How Many People Stake Their Cakes?

Decorating By Tita9499 Updated 13 Dec 2008 , 6:31pm by jules1719

Tita9499 Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 6:22pm
post #1 of 36

I'm contemplating staking a cake that I have coming up (I think I'm freaking out about this cake because this is the 4th question I asked-sorry).

Here's the question. When you stake your cake, do you:

A) leave out the cake boards under the individual tiers (the 8" cardboard cake circle sits under the 8" cake) and just let the tier sit "naked" on the next size cake

B) make a hole in the cake circle and pray your stake finds its way into the hole

C) Place each tier on the stake from the top instead of staking after the cake is asssembled

I've actually seen it done all three ways, I don't think B is the favorite method, but I wanted to find out what worked best for anyone on here.

35 replies
__Jamie__ Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 6:27pm
post #2 of 36

Actually, you just sharpen the dowel like a pencil, and ram it through all layers, and all of their corresponding cardboards, until you hit the bottom board, or drum, or whatever it is you have your cake sitting on.

Tita9499 Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 6:29pm
post #3 of 36

REALLY? Stakes are strong enough to go through cardboard? That's crazy! I've always wondered about that, is that what works for you?

mamacc Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 6:34pm
post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tita9499

REALLY? Stakes are strong enough to go through cardboard? That's crazy! I've always wondered about that, is that what works for you?




I sharpen mine with a clean pencil sharpener or xacto knife.

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 6:34pm
post #5 of 36

I don't do that. I have read too many stories in here about that center dowel being false security if your cake decides it wants to topple. I don't ever want to find out if that is true! I am experimenting with the SPS system now, and you can check out this link for info about it.

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-603925.html

Leahs is incredibly knowledgeable about this system, and can help if you have any question. I am learning as I go as well, and always read others' posts/questions about it. Good luck!

Tita9499 Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 6:35pm
post #6 of 36

I just see the stake not being sharp enough to pierce through the cardboard, the carboard buckling causing my cake to shift up...am I thinking too much about this?

I've never had a problem just supporting my cakes with dowels, until Saturday. Now I'm all freaked out, but I'm not sure if I should be trying something new with such a big event.

leah_s Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 6:36pm
post #7 of 36

Oh yeah, baby, SPS every time, every cake.

No driving a stake thru the heart of your cake. And SPS is easier to use than dowels.

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 6:36pm
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tita9499

I just see the stake not being sharp enough to pierce through the cardboard, the carboard buckling causing my cake to shift up...am I thinking too much about this?




icon_lol.gif

I've had the same visions myself! But really...I don't think it's quite that scary. If you are comfortable with it, and you're careful, you should be fine. Just not something I personally would do...but I know it works fine for others!

Kairiboo Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 6:50pm
post #9 of 36

Now, maybe this is a silly question. I personally want to try the SPS I just need to find them! But, if you drove a dowel down through your cakes, I assume you have to put something (Bow, decoration of some sort) to go on top from where you drove the dowel in?

mommakristin Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 6:51pm
post #10 of 36

I always stake my cakes. It just kind of gives me some reassurance when transporting the cake.

I use the wooden dowels and sharpen them with a pencil sharpener. I have a mallet that I "nail" them through the cardboard with. Works perfectly. I just make sure and let whoever is cutting the cake know it's there.

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 6:55pm
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kairiboo

Now, maybe this is a silly question. I personally want to try the SPS I just need to find them! But, if you drove a dowel down through your cakes, I assume you have to put something (Bow, decoration of some sort) to go on top from where you drove the dowel in?


Absolutely! Or a little buttercream to smooth over the hole or a fondant plug if your cake is covered with fondant. Something to hide the hole.

Malakin Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 7:08pm
post #12 of 36

I use a food safe wooden dowel, sharpened to a very sharp point with clean pencil sharpener. I take a clean mallet, and gently but firmly tap the dowel rod down into the middle of the cake, but, when I get to the cardboard circle, I give a sharper whack. I make sure my dowel rod is aproximately 1/2 shorter than my cake so if no topper I just cover hole with icing. I use two dowels like sugarshack says to though. I have never had a cardboard circle bend yet and I only use Wilton's.

mommakristin Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 7:09pm
post #13 of 36

Most of the time I conveniently have something that covers the hole. If not you can always make a fondant "plug" or fill the hole with colored to match bc. Works perfectly!

