defrosted cake as you do frozen cake. It's not going to hold up the same way....not to mention the moisture from the air that cold things attract. Just think of your ice water glass sitting in the room...the beads of water on the outside of the glass....just because the water inside the glass is cold. That's what your cake is doing as it is brought to room tempurature. Water is very bad for cake and icing....does bad things. unless you kept it's gonna change.

Rethy Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Rethy Posted 21 Jul 2009 , 2:35pm
post #10 of 10

Thank you for your advice. I will try that next time. I figured that is what probably happened to it, with the condensation. But it is good to know how to exactly mix my cakes to get a better cake.

Quote by @%username% on %date%