My First Cake Disaster - A.k.a. My Wedding Cake

Decorating By Shortkaik Updated 4 Jun 2015 , 9:39pm by CoinUK

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Shortkaik Posted 11 Sep 2013 , 1:25pm
post #1 of 11

I apologize for the length of my story, but I hope someone appreciates it and maybe even learns from it. :P


I got married a couple of weeks ago, and it had been my big project to make my own cake.  I have made a few 2 tier (6"/9") cakes before with much success, and did a miniature 3 tier (4"/6"/8") once as well.  I did as much research as I could before making the cake... the original plan was to have a design that I could assemble the tiers on site, but in the end we came up with an idea that required pre-assembly.  The wedding cake was 3-tiers, 6"/8"/10".


Well since I'm posting in the cake disasters forum, obviously it didn't go perfectly to plan!  Every time I've made tiered cakes before, I have used bubble tea straws for support.  They are great for the smaller cakes, but it was stupid of me to think I could support the top two tiers on them... and I only used FOUR in the bottom tier!  (ugh!)  I'm sure Leah will be here shortly to tell me of SPS... which I should have gone for and will in the future.  At the time I wanted to stick with what I knew, and hadn't had a chance to buy or try something like SPS.


I also intended to put a dowel through the whole cake, but when it got down to it I was scared to try shoving a dowel through and having it not go through the boards properly.  We couldn't manage to get it pointy enough.


After assembly, the cake looked great in my opinion, and I was super proud of it.  After the first few hours, I did notice some... slumping?  on the bottom tier... like the fondant was starting to kind of pool at the bottom of the cake.  I was a bit worried but not enough to completely disassemble and start over.


We transported the cake to the venue the morning of our wedding.  On the last turn into the lot, I felt a shift (I was sitting beside the cake in the back of the car, with my arm around the box).


When we got there I opened it up and the middle tier had shifted about 1/2 inch and ripped right through the 'curtain' fondant, and smooshed the pearls.  (This is when I began to panic).  I had brought an emergency kit, but it really wasn't enough.  I didn't bring extra straws for support or extra fondant!  We suspected the supports in the bottom tier had given out and so we took the top two tiers off and the straws had smooshed and one of them had completely slid (it was like \).  I wish I had taken more pictures of the process, but my hands were covered in icing most of the time!  Seriously, it looked like a cake massacre in there - pieces of fondant and globs of buttercream EVERYWHERE!


We tried to rebuild support using whatever we could find in the venue kitchens, but in the end decided to just go with the undamaged top two tiers and save the bottom tier for serving.  


Here's the BEST PART:


Once we decided that, I went to move the now two-tier cake to a clean cake drum and instead of using my lifter (which is actually a giant BBQ spatula)... wait for it... I put one hand on either side of the bottom tier and picked the cake up by it's SIDES!  O_O  Like trying to lift the lid off a cake carrier.


I blame my sheer panic, and I immediately went "WHAT AM I DOING?!"  But by then it was too late.  The damage luckily wasn't that bad, but the fondant was cracked and smooshed to heck.


I was pretty much hyperventilating at that point, and we decided to just leave the cake for now and come back to it later. 


In the afternoon, I stood around in my wedding dress and spackled all the cracks with buttercream, and put a buttercream pearl border around the bottom.  It actually looked pretty good after the recovery.


In the end, I was still really proud of the cake.  It looked awesome before the disaster, and after the recovery I don't think anyone could really tell what happened unless they looked closely.  I am certainly glad that it was my own cake and not for someone else!  :)


Here is the cake before, during and after.  We had a bit of a stars/constellation thing going on, and the cake was meant to look like it was opening up into space.  


This is the cake I made for our wedding.  6"/8"/10".  Lemon on the top and bottom tiers, Chocolate with mint ganache on the middle tier.  Partially inspired by grandmomof1.

This is the cake I made for our wedding.  6"/8"/10".  Lemon on the top and bottom tiers, Chocolate with mint ganache on the middle tier.  Partially inspired by grandmomof1.

The damage... you can see how the one side of the cake has collapsed in on itself!

