snarkybaker Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 12:56am
post #1 of

I have about had it with chasing down the pieces of my stress free supposrt system, and am very serious about going to SPS systems ( or maybe coastal.

Most of the cakes we do are plain 'ol stacked cakes, and it looks to me like all of the SPS sytems require the supports( in the cake) to lock into columns ( exposed) that attach to the plates.

Has anyone used an SPS for plain ol stacked cakes, and can you help visualize how it works without the (air) between the layers.

70 replies
mjarvis78 Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 2:12am
post #2 of

Have you taken a look at Leahs' sps instructions?

The columns support the cake. It is kind of like a little table that the next tier sits on. The columns come in 4 inches, so as long as your cake is that height nothing will show

loriemoms Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 10:33am
post #3 of

most of my cakes are stacked as well..if you look at my photos, all of those the tiered cakes are using SPS. I use a circular saw to cut the pillars to fit the height of the cake (the basic sps pillar is 4 inches and most of my cakes are closer to 5 inches, so I cut down the 12 inch pillars they sell...) I havent seen Leahs handout, but I am sure it is quite good as she also has been using SPS forever...ask her for a copy

And it sure is a lot cheaper then the anti stress systems, and I think locks together better then coastal.

cfao Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 11:43am
post #4 of

All of my cakes use the sps system, it's fantastic. I buy the sps plates from Bakery Crafts, however I don't use their support pillars. They are very hard and as Loriemoms, said you need a saw to cut them. The wilton white plastic dowels that come 4 to a pack actually fit the plates perfectly and cut easily.

Suzycakes Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 12:15pm
post #5 of

I've started using the SPS - thanks to Leahs constant recommendation - and I love it. I pass the expense along to the customer and I don't expect the pieces back - which means no chasing anyone down (which is money and time in my pocket to me!).

The support legs fit very snug into the plates and they come in several different lengths - 4, maybe 7 and/or 9 and 12. I just make sure my cakes are 4" tall and go with that. The layers end up straight and even.

Give them a try - you won't be sorry - I think you will love it!

FromScratch Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 12:20pm
post #6 of

I have used it a few times.. I love the stability it gives to a cake and I have transported 4 tiered cakes fully assembled with the SPS. Perhaps it's just me, but I don't like that you need a thicker border to hide the plate though. I like really dainty borders that blend in rather than thick borders that stand out. I think I would prefer a system where you put the cake on the plate and then pop that on the legs and the legs aren't so thick. I bake and decorate my cakes to be 4" tall so I don't have to cut anything and use the 4" legs. Make sure you account for the 1/8" of the cake board when you are measuring how tall your tier is though.. it shoudl be 4 1/8 inches tall for there to be no gap.

You pop off the o-rings on the base of the plate and attach the legs and push that assembly into the supporting tier and then place your next tier on that. Before you ice your cake you place the cake board on the SPS plate and push in so you put a hole in the cake plate so you can line it up when you stack. The pic in my photos of Nocole's Wedding Cake (white with brown ribbon) used the SPS. It was nice and sturdy.

luelue1971 Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 12:24pm
post #7 of

I agree with the previous posters. I have never done a cake with air in between using the sps. I bake and fill my cakes to be 4 inches high so I don't have to cut the legs.

I had a 10" cake stacked on a 14" cake last weeked when I tried to put it in the storage container I lost my grip and it tilted about 45 degrees. The cakes didn't budge. The only damage was where the side of the cake scraped the inside of the container. Easily fixed.

And because I don't have to try to measure and cut the legs my cakes never lean or tilt and I really had a problem with that before.
I love SPS.

pianocat Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 12:51pm
post #8 of

What about square cakes? I have not been able to find the square plates. Leahs says that you can use the round but what size would you buy and do you do anything differently? I'm going to be doing a 14, 10,6, and I would like to use sps. TIA

DebBTX Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 12:53pm
post #9 of

I use Wilton's hollow hidden columns with the smooth separator plates.
The columns are in the cake already, so all I have to do is drop the next tier of cake and plate into the holes. It produces a snug fit.


