why does my decorated tiered cake fall apart before the party?

by Gale
(Sugar Land, TX)

I make cakes for my grandchildrens birthday's. They always seem to be two and three tiered cakes.

I always have to travel a short distance to the party location and by the time I get there the cake has shifted and seems to be falling apart.

I make and decorate the cake the day before. Maybe this is the reason they split and separate because they are so fresh. What can I do to prevent this. I use dowel rods between the tiers. Maybe I am not using enough dowel rods. Thank you for any suggestions.

From the editor:

Hi Gale,

Here's the time line that works for me. I've never lost a cake yet:

2 days ahead - Bake and cool the layers. Stack and fill each tier and place on a separate cardboard cake circle. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours. Crumb coat, add 5-7 dowels to the bottom two tiers and refrigerate overnight.

1 day ahead - Top coat all the tiers and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Stack the tiers and insert a dowel through the center of the cake, running all the way from top to bottom and into the cake board, if possible. This is one reason I like to use cardboard or Styrofoam cake boards. finish decorating and refrigerate until ready to transport.

When transporting a cake - place in an upside down large plastic storage tub. Lay a piece of non-slip rubber shelf liner on the lid, then the cake on top of that. Click the body of the container onto the lid and you have the perfect large cake carrier to transport your cakes in.

I hope these tips have been helpful. Good luck with your next project.


Michelle (editor)

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