Topsy Turvy Cake Tutorial

When I first starting baking and decorating cakes I was always amazed at Topsy Turvy Cakes.  There was a mystery about them and I could never quite figure out what technique they used to make them stable enough. To tell the truth, one of my worst cake experiences was when I tried to make my niece her first birthday cake and attempted this style of cake for the first time, but unfortunately everything went wrong. I sadly ended up taking the top two tiers off and just presenting the bottom tier…definitely not one of my finer moments in my cake career.  But thankfully those days are in the past and now the fears and anxiety of making topsy turvy cakes is over.  Since I had always found myself scouring the internet to get helpful hints about these styles of cakes and never found a tutorial that I loved I thought I would post one for all of you, so that you didn’t have to go through the same trouble I did.  I hope that you find this tutorial helpful and get the courage up to try one of these cakes too!

I don’t remember exactly, but I think my tiers were 5″, 7″, and 9″.  Each cake tier has three layers of cake and two layers of filling.  This particular cake was coconut buttermilk cake with lemon cream and coconut cream cheese frosting.  Once you fill and stack your cake you need to cut the top layer of the cake at an angle and then flip it over to create the sharp curve at the top of the cake.  To get those layers to stick together add a little filling and frosting to them to adhere. Always use a serrated knife when cutting your cakes and make sure they are thoroughly chilled too.

Also always make sure and pipe a buttercream dam around the edge of each cake layer when assembling so that the filling doesn’t squish out onto the outside of the cake.  This also helps with the stability of the cake.  I also trimmed the sides of the cake slightly to help with the topsy turvy look, but make sure and don’t carve away too much at the bottom as it can make the cake not as stable.  Once your cake is filled, you can either wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it or you can keep working and frost the entire cake before letting it rest.  

Once frosted you need to refrigerate the cake until the frosting is hard.  Then take a piece of parchment paper and trace the size of the next tier that while be sitting on top of it.  Cut out the circle and place it on the center of the cake it will be sitting on.  Then using a serrated knife cute the shape out of the cake below.  You need to make sure you cut into the cake so that the area is level and flat.  You are basically creating the illusion of the cake sitting at an angle, when in reality it is level.

Then you need to frost the exposed area and cover the cake in fondant.

I also covered the cake board in the same color fondant so that they cake has a finished look to it.  Before stacking the cakes make sure and carve and cover all of your cakes in fondant. Then put your dowels (supports) in the cake.  Make sure and cut the dowels all the same height so the cake is level.  Then add a little buttercream to the base the cake will be sitting on and place the tiers onto each other…adjusting them until you like the position of the cake.

I then used my airbrush machine to color the fondant more of a pink color and added a pearl shimmer to it also.  The lighting in the kitchen is horrible so all the colors are a little off than what they really were…basically the cake was a shimmery pink color in really life.

Then I made fondant pearls to go around the cake tiers and sprayed them with silver lust dust spray.

I decorated the sides and top of the cake with fondant cut-outs.  I used stamps to get the impressions on them and then sprayed them silver too.  For the topper I added fondant to silver wire and bent it to make the design.  

I actually ended up adding a couple star cut-outs to the fondant base board of the cake which I think made it look better.  I also wrapped the edge of the cake base board in silver ribbon to pull it all together. 

Well, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful and inspiring!  Happy Cake Baking!

 

 

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149 Responses to “Topsy Turvy Cake Tutorial”

  1. Heidi says:

    wow 1000 thank you’s!!! Excellent tutorial!

  2. Nina says:

    Thank you!!! I am attempting m first topsy turvy cake for a friend of mine!!! We shall see…… have faith!!! :) But really thanks for the clear cut instructions and PICTURES!!!!

  3. Sandra Nicol says:

    Thank you so much. I like you have been doing research on how to do the topsy turvy, which is becoming very popular. This is the fourth site i’ve visited, and I now have a very CLEAR understanding of what to do. Thanks for all your comments, tips and help. I now know that I can make this cake with the utmost confidence!

