How to Make a Topsy Turvy Cake : Petal Crafts Review

Have you seen the newest trend in cakes? Topsy Turvy Cakes are fun, whimsical cakes perfect for weddings, birthdays, and other special events. If Dr. Seuss was going to have a cake, this would be his style! Each layer is meant to look lopsided and un-level. Making a Topsy Turvy Cake has been a challenge, even for professional bakers. Slicing and arranging the cake is very tricky, not to mention wasteful with all the cake being tossed out.

With the new Petal Crafts Topsy Turvy Cake pans, even amateur cake decorators can do it! The unique tilting pan shapes are designed to work together to form a lopsided cake with a level balance. The cake pans are made of professional grade 14-gauge aluminum alloy for perfect baking and easy cleaning. The pans come in 4 sizes, 6 inches, 8 inches, 10 inches and 12 inches in diameter, with a height of 2 1/2 to 3 inches per pan.

picture of Round Topsy Turvy Cake Pans by Petal Crafts
Round Topsy Turvy Cake Pans by Petal Crafts

Here are a few beautiful examples of Topsy Turvy Cakes made with the Petal Crafts cake pans. Notice how you can create fun cakes with 2-4 cake levels, depending on the size of your event and ambition.

[slickr-flickr tag=topsyturvycakedesign]

My First Time Experience with Making a Topsy Turvy Cake

I am probably not the best person to test out a Topsy Turvy Cake.

  1. I come from a family of non-cake lovers, we normally go for pie on birthdays
  2. I have never, ever baked and decorated a birthday cake – besides a simple black forest cake where the “icing” is just melted chocolate

That being said, I was up for the challenge and thought the idea of a Topsy Turvy Cake would be so fun. I decided to try it out on my daughter’s 5th birthday party.

Baking Topsy Turvy Cake

I decided to use the 6″, 8″, and 10″ cake pans. Below are the 6″ and 8″ pans with cake batter.

picture of Side View of Petal Crafts Topsy Turvy Cake Pans
Side View of Petal Crafts Topsy Turvy Cake Pans

The larger cake took longer to cook than the box instructions based on the shape. I just kept an eye on it and removed it once the deepest side came out clean when I inserted a toothpick. I realized that I put a bit too much batter in the two pans and didn’t leave enough room for them to expand.  I simply used a knife to cut the tops flat before stacking and decorating.

picture of Topsy Turvy Cakes inverted and cooling
Topsy Turvy Cakes inverted and cooling

For this post, I stacked the cakes up without icing them. I used 3 yellow cake mixes for the 6″ and 8″ cakes and 2 strawberry cake mixes for the 10″.

picture of Stacking Topsy Turvy Cake
Stacking Topsy Turvy Cake

I know the bottom layer looks a little shaky and not sturdy. That is because I cut the excess part of the cakes flat. I was impatient with the strawberry cake and cut it while it was still warm, opps! It held the weight and was just fine once I decorated it, however it wasn’t the best move on my part. This was a total learning experience!  Cutting the tops off and using those surfaces for decorating turned out ok. However, for my second cake, I used the perfect edges from the pan as my decorating surfaces and it worked out even better!

If you think it looks like a lot of cake, it’s because it IS! Quite a lot of cake for 10 preschool girls to enjoy at her birthday party, right? With all the weight and the multiple levels, I used dowel rods to support the cake. I put about 5 rods between the bottom and second layer and again between the second and third layer. I just had my husband cut the rods to the right length so that it was flush with the layer above. This was the first time I’ve ever used dowel rods in a cake, and it worked!

picture of Using dowel rods in multi-layer cake
Using dowel rods in multi-layer cake

Decorating Topsy Turvy Cake

Here’s the tricky part for me since I have no cake decorating tools or experience! I could have went crazy buying spinning bases, flat cake decorating knives, and all the icing bags and tips but #1 I had no idea how to use them and #2 I didn’t want to spend the money! So, for Elizabeth’s cake. I simply used store-bough vanilla icing and applied with the back of a large kitchen knife.

First, I crumb coated the cake. I learned this from a YouTube video a while back. Simply, you spread icing on in a thin layer, then refrigerate it for 1/2 hour. Then, you put the finishing icing on your cake without any crumbs getting into the icing. Pretty good trick, huh? 🙂

picture of Decorating Topsy Turvy Cake
Decorating Topsy Turvy Cake

I browsed the internet for Topsy Turvy Cake pictures to get some ideas on how to decorate a topsy turvy cake. A LOT of the pictures used fondant. Again, this is something I’ve never used before. I saw fondant on a cake for the first time at my son’s Boy Scouts Scary Cake Contest. I ended up just buying a 4 pack of colored fondant already made.

