Beginners Topsy-Turvy Cake Decorating & Baking: Ideas for Fondant Decorated Birthday Party Desserts & Wedding Cakes

Topsy Turvy Cakes (also called Mad Hatter Cakes) are great fun. Bright and colorful, or sometimes oddly sophisticated and glamorous, these crazy tipsy desserts will delight and amaze party guests and certainly thrill anyone being honored with such a delightful cake. These cakes are made when layers are cut diagonally and stacked to give a fun unbalanced look.

Topsy Turvy or whimsy cakes may be used for birthdays for adults, teens and children, bridal showers, wedding receptions, anniversaries, graduations, welcome home parties, Mad Hatter tea parties (as in Alice in Wonderland) and just about anywhere a normal cake might show up. Most any cake is delicious and a treat, but a Topsy Turvy cake is something really special.

What Makes It a Topsy Turvy Cake?

A Topsy Turvy cake can be two layers high or several layers, depending on the courage and skill of the baker. The layers may be roundish, squarish, triangular or even spherical in nature. The main thing that makes these awesome desserts what they are is that they look as if they are about to tumble over at any moment or have, perhaps, recently been transported across a bumpy road or built during an earthquake. Yet, they are, in fact, quite nicely balanced and will last until it is time to cut the cake and dive in.

Unusual, Smooth Icing

These silly and/or fantastic cake creations are generally covered with a fondant “icing,” which is rolled out in sheets and smoothly formed around and over the cake. Fondant is referred to by some people as “Baker’s Play-Doh” because it may be cut into shapes, draped like fabric, or modeled like clay into all sorts of items, letters, and creatures. Fondant lends itself to very creative dessert making and comes in many colors. It may be purchased pre-made or made from scratch with water, sugar and glucose (with many variations possible).

Too Pretty to Eat

Guests are sure to wince at least slightly when a Topsy-Turvy work of art is cut. Before such a delight is served, it is a good idea to take lots of photos while the cake is still intact. That is surely the only way to have this cake and eat it too.

Making a Mad Hatter Cake

For those who wish to try their hand at making a fun Mad Hatter/ Topsy Turvy Cake, there are many sources of ideas and inspiration. This is a time consuming project, but instructions are readily available online or in books to help creative bakers. A source with many wonderful photos, links, and how-to videos is Topsy Turvy and Mad Hatter Birthday & Celebration Cakes.

A good free online lesson for learning how to make a cake that looks as if it is tipping over is How to make a topsy-turvy cake! One can also look for cake decorating classes online or in a telephone directory.

A Topsy Turvy Hit of the Party

Whether homemade or bakery-purchased, a whimsical tipsy cake is sure to be the highlight of any event. When planning a party, it is a fun idea to have the cake fit the theme and make it the centerpiece.

Topsy Turvy and Mad Hatter Cakes are complex and time consuming, but well worth the enjoyment and wonder they bring to a wedding, birthday, anniversary or other celebration.

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!