  4. Brenda says:

    Thank you for such great inspiration. I hope to try this one day.

  5. jamie says:

    Do you need to have each tier on a cake board when stacking or is the cake sitting right on the buttercream and dowels?

  6. Nicky says:

    Nicky says
    your cake looks beautiful. I am attempting one for my cousin as well. Can you please tell me if am to put cake board or cardboard at the bottom of the other top layers please. I love your tutorial.

  7. teresa says:

    just about to attempt my first topsy turvy cake, thanks for ur info. fingers crossed all will be good !!!!! will let u know how it goes x

  8. Heather says:

    I was going to tell my customer that I couldn’t do it till I read this…thanks vEry much! I understand it so much better now!:) Can I ask how much you charge for a cake like this?

  9. Jenn says:

    Thank you so much for your clear explanation and all the pictures! I’m making one for my sister’s birthday in a few weeks and will definitely be referring to your page for help!! Also, did u put cake boards under the top two layers?

  10. io says:

    Do u insert wood in each single tier or just d middle 1? Also how far into d top of d cake do u carve in before placing d next tier?
    Great tutorial BTW
    Thank-you

  11. Shenaaz says:

    this was very helpful, thank you so much. I am attempting my 1st ever topsy turvy cake, and you have written this so well, I am sure it’s going to help me loads :)

  12. Nadine says:

    Thank You so Much! You explained it better than the video tutorials. = )

  13. Thank you for this tutorial! I have always wanted to be able to tell my customers that I can do the Topsy Turvy, but never found a tutorial!

  14. Lucimar says:

    Adorei!!!
    Parabéns esta muito bem explicado..bjss

  15. Jay says:

    Superb. Big help. My daughter has asked for a TT wedding cake and I can’t wait to have a go. Will try a practise cake before hand as I want her cake to be perfect and I need to play around with decoration. Thank you again, I know it isn’t but you make it sound so easy.

  16. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for your explanation. I’m just about to make my first Topsy Turvy cake, I have scanned so many books and videos trying to find out how to make such a cake but your video is fantastic, step by step information, I will let you know how I get on.

  17. Angelik says:

    Thanks, u explain EVERYTHING so well… :0)

  18. becky says:

    hi just wondering can you tell me how much fondet you used to do this cake

  19. Martha Sanchez says:

    le doy las gracias por tan buena explicacion creo que para las personas como yo que empezamos a hacer pasteles de varios pisos y ahora con el tupsy turvy creo que aceptare hacer el pastel, pues el tutorial es muy bueno.

  20. anickh says:

    look way difficult):

  21. Nica says:

    Thanks for the awesome tutorial!!!

  22. C says:

    I have always loved these cakes! I asked the bakery to do one for my wedding, and they seemed a bit skeptical, but said they could do it. It turned out they couldn’t. The end result was an OK cake, but not at all what I’d imagined. I wish I’d had this tutorial to show them back then! Someday I will make my own! Thanks so much.

  23. Andrea says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the great tutorial. The last time I attempted this cake (same method) , the tall, sharp upper angle completey drooped and broke off. Is there something that I could be doing wrong? Any suggestions?

    Any solution you could suggest would be really appreciated!! :)

    Thanks!!

  24. Jill says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I will definatly try it when I feel brave enough :)

  25. Jeri says:

    Just wanted to let you know this has been a big help for me. I have to make a 3 layer cake like this. It will be my first time. This has made it easier for me to attempt.
    How much would a cake this size cost someone to buy?

    Thanks

  26. Michelle says:

    This is just perfect! You have everything that I was wondering covered and I don’t feel half as frightened attempting my topsy turvy cake now! :P

  27. Rachelle says:

    Could you do a topsy turvy cake (small 6″ & 8″ rounds) without the dowels? I’m attempting a 1 year anniversary cake for my husband and I as practice for our daughter’s 2nd birthday. I’m going to be doing a Minnie Mouse themed cake.

