Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

I am so glad I am doing a practice run of my purse cake.  I am following a video tutorial (using my own pattern), and that doesn't seem to be the problem.  I used my chocolate cake recipe and have carved with it before, freezing it slightly first, but it is crumbling as I try to form the contours of the purse.  When I curve the side outward from the top and back inward at the bottom, the side crumbles off and won't hold the weight of not having anything below it.  I know that the buttercream and fondant will hold it, but is this normal?  Should I freeze it longer (shorter) or use a different cake recipe?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.  This is for a special client and I want it to be perfect.

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I'm clueless here Laurie but am anxious to see the professional responses on that one... Good luck with your cake and I hope it turns out to be great.

For what it's worth - I usually carve the cake and any additional contouring etc (the curving out at end) I use spackle to form - spackle is really the stuff you make cake pops from - your cut off cake crumbled and mixed with buttercream icing - a word of advice: don't ever add anything else to the spackle, e.g. ganache, chocolate etc. cause when the cake it all covered etc, the "spackling" has a tendency to pull away from the cake.  This has happened to me twice already - I could not understand when it happened the first time (I had mixed ganache in with it) and the second time I mixed in some nutella - beeeeeeeeeg mistake!  Also, once you have done initial carve, cover cake in clingwrap and put in freezer - and you carry on in that way, and once you have got it all crumbcoated (be it with buttercream or chocolate ganache) - I put it back in the refrigerator for a good while to set up properly before covering in the fondant. The fondant does get sweaty, but this dries out after a period of time.  (I wouldnt airbrush until the sweating has stopped).  Hope that helps (bear in mind I live in a very humid part of the globe).  All the best .  (if your cake still crumbles, it might be a good idea to change recipe - I have found that the chocolate cakes of "inspired by michelle" on the internet are absolute winners and fabulous for carving because they are solid and get more and more moist the longer they are kept without becoming "brittle".)

Mandy has pretty much said what I would have done Laurie.  Wrapping in cling film and chilling should certainly help a lot - it holds it in shape and helps it firm up in shape.  I would also have suggested trying to build out your sides with spackle and shaping it with that - less cutting and you can mould it with your hands.

As for the type of cake - I do find chocolate crumbles more easily than others.  Perhaps you could try a chocolate madeira recipe, or add some pudding mix to the recipe you are using.  I find that tends to make a firmer textured cake.

i've never used spackle to form on my cakes. chocolate (or any less dense cake) will give you the same result. i cover my cakes in a lot of cling wrap and freeze for 15-20 minutes. you also should use a serrated knife and remove small sections repeatedly instead of trying large ones all at once. when i do mine, i remove 1/4 -1/2 inch at a time instead of an inch at a time

I agree with Mandy !

Thanks, everyone.  I have never used spackle before, but it sounds like a good idea to try.  

Karie, I use a small serrated knife and small cuts as well.  This recipe worked for the volcano (of course it was a very forgiving design ;-) ), and for a cat I did years ago, but I did start with a lamb mold for that one as it was my first ever carving of any kind.  I will try using the cake I have and making spackle.  If that doesn't work I will choose a new recipe.

I too have used cake spackling but would prefer not to. If I use a recipe that has sour cream as an ingredient, I get a much denser, yet very moist cake. I use a recipe I got from a Sharon Zambito video so I can not share the recipe.

Gail, you did a purse didn't you?  Was that with the Craftsy Video?  Was it worth getting it?

art deco cakes by galidink said:

I agree with Mandy !

yes I did , yes its worth it , the things you learn can be used on many carved cakes

Laurie Beier said:

Gail, you did a purse didn't you?  Was that with the Craftsy Video?  Was it worth getting it?

art deco cakes by galidink said:

I agree with Mandy !

yes its posted on this site ! but I did a very small one !

Good luck Laurie - the reason I use spackling is to make use of all the cake that is carved away and which I really do not have a market for - except my hips and they sure have had enough marketing for a whole lifetime :-)

Funny Mandy!

Mandy Nel said:

Good luck Laurie - the reason I use spackling is to make use of all the cake that is carved away and which I really do not have a market for - except my hips and they sure have had enough marketing for a whole lifetime :-)

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