Cake Decorating

Bumpy delivery

I have to share my story about delivering my wedding cake this weekend.
The cake as you may of seen on my page is three tiers with dividers in-between with purple roses all around. For months even thinking about this cake has given me palpitations for various reasons.
I knew I should probably assemble the top tier at least when I got to the venue, as the cake would be a little more unstable than a normal three tier cake due to the separators. Also these were very deep cakes each tier 5-6" deep. The middle cake is a very deep fruit cake, so very heavy, which also worried me. Anyway after lots of thinking I decided it would be ok to transport ready assembled especially as the top tier was billowed and I wouldn’t want to damage any billowing by trying to assemble there.
So on the morning my hubby and I carefully manoeuvre the cake to the car which was scary as the cake was so tall, but we managed it.
I decided I would sit in the back to keep an eye on the cake as I was a little concerned, but then I always am. My husband had only driven about 2-4 minutes and the cake was just bouncing all over the place. I shouted for him to stop and we sat there for about 10 mins thinking what to do, me with my heart in my mouth. After deliberating I decided there was only one thing for it and I ripped the box and cellophane off the cake and I actually held the top tier of the cake to steady it all the way to the venue, 45 mins drive, the hairiest 45 mins of my cake career so far, I was so hot and flustered, I also said a lot of prayers. Luckily the billows had all set quite firm so I didn’t squash any of them buy holding the cake, which made me think I could of quite easily assembled on site without damaging them.
I am happy to say we made it with the cake in one piece. I will never take a cake like that fully assembled again, but we do live and learn. The day after this little episode I can hardly lift my left arm, I had it at such an awkward angle for so long.
I think delivering the cakes is definitely the scariest part of the job and I do try and be positive but in the back of my mind I do think oh dear one day something bad will happen.
Have any of you wonderful professional cake makers ever had anything scary happen ……… just to make me feel better lol xx
Also do you always have someone to help you with the bigger cakes, it would be near impossible if you didn’t x

ellie's elegant cakery

35 Replies

The delivery part is always scary, hate it so much. Have not had any major accidents as of yet, fingers crossed. xx

The Cake Nook

Aww bless u! Glad to hear it went ok in the end! I remember one day I had 2 very large cakes to deliver, within 5 minutes of leaving home I became suspicious and checked the boot, and one had slid within its box and crushed itself a little to the side! My boot it turns out isn’t level! The damage wasn’t noticeable in the end but I was a bit frazzled by it all to say the least xx

oh my gosh Sawsen, my heart beats faster just reading that. x

ellie's elegant cakery

Oh Ellie, big hugs, I agree delivering the cakes is the worst part. I had to deliver my wine barrel cake a few weeks ago and it was a two hour drive, I fell asleep part way there as I’d been up through the night finishing the cake and my hubby decided he felt cold and put the heater on full in the car :-O I woke up horrified as the car was so warm !!!!! (he will never ever do it again ha ha), my cake was dowelled and boarded, but the crumbcoat and filling was buttercream, so needless to say when we arrived my wine barrel had developed a lean, had slid across the board and looked drunk!!, the buttercream had softened that much that the wooden panels were bulging on the cake… I could have cried, I’ve never felt so sick. I’d taken an emergency kit of paste, paint…(half of the kitchen really) with me and spent an hour and half trying to make it look as good as possible, the chef at the venue kept coming out to calm me down bless him and even lent me a wooden board to help prop the cake up while is set again, but felt so awful. It made it worse as it was for a friend and we were invited to his party that evening, so I had to spend all night looking at it!! Our friend was over the moon with his cake and no one even seemed to notice that it was leaning, but I felt ill everytime I looked at it!!…I’ve now bought a sturdy stacker and am testing out using ganache instead of buttercream!!…I have a wedding cake to deliver soon and I am now terrifed!!

