I have a client who booked her wedding cake a year ago. She is a lovely lady but prone to dithering and changing her mind. We have already been through a 2nd consultation/tasting which is something I don't usually do but as i said they are lovely people. So with one major design change (re costed accordingly) and a couple of tweaks (no big deal) I have this morning received an email saying that she has seen an upside down wedding cake in a mag and loved it and could I do their wedding cake upside down?
Now my first personal reaction is "yuk, that won't look good at all" but apart from my own view on this, my feeling is that it is a structural headache.
* It will need an extra central column support anchored in the base because each ascending tier is larger than the one below.
* Each of the tiers will have supporting dowels but turning it upside down will mean that all of the size and weight of the cake is being supported by the dowels in the 6" tier (difficult to get any more than 5 dowels in place). With a standard 12/9/6 for example the cake weight can be supported by more dowels.
* This cake features a deep 6" tier which is less stable than a standard 6" so that adds to the structural instability.
*Even with extra central support this cake could not be transported pre assembled so it would need to be assembled in situ which require some of the actual decoration to be done at the venue - not ideal.
I have seen the custom made stands for these cakes although the design of this cake will not work with one.
I think the only option for this is to make the upside down cake as a dummy with cutting cakes to eat.
Ok, I know it seems like I have already made my mind up on this one but I want to get your opinions and ask if anyone has made an upside down cake an what your experience was.
I had a look on Google images at these and I have to say I just cannot see the point of turning a cake upside down!
Thanks for your comments
I took a class years ago where they made one of those, I have to admit, I don't see the appeal either.
He used a structure with a thick wooden base and a thick metal dowel down the centre, with metal plates for the cakes to sit on, and dowels that screwed into the plates. The cakes had no weight on them, the plates and dowels carried it all. His was custom made, but I have seen others similar.
What sort of design is she wanting that won't allow for the usual pre-made supports?
Honestly though, unless a client was willing to spend the money on a custom support system, I would go the dummy route.
On a totally different note, I love the Alice in Wonderland cake you did! The tail and half painted rose are great.
I just googled and found this, www.cakestackers.com/cake-supports.html, that's almost identical to what he was using, except his main dowel secured to a thick wooden base.
Thanks for your reply and your lovely comment about the Alice in Wonderland cake. I did enjoy making that one.
I had a look at your link, thanks. I think those kind of stands could work really well for lots of cakes but I am just not convinced that it is stable enough for an upside down cake.
I watched a video on youtube which showed this kind of stand and assembling the cake but when it was done it was wobbling about all over. I could see from the way the stand was put together that it wasn't going to break but I would be concerned that the wobbling would cause tension on the surface of the cake which could lead to cracking.
Also the cake my client wants is stacked rather than separated and one of the tiers has a design which comes up over the top of the cake to form a kind of collar. This would have to be the other way up. It would need a re design.
Listen to me going on! pretty obvious I have made up my mind on this one hey!
thanks for getting back to me though - it is always good to hear other points of view
here's a thought for you--well a couple
colette peters has a tremendous 'pineapple upside down' cake in her book, "colette's wedding cakes" pg 129
she says she got thinking that chandeliers are upside down wedding cakes and designed it--which is pretty cool
and i would do as she did and dummy the bottom tier or tiers and then i'd also use one of these
and if you scroll down you can see the acrylic tube
but you can bury the bottom plate under cake boards and slide the acrylic tube up through a hole cut in the styrofoam dummies
and use another big ole plate on top of the tube to hold up the real cake
i mean that'd be really stable and pretty straight forward
but who knows how long it will be before she changes her mind again y'know ;) ???
How about this:
You build a stand , with a center post rigidly and permanently attached to the base, strong enough to support the entire weight of the cake. You also have a series of tubes cut, each the height of a layer, of sufficiently large diameter to stabilize the entire cake, and you have tier bases made, of a rigid material, with center holes just big enough to accommodate the center post, and you permanently attach a stabilization tube to the underside of each.
Each tier below the top one is a toroid (i.e., the general shape of a donut, a Bundt mold, an Angel Food cake, or an automobile tire; a true torus is the shape of an ideal donut), rather than a disk, with a center hole big enough to accommodate your stabilization tubes.
When you stack the cake, the bottom tier goes down, and the base of the second tier goes on top of it. Then the second tier goes on its support, and the support for the next tier, and so on, until the top tier goes on top.
Or rigidly attached dowels on the bottom of each tier base.
I do quite a lot of upside down cakes! There's one in my photos (was going to paste the link but it's about a dozen lines long!).
I do stick with the same sizes - 6" dummy on the bottom then a 7" cake and 9" cake. I find this to be very stable - I never use central dowels on any of my cakes, I dowel as normal, assemble at home and transport it pre-assembled.
My personal opinion is that 2 tiers of cake and a dummy is fine but three tiers of cake (and definitely a 6" one) is asking for trouble. I played about a lot with different sizes before settling on the above which works well for me.
Thanks for your replies ladies. The client in question has not come back to me after my suggestions on this. Perhaps she wants to stick with the original design.
thanks again and have a great day