Cake Disaster On A River Boat...

Decorating By KristiBrooke Updated 15 Jul 2010 , 5:42pm by Ladiesofthehouse

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KristiBrooke Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 4:53pm
post #1 of 13

Has anyone ever done a cake for a reception on a small, 2-story riverboat? Well if not, I have some advice for you, read on =o)

I agreed to travel to Michigan to construct a cake for my college friend. I stayed at her mom's house and did all my work there (that is a whole other story!) Thankful for my DH who is my faithful assistant in all things cake. He goes with me on every setup and is the only thing that keeps me calm in an emergency.

We arrived on the riverboat and it was beautiful, I can see why anyone would want to have a reception there! We set up the 3 tier (8"-10"-12") cake on the silver pedestal...and as I was adding the final piping down the front I felt suddenly unstable. The boat had jolted! Yikes, was just glad it didn't mess up my piping. My husband noticed the large hanging speakers and light fixtures were also swaying most of the time. Cake setup went beautifully after that, and we were on to lightning candles on tables for the bride's arrival.

While sitting at our table enjoying appetizers and awaiting the happy couple to board the still-docked boat.....another friend that was helping setup the place came up to our table, repeating "Cake emergency! Cake emergency!" We quickly got up and headed to where the cake was...only to see that every cake decorator dreads.

The top 2 tiers were still perfect, but the large bottom tier was 'sliding' apart from itself. That caused the rest to begin to tilt. We quickly stabilized the good tiers and lifted them off the bottom by it's cake board. Everything was hurried to the back kitchen to assess the damage.

At that moment, another friend came back to see if she could help...and asked if we had heard what the captain had said. We were oblivious...and she went on to say how he apologize profusely that the boat has been continually BUMPING into the dock this whole time. And that things were unusually choppy this evening.

That explains why the cake did what it did. With each BUMP the cake was nudged on it's Raspberry Jelly filling (which is already pretty slick) and after a few hours of that, it was forced past the supports and caused the tilt. Who would have thought! Combination of a choppy river and raspberry filling would be a recipe for disaster.

We were able to salvage the top 2 tiers and take that back out with a bit of repair and touch-up work. The bottom tier remained in the back cooler to cut and serve...there was no repairing that!

The bride was extremely gracious and understanding, and rolled with the day. Her outdoor ceremony had been cut short by a down pour, bridesmaids were drenched, but she did not let any of this ruin her day.

Lesson learned. If ever setting up a cake on a sure slippery fillings are at a minimum...and do all you can to set up as close to cutting time to minimize any boat instability =o)

12 replies
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MJoycake Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 5:09pm
post #2 of 13

Good advice! Thank you for sharing your experience....I'm sorry that happened to you. It sounds like you dealt with it very gracefully and I'm glad the bride was easy going about it all.

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CakeRx Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 11:41pm
post #3 of 13

Bless that bride...her husband is a lucky man for sure... icon_smile.gif

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GenGen Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 12:05am
post #4 of 13

sounds like that despite the dreaded cake quake (heh) it ended up being a nice day- nice as in everyone was in good spirits and enjoyed it for what it was to be icon_smile.gif a celebration icon_smile.gif

did you get pics before the accident? at least she'll have that memory icon_smile.gif

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KristiBrooke Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 12:37am
post #5 of 13

I sure did get lots of pics after setup...always do =o) I sent them to the bride as well.

The evening turned out well, and she even sent me this comment:
"You did such an amazing job!! our guests were fighting over which layer of our cake tasted the best!! icon_wink.gif sooooo beautiful!! thanks again for EVERYTHING!"

I guess I was lucky my first 'disaster' happened at this wedding...a wedding of a college friend.

The cake before the 'cake quake' is in my's the one with blue ribbon and brown piping.

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GenGen Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:41am
post #6 of 13

lol going to look. i love the term now.. cake quake.. wonder if it will catch on hehe

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GenGen Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:46am
post #7 of 13

what were the flavors btw? beautiful cake (this could get to be a special type cake for your business now lol Order your Quake CAke now!) could go over big in california lol

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KristiBrooke Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 2:03am
post #8 of 13

GenGen...that is funny!

2 tiers were white chocolate cake with raspberry cream filling
1 tier was key lime cake with key lime buttercream filling
all covered with almond buttercream


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GenGen Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 2:35am
post #9 of 13

oooh yummy. havent tried either flavor yet but the key lime interests me icon_smile.gif i made a pink lemonade one last month but it was just adding pink lemonade concentrate to a box mix cake i think.

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Tclanton Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 2:02pm
post #10 of 13

Thanks for the info - I actually do have one to do for a birthday party in September on a river boat. I will keep all your tips in mind.

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KristiBrooke Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 2:04pm
post #11 of 13

Yay...I'm so glad my experience has helped someone! Def. get the cake as cool as possible (aids in stability) and don't over-do fillings (maybe under-do them =o)

Let me know how yours goes, Tclanton!

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Tclanton Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 2:12pm
post #12 of 13


After being on this highly addictive site for several months now - filling scares me to death, so I am very cautious.

I will definitely let you know how it works out. Thanks again! icon_smile.gif

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Ladiesofthehouse Posted 15 Jul 2010 , 5:42pm
post #13 of 13

Good to know--thanks! We do have receptions on boats here so I will keep this info in mind. thumbs_up.gif

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