Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Adventures in cake, Tangled (or, my cake disaster)




Just this past Monday my oldest daughter turned seven.  We threw a party for her this past Saturday.  It wasn't a big party, just very close friends and family.  I planned a smaller cake than I normally make and added cupcakes to make up the difference.

I am so excited because this is the first cake I have made since starting the blog that I knew to try and take good pictures as I went.  This is your warning that this is a picture heavy post, but I show you nearly every step I took.  You may notice red numbers in parenthesis in the post, I assure you I will tell you the meaning before the post is over.

This is my mixer.  I use this baby to make my cakes and my icing.  It has definitely been a good investment.



I told you guys last week that I hadn't even thought about what I was going to make as far as a cake goes.  Well, Thursday (1) I decided I was going to do a tower from the movie Tangled.  I pulled out three of my cupcake pans in standard, jumbo and king.  I also grabbed a six inch round pan.


I pulled out my stash of cupcake wrappers (this is only half my stash).


I baked up 16 standard cupcakes, 2 jumbo and 4 king.  Oh, and my six inch round.  The Princess chose strawberry cake so that is why they are all pink.


Want to know my secret for keeping my cake from sliding around on the cake board?  Put a big swipe of icing right in the center.


Then put your cake right on it.  I didn't level the round cake, I thought it looked a little like a hill (2).


I iced the entire round with leaf green tinted icing, than slapped it with the flat side of my spatula to make it appear more like grass.


I used some straws for support of the first cupcake, to keep it from sliding around.


I stacked three leveled king cupcakes together and put a straw right through the middle to hold them all together.  These are the extra long straws you find in some places.  I cut some more straws to help stabilize the jumbo cupcake I was putting on top, since the green straw was too short (3).


I then iced the tower thus far in plain buttercream.  See that stick in the top?  It was leaning a bit so I gave in and put a cake dowel down through the center (4).


I used a sugar cone to help make the roof of the tower.


I covered it in a layer of purple icing.  I wasn't concerned with how smooth it was going to look because I intended to make the icing look like shingles.


I used a narrow basket weave tip, but I used the flat side out.


Okay, this is were it got interesting (not).  As I was putting the shingles on the roof I kept noticing that it looked like it was still leaning.  I kept straightening it up and readjusting the supports but it still had an obvious tilt.  I watched helplessly as the tower leaned over and disintegrated on me.  The only thing left in tact was the jumbo cupcake from the top (on the plate), and it fell apart a few minutes later, and the base.  See that bowl in the front?  It is full of my tower remnants.  I couldn't save any of it and I was very frustrated at this point.


I decided to level off the round and save it for later.


By now, it was near midnight and I was too tired to work on it anymore.  Besides, I really didn't have enough extra to try again.

Early Saturday morning I assessed the damage and realized where my mistakes were.  Those are those numbers in red you saw.  The points where I should have planned better.  I guess this will teach me to just make a cake on the go from now on.  I also knew I still needed a cake for my daughter's birthday.

I went out to Hobby Lobby and walked around the store, trying to figure out how I could save the day, and my little girl's feelings.  Inspiration struck!  I bought a 12 inch round styrofoam and three packs of 3 inch styrofoam rounds.  I bought a 14 inch hard cakeboard as well as a 6 inch.  I grabbed some cream satin that was on sale (half a yard) and a spool of yellow ruffled ribbon.

When I got home I had still had a long list of things to get done.  I knew that the cake would be tight to fit in, but I put off working on it for a bit.  When I finally had time to start working on it again, it was two hours until the party started.

I placed the 12 inch round in the center of the table.


I tested to make sure it was stable enough to put the 14 inch round on.  It was! Yay!


I cut a square of the satin just big enough to cover the cake board and taped it down with packing tape.  I did the same to the six inc cake board.


Here it is, wrinkled.  I wasn't worried about that at this pint because I knew I needed to hurry.


I stacked the 3 inch rounds into a column.


Remember those U pins I used to make that rainbow cake board tutu?  They came in very handy again.


I used them to hold together the rounds, putting each one in at an angle into the next.  It was very solid.


I wrapped my new column in satin.  That top edge got trimmed level before this was over.


I used double sided tape to put the ribbon around the edge.


Here it is finished.  That clear plate does have a purpose.


See, it is the base for the remaining jumbo cupcake.  Using another sugar cone I turned it into a tower top.


This is a closer shot of how the shingles looked when finished.  I just staggered that basket tip all the way around it.


I used a Wilton 1M tip to make roses on the cupcakes I had made the day before.


The Jumbo was carefully set atop the stand.  Those pieces were not hooked together so we couldn't bump the table.


Are you wondering what happened to the six inch round?  I made roses on it also and used it for the candles.


I had also punched out some little sun toppers that were from Paging Supermom.


Here is what my tower looked like in the end.  I finished it all in an hour and a half, just enough time to grab a shower before guests arrived.


How do you think it turned out?



This cake was featured at





Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.







38 comments:

  1. Looks great! (we have the same kitchen aid)

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  2. beautiful job - the amount of work you did for this cake is truly AMAZING - found you via linky - would love for you to come visit me too... off to have a good look around your blog - best wishes. x

    http://partycraftsecrets.blogspot.com/

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  3. I think all your cakes look amazing and the fact that you did the final one with so little time. Fantastic job. I love your blog by the way and read it all the time. I am new to cake decorating, so love coming here for inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am glad you are able to find inspiration here.

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  4. What an adventure! Glad it worked out in the end. Way to go on making such a cute cake at the last minute (and getting a shower in before everyone arrived!).

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! After all the running the shower was really needed.

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  5. Your "disaster" turned out very cute!! My daughter turns 3 in a couple months and I have a hunch a princess-cake is in my near future. Thanks for the ideas!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Good luck on your cake. The reason I post what I do is to help others figure to how (or for this one how not) to do the cakes.

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  6. I am do super impressed! I could not do this. I thing it looks whimsical and creative!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I bet you can do it. Never hurts to try.

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  7. This is too cute! You did an awesome job!

    Mrs. Delightful
    www.ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com

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  8. Way to save the day! I love the homemade non-cake tower, very inventive. I also love that mixer, it makes everything so much easier and the batters smoother. I'm in process of making a construction truck cake for my son's birthday tomorrow. It might be too tall, not sure yet:)

    Jessica
    stayathomeista.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I look forward to seeing pictures of the truck cake. I hope you post them.

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  9. oh my goodness you did an amazing job! I would of fallen apart with the tower and chucked the lot! The end result is awesome! x

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I did throw out most of what collapsed. Friends and family told me they would have eaten it anyway.

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  10. So cute! You're very talented. My twin daughters turn four in a few months! We have the movie Tangled memorized :)

    www.caveprincess.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Now you know a few thing not to do if you try making a Tangled tower. I look forward to seeing what you make for their birthday.

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  11. New follower! I LOOOVE the cake. Way to go. Hope you stop by and follow my blog.
    http://www.thegirlinthewildwest.com/

    Love,
    The Girl in the wild west

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by. I will check you out.

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  12. This is so cute. Great work! Jodi @ www.meaningfulmama.com

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  13. What a lucky girl. It turned out fab - thanks for sharing that. Now do you think my boys might like one?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm not sure what your boys would think. Maybe you could tell them it is a castle?

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  14. awww you did a great job salvaging it! Cake disasters are the worst. Nice creatitivty on the save though!!! :)

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  15. I think it's great. I would not even attempt something like that. Thanks for linking to our Handmade Tuesdays party.

    ReplyDelete

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