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scared, sad, what to do now???

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Well, this has been a bad bad day. icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

I made a 3 tiered beach themed cake for a wedding reception. 12in, 10in, and 8in. I used duncan hines devils food cake mix with crusting cream cheese icing. I had issues with the icing, but no biggie the cake still looked great. She came and picked it up the drive was 45 minutes. during transport she said the 12 in cake collapsed! icon_redface.gificon_redface.gif She traveled with it assembled in the very back of her van, I had six dowels in bottom two layers, plus one dowel all the way through. I am refunding her money and just want to cry, cry, cry! What went wrong??? Please help me!

My little sis is getting married in 3 weeks and I am supposed to make her 4 tiered cake. How can I do that now that I feel like a complete failure? Should I just quit now? I could not go through this again. Maybe I am just not cut out to do tiered cakes.

Please give me advice, and cake support tips.
donna
mommy to three dd, and new baby BOY!!!
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donna
mommy to three dd, and new baby BOY!!!
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post #2 of 35
I'm so sorry you feel that way. I am by far not an expert, especially in dowling and tiered cakes. I'm having a hard time understanding that your cake could have collapsed if you doweled it as many times as you did. would it be someone that would be trying to get a cake for free? do they have proof that it collapsed?
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
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Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
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post #3 of 35
Did she just call you or did she come back and SHOW you the collapsed cake? I have trouble believing a cake that has a center dowel "collapsed"... icon_confused.gif
Anna (105 lbs lost since June 1, 2009)
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Anna (105 lbs lost since June 1, 2009)
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post #4 of 35
icon_sad.gif Sorry to hear that ddog! Sounds like you had plenty of support in the cake. However. if she broke fast, hung a corner to sharp, or hit a bump it could have shifted the center of gravity of the cake. Even, the best constructed cake can only take so much.

Take care
post #5 of 35
I've always heard you put as many dowels in the cake as the cake above has inches in diameter. So in the 12 in cake, you should have had 10 dowels. and in the 10 inch cake, you should have had 8. I don't know how true this is, but that could be one reason why it fell (if it did).

I don't know how many stacked cakes you've done, but are you sure you cut the dowels all the same size? That could have caused it to collapse as well.

I'm so sorry this happened to you, but don't fret. Live and Learn icon_smile.gif
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses it is so nice to have someone to talk to about this in the middle of the night when I can't sleep!!! Ya'll are just great!

she only called to tell me about the cake, did not come to the house. and the lady that reccomended me also called, and her friend also got on the phone and talked to me. grrrrr.

They said they could see the dowels, but they were pushed down a little like maybe they were too short? could that be it? I really do not have much experience with tiered cakes, so now I am freaking out about my sister's upcoming cake.
donna
mommy to three dd, and new baby BOY!!!
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donna
mommy to three dd, and new baby BOY!!!
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post #7 of 35
if they were pushed in to far that could have caused the cake to not have enough support. They all need to be the exact same length I have mine just even with the cake or slightly above it so that way the other weight of the cakes dont crush the bottom cake. Hope that helps I had a 3 tiered cake do that once a long time ago for a friends baby shower it was awful I cried the whole way to the party. At least it was not a paying customers cake but I still know how you feel hugs
post #8 of 35
if they were pushed in to far that could have caused the cake to not have enough support. They all need to be the exact same length I have mine just even with the cake or slightly above it so that way the other weight of the cakes dont crush the bottom cake. Hope that helps I had a 3 tiered cake do that once a long time ago for a friends baby shower it was awful I cried the whole way to the party. At least it was not a paying customers cake but I still know how you feel hugs
post #9 of 35
if they were pushed in to far that could have caused the cake to not have enough support. They all need to be the exact same length I have mine just even with the cake or slightly above it so that way the other weight of the cakes dont crush the bottom cake. Hope that helps I had a 3 tiered cake do that once a long time ago for a friends baby shower it was awful I cried the whole way to the party. At least it was not a paying customers cake but I still know how you feel hugs
post #10 of 35
i know this doesn't help much now, but for future cakes you should look into the bakery crafts single plate system. its designed for cakes that consumers would be driving, and its really sturdy. its also really cheap, prolly woulda cost you $15 for that cake, and then you just add that to the price of the cake. im so sorry that happened to you!! its hard to know what went wrong, dowels, bad driving, too hot in the car.....
"Don't let the hand you hold, hold you down"
-anonymous