Sensational Sugar Art by Sarah Lou

oh my gosh Sarah Lou, its like having a panic attack isn’t it, except yours lasted all night because you had to keep looking at it.
We are our own worse critics and fortunately customers only see the overall beauty of the cake not the flaws.
I have never worked with buttercream only ganache as it sets so beautiful and firm, I have never had ganache melt on my or blow or anything. I can’t recommend ganache enough, you will love it im sure and it tastes so yummy.
Our poor husbands, they deserve a meddle lol xx

ellie's elegant cakery

Oh it is Ellie, I still feel ill when I look at the photos of the cake ha ha!! It was like torture, then the birthday boy appeared part way through the night carrying his cake to show everyone, I has to to go outside!! lol. You’re right, customers only see a fabulous cake and not the imperfections thankfully!!
Do you use white and milk chocolate ganache on a vanilla cake?, I was a bit worried it might taste strange as my customers all ask for buttercream and jam fillings in their cakes. I know my poor hubby has started going grey since he’s been delivering cakes with me bless him :-) xx

Sensational Sugar Art by Sarah Lou

Oh Ellie I just had to reply to this to make you feel better hun because there is nothing worse than that sinking feeling when transporting a cake.

I don’t ever think you stop worrying but you do learn from experience. I once full assembled a cake then got to the venue and realised the table was a tall table that I could just reach. Had to lift a four tiered cake up and the whole thing almost leaned against me, was so worried all the large roses were going to fall off and the tiers would slide off but thankfully it was ok.
Last year I had a cake that went all soft because it was one of the hottest days in the year and so since then I always use ganache especially for tiered cakes and wedding cakes.
From reading about other (famous) cake decorators who had disasters though the best thing is not to panic and to try and cover up and damaged areas. Most of the time people won’t notice. Always take things with you, extra flowers and bits to decorate/patch up areas of repair.

Bless you, I am already stressing about taking seven tiers to a wedding end of July for a trip that is over 2hrs! I really hope its not too hot and my husband has already tried to reassure me that the air conditioning in his car is much better than mine and that the cakes will be fine :)

I am delivering a cake in September where the bottom tier is a 12inch fruit cake so its going to be really heavy. As my wrists are fairly weak any way I am getting him to come with me to assemble that cake there. It will be too heavy fully stacked as it has 6 tiers so I am doing it there and giving myself plenty of time to decorate at the venue.

Hope all that helps, big hugs hun. Ax

Simply Alpa

ohhh it is always the very worst part of any project!!! And it is the part that makes me cuss and swear over and over again thinking about the inventor of the speed bumps/sleeping policeman !!!

Life is too sweet to be bitter

If I am doing a white sponge like vanilla or lemon, unless otherwise requested, I always use white chocolate ganache with strawberry jam or lemoncurd and then milk or plain chocolate ganache for chocolate based cakes. I promise Sarah Lou it tastes 100 times yummier than buttercream. You will have to make yourself a sponge with white ganache so you can see :).
Thank you so much Alpa :) so lovely to hear other people are just the same. My husband often says,“calm down, its only cake” …. well seriously, if anything happened, especially to a wedding cake, my life would be ruined and I would never make a cake again. Apart from having children a girls wedding day is one of the biggest days of their lives, so NO! its not just cake.
Delicate Cakes, thats a whole other story :) The speed humps and pot holes we had to dodge whilst I was trying to support my poor cake on Saturday …… I felt every bump :/
Aaahhh least I can laugh now xx

ellie's elegant cakery

Hi Ellie – oh I really empathize with how you felt – delivery is always terrifying for me. Last year on one of the hottest days -I had safely delivered a two tier cake to a friends house but the next day – just as hot – my friend then drove the cake to another venue and the cake apparently started to collapse – eeeeek!!!!! Oh my goodness I can’t tell you how sick I felt when I was told. I had used really good quality dowels and more than enough to support the top tier but now I also only use ganache on the outside of my cakes. If the cake is more than two tiers I assemble on site and always try to take someone to help me. Xx