Boy was it hard to roll out with my rolling pin, because of course I didn’t buy the special fondant rollers! After it was rolled out, it was easy to use. I simply used cookie cutters that I already had of hearts and circles – because I didn’t buy the fondant shape cutters either! Elizabeth decided where to place all of the shapes, she had fun making a pattern of rotating colors and shapes!

Dora Topsy Turvy Cake

Once we got to her birthday party at Sto-Kent Family Entertainment, we added the candy and Dora figurines on top to make it a Dora birthday cake design.

picture of Girls Birthday Cake
Girl Birthday Cake Design
picture of Dora Birthday Cake
Dora Birthday Cake

To my delight, the cake didn’t turn out bad. It was fun, colorful, and unique for a kids birthday party. Just think of what you could do if this wasn’t your first time decorating a cake! My mother-in-law is a phenomenal baker and cake decorator, I could only imagine what she could do with these cake pans! She really should go into the cake baking and decorating business. I’ll have to share some of her cake designs in another post.

Ben 10 Topsy Turvy Cake

My son just had his birthday party at the Akron Zoo (review coming!). He wanted a Topsy Turvy Cake too, I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off again but I couldn’t say no to my sweet boy and of course I had to be fair! Even though he loves animals and wanted a zoo birthday party, he wanted the theme to be Ben 10. So, I searched the internet again for Ben 10 Cake Designs and this is what I came up with.

picture of Ben 10 Cake using Petal Crafts Topsy Turvy Cake Pans
Ben 10 Cake using Petal Crafts Topsy Turvy Cake Pans

For this cake, I decided to skip the fondant and use candy and more toys for the decorations. It saved a LOT of time. I used the 6″, 8″, and 12″ cake pans. I decided on the 12″ cake pan so I’d have a large base to put the action figures.

I also decided to make my how cake icing, something I’ve never done and had no idea how to do!  I used the Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe from Food I couldn’t believe how easy it was, how inexpensive, and how yummy it was! Now, coloring the icing was trickier. I thought I had enough for both cakes to frost green but ran out and had to make another batch. The second batch wasn’t the same color but the kids didn’t seem to care at all!

I also had 2 boxes of FUN da-Middles Chocolate Cupcake with Creamy Vanilla Filling cupcake mix in my cabinet. I’ve never tried it but it looked like a hostess cupcake, so I bought it. I thought it would be neat to have a whole cake like that, so I thought I’d try it too. My poor son had so many new things tried on his cake!

picture of Betty Crocker Fun Da-Middles as a whole cake
Betty Crocker Fun Da-Middles as a whole cake

I used 2 Betty Crocker Fun Da-Middles cupcake mixes for the 8″ pan. I added 2/3 of the mixture to the pan, squeezed the 2 packs of filling in the middle, and covered with the remaining batter. It worked! The kids thought it was the best to have a cream in the middle of the chocolate cake!

picture of Ben 10 Topsy Turvy Cake
Ben 10 Topsy Turvy Cake

My Thoughts on Petal Crafts Topsy Turvy Cake Pans

Although I was intimidated with the size and quantity of the cake pans at first, in the end, I had so much fun! This was a fun learning experience for me, I’m so glad I took time to try out the cake pans and I know that I’ll be using them again as I practice my cake baking and decorating skills. I might even take a cake decorating class at Jo-Ann Fabrics now.

Petal Crafts made making a whimsical lopsided topsy turvy cake easy enough for even a first timer like me. Professional bakers and recreational bakers are going to love the Petal Crafts Topsy Turvy Cake Pans!

Buy Petal Crafts Topsy Turvy Cake Pans

Petal Crafts Topsy Turvy Cake Pans make fantastic gifts for the baker, cake decorator, or crafty person in your life, they would make excellent birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, bridal shower gifts, wedding gifts, and house warming gifts.

Choose from round or square topsy turvy cake pans. Buy Topsy Turvy Cake Pans on the Petal Crafts website or on

This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to Petal Crafts who provided the product for review.

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Founder and Lead Blogger at Akron Ohio Moms
Cindy is the top Akron Blogger with her own take on awesome brands for families, where to vacation for families, a beat on local activities and family fun, a knack for getting moms to share , and a house that is always 2 weeks away from a complete remodel!
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