-Debbie B. icon_biggrin.gif

DebBTX Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 1:12pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by pianocat

What about square cakes? TIA




I have bought smooth, square and round separator plates from both Hobby Lobby and Cakes by Sam to use with Wilton's Hidden Columns.

The columns that I am talking about are the wide hollow tubes. You can buy them at Michael's or Hobby Lobby in the 6" length. Pheil and Holling (cakedeco.com) sell them in lengths from 3" to 5" by the dozen for a better price.

-Debbie B.

loriemoms Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 1:29pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by pianocat

What about square cakes? I have not been able to find the square plates. Leahs says that you can use the round but what size would you buy and do you do anything differently? I'm going to be doing a 14, 10,6, and I would like to use sps. TIA




Bakery craft has SPS square..order them all the time. They come in all sizes..They even have heart shaped. I spoke with their rep at the expo this week and told him they need to come out with Hexagon and Oval! He didnt realize how many people were doing those now and put it in his little notebook..so who knows, maybe they will have those too!!

mjarvis78 Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 1:53pm

For square cakes, you can use the round plates, just use a square cardboard. I ran out of square 6 in plates last week, so I used a round 6 in plate and it was fine. You can use the same size too.

pianocat Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 2:40pm

Thanks Loriemoms and mjarvis78! I'll try that Sugarcraft has some squares but out of stock on others, so this will help.

leah_s Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 3:03pm

Good job everybody! And if you want to see stacked cakes (no separations) using SPS, well, every cake on my website. There's a couple hundred including the slideshows.

Suzycakes Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 3:23pm

You have trained us well Leah!!

FromScratch Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 4:26pm

Your cakes are great Leah, but what I am not digging about this system is the need for the thick borders if you aren't using fondant ribbon. Is there any way to avoid the big gap from the base of the frosting/fondant on the upper tier to the top of the frosting/fondant on the lower tier? I like to no use borders if I can help it.. and it seems like the only way to do that is to no use the SPS. icon_sad.gif

Solecito Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 6:03pm

The first time I used it I didnreally had a chance to ask for a deposti, I only ask the bride to please take them back, and she did! But I made different types of cakes with different types of stands and I'm used to asking for a deposit and people react well to it. Never had any problems.
BTW: I love my SPS it's the easiest way to stack a cake. Thanks again Leah.

snarkybaker Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 8:57pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

Your cakes are great Leah, but what I am not digging about this system is the need for the thick borders if you aren't using fondant ribbon. Is there any way to avoid the big gap from the base of the frosting/fondant on the upper tier to the top of the frosting/fondant on the lower tier? I like to no use borders if I can help it.. and it seems like the only way to do that is to no use the SPS. icon_sad.gif




This was my main concern, trying to use the plate system in cakes that have very little in the way of border.

itsacake Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 9:43pm

Has anyone tried doing the cake directly on the plastic plate without cardboard? I haven't tried it--just thought about it. That way you could use the plate in place of the cardboard and bring the fondant or icing down over the edge as one usually does with cardboard. It sounds good in theory, but that isn't always how things work in the real world.

The plate is certainly steady with the four feet that will eventually fit into the legs. You could stick on the cake with icing, just as one does anyway. I usually use a piece of carpet tape between the cardboard and plastic, which makes me feel more confident, but in actuality isn't this just one less thing to slip? How hard would it be to do the actual stacking? Could you have the legs in the cake below sticking up halfway, put the plate with cake on them and watch them sink?

These are the things that keep me up at night. LOL If anyone has tried this or does try this, please post. I'll do the same.

FromScratch Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 10:24pm

The only problem I see with that is that it takes a bit of force to get the legs in all the way.. I can't see being able to push them in if you have you cake right on the plate.

Kat.. with the SFS can you get that nice seamless look?

snarkybaker Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 10:31pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

The only problem I see with that is that it takes a bit of force to get the legs in all the way.. I can't see being able to push them in if you have you cake right on the plate.

Kat.. with the SFS can you get that nice seamless look?




Yes because the rings are metal, they can be very thin. It's just a pain in the butt to chase all of those parts around, and we are getting so busy that it is kind of impractical to have six SFS systems on hand.

