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A "Tall" Tale of Collapse & Emergency Surgery

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
This weekend I delivered my first solo wedding cake (gift for my husband's long time best friend) and let me tell you it was full of tears, hyperventilation, and relief, then panic, problem solving, then relief, the panic problem solving, than relief all over again.

I already had some issues prior to delivery, like being overly ambitious and using ganache for the first time (I had so much trouble smoothing it), running out of MFF, no time to make more, and no store open to buy premade (2am) so I had to "stretch" the fondant by rolling it thinner, causing cracks and showing all the flaws of the "almost" smooth ganache, and attempting my first tall tier (let me tell you, square tall tiers are a PITA to cover in fondant).

Well, after all the tiers were boxed up & loaded in the SUV, we headed down to the hotel we were staying at the night before (100 miles away). I've never had problems delivering prestacked 3 tier cakes before so I didn't think twice about letting DH drive with an unstacked cake in the back, especially lined with non-slip liner.

When we got to the hotel, we opened the back and the first thing I see is the tall tier leaning & collapsing against the box. I start freaking internally but I try to keep calm until I asses the damage when we get to the hotel room. When I opened the box sides, I saw how bad it was leaning since the design had stripes, plus the bottom edge was really bulging. I thought the whole tier was a gonner and the tears started to fall, but I thought, what the hell, there's a separator midway through the tier, maybe part of it could be saved...

So I commenced the "emergency surgery" and cut the fondant where the board was to try and salvage what I could. When my MIL and I lifted the top half, the bottom crumbled and collapsed all over the desk and floor, but the top half didn't look half bad.

When I assembled it in the ballroom, I covered up the edge of the cut with a 1.5" wide satin ribbon rather than the originally planned thinner ribbon and the bride and groom were so ecstatic about the cake since the design was left up to me, and only a select few knew what had happened..

The final result.. http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1738178

I know what to do next time and even more drama happened between the assembly and the reception, but this story's already so long so I won't get into further details. =P
LL
LL
LL
LL
post #2 of 30
Awesome save!!!
post #3 of 30
What was your support system?
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
Reply
post #4 of 30
You're my hero!!! I, too, had a major disaster this weekend. I threw in the towel, though, while you ended up with a GORGEOUS cake!!! thumbs_up.gif
post #5 of 30
Looks deeeeee-lish though, I must say! icon_biggrin.gif

Congratulations on not only producing a gorgeous cake, but being a cool & collected professional to salvage it.

Nobody in that room (except you and your fellow travelers) would ever suspect you had any issues at all. It looks wonderful and I'm sure you blew the couple away with this cake!
post #6 of 30
Wow! WHAT a save! Congratulations on your professionalism - the bride and groom still got a sensational cake!!
Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

What was your support system?



Ditto.

Have to say....beautiful cake. thumbs_up.gif
everyday is a good day, some are just better than others.
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everyday is a good day, some are just better than others.
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post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

What was your support system?



I ordered SPS but unfortunately it didn't come on time and there were no stores within driving distance that carried it. Since this was a free gift/cake, I couldn't afford to have it rushed from the beginning (I won't be surprised if it arrived today). Therefore I had to use a combo of the wilton plastic dowels (which happened to be the on the only cake that collapsed) & the hidden pillars/plate. I've used the dowels very successfully in the past, but I underestimated how heavy this cake was..

So this is where I know one of my biggest mistakes... ORDER SPS EARLY and stock up!...
post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonia74

Looks deeeeee-lish though, I must say! icon_biggrin.gif

Congratulations on not only producing a gorgeous cake, but being a cool & collected professional to salvage it.

Nobody in that room (except you and your fellow travelers) would ever suspect you had any issues at all. It looks wonderful and I'm sure you blew the couple away with this cake!



Thanks... upside to the collapse, I got to taste the cake with all the elements before it was served (first time freezing cake a few days ahead). My MIL (who totally helped keep me calm through all this) FIL, and DD ate it for breakfast the next morning. There were a lot of guests who were commenting how moist it was (which is probably what also contributed to the collapse).

The bride saw me and the Groom called me the day before the wedding since we were already at the hotel to see how the cake was, and I just had to pretend that everything was going as planned. They were so happy about how the cake turned out and how it tasted... and how much cake was left over.
post #10 of 30
Ok, I don't know how many cakes you've done, whether you're a professional or hobbyist, etc. but the way you handled that makes you an absolute PRO in my book. I would defy ANYONE to handle it any better than you did. And the final outcome is gorgeous. You did an awesome job! I can see why your friend would be so thrilled!!
Melvira: Mistress of the dark... chocolate!

Well that's just great. Peanut butter in my crack.
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Melvira: Mistress of the dark... chocolate!

Well that's just great. Peanut butter in my crack.
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post #11 of 30
I saw this post and my heart broke..I saw your cake in the gallery and thought it's just gorgeous...I think I left a comment too...of course I had no idea what you went thru to get that! Congrats on the save!

Cat
post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

Ok, I don't know how many cakes you've done, whether you're a professional or hobbyist, etc. but the way you handled that makes you an absolute PRO in my book. I would defy ANYONE to handle it any better than you did. And the final outcome is gorgeous. You did an awesome job! I can see why your friend would be so thrilled!!



Thanks everyone, thanks Melvira.. I'm definitely more of a hobbyist and really only do this for friends and family but would one day love to open a custom cake studio...

I just wanted to share the story because I've read serveral "disasters" involving tall tiers and I wanted to show a way that some of your hard work can be saved.
post #13 of 30
Leah,

How do you use SPS with a tall tier like that? icon_confused.gif
post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by millermom



How do you use SPS with a tall tier like that? icon_confused.gif



Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was originally planning to put the sps in the bottom half (using a plate slightly smaller than the cake so it doesn't show) and then stack the top half just like two same sized tiers before doing a final coat of icing, then the fondant. Then put the SPS in the top half just like a regular tier....
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AileenGP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

Ok, I don't know how many cakes you've done, whether you're a professional or hobbyist, etc. but the way you handled that makes you an absolute PRO in my book. I would defy ANYONE to handle it any better than you did. And the final outcome is gorgeous. You did an awesome job! I can see why your friend would be so thrilled!!



Thanks everyone, thanks Melvira.. I'm definitely more of a hobbyist and really only do this for friends and family but would one day love to open a custom cake studio...

I just wanted to share the story because I've read serveral "disasters" involving tall tiers and I wanted to show a way that some of your hard work can be saved.


Way To Go!!! what an elegant and beautiful cake!!!
I am so proud of you for staying calm and WOW how blessed you are to have a MIL who helped you through this icon_smile.gif
I use Bubble tea straws in my cakes...You can find them at Asian grocery strores,now at Kroger and Walmart too...
Good job!!! thumbs_up.gif
-h
2009 was MY year!I LOST 83lbs in less than 9 months.I did it WITHOUT stepping foot in any gym or spending $$$.2010 is a "happy" year for me.THANK YOU LORD for blessing me.teenbatateen.blogspot.com
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2009 was MY year!I LOST 83lbs in less than 9 months.I did it WITHOUT stepping foot in any gym or spending $$$.2010 is a "happy" year for me.THANK YOU LORD for blessing me.teenbatateen.blogspot.com
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