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What did you do the first time your cake fell/slid/etc? - Page 3

post #31 of 47
I just had a cake disaster this week. My husband and I drove across state to help our son and his family move into their first home. I carefully packed a cake (house-warming/birthdays cake) and off we drove on our 3 hour trip.

Due to severe weather my son had lost power the night before, so my husband decided to bring along a portable generator in case the power was still out. He placed the generator next to the cake in the back of our SUV. (I didn't know he'd done this). Hubby swerved in traffic to avoid an accident and the generator fell onto the cake.

There was no saving the design or shape of the cake, but the grandchildren wanted to eat it anyway. They seemed to like it. icon_confused.gif
Even if you're on the right track, if you don't keep moving you'll get run over!
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Even if you're on the right track, if you don't keep moving you'll get run over!
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post #32 of 47
My first cake disaster happened a little over a year ago. It was a birthday cake for a friend of mine. I wasn't paid on that cake, it was just a favor since I was really new to the whole French cake/gateau.

I made a fraisier, more like French strawberry shorthcake. No one was with me to hold the cake in the car, and I had no boxes at all. I didn't even know where to buy boxes in nearby store. Somehow, it's very hard to find a baking supply store here. So, as stupid as it may sound, I put the cake on a glass cake stand. you know, the kind with small bottom feet and large 12-in round glass plate on top. I didn't think enough that of course it wouldn't have the stability but I did it anyway because I was in a hurry.

So, drove out of my house, and after less than a minute, when I made a very gentle turn, the whole cake stand and the cake fell on my car carpet. I almost cried, felt hurt for all the effort and time (and money. French cakes are not cheap icon_cry.gif ) I've spent on that. But I kept drive off to my friend's house, told them what happened. They helped me clean my carpet and one of the sisters just went to a bakery and bought a cake.

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of it icon_sad.gif

bertha
www.gourmetbaking.blogspot.com
post #33 of 47
Thankfully my disaster was intended for family & ended up not being delivered b/c we had a snow storm the day of the bday get together--2 hrs away.

So, I had been wanting to try a tiered & topsy-turvy cake, so why not. Not recommended to attempt your first tiered as a TT cake So, after many, many hours (think it was about 12), I had stacked the cake, put the decorations on & tried to hammer a central dowel through, no luck. After analyzing I believe I hit one of the dowels in the middle tier (it's not easy supporting a ball on a TT cake). So, I was running back & forth to CC & the cake. I was waiting for the topper pieces I was making to dry enough for me to take a pic. It had already been leaning a little & had I been taking it somewhere I MIGHT have tried to take it apart & reassemble. Let me tell you those 6" high babies were heavy!

So, I take a pic of my leaning cake & I think after 3 angles I look up from behind the camera & yell JOSH--dh to me. He comes running, clueless but knowing something is wrong! I tell him to help me as I have my hands keeping it off the floor. He grabbed the spatula & a plate for me to put it on. Since we didn't meet family we ate cake for months & it was sooooo yummy! What did I learn? Make sure your dowels in bottom layers arent going to interfere w/a central dowel! Just glad it wasn't a paid cake. This is why I like to practice on family & friends.

In the disaster pic the white in the middle of the chocolate is cake, not icing. Yes the icing slid off & dh ate a piece before I took the pic. You can see the progression. After the pics I realized the cake was leaning in the one w/ the topper so I took the "best" & added the topper from the other pic.
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LL
Friends will enhance your life. Everyone else is just an acquaintance
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Friends will enhance your life. Everyone else is just an acquaintance
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post #34 of 47
these are all too much! sounds like everyone is fairly good at keeping their cool!

mine was on a hot summer day, delivering a castle 45 minutes away in a car with no AC. it was my first castle, and i'm totally paranoid about transporting a stacked cake. it was in 2 pieces. all i had was a car, the top went on the floor, and the bottom was in the seat. buttercream melting down the sides, it was horrid! all i could do was keep looking at it - oh so sadly - as i was driving and watching all my bricks slide off... then someone stopped short in front of me, i had to stomp on the brakes... Oh nooo!!! i had to grab the cake to keep it from flying off the seat. big ol hand print on TOP of every-frickin-other thing going wrong..
i got to my friend's house and only her son was home.. dancing around me while i tried to fix the damage. (i'm thankfully paranoid enough to carry some tools & extra icing to fix stuff)
sooo... heres the before and after.
LL
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LL
post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilypie

... then someone stopped short in front of me, i had to stomp on the brakes... Oh nooo!!!