FromScratch Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 11:48pm

Thanks for the answer.. I am trying to nail down my support system of choice.. I am torn between the cost effective SPS and the SFS.. and part of me just want to switch to bubble tea straws.. icon_lol.gif

CakeDiva73 Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 12:19am

I think the real genius behind the SPS that I haven't heard yet (and that the SFS doesn't offer) is that tiny little nib in the middle of the plate. The legs give it a stable, level base but that nib clicking into the cardboard of the next tiers level is, to me, what is going to hold your cake steady.

The SFS looks like an excellent system, but for that much money, it needs to do my dishes and give me a footrub when I'm done!! I got both round and square plates from GSA and had to use Wilton legs the first time, since they were out of the 4" ones and the clear ones I bought were too tall.

Overall, I have used bubble tea straws (bad, bad experience) and dowels (another nightmare) although driving one through the whole thing can be a nice way of securing it if you have no other options.

** edited because I hit enter too soon

loriemoms Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 12:28am

I have done a number of borderless cakes with SPS. What I did was I iced the cake all way over the cardboard (which I do normally anyway) and I used a cake plate an inch smaller. (I used a 7 inch plate for a 8 inch cake) It worked beautifully.

Even if you use the same size, if you ice your cake all over the cardboard, the little thin layer of plastic can still be iced over..

As far those who ask if you can put the cake right on the plastic...Bakery Crafts warns against this because it will cause the cake to sweat. I tried it one time and the cake was a little soggy but the main problem was trying to figure out how to save the top tier! (since its attached to the pillars)

I pushed it down onto the cake by pushing a dowel into the center of the cake and using it push the cake into place..if that makes sense...

cookieswithdots Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 12:41am

I got my system this past week and am somewhat nervous but excited to use it. I have my first wedding on Oct. 3rd.

I just wanted to comment that it would be great when people post their cakes to also include a description of how they stablized their cake.

Melissaicon_smile.gif

DebBTX Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 12:44am
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeDiva73


Overall, I have used bubble tea straws (bad, bad experience) and dowels (another nightmare) although driving one through the whole thing can be a nice way of securing it if you have no other options.




CakeDiva,
What happened when you used the Bubble Tea Straws?

-Debbie B.

CakeDiva73 Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 12:49am

Well I used them in warm weather, which didn't help, but they just did not hold up. The frosting used between the layers seemed to turn into the perfect substance for my cake to glide around. I made a stacked cake (3 tiers) using only bubble tea straws and the tiers were wonkin' all over the place.

They didn't collapse or implode but they shifted......bad. Really badly. For that reason, I decided to switch to the SPS and have been quite happy since. I made a freakish stage cake this summer and it worked very well.

I know dowels work perfectly for some people, same for bubble tea straws - for me, both have been disastrous. So far, SPS has been a Godsend. It gives me the confidence I need - I don't hyperventilate when I do stacked cakes now...... I worry, of course, but I am okay because I know the cake is not going to slide off or smoosh down.

It makes all the difference in the world.

FromScratch Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 1:04am

I'll have to try it with a plate 1" smaller then the one above it.. I think that will do the trick. Hopefully anyway. icon_biggrin.gif

loriemoms Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 2:40am
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

I'll have to try it with a plate 1" smaller then the one above it.. I think that will do the trick. Hopefully anyway. icon_biggrin.gif




Here is a cake I did bordless with SPS. (I tell you never blow up your cakes (that is in photo shop, not Duff style) You see ALL the mistakes REALLY big! hahaha!

Anyway, this is an extreme blow up so you can kind of see the line, but in person you could barely see it. I used a plate 1 inch smaller..

HOpefully the photo will show up..I know something has been odd lately and photos dont always show..
LL

FromScratch Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 3:33am

Oh that is perfect.. I don't even mind a small bead border.. just not a #9 or something you know? I am excited to start loving my SPS now. icon_biggrin.gif "Mank you alla mush" as my DD used to say when she was just a wee little girl. (that's thank you very much) icon_wink.gif

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