Thank you to bubs1stBirthday, yortma, SandraSmiley and DianeLM for your replies to my previous thread. I am unable to either post photos or comments (or even replies) and the help team at cakecentral has not replied to my help request 5 days ago. So...that is why I'm starting a new conversation. I wasn't able to reply to you on the previous one that I appreciate your feedback! Thinking about my cake bowing outwards (for those reading this who didn't see the last thread, my 10" cake bowed out kind of bulged under my 8" I placed on top), the most common reply was that I used too many support straws. I used about 12 in a 10" and most of you suggested about 5 straws in that layer to hold up the 8" placed on top. I unfortunately followed a youtube video by Krazy Kool Cakes and she used a bunch of straws in a 10" layer in the video. I wanted to see if you had any further comments (as i will definitely reduce the number of straws) about the following: could my cake have been too moist? I wrapped my cakes a little early I think - I had to get the kids from school, and they weren't cool - they weren't steaming or anything. I noticed that the cakes were SUPER moist almost wet when I was decorating them after they had defrosted (more than previous cakes). Also - I read on a blog called ontotheplate.wordpress.com that if the buttercream is not stiff enough (by adding more icing sugar), it can make your cakes bow. It was just a comment by the baker, but I wonder if this had something to do with it? I am guessing that the most likely factor was the number of straws, but I appreciate any further feedback! Hopefully I can post some photos in the near future if cakecentral helpdesk will get back to me.
whoa did my photo just post?
waah sorry I don't know why they posted sideways and I can't see "rotate" - they weren't sideways originals.
Just wanted to add an fyi, that there is a photo on here (the second one) showing the 10" layer as I was making it. It has a hole in the middle where the 8" was placed. Just an fyi that I did place an 8" circle of fondant on the buttercream in the middle there so that the 8" was being placed on a 10" level surface (not an 8" indent in a 10" circle).
What height did you cut your straws to?
It looks like they may have been a bit short and the top cake actually sat on your bottom cake, putting pressure in the middle and pushed the cake outwards.
Your supports should all be either even with the top of your cake or just above it and the should all be cut to the same length. Ideally they should all sit perfectly in line with the top of your cake but that requires your cake being perfectly flat on top and sometimes that just doesn't happen, so if they are all cut to the same length but there is slight variation in the level of your cake it may appear that they are cut wrong when they aren't.
I just did a cake where this happened. I think my frosting was too soft. Your cake is very cute!
bubs1stbirthday is right. A good way to test your straw height is to place a spirit level on them after inserting into the cake. If the top of your cake isn't level, it may look like the straws are all different heights. A level will give you the truth.
The pictures convince me that your straws were cut too short. If it was an icing problem, the fondant would be sagging at the bottom and/or the squares would be sliding down. Or the cake would be bulging just around the middle where the filling is.
I literally just watched a Joshua Joh Russell on Craftsy regarding supports . His rule of thumb is, whatever size cake you stack is the amount of supports you use. Example, if you’re placing a 8” tier on a 10” tier, you use 8 supports of choice...wood, bubble tea straws on the bottom tier. So 8 supports spread evenly on your 10” cake.
I personally think your cake hadn’t settled properly. I found this old thread on CC when I googled. This might help you.
Wow. I respect Joshua John Russell's art, but with nearly 20 years experience and hundreds of cakes under my belt, I cannot disagree more with that calculation. 8 bubble tea straws within an 8" space (actually a 7" space) is wayyy too many. I know that one person's "never" is another person's "always" but this is just mind-boggling to me.
Actually DianeLM I just watched video again. He had a 6” cake going on what looked like an 8”/10” bottom. JJR said...as I posted earlier. I even rewound the video to make sure I heard correctly. So he put in 6 bubble tea straws in the bottom tier for the 6” cake. I agree, does seem rather overkill. I would probably do 3. One on either side of the cake about 3” into tier from the edge. Then the 3rd would be the centre dowel right in the middle once stacked.
jchuck, the only time I would consider using so many straws would be the bottom tier of a 4 or 5 tier cake, ya know? In that case, the straws are supporting a lot more than just one or two tiers above. That said, I always use my Stress Free Supports on 4+ tier cakes. :) I think 2 straws under any size tier is risky. 3 arranged like a triangle is more secure. Even with a center dowel. It all comes down to what works for each person.
Yes agreed DianeLM on all counts, and 3 supports arranged like a triangle.
If you do use a level to check the height make sure to do it on a surface you know is also level.
If you use it on an untested surface you may get an inaccurate result. Simply put, place your level on the surface you are working on, in the direction that you will use it on the cake. The level you get there is what you are looking to be replicated on the cake.
I only know that because I found out my bench wasn't level after using a level to fill my cake, when I finished I eyeballed the cake and saw it wasn't right - tested the bench level and as it wasn't spot on, it threw out my cake haha.
Good advice, bubs1stbirthday! I discovered my turntable wasn't level the same way!
Yes...excellent advice bubs1stbirthday!! I remember the first time I used my level. I was pretty sure by eying my cake was level. Freaked because level was way out. Hubby said calmly...Are you checking your cake on a level surface? Being the handyman hubby was, glad he thought of that, cause it had never occurred to me!! Placed cake on my counter, checking counter with level first of course. Whew...I was right, my cake was properly level.
Haha, yeah my hubby pointed it out to me too when I was getting all upset at the 'stupid level' and my uneven cake that was reading correctly but clearly not right lol.
The little level I have for cakes was a gift from him for Christmas one year :-).
Ha Ha bubs1stbirthday...Sounds just like me..stupid, stupid cake...stupid, stupid dumb level. Why did I buy this stupid level in the first place, doesn’t work...bla...bla...blah.
Thank you bubs1stbirthday and DianeLM for your reply...I remember that the straws were a little bit under the top of the bottom cake. I guess I should have been more careful. Usually I mark them, then remove and cut, but instead of trusting my gut and doing it the way I always have, I decided to do it like the Krazy Kool Cakes video - she lifts them a little then cuts them. I must have done it inaccurately. Thanks also DianeLM for eliminating the icing potentially being the problem - this is important, because on a tropical island, I need my icing to work!! whatthedogate - thank you for the compliment! and jchuck - I thought my cake was settled, but I'm going to do more reading on that!