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Topsy Turvy - well it toppled

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I made my first topsy turvy cake for my sister's 40th birthday. I used the method of carving out a circle from the tier and setting the next tier in that spot. This was a three tier pound cake. I prepared the cake on Friday night and stacked on Saturday morning. The tiers were supported with bubble tea straws (my first time using) and the tiers were on foam core.

As I was working on the borders I noticed small cracks in the icing on the top of the bottom tier. I patched them up and them a couple on the middle tier. As I was taking the cake to the van the side of the cake started to fall. I brought it back in and put some skewers in the side.

I headed back out to the van and when placed in the van the side fell off the bottom tier. I then took the top two tiers off for the trip over. In route the bottom tier sides just fell - from where the middle was carved out.

So we just decided to use the bottom for a "kitchen" cake and use the remaing two tiers. The cake sat for about 6 hours and then the middle tier side fell.

We ended up just using the top tier and cut the rest from the back.

Does anyone have any idea what I did or did not do that resulted in this disaster?
post #2 of 28
Not sure, but it sounds like you carved the tier too much. Adding too much of a slant on the sides of these cakes can cause what you are describing
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
I wasn't sure how far to go down. So I carved about an inch and a half. That may have been it!
post #4 of 28
How many straws did you put in each layer?
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post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
I put seven straws in each tier - which had three layers each.
post #6 of 28
Actually it may have been a diameter issue. What were the diameters of each tier?
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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.
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post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
The botton was 12"-11"-10" the middle was 10"-9"-8" and the top was 6"-6" they were all tappered.
post #8 of 28
Sounds like straw overload. Lemme guess. They cracked right at or near the straws?
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
It craked from about 1" past the straws. Basically from where the bottom of middle tier was on the top of the bottom tier. I would have never thought about too many straws.
post #10 of 28
Oh wow!!! So sorry that happened to you! but it sounds like it was definitely tapered too much! I don't think I would have tapered it that much more if using graduating sized cakes. I think using graduating sizes is to avoid having to taper as much. I did one just this weekend using formecore bubble tea straws, a cutout center and drove it over 60 miles to the city and had no problem. So im pretty sure it had to be the tiers being tapered too much. Don't let this one keep you from doing another one! (((((HUGS)))))
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Success is to be measured not so much by the
position that one has reached in life...
as by the obstacles which he has
overcome while trying to succeed.
- Booker T. Washington
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post #11 of 28
While It sounds to me like too many straws weakening the cake I think the taper was probably pretty severe too. I make them fairly frequently and I always start with 3 rounds of the same size for each tier and taper gently after slanting the top. I am very sorry for this hard lesson learned, I wish it was for a practice cake and not for a person special to you icon_sad.gif

I am sure you will master this type of cake in the future.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well lesson learned, and I am going to try one again. One with less tappering I owe my sister a birthday cake!
post #13 of 28
My opinion is that you didn't carve the hole out enough and the pressure from setting that 2nd tier in it on the sides that weren't carved enough is what caused it to break apart. (ask me how I know this??) icon_wink.gif

Even though you took that tier back out, the damage to the base tier was done. I have used bubble tea straws and foam core and not had any trouble after figuring out how big to cut the hole for the next tiers.

I don't think you needed that many straws - I used 5 in the base, 4 in the middle tier and then a center dowel down through the base board.
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post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
I made the size of the cut based on the pan size, which did not allow for much wiggle room. That is a good point that is was not cut out enough.

I am going to try again! I have received a lot of advise and I really appreciate all the help!

Thank you.
post #15 of 28
I went with the advice of leah_s when she was explaining on her SPS tutorial. I think a topsy turvy is about 6 inches high since you have to use 3 cakes. If you cut the hole down 1 layer, you get exactly 4 inches high. Plus, it's easy to make sure the hole is level since you're cutting down to the "filling" so to speak and can easily see the frosting. If the tier above is cut small enough, you'd have an inch of cake all the way around, so it'd be structurally sound and your little wall of cake shouldn't fall off either. Hopefully this helps? I've never used bubble tea straws before, so I couldn't tell you if it was straw overload or not.
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