www.sweetwaterbakehouse.com
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"Don't let the hand you hold, hold you down"
-anonymous


www.sweetwaterbakehouse.com
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post #11 of 35
Having lived in Louisiana for a while I don't think I'd ever transport a cake assembled on those roads! icon_lol.gif So sorry this happened.

But it could have been a number of things. Dowels not all the same height, dowels too short (cut to the height of the cake-not the height of the icing), like others said could have been her driving, the cake may have been too soft for tiered construction, the tiers may not have been completely centered. Also a chilled cake will travel better for the future!

I prefer to set-up my cakes myself, travel unassembled and if someone insists on taking an assembled cake once it leaves my hands I have no more responsibility and they understand that!
Cake's a powerful food. Cake can actually bring people together. You know... "It's Bill's birthday" "Yeah, I hate that guy." "There's cake in the conference room." "Well, I should say hello."-Jim Gaffigan
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Cake's a powerful food. Cake can actually bring people together. You know... "It's Bill's birthday" "Yeah, I hate that guy." "There's cake in the conference room." "Well, I should say hello."-Jim Gaffigan
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post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 
thanks to all you wonderful decoraters for your replies. I really admire and look up to you all. I never wanted to do this for money, but my husband is laid off from a GM plant, and the extra $ has been so nice- it is a shame to stop over one bad cake, but it sure makes me want too!
I really think my dowels could have been too short, and Louisiana is not known for their great roads....

Is a Duncan Hines box mix to soft for a stacked cake? is that why people add an extra egg and box of pudding, to firm it up some? i always thought it was for taste, so i've never tried it. any feedback would be great...
donna
mommy to three dd, and new baby BOY!!!
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donna
mommy to three dd, and new baby BOY!!!
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post #13 of 35
I just used a DH box mix the other day and my cake broke on me too! I have never had a problem with any other box but, this one tasted good! As soon as I went to cut it the edge started falling off and I could tell it was light and fluffy like it was a scratch cake. (not good for carving) Good thing this cake is only for my sister. I will only use the extender recipe with these boxes now!

So sorry this has happened to you! Don't stop decorating just because of one incident. Get the information you need for the next cake and move on! Everything is a learning experience when it comes to cake decorating!
Good luck!
StephyG
It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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post #14 of 35
I use Duncan Hines...always. Never had a problem with my stacked cakes. My last wedding was a 3 hour drive and it was constructed in the back...4 tiers. Got there just fine. And some of the road was bumpy. I've several times with cakes already constructed up to 3 tiers. Sorry this happened to you. I do dowel the h*ll out of my cakes 'cause I'm scary like that. The only thing I can think of, is maybe the dowels slipped if you didn't drive them straight in. If they were crooked going in, it will definitely happen and they will shift especially if the driver isn't good at driving LOL. Also, was the cake sliding in the back...that could do it too...moving the dowels 'causing them to shift.
I did a groom's cake once and during the drive, ALL the icing came off the sides...too hot. Imagine not being anywhere near your kitchen and repairing the cake in the back of your truck while your hubby finds every bump in the road to ride over. Hope visions of this makes you smile...the cake made it and no one ever knew. I lived to bake again icon_lol.gif Keep your head up thumbs_up.gif
Realize your journey
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Realize your journey
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post #15 of 35
For future reference...I also never travel with my cakes stacked, (unless it is a four-tier, I'll stack the first two and the second two, then put together when I get there)...also, three-tier I'll stack the first two and put the final on at the reception...I charge a $25 delivery fee....non-negotiable, you can't pick up your own cake...(I won't even let anyone help me bring it in unless it's someone that has helped me before)...If it's over 25 miles, then the charge becomes a $1 a mile after that...but it's worth it to carry your cake from start to finish!
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