A topsy-turvy cake, also called a Mad Hatter cake, is a baked optical illusion. The cake is created by using layers of cake to create tiers that look like they are unbalanced and about to fall. The tiers, however, are perfectly level and sit on a shelf created by cutting out a hole in the tier below. While the topsy-turvy cake looks complicated, very few items are needed to create this design.
The main component of a topsy-turvy cake is the actual cake. You can create your cake from scratch or with a premade cake mix. You will need enough cake mix to make all the layers of your topsy-turvy cake. Most topsy-turvy cakes have three tiers. Each tier is created using three layers of cake. Depending on how big you want to make your cake, and how many layers you are using, you will need least a double batch of cake batter, if not a triple. This will ensure all your layers can be made. Use any flavor of cake for the topsy-turvy design including different flavors for different tiers, or even different layers if you like.
Pans and Utensils
The size and shape of the pans you need for your cake depend on what size and shape you want the end product. Use metal baking pans in incremental sizes. An example of this is if you want your cake to have round tiers, you could use 6-inch, 7-inch and 8-inch pans to create the top tier. The next tier would be created by using 8-inch, 9-inch and 10-inch pans, and so forth. A small rubber spatula and a knife are also important utensils to have to create your cake. The spatula is used to spread the frosting on the cake layers while the knife is used to cut the tier shapes.
Buttercream frosting holds the layers of cake together to create the tiers of the cake. You can purchase buttercream frosting from a cake supply store, the grocery store or you can use your own recipe. Buttercream frosting should be smeared on the bottom of every cake layer before it is placed on top of the layer below it. Frosting on the bottom layer helps attach the cake to a base or stand. You can use buttercream or another type of frosting to decorate the cake once all the tiers are put in place.
A refrigerator is a very important tool when creating a topsy-turvy cake. Once you have baked your cake layers, put them in the refrigerator to chill. This will solidify the cake and make it easier to cut and frost. Once layers have been cut and put together using buttercream frosting, the entire cake should be placed in the refrigerator to chill. This will help the entire cake stick together before you decorate it.