HAHAHAHA!!!! I can't help but think about George Costanza's dad accusing Kramer of stopping short w/ his wife when he slammed on the breaks.
Friends will enhance your life. Everyone else is just an acquaintance
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Friends will enhance your life. Everyone else is just an acquaintance
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post #36 of 47
[quote="indydebi"]sunnybono, if you're liking these stories, then you'll love the following short stories that came from a local bakery's website. It's no longer on their site, so I'm very glad I saved these stories!!
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-Thanks indydebi...those are too funny. I completely see the reason for pricing for redos. Ha ha. Glad you kept those.
post #37 of 47
My first cake disaster was just recent. I had tried to add black fondant checker flag pieces to a stiff whipped cream icing thumbsdown.gif Bad idea there. I found out the hard way. When I took the cake out of the fridge the next morning to finish all the black fondant melted & slid streaks of black all over my white icing icon_cry.gif . I acted quick & covered it in fondant & remade all the pieces, After I cried & considered throwing it across the kitchen icon_biggrin.gif
"Behind every good women, is a lot of chocolate."
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"Behind every good women, is a lot of chocolate."
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post #38 of 47
I do not have luck with wedding cakes, but so far my worst one was for a friend of my sister's daughter's wedding. It was a four tier, pillared cake with different fillings in between. The bride was going to provide a topper at the reception site.

So my friend who got me into cake decorating rode along with me to help set it up. It was 90+ degrees and the reception site was about 45 minutes away. We set the cake up, put the fresh flowers in between all the tiers, but couldn't find her cake topper. Well a lady comes running in with a Precious Moments figurine. I am thinking - too big and too heavy, but I put it on top anyway and leave the reception site.

About three hours later I get a phone call, "The cake collapsed. Can you bring us another one?" I am like "No!" I don't have extra wedding cakes in my freezer. So I have the lady on the phone describe what is left and what happened. When we set up the cake, we failed to notice a skylight in the ceiling. As the sun moved through the sky it eventually went through the skylight right onto the buttercream frosted cake. The weight of the Precious Moments "cake" topper combined with the melting buttercream caused the figurine to slide backwards from the cake. The figurine, as if planned, took out the next set of pillars, so what was left of the top tier fell onto a bed of flowers and the next tier. Well, all that weight made the next set of pillars "explode" (that is the word the lady used) and the whole thing looked like someone just sat down on top of the cake. I asked the lady if she thought she could salvage the bottom layer (because the majority of the servings were coming from there) and she said she'd try.

Well, I called the mom of the bride to apologize and they were great. They hadn't noticed the skylight either and did not blame me at all. I offered to give them their money back - but they refused. In fact, they ordered more cakes from me!

My lesson learned...check the reception site over well for little things like skylights! Also, I added to my contracts language about skylights, lack of air conditioning or "other unforeseen incidents that may affect the stability of the cake". icon_biggrin.gif
post #39 of 47
I do not have luck with wedding cakes, but so far my worst one was for a friend of my sister's daughter's wedding. It was a four tier, pillared cake with different fillings in between. The bride was going to provide a topper at the reception site.

So my friend who got me into cake decorating rode along with me to help set it up. It was 90+ degrees and the reception site was about 45 minutes away. We set the cake up, put the fresh flowers in between all the tiers, but couldn't find her cake topper. Well a lady comes running in with a Precious Moments figurine. I am thinking - too big and too heavy, but I put it on top anyway and leave the reception site.

About three hours later I get a phone call, "The cake collapsed. Can you bring us another one?" I am like "No!" I don't have extra wedding cakes in my freezer. So I have the lady on the phone describe what is left and what happened. When we set up the cake, we failed to notice a skylight in the ceiling. As the sun moved through the sky it eventually went through the skylight right onto the buttercream frosted cake. The weight of the Precious Moments "cake" topper combined with the melting buttercream caused the figurine to slide backwards from the cake. The figurine, as if planned, took out the next set of pillars, so what was left of the top tier fell onto a bed of flowers and the next tier. Well, all that weight made the next set of pillars "explode" (that is the word the lady used) and the whole thing looked like someone just sat down on top of the cake. I asked the lady if she thought she could salvage the bottom layer (because the majority of the servings were coming from there) and she said she'd try.

Well, I called the mom of the bride to apologize and they were great. They hadn't noticed the skylight either and did not blame me at all. I offered to give them their money back - but they refused. In fact, they ordered more cakes from me!

My lesson learned...check the reception site over well for little things like skylights! Also, I added to my contracts language about skylights, lack of air conditioning or "other unforeseen incidents that may affect the stability of the cake". icon_biggrin.gif
post #40 of 47
Thank you everyone! I've just had a cake disaster today where the bottom tier just collapsed (luckily the top tier remained intatc and I'm feeling quite shaken and ready to quit decorating. To make things worse, the client was actually at the site and saw the whole mess!! I had to grab a couple of cakes and fondant from the shops and redid the bottom tier using lots of fondant rosettes.
But, I'm not going down without a fight so I'm going straight to order the SPS (many thanks to Leah for kindly sending me the tutorial) and live to decorate another day!!
Be the change you want to see
View my cakes on www.elizabethscakeemporium.com or at http://thecakequeensadventures.blogspot.com/
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Be the change you want to see
View my cakes on www.elizabethscakeemporium.com or at http://thecakequeensadventures.blogspot.com/
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post #41 of 47
I know this is an older post, but it made me smile and laugh about the resilience (i know I spelt that wrong!) of all us CCers and I thought I'd add my first cake disaster story.

