First attempt at a topsy-turvy cake…

January 19, 2008

Well, I’m not very proud of this one – I guess it’s okay for a first attempt, and I learnt plenty along the way, but it’s nowhere near as good as I had hoped. Oh well – practice makes perfect!

I’ve been wanting to make one of these for awhile, but because each tier consists of multiple cakes it’s a lot of effort. I decided to make this for an informal potluck last night, since I figured there’d be plenty of people to eat it.

I found some instructions online that told me to make each cake within a tier a slightly different size, which I did, but in retrospect I’ve realised the really good ones I’ve been looking at don’t do this, and this caused a lot of instability. I’m sure it’s possible, but probably not recommended, since it gave my cake this really distorted look, and the bottom tier cracked a little after (thankfully) the top one was cut. There were two other problems; one was that something unexpected swallowed a large chunk of my day yesterday, so although the cakes were made I didn’t get to start decorating until after I got home from work at 8 – and really, this is the sort of cake that should take several hours to decorate. I finished at about 11, which was early enough to still catch a bunch of people at potluck… Although they were all quite full, so didn’t eat enough!

The last problem was that I didn’t have enough white icing (which I use instead of fondant – it tastes so much better and molds almost as well). If you roll it to the right thickness it has quite a bit of flexibility, so you can mold it around difficult shapes to some degree. Because mine was so thin it didn’t have any stretch left, and, worse, cracked very easily, so there were holes around the back. Also, as I was using the same stuff to decorate I became very limited in what I could put on it – I would have like more stripes, and something more interesting than a teeny bow on top, but that was all I had left.

All in all, it’s pretty messy – but I think next time I’ll be able to make a moderately impressive one. I’ll just make sure I have enough of everything, and allow more time, and it’ll be fine. 🙂



  1. Hi-

    I think this was a marvelous first attempt at a topsy-turvy cake! I am planning my first one, and I found your comments very helpful. I would like to know what specifically you mean by “white icing”. Is this store bought? Do you add powdered sugar to it to get the right consistency? Please email me. I would love to know! Thanks, and congrats on your pretty cake.

  2. Coming in a bit late. What do you mean by “white icing”? If not fondant what kind rolls?


  3. Hi Toni, white icing is fondant – it’s just that in the supermarkets here it’s called white icing, so I often switch between the two possible names. 🙂

  4. thank you so much.. im 12 and i plan on baking my own cake for my birthday and i want to make a three tier topsy turvy cake. im going to use these tips and some more to guide me. Do you know were i could locate fondant? walmart? albertsons? i just needed to know. thank you!

  5. Hi Angela, good luck with your cake! I live in New Zealand, sorry, so I can’t help you with stockist. Here most supermarkets have fondant in the baking aisle, and specialty craft shops usually have it. All the best!

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