  28. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am attempting this tomorrow. Hopefully it goes as well as your tutorial:-)

  29. A. Wingo says:

    Thank you!!!! I have always wanted to know the correct way to do this and your tutorial will save me some trial and error I’m sure. Thank you for sharing! This is soooo helpful!

  30. Maree says:

    Thank you so much for this step by step guide to making a topsy turvy cake, attempting to make one today and now I’m a lot more confident in making it.

  31. Kelly says:

    Well, my cake didn’t turn out as well as yours, but for a first time ever working with fondant, I think I did pretty good! Thanks for your tutorial on how to create this whimsical cake. It was SUPER fun! :)

  32. Maria Cullum says:

    Thank you so much! Was dreading trying my first one, but you made it look possible.

  33. Luis Torres says:

    I need to know if ther is a chart of serving for the topsy turvy cakes, I need the chart since I need to make a 3 tier or level cake for a sweet 16 birthday

    Thank You,

    Luis Torres
    Puerto Rico

  34. Kate says:

    This tutorial is amazing. This will be my first topsy-turvy cake and I only need it to feed at least 10 people, so the size you did will be perfect. I won’t have time to make the fondant (let alone buy it) so I’ll be making it with icing and hope that it goes well. You make it look easy– it’s such a confidence boost. :D

    Thank you!

  35. Katie says:

    Just wanted to say a big, gigantic THANK YOU for this tutorial! I made my first topsy turvy cake this past weekend. I had a few hiccups but it turned out beautifully! Thanks again!

  36. dorcas bright says:

    Thanks for this is tutorials I learnt from it

  37. xa says:

    hello,
    Simply magic, magnificent, magic,
    thank you thank you
    xa

  38. Beryl Harvey says:

    My granddaughter will be 14 in a short time and has asked for a topsy turvy 4 tier cake. I feel rather apprentice about such a large cake but after watching your tutorial cannot wait to get cracking. Your instructions are very clear hoppy I can do you justice.

  39. Kathy says:

    Thanks for the well explained tutorial. This is a big help. Kathy

  40. mayette says:

    very helpful tutorial! will def bookmark this for future reference.

  41. Sheree says:

    Hi great tutorial I made one from the topsy turvy tin I wasn’t happy with results. I have been asked to make another one and will try this instead but can’t you confirm you put a cake board between each layer?

  42. Alberta Mote says:

    First time I have seen your site. I love your tutorials. This is the 1st one I have seen on the Topsy Turvy that looks like I can do it. I am I home decorator-family & friends. This is something I always wanted to do but never had time while working & raising my kids. Now I am a disabled RN who is stuck at home all the time so I took the Wilton courses like I also wanted too. I would love however to see the answers to the questions that people have asked about cake boards, dowels, & pricing. Will be visiting your site often. Thank you.

  43. Mary Wilson says:

    Thank you so very much for sharing this tutorial. It is the best, most easily understood one I have seen.

  44. amatorki says:

    Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website
    with us so I came to take a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting
    this to my followers! Wonderful blog and wonderful style
    and design.

  45. Iliana D8a says:

    Thank you for this tutorial is excellent.
    I will try to do The topsy turvy cake for my niece’s sweet 16 in two week.

    Wish me luck.

  46. sarah says:

    Thank you so much for explaining everything in detail..this tutorial is excellent for even beginners & now am so inspired to try this cake!!!

  47. Tammera says:

    Thank you!!!!!! Very good!!!!

  48. Out of all the tutorials I’ve visited this has been the BEST one. It’s clear and concise and most of all I believe I can achieve it. Thanks so much! Happy topsy turvying!

  49. Irene says:

    thank you! My cousin just asked me to do a mad hatter style wedding cake and with this tutorial I think I might be brave enough to try.

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