I needed to transport 2 cakes over some very pothole riddled roads this weekend. I fretted for days about how to do this without having to contribute to the "Disasters" column! One cake was a four tiered, fondant covered (12, 10, 8, 6 ) and the other was a stack of 3 fondant covered books (each book was 11x9x2.5).
When it came to doweling & stacking, I wanted to use the Wilton plastic Hidden Pillars so that I could use fewer supports but I was concerned because these pillars can't be pushed through boards or successive layers. My solution was to also add wooden dowels down the center of each plastic dowel and to really cement the deal I piped "cake glue" down into the plastic dowel after the wooden dowel was inserted. I made the glue from cake scraps and royal icing. Using this method, I was able to use only 4 supports in the largest layers and I was also able to drive wooden dowels through layers all the way down. I drove one long wooden dowel the full length of the 4 layer cake. Also, by doing this, the only thing touching the cake to be eaten was the smooth plastic dowel--no splinter potential!
When it came to de-constructing the 4 layer cake, the method worked so well that it was really difficult to get the longest wooden dowels out.
I drove these fully stacked cakes for miles over some really rough roads and not one layer budged.
I know this may sound like overkill to some people, but I really worry about stacked cakes slipping or falling while being transported. Some designs just can't be done at the delivery site and you just have to bite the bullet and drive with the finished product.
For anyone interested, my cake glue was about a cup of cake scraps, crumbled , & mixed with about 4 TBSP of royal icing. I put a very large star tip (the one that won't fit on a coupler) into a piping bag and after I inserted each wooden dowel I piped the mixture into the hole around the dowel. I let it pool up to the top of the cake and relied on it to be the "glue" between layers, too.
and these wooden dowels went through the boards??
Yes, I use wooden dowels that are the thickness of a regular #2 pencil and I sharpen the ends of the dowels with an electric pencil sharpener-- then I can push them through the foamcore cakeboards that I use under all tiers of my cakes.
Thanks so much for the tip.