After the recovery... sorry about the quality, professional photos have not yet arrived!

10 replies
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cazza1 Posted 11 Sep 2013 , 1:36pm
post #2 of 11

You poor thing.  What a lot of stress to have to put up with on your wedding day.  But at least you sorted it out and ended up with a cake that wasn't a complete cake wreck, which it would have been if you had completely panicked.  I must confess that if it had been me they would have all ended up as cutting cakes and there would have been no cake for show.  Well done and it will give you something extra to talk about for years to come. With a bit of distance you may even be able to laugh about it. I love the bluish color swirl through the black.  Was this kneaded in or airbrushed on?

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Shortkaik Posted 11 Sep 2013 , 1:44pm
post #3 of 11

You know, I actually even surprised myself with how OK I was about the whole thing at the time (and still am).  On the drive back home we joked about it even... we thought about just putting a picture of the "former" cake with "RIP" on it on the cake table ;)  I think because it was my wedding day and there was so much good stuff going on and I was o excited, my brain didn't have room for being upset about things!


It was kneaded in, I made several shades of blue fondant and twisted/worked them into the black.  Every time I practiced this method, it didn't look great.. but I was really happy with the final result!!

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CindiM Posted 11 Sep 2013 , 1:46pm
post #4 of 11

Congratulations on your recent wedding.

You did a great job on fixing the problems and I am sure your learned a lot.  Do not feel bad, like I said, Great recovery!

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BrandisBaked Posted 11 Sep 2013 , 3:10pm
post #5 of 11

ASo sorry this happened to you. I also did my own wedding cake recently (in a hotel room!) & know how stressful it is in addition to everything else. After doing it myself, I would never recommend it to anyone getting married. I did 7 tiers with only straws and wooden dowels (bottom 3 tiers were dummies) & Just the trip from my hotel suite to the chapel at the other end of the hotel was killing me with worry.

On the bright side, You did a great job on the cake, and it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. Congratulations on your marriage!

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savannahquinn Posted 12 Sep 2013 , 10:20pm
post #6 of 11

i absolutely love how the whole stars/sky thing looked, black blues and sparkle really pretty!!!

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Norasmom Posted 12 Sep 2013 , 10:32pm
post #7 of 11

Nice save!  I can't even imagine making my own wedding cake!  I'd not have one before I tried to make my own...but I am not so good as most on this web page.

 I think your cake was very pretty, I love the constellation idea.  Your guests may not have even noticed it had fallen apart a bit.

Even though I bake, I don't think the cake is the center of a wedding and it bothers me when I hear about brides getting stressed out over cakes.  It's so many different things that make a wedding memorable, such as the venue, decorations, dresses, ceremony and food.  Most important, it's the love of the two people.

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kaylawaylalayla Posted 12 Sep 2013 , 10:34pm
post #8 of 11

AIts a really beautiful cake and an interesting concept!

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mfeagan Posted 16 Sep 2013 , 2:24am
post #9 of 11

This is definitely something you will remember about your wedding day forever. The mistakes are what stand out in my mind from my wedding! I laugh about them every time I think about them! (Aisle runner breaking, bird pooping on my dress, hundreds of balloons that were supposed to be let off instead of rice throwing all deflated, couldn't light candles in the church after I spent about $60 on them.)


You did a very nice job on the cake and it was a great save!

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CakeGeekUk Posted 16 Sep 2013 , 2:55pm
post #10 of 11

Wow, ShortKaik - you had a hell of a morning! But you saved it in the end and you're married, so well done on both counts!  You have learned so much for this experience (and it will be a super funny story to tell the grand kids some day!) that you next wedding cake will be perfection!

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CoinUK Posted 4 Jun 2015 , 9:39pm
post #11 of 11

I'll be honest, I'm SERIOUSLY impressed! Both with the cake and how well you coped with it all! I'd have been a wreck!

I'd LOVE to know how you did the stars and nighttime effect, that's stunning! I'm guessing a black fondant with blue marbling for the outer space effect, but how did you do the stars? Were they all hand painted on or is it a clever spatter effect?

I'd love to have a go at this myself!

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