F@*%#@ Wooden Dowels!

Decorating By summernoelle Updated 23 Aug 2008 , 3:57am by Cakepro

summernoelle Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 6:43pm
post #1 of 24

So this morning I get up, take a look at my cakes (I had 3 cakes, 2 dozen cupcakes and 4 dozen cookies this week). One of the is slumping foward. I decide to try to fix it, and when I try to prop it up, the fondant severely cracks all over! The same thing happened a couple of months ago with a gorgeous wedding cake I did, where the fondant had terrible cracks and seperated from the cake.
The thing these two cakes had in common? Wooden dowels! I figured out when looking at the cake this morning after I took it apart that the dowels had shifted! I had to quickly run to the store, buy an SPS system and way over priced fondant. Recover the cake, re pipe it re stack it, etc for a delivery that was occuring at 2. Whew! I just barely finished it. I have butterflies now, hoping it will be OK. It has an SPS system, but still, I am always nervous after a disaster.

23 replies
EmilyGrace Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 6:50pm
post #2 of 24

Oh man... I'm so sorry! I hate wooden dowels too! I never use them anymore! But I'm also to scared to transport anything stacked... I always stack on site... It's just very time consuming. Your cake is absolutley adorable though! I'm sure it will be fine now!

foxymomma521 Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 6:54pm
post #3 of 24

Nice save! Your cake is so cute!

potatocakes Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 6:54pm
post #4 of 24

First off, I'm so sorry that happened! I have read so many dowel horror stories that I will never use them again! I used the big Wilton hollow plastic rods for my last wedding cake and had no problems. I also plan to start using the bubble tea straws that Sugarshack uses. Hopefully I won't have any issues!

Secondly, though, I have to say what an adorable cake!!! I love it!!! We are big horse lovers in my family and if you don't mind, I may use your idea for my son's 4th birthday! icon_smile.gif

summernoelle Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 6:55pm
post #5 of 24

The cake is leaning very slightly foward again...I'm worried, might post a pic to see what you guys think.

summernoelle Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 6:59pm
post #6 of 24

What do you guys think? There is an SPS, and the bottom tier seems perfectly fine.

foxymomma521 Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 7:04pm
post #7 of 24

Is there too much filling?

leah_s Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 7:04pm
post #8 of 24

As long as 1) the tier isn't taller than 4" so that the SPS legs are touching the bottom plate and 2) the legs went in straight, SPS physically can't lean.

Could the layers of the top tier be slipping?

And the cake is the cutest thing ever!!

Kiddiekakes Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 7:07pm
post #9 of 24

I think it is a really cute cake....I am with yah on the wooden dowels though....my Mom swears by them but after a dissaster myself I now use the wide plastic hidden dowels from wilton and I have never had a problem...Now SPS would definetly be the answer but I only ever do a few large tiered cakes so I didn't want to invest the money.

summernoelle Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 7:14pm
post #10 of 24

Cake is under 4 inches, and the legs are reaching the bottom. I think it might be due to some fondant that stuck to the plate the top tier is on when I removed it from the first cake....kind of proping the cake up from the back.

PinkGiGi Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 7:17pm
post #11 of 24

I'm sorry, somewhat new to this. What does SPS stand for?

Thank you!

cakedout Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 7:20pm
post #12 of 24

That's the only thing that would make sense to me- 'cause as leahs said; if the posts are touching the base it can't possibly lean.

Thank goodness it's only a two tier and not too noticeable! It's adorable, and I know your client will love it!!! thumbs_up.gif

summernoelle Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 7:32pm
post #13 of 24

So, I decided to go take a look at it. Scraped off the bottom, but it was still leaning. Took out the SPS, and one of the legs was just barely off. Like less that 1/8 inch! So, I leveled the legs and now it seems stable.
Ugh! I want to go on vacation!

leah_s Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 7:34pm
post #14 of 24

I think you might be confusing SPS with SFS. Four a four tier cake, the entire SPS system is less than $20, which you build into the cost of the cake. SPS is disposable, sturdy and CHEAP.

SFS, also an excellent system, is $$$.

CakeDiva73 Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 7:38pm
post #15 of 24

Not to sound dense but how could she have run out and purchased the SFS (unless she lived in the same town as Earlene?) I didn't think that was sold in stores - only online? Or am I wrong? icon_redface.gif

summernoelle Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 7:48pm
post #16 of 24

SPS (not SFS) and it's available at cake decorating stores, which I went to.

Cakepro Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 8:28pm
post #17 of 24

I use bubble tea straws and love them for their ease and convenience.

What does SPS stand for and what makes it so superior to regular dowel rods?


ps...Summer, your cake is adorable!!!

summernoelle Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 9:21pm
post #18 of 24

Thanks! Hey-when are you going to steal my photos, Cakepro? lol

The SPS system stands for Single Plate System, and is one of the sturdiest was to support tiered cakes. It consists of four legs that fit very snugly onto a plate where the tier will rest on. What happens is that all the weight from the top tier is put onto the legs, and not onto the cake. Wooden dowels are not quite as reliable-I've had two disasters (the wedding cake a few months ago, and the one today) from shifting dowels.
I wonder if bubble straws are better than dowels because they are hollow and fill with cake?

PinkGiGi Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 9:26pm
post #19 of 24

Thank you for the clarification! I am going to try the bubble straws this weekend - just think how much cheaper they would be too!

Solecito Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 9:40pm
post #20 of 24

Bubble tea straws are easier to work than wooden dowels, but still no warranties, I has a cake colapse almost completely using bubble tea straws. For now I'm waiting for my SPS to arrive. I'm not taking any more chances.

leah_s Posted 22 Aug 2008 , 10:20pm
post #21 of 24

SPS rocks!!

Cakepro Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 3:42am
post #22 of 24

So, the legs that go into the cake have to be cut to accommodate the height of the cake? How do you cut them? They are disposable legs, yes?

I actually have some of those separator plates but don't have the legs. I think a friend gave me a random assortment of separator plates and pillars that didn't match.

LOL, Summer...I got so swamped that I haven't been able to upload any of my own cake pics to my real website, much less steal others' pics! I hope to get a break sometime soon so I can go back to updating that silly site. icon_smile.gif

leah_s Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 3:54am
post #23 of 24

The whole idea is not to cut the legs. They come in a four inch length for stacked cakes, a multi-piece and a 9 inch length for cakes with separations.

Cakepro Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 3:57am
post #24 of 24

Ahhhh, I see. Thanks!

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