I have a client that gave me specific pillars that she wants to use on her 3-tier cake, however she's not too big on the "plate-pillars-plate" method (for example, there will be the base, then the cake, then plate, pillars, plate, then another cake, a plate on top of that, pillars, plate & then the top tier of cake, such as shown here: http://www.wilton.com/cakes/tiered-cakes/pillar-and-stacked-cake-construction.cfm
Normally to avoid that I've always used the hidden pillars but since she has these specific ones she wants to use, it's not really possible. Those are the only two methods I've ever used to stack a pillared cake. I've never liked the wooden dowels, so I am planning to us the bigger plastic dowel rods under each plate (see here: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E3127EA-475A-BAC0-5F98F056B4A6DC92&killnav=1 . However the pillars have a hole in the bottom & I haven't tried it yet, but the supports might fit nicely into the bottom of each pillar so I could avoid that bottom plate (by inserting the bottom of the pillars onto the cake supports instead of the plate feet). Now this is something that I just thought about while lying in bed & I don't have any of the pieces with me right now (They're at my shop). Does anybody know if it is possible to just use four plastic supports & cut them so they come up out of the cake a little & insert the pillars into them. Somewhat like an extended version to convert them into a hidden pillar? I'm not sure if it would be sturdy enough and of course I'm not wiling to take any chances on someones wedding cake! I'm sure that someone out there has probably already tried this & has an answer. Of course I could always try it myself & if it doesn't seem stable enough, revert to the "plate-pillar-plate" method but I thought I would ask here since I am limited on time.
If I understand this right ....
She's given you pillars that are designed to be used with a plate on the bottom, but she doesn't want you to use a plate on the bottom? I would not try to "rig up" something that "might" work.... because if something goes wrong and the cake topples over, you know that she is NOT going to accept the explanation of "Well, I made it the way YOU told me to!"
I, personally would have no problem telling her "Sorry, that just won't work." If someone wanted a 5-tier cake "....but I don't want any supports in the cake", I would also tell them to take a hike.
Unless the person knows how to engineer and structure a cake, then I dont' let them have a say in how to engineer and structure a cake.
Lol...Yep, that's basically it! I told her that we would most likely need to use the plates but I would check around & see if I could find any other alternatives. I thought I would go ahead & ask here because to be honest, I've never really had any formal training & there could be alternatives out there that I don't even know about. (I've been at this for a few years now & still learn new things every day!) I thought someone has either had to have tried this already or something else that might work. Thanks for your advice though, I think I'm just going to stick with the plates. I already told myself that even if I got 10 replies to this post & only one thought it wouldn't work that I would error on the side of caution & stay with the plates....definitely don't want to take any chances with this cake! Thanks!