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Sliding Tiers and Cracked Fondant "2"

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I made a cake for my son's second birthday. It was 4 layers of 8" rounds and 4 layers of 6" rounds (see pic). I prepared the cake Saturday evening, and by the time of the party Sunday noon the bottom tier was tilting and the top tier was sliding. I am wondering what would cause this... the cakes had been frozen but were thawed before I began icing. Was the cake too moist? I leveled each layer... they seemed flat, but maybe not perfectly level? I did stick 4 wooden kabob skewers through the cake, and that's probably what saved the whole top tier from sliding off.

Also, although I left my fondant "2" out on the counter to dry for a week, when I put it on the cake, the top spiral fell off and the bottom of the "2" broke in 2 pieces. I tried reattaching the spiral with a toothpick, which looked crummy (see pic) and fell off minutes later. The broken bottom could be concealed.

The cake looked ok, but after spending so much time and effort, I was so diappointed that it looked like it was tipping and that the topper wasn't how I had prepared it. I'm obviously just a mom trying to make fun, memorable cakes for my kids, but was hoping you could give me some suggestions to avoid incidents like these in the future. I would so appreciate any advice anyone can offer! Thank you so much!
LL
LL
post #2 of 10
To me it seems like your support system was the culprit for the leaning top tier. I do not recommend skewers for support. I use thick bubble tea straws for support in all of my cakes...I have done a 4 tier wedding cake using this method. One thing that I have learned is that all the straws have to be cut the same length...if you cut them at various lengths then that will cause the cake to look slightly drooping/sliding. IMO the cake, frosting and that it was previously frozen had nothing to do with it. Again, it is your support system. Now, did you use the 4 skewers in the bottom tier to hold up the top tier, or did you insert the skewers once the top tier was placed?

Now for your topper....did you only use fondant or gumpaste? When I do my toppers I always use fondant and use plenty of tylose powder. The tylose hardens up the fondant. I have done toppers 2 days and sometime 1 day in advance and have never had any problems. If you use gumpaste, you dont have to use tylose powder. When you have a breakage you can always "glue" the pieces with melted chocolate...works every time. But in my experience, it is always a good idea to do extras of your toppers for that "what if" moment.

Hope this helps icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 10
What type of plate/board did you use between the eight inch tier and the six inch tier?

deborahanne

http://grandmasugarskitchen.blogspot.com/
http://fromlinetocolor.blogspot.ca/

Life begins at 325° F, and, yes, that IS powdered sugar in my hair.

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deborahanne

http://grandmasugarskitchen.blogspot.com/
http://fromlinetocolor.blogspot.ca/

Life begins at 325° F, and, yes, that IS powdered sugar in my hair.

Baby Shower
(6 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(6 photos)
Christmas
(6 photos)
Reply
post #4 of 10
I would say your leaning problem is because of your lack of support. There should be a series of dowels/straws placed around each layer with a cardboard (topped with the next tier) on top. There should be a cardboard for about every 4 inches of cake. The dowels and cardboard act like a table with the next tier sitting on top. This way each tier sits on the table, instead of pushing down on the next cake below it. The skewers do nothing to prevent the upper cakes from smashing down into the lower cakes, which is what the dowel/cardboard system does. http://www.wilton.com/cakes/tiered-cakes/stacked-tiered-cake-construction.cfm This has a bit more info and pictures. The other purpose of a dowel is totally separate from the support and that is if you are transporting a stacked cake, some put one or two long dowels from the bottom cake board all the way through the top to help keep the layers together and not shifting during transport.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for your responses. I clearly have a lot to learn! I didn't use ANY board between my tiers icon_sad.gif Ughhhh, such a novice mistake! I just stuck the skewers in from the top straight through the whole cake. I get these big ideas, but I've obviously put the least thought into the most critical part- constructing a cake that will actually stand up!

I made this cake for my daughter's 4th birthday. Stupidly made that 4 layer mountain part with nothing but a couple wooden skewers. By the next morning we had to rig up a contraption to prop it up. I guess making these cakes is pointless if they don't stand up! I think I need to invest in a class...

Thanks for inspiring me to learn more!! Your cakes are lovely!
LL
LL
post #6 of 10
I love your effort and desire to create something so special for your kids. You have done great work and if you do a little more research on the support system, you will have great cakes with little or no sliding issues. It really isn't that complicated, you can do the stacking part easy based on your great cakes you have posted. Check out these two videos on stacking.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHSzbG_y9JE&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvaCSW78ybc
They are by seriouscakes and tonedna1. They both do great videos that show lots and lots on techniques and worth watching as you have time.
post #7 of 10
In my opinion a 4" tier (no matter how many inside layers) is as high as you should go.
Higher then this should be broken into separate tiers.

A few mistakes you may have done.

Bottom tier - place on cardboard cake round. stack and Fill each layer and pop it in the refrigerator. If you are going to buttercream and fondant, do the bittervream. Pop in fridge. Then take out when chilled and fondant it. Put back in refrigerator.
Top tier - place on cardboard cake round. stack and Fill each layer and pop it in the refrigerator.Again - if you are going to add fondant do it just like the bottom tier,

Once chilled, take out the bottom tier and place 4 (exact same length) wooden or plastic dowels in that tier. Dowels will hold the weight of the tier above so that the bottom tier has no weight sitting on it. If you want a really easy job, make your tiers exactly 4" tall and use the SPS stacking system instead of dowels.

As far as the #2, mix fondant with gumtex powder or tylose powder. Form your #2 and while soft, insert your skewers into it which will be the stuck in your cake top at the end.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyWren2120


Also, although I left my fondant "2" out on the counter to dry for a week, when I put it on the cake, the top spiral fell off and the bottom of the "2" broke in 2 pieces. I tried reattaching the spiral with a toothpick, which looked crummy (see pic) and fell off minutes later. The broken bottom could be concealed.
I would so appreciate any advice anyone can offer! Thank you so much!



When I make numbers or letters like yr No. 2, I insert a food safe wire (floral or thicker) in the middle of the fondant/gumpaste 'rod' then carefully shape it to the desired letter/number by bending the wire without breaking or tearing the fondant. Let it dry some and before it hardens I will insert toothpicks on the bottom to help attach it on cake. It always work!

BTW yr cakes are beautiful, I am really impressed by all you have done without having much experience!!! Good luck thumbs_up.gif
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oh, you are all so sweet to take the time to help me! Thank you thank you! Too bad I only have the chance to practice my skills twice a year for my kids' birthdays- wish I had the time and opportunity to make the cakes again to fix all my mistakes! I should have researched how to make my #2 BEFORE I made it- sounds like had I heeded your advice I could have saved myself the stress of the broken "2" I used ONLY fondant!!! You live and learn! Next time I'll know to add gum paste or that tylose or a wire! And of course a sturdier, more elaborate support system for tiered cakes. I never realized all that went into the inside- I've been so fixated on the exterior!

Thanks so much! I so appreciate your taking time to help me and recommend tutorials to watch!
post #10 of 10
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/tiered-cakes/stacked-tiered-cake-construction.cfm

Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
Reply
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