It was the orange 3d bunny cake on a oval cake in my pics. I had borrowed my boyfriends car since it was hot out and his has A/C (mine doesn't) and is a hatchback with a flat trunk which the A/C will get to. But his car also handles much better than mine... and what I didn't realize is that going around the cloverleaf entrance to the highway, I was going much much faster than I realized (it was soo smooth, I felt like I was going really slow! lol) and sure enough.. plop, the bunny fell off to the side taking part of the chocolate base cake with it when the dowels fell out. I pulled over on the side of the highway, took a look and realized I could repair it on site at my friends house since I didn't want to have to drive that cloverleaf again if I went home first to repair it (thank goodness for CakeCentral, I knew to take a repair kit with me!)

After 2 drinks to settle my shaky hands at my friends insistence, my friend let me at her kitchen to repair the cake. It came out okay, the green grass had some chocolate crumbs in it and the bunny's tail was no longer as fluffy and a few flowers were missing.... and my friend still loved it. She had no problem taking it the next morning for her neice's birthday (with tons of warnings about stability!)

It was such a hit, they ordered another 3D rainbow bunny cake for her birthday this year... and instead of using a wooden base, I used 2 layers of foamcore and drove 2 dowels all the way through the bunny, base cake and board to help stabilize it and it delivered perfectly without a wobble.

Lesson learned: 1 1/2 inch cake DOES NOT provide enough depth to stablize the dowels for a 4" tall 3D bunny!

I've been amazed at the transport that I've pulled off before i knew how to do things properly and figured that my time was coming:

3 tier topsy turvy travelled 20 minutes by car with me holding it in my lap on the Wilton smaller turntable (NEVER AGAIN!)

2 cakes each with 2 mini stand-up bears ontop of a 9" cake with NO support underneath travelled for 3 1/2 hours in the trunk with no A/C (I'm amazed they made it)

baby blocks stacked (2 bottom, 1 top in middle) with no supports travelled for 2 hours as well - some on gravel roads, and the base 2 cakes weren't even levelled (This was before I figured out that I could level cakes and ice them without getting all the crumbs in, these blocks looked horrific.)

icon_smile.gif I've learned so much here; enough hopfully to avoid more cake disasters than necessary!
post #42 of 47
Crislen, you have been one lucky person in the past. I think if I'd made those cakes everyone would have collapsed.

One question. Did you put a non-slip pad under your cake? That will keep a cake from sliding around & will minimize movement. If you're worried then you can still put a center dowel through it. Or assemble at the site.
Friends will enhance your life. Everyone else is just an acquaintance
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Friends will enhance your life. Everyone else is just an acquaintance
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post #43 of 47
My first (and hopefully last) cake disaster was this past Friday night .... so it is still VERY fresh in my mind. My first reaction when I opened the back hatch was to try to catch my jaw before it hit the ground. I think I went into shock. I must have stood there, what now seems like hours, just saying "Oh, no! I'm so sorry. This never happened before." I remember my gut feeling a deep pain and I litterally thought I was going to puke right there. Instead I took a deep breath and said "Don't worry, I'm going to make this right". I delivered the night before a reunion/anniversary party so I figured I had time. HA! The people were so nice, they offered to buy the bottom tier of the collapsed cake! I told them they could have it and I'm not selling that and said goodbye, I'll see you in the morning. I drove home very quickly (who cares now, cake's already all over the back of the car). My daughter saw me get out of the car and immediately said "Dad, I think Mom needs you". He cleaned up the back of the car while I went inside and immediately started making a few batches of buttercream and writing a shopping list of what I was going to need. DH went shopping while I finished up the buttercream and started other prep work. I put the first cake in the oven at 7pm and went to bed with everything finished by 3:30am. (mind you, I have a limited number of pans and just one oven, so some I could only bake one at a time). I woke up at 8:30 (after several nightmares), showered and got ready and delivered by 9:30. My customers were so happy, they gave me another check (the first cake was already paid in full) for just $50 less than the first check! I told her "your cake's already paid for" she replied that she's not discussing it and she's already made up her mind to do this. I didn't actually cry when the cake fell, but I did on the way home after she paid me again! I got a call from her yesterday to let me know that they all really enjoyed the cake ... she was expecting 70 ppl, but wanted some for leftovers so ordered for 100. She said everyone raved at how good it was and she actually ended up with NO leftovers.

The cake that collapsed is the 50th anniversary tiered cake in my photos. The two photos are before it were the replacements .... I wasn't risking stacking anything to take on that road!
post #44 of 47
lol, yup, the cake gods have smiled on me for now... my luck will probably change!

Those non-slip mats are so handy ~ I use them all the time with cakes. And I've become brave enough to drive dowels through... but my question is, what is the best way to sharpen them?

smoore, you did a great rescue job on that cake, and it is wonderful that the customer gave you even more money! Good job! and just goes to show... some people appreciate it when you go above add beyond!
post #45 of 47
Smoore- these are the people that make up for the ones who complain over nothing...lol.
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