Stacking Without Smudging, Smearing, Dinging...you Name It.

Decorating By __Jamie__ Updated 30 Sep 2008 , 6:11pm by sugarshack

__Jamie__ Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 8:51pm
post #1 of 19

Ok, maybe I am being too critical, BUT whenever I see the beautiful stacked buttercream cakes in the galleries, in magazines, you name it, there don't ever seem to be any finger marks, poke marks, drag marks, whatever any where on the surface of the cakes that have another cake stacked on top of it. Honestly, how do you stack a buttercream cake on top of another without smushing the edges, or dragging it across and pulling the icing from the bottom cake? Even with the SPS and rounds and dowels and stuff....how?

Do decorators perform on site "repairs"? Do you take a "hail mary" approach and sort of drop it on top of the bottom tier? Do the mistakes just not show in the photographs?

This is the thought that causes me to almost not want to make one of these pretty stacked cakes...I think I will put a nice decoration on the tiers, and then BAM...all smudged and dented when I get done stacking.

((sigh)) Really, what are the tricks to this?? Especially after you have completed "Melvira-ing and paper toweling", and now the time comes to stack??And I sincerely apologize if I am posting something that has been posted before. icon_smile.gif

18 replies
cupcakemkr Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 8:57pm
post #2 of 19

Hi Jamie - there are several threads about stacking that you can do a search for. but here are a couple of you tube videos that may help you:




good luck!

SugarBakers05 Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 8:57pm
post #3 of 19

i use one of those really large hamburger spatulas, the blade is about 10 inches long

Bethkay Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:02pm
post #4 of 19

Jamie,

The way I avoid marring my cakes is to stack them after they have firmed up in the refrigerator. With the icing hardened, it takes a little more bumping around to cause a problem. That being said, you do still want to be a bit gingerly about putting them down. Another trick I have is to mark the spot on the lower cake that the tier is going to be placed on while the icing is still wet. I either use a cake ring or an inverted pan of the appropriate size to accomplish this task. When the icing has firmed up, the outline is still there, and it is a little less stressful when it is time to place the upper layer.

Hope these ideas help.

Beth

__Jamie__ Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:06pm
post #5 of 19

Boy you guys are fast with the reponses! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Getting up the courage to do one of these soon!

SugaredUp Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:19pm
post #6 of 19

The downside to relying on the fridge method of firming is that it doesn't work if you plan on stacking on site.......

bobwonderbuns Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:25pm
post #7 of 19

Sugarshack has an excellent video on this subject -- I highly recommend it!! icon_biggrin.gif

becklynn Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:27pm
post #8 of 19

I agree with bobwonderbuns Sugarshack's Successful Stacking DVD has helped me a lot! It is worth every penny! (So are her other 2 DVD's)
Good luck!

becklynn Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:28pm
post #9 of 19

I agree with bobwonderbuns Sugarshack's Successful Stacking DVD has helped me a lot! It is worth every penny! (So are her other 2 DVD's)
Good luck!

born2bake Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:29pm
post #10 of 19

Here's another Youtube from Epicurious.

B2B

leah_s Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:34pm
post #11 of 19

But with SPS you can slide your tier into place. There's no reason to get your fingers anywhere near the sides of the tier.

__Jamie__ Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:38pm
post #12 of 19

I was reading your tutorial on SPS stacking, and that's what got me thinking about it. So, maybe I missed this part....the layers must be slightly elevated from each other? Ever so slightly? Ok...gonna do it now.

1. Must order SPS
2. Must not be afraid of cake, it is an inanimate object, it cannot willfully inflict harm upon me.
3. If disaster occurs...well so be it, it IS cake after all, and sometimes cakes just want to fall apart so their creator can consume them.
4. If 3 comes to head, then start Weight Watchers the NEXT day. icon_biggrin.gif

Thank you all for the help...I love this place!

SugaredUp Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 11:09pm
post #13 of 19

What I didn't like about SugarShack's stacking dvd is that I don't care for the foamcore. It's messy, IMO and a pain in the butt. Also, I assume she stacks all her cakes before she gets to the site, because she refrigerates her cakes and then stacks them. Other than that, it was helpful in many ways. It reiterates a lot of what we kind of already know.

sillywabbitz Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 11:13pm
post #14 of 19

When people use foam core what thickness do they use? I tried this instead of cake boards and it was really bendy. It was not cheap and I was disappointed. Just wondering if I got the wrong stuff. I bought it in the art section of Hobby Lobby.

Also just curious , why would foam core be messier than cake boards?

sugarshack Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 12:24am
post #15 of 19

The fomecore I use is the 1/2 inch thickness and it does not bend at all. It is very very sturdy.

The method I use is the drop method, where the dowels are left sticking out of the cake a little bit and the upper tier is placed on them and allowed to descend down. No damage to the cake or icing. You can also get your tiers right on top of each other, with no support board showing, and you can use a very tiny border, or no border at all, if you wish.

I use bubble tea straws and fomecore for my cakes. BUT the drop method can be used with any materials you like: cardboards, masonite boards, plastic plates and pillars, plastic or wooden dowels, and the stress free ring system. The method is the same no matter what equipment you use.

HTH!

leah_s Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 12:55am
post #16 of 19

Jamie85364,
No the tiers can be directly on top of each other with SPS. No elevation needed. Be sure to pop off the decorative rings.

cakebaker1957 Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 2:30pm
post #17 of 19

i do the drop style with the dowel rods poking up from the bottom cake, make sure there even though cause if there uneven you can tell,

SugaredUp Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 5:16pm
post #18 of 19

I didn't like using the foam core, because I didn't like the edges after I cut them out with my x-acto knife. The edges weren't straight, and since I was doing a square cake, I felt it affected the overall look of the cake. If I had used precut boards, they would have been perfectly straight and I prefer starting with a perfect edge.

Maybe it's just me, though. Maybe I'm just a bad cutter! I don't know...

sugarshack Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 6:11pm
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredUp

I didn't like using the foam core, because I didn't like the edges after I cut them out with my x-acto knife. The edges weren't straight, and since I was doing a square cake, I felt it affected the overall look of the cake. If I had used precut boards, they would have been perfectly straight and I prefer starting with a perfect edge.

Maybe it's just me, though. Maybe I'm just a bad cutter! I don't know...






Mine are messy when I cut them too, but it doesn't matter (using my teachnique) because I ice a litte out past the fomecore, so that it is not seen after the cake is iced. That way the board is hidden, and I can use tiny borders or no borders.

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