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Please help!! Mistake cost me $275, embarrassment and more - Page 2

post #16 of 28
I don't see anything that warrants a free cake. I mean yeah so you had some problems but I don't see a free cake there.
Oh, Bother!
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Oh, Bother!
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post #17 of 28
Maybe try a stiffer buttercream for the dam too - less wiggle room for it.

JMO

Judi
post #18 of 28
Mostly it looks like settling problems to me. If you have to keep cutting the bottom off of the fondant, the cakes are either too soft to hold the weight of the fondant or weren't allowed to set as well as they needed to.

I had to respond to this because I just order the Sugarshack buttercream video and I'm SO EXCITED!! Maybe this will help me get to where I want to be with smoother iced cakes! Woohoo!
Monica
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Monica
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post #19 of 28
I just had something similar happen to this cake I baked for my sis' 40th B-Day. http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1323390

It was to be my gift to her so no issue with profit loss there, but there was a lot of hype about me baking a "special" cake for her so there was the issue of disappointing her and embarrassing myself.

I also had bulging even though I used a stiff dam of BC, a very thick fruit filling and set the layered tiers in the fridge overnight. Luckily it was only 1 layer of filling so 1 (HUGE) bulge. There was no bulge when I first took the tiers out but they did appear after I had them all covered and stacked.

I managed to salvage it by placing the decorations strategically over the bulge (hence why it's a bit too close to the bottom of the tier).

But even after that I learned somethings:
- I really think I put too much filling
- The dam I put around was right near the edge of the cake so it did not give the "overflow" anywhere to go
- The layers were probably too heavy

Sorry this happened to you but look at it as a learning experience and a mistake you won't make again. There is a lot of great advice here from PPs and it's great you took the initiative to get some answers for yourself.

It's a very cute design and I'm sure they'll be back to order as you were very gracious with the customer.
post #20 of 28
Oh...also, I learned to give myself more leeway in terms of time. I was a half hour late to her party because I was trying to fix the problem. Now I will ensure I have at least a 2 hour window in case anything unexpected comes up again. I took this as a big time learning opportunity for me as you can see lol icon_biggrin.gif. Chin up!!
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cylstrial



What is spackle coating? I've never heard of it before. Is that a crumb coating, just worded differently?




Spackle coating is a mixture of buttercream, cake trimmings left over from leveling and some of your filling, all mixed together into a spackle-like paste. This is applied over the chilled crumb coat to further smooth, straighten and fill any imperfections, then chilled, before applying fondant. I first heard about it from Toba Garrett's book, "The Well Decorated Cake."

It works well. I also use it as a filling in four layer cakes. I fill the first and last layers with fruit filling and the middle with spackle.
Housework makes you ugly.

It's marshmallow, not marshmellow! Aaargh, I have the strangest pet peeves!
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Housework makes you ugly.

It's marshmallow, not marshmellow! Aaargh, I have the strangest pet peeves!
Reply
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Vlin28, thanks for your detailed post. That was very helpful. icon_smile.gif

Artscallion, can you give approximate amounts or proportions?
post #23 of 28
I too had the same experience but with a wedding cake.. and while it wasn't a TOTAL disaster, even though I felt it was, it was still presentable. I walked away from $325... and thought that the family would at least send me a check for my supplies, etc... thinking they would do right.. either way I didn't want to take money. Looking back...... months later, I wish I had taken the check and issued her a half refund..... the cake was still edible and was not laying on the floor or anything. I know why you did what you did thought because I did it for the same reason... but you did spend money on the goods to bake...
make life what you want it to be
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make life what you want it to be
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post #24 of 28
Oh, I am so sorry this happened to you! You did such a nice job. The cake demons should be shot!

It definitely looks like a settling problem. As others have suggested, you may have added too much filling. I like to use just a smear of fruit filling so it's lower than the level of the dam. And, as others have noted, place your dam 1/4-1/2 inch in from the edge of the cake to allow for expansion.

Did you allow your cake to rest before covering with fondant?

I prefer to stack and fill my layers the night before. Wrap them well, then place a couple empty cake pans on top to gently weight them down.

The addition of fondant should not compress the cakes any further unless you've used a very delicate cake.

I also like to use spackle under fondant. It really helps create a firm, smooth surface.

I notice the bottom tier is squished much more than the top which leads me to believe your dowels were too short.

I hope you find the solution to this problem and never have to go through this again!
post #25 of 28
The proportions for spackle from Toba's book are:

3 to 4 cups cake crumbs
1/2 to 3/4 cup buttercream
1/4 cup filling (citrus curd or preserves)Mix to form a stiff paste. Use the buttercream to adjust the consistency. You apply it in the same way you do the crumb coating, or any smoothed icing application, about 1/8 to 1/4" thickness.

It helps filling in gaps between layers and holes or damaged parts. It's particularly good in building up one side of the top that you notice isn't level after the crumb coated cake has settled, since the crumbs in it make it more substantial than buttercream alone.

I usually keep an extra cake in the freezer to use for the crumbs in case I don't get enough from trimming the one I'm working on.
Housework makes you ugly.

It's marshmallow, not marshmellow! Aaargh, I have the strangest pet peeves!
Reply
Housework makes you ugly.

It's marshmallow, not marshmellow! Aaargh, I have the strangest pet peeves!
Reply
post #26 of 28
That spackle coat sounds like an answer to my prayers! I also think I'm not putting enough buttercream on the cake. I am so excited to.... try fondant covered cakes again! Maybe until I get some more practice I shouldn't use homemade fondant. I use Michele Foster's recipe and it works pretty good for me, but I can't get fondant around here except Wilton at Michael's. It may taste awful, but it sure is nice to work with for amateurs like me!
post #27 of 28
hey gals, thanks for the great advice on this thread, on question about spackle coating though, do you let it set and then put another coat of regular buttercream?? Or do you put the fondant directly onto the spackle ?? umm, pardon my question, but even if u crumble the cake very finely won't the spackle still be quite lumpy ?? anyway, I will def give it a try!! icon_biggrin.gif
Radha
(Obssesed cake decorator and Twilight-aholic hahaha)

"Life isnt measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away"...
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Radha
(Obssesed cake decorator and Twilight-aholic hahaha)

"Life isnt measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away"...
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post #28 of 28
The way I do it, the spackle is about 75/25 icing to crumbs, so it's still sticky enough for the fondant to adhere to without an additional layer of buttercream.

The center of the cake makes the best crumbs. I discard any outside edges because sometimes they do remain lumpy.

When I have extra batter, I make cupcakes in paper liners to be used as spackle in the future. The paper liner peels away the outside of the cake for me!

Because of the high ratio of icing to crumbs, it is not lumpy. The spackle should spread smoothly. If it's hard to spread or looks lumpy, there's not enough icing in it.
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