How Do I Stack A Tiered Cake More Gracefully?

Decorating By aprilcake Updated 8 Apr 2008 , 6:12pm by jammjenks

aprilcake Posted 6 Apr 2008 , 1:56pm
post #1 of 17

Hi everyone,

Yesterday was my first real delivery, set up of a three tiered fondant cake which was my first doing that also...anyways...once it was on it looked great but I had trouble while stacking each tier on top of eachother...my fingers kept hitting the black icing and I would have to repair it. What I was doing was just holding the cake at the tips of my fingers and then right before it touched the cake, I would gently drop it....is there a better way?

also...i ended up doing the scroll work by hand because I had the pattern press but by time I tried to press it on the fondant, the fondant was too hard for the press to show through...should I do any impressions on the fondant before it gets hard? it worked out ok since I just eyed it and did it by hand...but just was wondering...here is the cake below that I have these questions from...

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_1206565.html

thanks!

April :0)

16 replies
DoniB Posted 6 Apr 2008 , 2:08pm
post #2 of 17

I kind of do the same thing, though I've found that using an old offset spatula (one that's bent and no longer good for smoothing icing), helps. I lower the back edge of the tier into place, work my fingers around until one hand is holding the cake up... switch to the offset spatula, then use it to lower the cake the rest of the way. I'd definitely practice, though, since the cake will still come down fairly fast, and you want to be able to control it more. But that's one way I found, and I was really happy to see someone use that technique on a Food Network Challenge yesterday. icon_smile.gif So I'm not the only one! icon_smile.gif

As for the fondant, I've had that same issue. It is best to press the design in before the fondant hardens. Alternatively, you can do a sort of 'stamp' with very watered down icing gel, a TINY amount of it, to stamp the design if the fondant is already hard. Again, I'd practice this beforehand! icon_razz.gif And I do mean a TINY amount of it! No more moisture than absolutely necessary, or you'll have to re-fondant the whole thing. icon_razz.gif

Hope this helps.

Good luck! Your cake looks great!

costumeczar Posted 6 Apr 2008 , 2:20pm
post #3 of 17

I do the same balance-and-drop maneuver to stack the tiers, and there's nothing graceful about it, but it gets the job done! I usually have a little bit of icing on each tier to repair, but if the cakes are chilled then the icing won't get as damaged, and the borders will generally hide any smudges anyway.

indydebi Posted 6 Apr 2008 , 2:36pm
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoniB

I kind of do the same thing, though I've found that using an old offset spatula (one that's bent and no longer good for smoothing icing), helps. I lower the back edge of the tier into place, work my fingers around until one hand is holding the cake up... switch to the offset spatula, then use it to lower the cake the rest of the way.




That's exactly how I do it.

Melan Posted 6 Apr 2008 , 2:40pm
post #5 of 17

Spatula user here as well! Works like a charm for me!

CarolAnn Posted 6 Apr 2008 , 3:11pm
post #6 of 17

I put my pillars into the cake then pull them half way out again. Then I position the cake on the pillars and carefully pull my fingers out and let the weight of the cake settle it into the cake beneath. It's worked very well for me, with less repairs needed. The getting it almost there and trying to get my fingers out fast and using the spatula routine was too risky and made me soo nervous. This just works much better for me.

designsbydelights Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 8:17am
post #7 of 17

Well see - that's about the most clever idea I've ever heard!!You can learn new things after 17 years! I've always used a big off-set spatula my Daddy used when he was a cook during WW2 - and I thought I had "clever" covered !

cakesnkids Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 3:42am
post #8 of 17

This is a struggle for me also, so much that I have stated carrying them stacked o I don't have the added pressure of doing it with people watching.
I'm EAGERY awaiting my pre-ordered sucessful stacking dvd from Sharon (www.sugaredproductions.com) to see what I can do to make it less stressful.

sweetneice Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 4:07am
post #9 of 17

Have you read about the sps system that Leahs wrote about. That's what I'm trying next. It's supposed to be SUPER sturdy and takes the pressure off of having to do all that balancing act! LOL!

leah_s Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 5:30am
post #10 of 17

Yeah, if you're using SPS, then you can actually sliiiide the tier into place. easy.

plbennett_8 Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 11:21am
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolAnn

I put my pillars into the cake then pull them half way out again. Then I position the cake on the pillars and carefully pull my fingers out and let the weight of the cake settle it into the cake beneath.




I'm with CarolAnn... put them in, pull them back out a bit, set the cake on and let it settle icon_smile.gif

jenlg Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 11:35am
post #12 of 17

what's the sps system? never heard of that one..I use the spatula as listed above

gingersoave Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 11:42am
post #13 of 17

I ordered the "successful stacking" DVD from Sugarshack and I'm anxious to get it. I'm sure it will answer all the stacking questions!! I have her Fondant and Buttercream DVD's and I learned SOOO much and I have been a cake decorator for 15 years!!!! You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!!!!

I think your cake looks lovely and I cannot see any flaws. When I stack I just hope and pray that the shell border covers my finger marks!

good luck!
ginger

leah_s Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 12:31pm
post #14 of 17

SPS = Single Plate Separator. PM me with yur email addy and I'll send you instructions with pictures. The file will not reach you if you have a hotmail account , though.

sugarshack Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 12:57pm
post #15 of 17

I alos use the sink method for the larger tiers. Works like a charm with hardly any damage at all.

sweetviolent Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 1:15pm
post #16 of 17

as simple as this sounds i actually learned this weekend that my well chilled cake was a sinch to stack- it buys security against oopsie fingerprints and went soo much smoother tham my usual nightmare of a freshly decorated room temp cake.

jammjenks Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 6:12pm
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolAnn

I put my pillars into the cake then pull them half way out again. Then I position the cake on the pillars and carefully pull my fingers out and let the weight of the cake settle it into the cake beneath. It's worked very well for me, with less repairs needed. The getting it almost there and trying to get my fingers out fast and using the spatula routine was too risky and made me soo nervous. This just works much better for me.




Me too. I just learned this way about 2 months ago and I have only used it since. It works like a charm.

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