Hello all. I’m relatively new in the baking business and my worst fear happened yesterday. I made a beautiful wedding cake that was perfect before transport, but the bottom layer ended up collapsing in on the side during transport. It was completely stabilized with dowel Ross and bubble tea straws, I think it was just the filling that ended up somehow making the cake too soft so it gaves in on itself. I attempted to “fix” it the best I could but it looked terrible. I felt terrible for my customer and obviously refunded her. I am embarrassed and now fearful of doing any more weddings. I guess I have a few questions.
How do you recover from this?
This was only 2 tiers, is it really necessary to assemble even a 2 tier on site? How do you assure transporting goes well?
I delivered my cakes cold and sealed in corrugated cardboard boxes so they were climate controlled — it gets very muggy in memphis —
you mentioned the filling — you need to pipe a dam of icing around the top perimeter of the cake layers so the layer above the filling has something to adhere to so the tier doesn’t slide and collapse —
no you don’t need to stack on site but you need to know what you’re doing so my suggestion is to make up an order with a deadline stack/deliver a three tier for practice — box it load it in the car and take it for a spin — so you get the feel of how it goes —
did you insert one dowel, remove it, measure it and cut all dowels that exact same length, then insert them all? if you inserted them and then clipped them off to the top of the cake a disaster was bound to happen sooner or later — you did have a cardboard circle under the top tier yes?
if you are a new member you can continue the discussion by starting a new thread otherwise the site won’t let you “reply” to threads — so pls feel free to start a new one if necessary — i’m and we are interested in helping you
You will recover—eventually:) Good advi was given above As for your problem cake what were the sizes? The smaller the base cake the more possible there would/could be a problem That’s one reason I don’t like those cakes that are only 2” difference between the tiers ( like an 8”x6” & 6”x5” as an example) It could have been the drive Were you extra careful; have to make a sudden stop or turn? Was the cake on the floor and not on the seat? Those factors could cause problems for even a seasoned decorator
I drive like a 90 year old when am delivering cakes. I kind of feel sorry for anyone behind me but they should understand that its precious cargo I'm hauling.
You got great advice and the bases were covered. Personally, I prefer to stack on location although normally a two tiered stacked cake is pretty safe as long as it has that centre dowel all the way through both layers, both tiers were boarded and the bottom cake was dowelled well. The filling issue is a common problem. You do need that thick piped ring of buttercream icing to secure the filling inside as noted. Chilled cakes, out of the sun and an air condition car avoiding big hills are a must and don't forget that anti-slip mat.
Lol, I think I pretty well repeated everything the esteemed experts on site stated. Just one thing I wanted to add - it is better to have had this happen now as you are starting out. You only learn from accidents, mistakes and disasters. You handled it professionally and now are trying to resolve the issue. Good for you!