Hey it’s Sharon —
I’m sure you’ve noticed the recent craze in cake decorating: the gravity defying cake!
The old days of the “simple” topsy turvy cakes like below are gone.
Now it’s been taken up a notch, with increasing tilt angles and the use of custom internal structures to achieve the seemingly impossible:
They can be intimidating; especially the first one you make. But with that also comes the fun of the challenge and the feeling of pride when you’re done.
I’m an advocate for all of us trying to push past our comfort zones. I encourage you to give them a try if you haven’t. You might be surprised at what you can do.
If you do foray into the anti-gravity cake world, here’s a few basic tips to keep in mind:
- Plan, plan, plan – Take a good amount of time to really think it through and design your structure. Use whatever tutorials you can find, and apply that info to your specific project.
- Don’t push it – Keep your angles at about 10 degrees, no more than 15. You’d be surprised how “topsy” a 10 degree angle will look.
- Do a test run – If it’s your first go at it, do a dry run with maybe two tiers, to ensure you’ve got all the basics nailed down. You may discover some issues you didn’t expect, and you can resolve them before you do the “real” version.
- Ensure food safety – This is a biggie. Structure cakes use a lot of materials not intended for use with food. Find out what steps you need to take to make sure all parts are compliant with food safety rules. Example: disinfect all PVC pieces before use or paint metal pieces with a food safe paint
- Think about weight – Consider how much weight your structure will need to hold and choose your materials accordingly. A small bag of M&M’s pouring out into a “bowl” would work using a thin wooden or plastic dowel, but a hefty project like the one below will need heavy duty metal rods, flanges, PVC, washers and nuts to keep it stable.
- Support your support – Just like a traditional tiered wedding or party cake, you need super strong support boards under each tier of cake. Use something that won’t flex or bend, like 1/2 inch fomecore, plywood, or MDF (covered with plastic wrap to make it food safe.)
- Break out the ganache – The tiers that make up a gravity defying cake are often sitting at a pretty steep angle. I recommend using ganache under fondant, rather than buttercream. That ganache shell sets up nice and firm to hold everything in place with much less chance of shifting or sliding.
- Have fun! Go ahead and dive in and have a good time. Don’t let fear hold you back. Start small and work your way up to the big time like this beauty:
Full length video tutorial for this gravity defying Birthday Bash cake is available in my online school along with a special offer: