Stacked Cakes And Crusty Icing

Decorating By Sandylee05 Updated 14 Sep 2008 , 12:46am by Deb_

Sandylee05 Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 8:42pm
post #1 of 4

I really need some advice. No matter how many cakes I make, I always have problems. What is the secret to making a stacked cake? I had a cake that was 14-12-10-6 (all square cakes) with BC icing.. The bc is half butter and half hi-ratio. I spent hours icing the cakes. I was trying to get all the corners nice and square because she didnât want any borders. I tend to spend too much time doing this, and the icing starts crusting. Then when I try to stack the cakes, I always mess up the icing. Because itâs so crusted, I have a hard time smoothing it out again. Yesterday, I ended up scraping most of it off and re-icing it. Would it be better to frost each cake one at a time and stack as I go, so the icing isnât so crusted?? Could I stack the cake before I frost it? I donât know why I always have such a hard time. Other people make it look so easy.

Thank you,

3 replies
indydebi Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 9:05pm
post #2 of 4

How are you stacking the cakes that messes up the icing? Meaning, tell us step by step what you're doing.

In the meantime, I'll share how I do mine. I do mostly square, stacked cakes. I usually deliver unassembled and stack it all up on site. Dowels are already in the cakes. I stand behind the cake table ..... place the front of the cake in place on top of the bottom tier. I am using my spatula under the cake that is being lowered. Gently lower it into place ... eyeball it to make sure it's centered. If not, lift with the spatula and move into place. Do NOT scoot the cake around without lifting it ... this will mess up the icing and possibly cause your dowels to move around which will be a big problem later. When it's all ok, gently pull the spatula out from under the cake.

This is assuming you are using dowel rods. If you're using leahs SPS system, then it's even easier. thumbs_up.gif

tiggy2 Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 9:06pm
post #3 of 4

Definately frost each cake seperately then stack sfter they have crusted. My best suggestion for you is to purchase sugarshacks DVDs on buttercream and stacking. They are very reasonable and will be the best money you have ever spent. She shows everything step by step and in detail. Her finished product is smooth and flawless. I believe her website is

Deb_ Posted 14 Sep 2008 , 12:46am
post #4 of 4

Hi Sandy,

Don't get discouraged, the more you do the better and easier it gets.

I too always decorate each tier before stacking, and always assemble on site. To make assembly quick and easy, I use the Wilton plastic hidden pillars that fit into the plastic cake plates. I put 4 of the pillars in each tier as needed for stacking.
Just lightly center the Wilton plastic plate onto the iced tier and press gently, this will leave 4 marks on your tier, that's where the hidden pillars go. Repeat, for each tier that will be stacked. Insert the pillars before you deliver and cut to the height needed. (I always cut it about 1/3 to 1/4" above the surface of the tier if I want it to look like the cakes are stacked right on top of eachother.) Any space will be filled in with your border after assembly.
Travel with all cakes individually boxed and bring extra icing, tips, spatula and whatever final decorations will be added after assembly.
When you get to the venue unbox and assemble. Each tier (except the bottom) needs to have it's own Wilton plastic plate in the exact size of the tier. Just place the plate onto the 4 pillars that you already inserted, the plate will have 4 knobs on the bottom, line these knobs up with the 4 pillars and press gently but firmly onto the pillars, put a dab of icing on the plate and place the tier on top of the plate, (your tier should be all frosted/decorated and on a cakeboard) repeat for the number of tiers you have.
The great part about using this system is....there is enough room for your fingers to place the cake without ruining your icing and they will be perfectly centered because they fit right onto the pillars. Than just pipe your border around the bottom of each tier and your done.

As far as getting your icing smooth a lot of that has to do with the BC recipe you're using. I always do a thin crumbcoat and let that crust before applying the final coat. I use the icing tip and a turntable and work as quickly as possible. I have all kinds of putty knives, scrapers and what not from Lowes/Home Depot that I use for smoothing. The trick is to work fast and have the right icing consistency. Let it crust and use either a piece of wax paper or some use a Viva paper towel to get the final smooth texture. Lay the paper of choice on top of the crusted BC and use a flat scraper or your finger and lightly smooth any lines. Remember to work quickly, keep lifting the paper and move to a new area on the cake until you have all the "wrinkles" out.
I hope this helps and if you have any questions don't hesitate to PM me

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