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I lost the entire cake :(

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I had my first major cake disaster today during delivery. I have delivered hundreds of cakes in all temperatures and never had a problem, but today when I opened the back of my van the entire cake had fallen over and was destroyed :( It was a three tier cake supported by a center dowel. It was all still attached, just laying on it's side. The strange thing was that the bottom cake had separated from the cardboard cake plate. The cake was structurally sound. It just came off the cardboard cake plate. It was 'glued' on to the board with frosting. The only difference with this cake and others was that it sat on a thin grease proof cardboard cake plate and that was 'glued' with frosting to a 14inch silver cake drum. I normally attach the bottom cake to the drum. The cake plate was stuck quiet well to the cake drum, but obviously something was very wrong because the cake came off of the plate very easily, except where I had glued the bottom of it with frosting. There was a clump of cake that had separated there.

 

I'm just trying to figure out what went wrong so that this never happens again. Like I said, I've never, ever had anything like this happen before and it was absolutely awful. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I should have taken a picture, but was too horrified that it even happened.

post #2 of 25
Do you have pictures so we can maybe see what happened? Sometimes it helps.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

I think it would have helped, but I was too much in despair to take a picture. In hind site it would have been best learning tool to have the images. Every cake tier has a thin cardboard board. These were the white grease proof wilton ones. The bottom cake came off of that. It acted like it had no frosting between cake and board, but there was a large plop of frosting in the middle. I'm wondering if the board soaked up the moisture from the bottom of the cake and dried it out enough to make it slip off of the cardboard easy? I frosted these on Wednesday and stacked it today so it had been on that thin cardboard plate for a few days. Then I put the whole cake on a large cake drum. The flaw was somewhere with the cake drum or the bottom cardboard plate.

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

I don't have the cake anymore, but here's what it was sitting on. The cake plate is glued with frosting to the silver drum. The cake literally popped off of the smaller plate. It was laying all stacked perfectly on it's side right next to the plate. So sad :( The dowel really does help stabilize a cake! Amazing how it was all holding together so well on it's side! Lol! you can still see where the frosting held the bottom of the cake on. Again, this is how I've always stuck my cakes to the board and have never had a problem even with 4 tier cakes. I normally do not have the smaller plate on top of the silver drum. The bottom cake is usually glued with frosting directly to the silver cake drum. So, I'm trying to figure out if the problem occurred because of the double plates? Or was it because I should have put more frosting around the edges of the cake plat? or was it something to do with that cake? I've transported so many cakes and never had anything like this happen!! 

 

 

post #5 of 25

I am so sorry that you had to go through this. It must have been very frustrating to work so hard on your cake and have something like this happen!!! Don't be too hard on yourself because just about everyone who makes cakes has had disasters happen to them also. 

 

If this is the first time that you have attached a grease proof plate on top of the drum then maybe it had something to do with that. I am only guessing since I am a hobby baker.

 

I am sure some of the experts will be able to tell you what they think could have caused this. I will be watching to see what the others say.  Hang in there, you are not alone!!!

post #6 of 25

I am wondering if you had the center dowel nailed all the way into the silver drum? If the center dowel isn't nailed through the bottom cake board/drum it can slip. So when you say the entire cake was intact and toppled over it sounds to me like the center dowel wasn't nailed into the bottom cake drum..I can't tell from looking at the picture if there is a hole in the bottom board. Do you remember?

post #7 of 25

I can't make a guess on your cake, but I watched the free tutorial on Craftsy from Joshua John Russell and He attached his cakes to the board with melted white chocolate.  I think I'll try that on my next cake.

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post #8 of 25

random guess--it looks like the waxed board did it's job of not letting the cake juices seep into it except around the outside edge--what do you do inside your cake pans? how do you grease them or do you use parchment or waxed paper?

 

i'm thinking maybe you hit a bump or two and the cake just became airborn and popped off because it was not attached--that's my best guess--and there could have been one of those air bubbles down there too--hovering under the cake--even though it was attached in the middle--just not enough to hold it right--

 

your method of greasing the pans could have exacerbated that by keeping the protective barrier on the bottom of the cake--you placed it bottom side down?

 

what flavor cake was it?

 

it really broke my ♥ when you said 

 

Quote:
 when I opened the back of my van the entire cake had fallen over and was destroyed :( 

 

 ouch ouch ouch-- i feel yah

favorite slogan "you sweet talker, Betty Crocker"

 

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favorite slogan "you sweet talker, Betty Crocker"

 

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post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

The center dowel did not go though either of the bottom boards. I asked my business partner if she'd gotten it all the way though the drum and she believed she had, but after the fact it was obviously not. I think this may have been a contributing factor, but I cannot guarantee that all of our cakes have not been doweled through the bottom board in the past and we've never had this happen. Makes me think that there were other contributing factors, but I also agree that the dowel needed to go through all boards. 

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

Oh, and the waxed board is completely filled with grease on the underside. Like it sucked out the moisture of the cake. We use crisco in our pans and dust with flour. The cake was chocolate and was placed bottom side down. It seemed almost dry on the bottom after inspecting it sideways in the van, but the inside of the cake was wonderful and moist as normal. I know that those silver drums don't suck the oil from the cake because they are sealed and that cake had been on that board since Wednesday. It actually fell about 2 minutes into the drive. I gently turned off my road onto the main road and it just plopped itself over. 

post #11 of 25

think there was an air bubble between the board and the cake or something? sounds like some kind of perfect storm--very strange--so sorry that happened--

favorite slogan "you sweet talker, Betty Crocker"

 

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favorite slogan "you sweet talker, Betty Crocker"

 

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post #12 of 25

I am not a disaster sleuth, but what you are describing on setup- I do the exact same thing on every tiered cake I make. Each cake has same size boards and then those boards are attached to a silver drum base. I have never ever ever ever had this happen and this is my norm. This to say that I'm not sure you actually "did" anything wrong here. It really may be a complete fluke where an air bubble got underneath, the icing separated when it sat, a cake imp decided to give it a push.....

life is short, get a cakesafe.
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life is short, get a cakesafe.
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post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

I'm going to go with a cake imp pushed it over! Lol! I think that it was a perfect storm with strange factors that created a disaster. I'm glad to hear I did nothing obviously wrong. I will slightly modify the way we attach cakes in the future and will be giving it a sturdy test in the future before putting it in the van. Otherwise, I'll keep baking and hope for the best in the future! I knew one of these days something like this was bound to happen.

post #14 of 25

I would go with a cake imp pushed a cake that was not properly doweled over.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by deliciousdesign View Post
 

The center dowel did not go though either of the bottom boards. I asked my business partner if she'd gotten it all the way though the drum and she believed she had, but after the fact it was obviously not. I think this may have been a contributing factor, but I cannot guarantee that all of our cakes have not been doweled through the bottom board in the past and we've never had this happen. Makes me think that there were other contributing factors, but I also agree that the dowel needed to go through all boards. 

post #15 of 25

Not sure what happened...but may I ask why you put your bottom cake on a board...then also on the drum?    To me, this is an unnecessary use of that bottom board.   I would think that..and the fact that the center dowel did not go through all the way to the drum...and a bad bump?  I don't know...was your cake cold?   I don't think you mentioned that, but I only travel with a cake that has been in the frig overnight.   A room temperature cake is a dangerous cake ..my opinion. 

Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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