Tita9499 Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 7:11pm
post #14 of 36

You all are so smart! Thanks for the great tips...

Leahs, any way I can get SPS in two days? I live in el paso, texas and the 3 cake stores here don't have them. Please recommend a good online store that can send stuff 1 day or overnight. Thnx.

mamacc Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 7:20pm
post #15 of 36

We've had this discussion a million timesicon_smile.gificon_smile.gif Sometimes you have no choice but to use sharpened dowels. I do mainly sculpted cakes that require a custom built support system...so I have to design the whole support system myself every time. If it's a really big cake like my last zombie than I build a pvc support system, but for most of my everyday sculpted cakes boards and dowels work fine. Even my 3D unicorn head cake was supported with just boards and dowels.

BlondiezBakery Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 7:45pm
post #16 of 36

Great thread! I watched my 'stacking cakes' video yesterday, and just happen to go buy all of my supplies this morning! Yay!

I intend to:
- support each tier with interior supports
- put cake circles under each tier
- drive one 'motha' dowel through the hole thing after sharpening like a pencil.

SugarShack made it look easy, so hopefully I will be ok as a novice.....all I need is a mallet. icon_smile.gif

leah_s Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 7:54pm
post #17 of 36

You can purchase SPS online from Global Sugar Arts and Oasis Supply. You're gonna have to call in your order through, to get it expedited.

I'm gonna convert all you dowel and stake people one day, for tiered cakes, anyway. One shifting dowel and a fallen cake and you'll believe me.

leah_s Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 7:55pm
post #18 of 36

When calling around town to check on availability, ask for the BakeryCrafts system. The stores may not recognize SPS.

stlcakelady Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 8:43pm
post #19 of 36

I DO stake my cakes and prefer it above other methods. When I first attempted it, I asked my husband (who's got an engineering mind) what he thought would be the best method. I thought I needed to drill holes in each of the boards and drive the stake down the middle. He disagreed, telling me that if I DIDN'T drill holes first, but rather "drove" the stake through with a hammer, I'd have a much tighter fit. I agreed. I do something a little different if there's no topper and it's a fondant cake so PM me if you want those instructions. But for buttercream, I use foam core from Michael's as my separators. Before placing each cake on the next, I dust the cake below with powedered sugar. Then place the board (with the cake) directly onto the bottom cake (already with supports in place). Continue placing supports, powdered sugar, then cake on board. Once you've got all the cakes in the exact spot that you want them, sharpen a wooden dowel rod (with a knife or a pencil sharpener) to look like a spear. I stand the dowel up next to the cake to see how tall it needs to be. I make mine at least an inch shorter than the height of the entire cake. Cut off the dowel to the proper height. Now take the dowel and push it through the center of the top cake (pointy end first) and it should easily pierce through the first cake board. The I start using a hammer and hammer the top of the dowel rod so it pierces through the other cakes all the way to the bottom. When it gets down pretty far, I take another piece of dowel rod and place it on the rod that's going into my cake (so the hammer doesn't touch the cake) and start tapping that one until the one in the cake is all the way down. Then you can fill in the hole with buttercream.

tdybear1978 Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 8:43pm
post #20 of 36

I put the foamcore under each tiere (as sugarshack instructed) and I don't have to worry about any buckling when hammering in my center dowel, which by the way goes so smoothly. I have transported an assembled 5 tier cake with no catastrophy icon_smile.gif whewwww

nancyg Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 8:59pm
post #21 of 36

Hi, I am interested in watching the stacking cake video, can you direct me too it. Thanks so much !
Nancy g

nanny4 Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 9:00pm
post #22 of 36

I have to agree with Leah, I LOVE my SPS system! Workd wonderfully for me thumbs_up.gif

PinkZiab Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 9:01pm
post #23 of 36

I actually use masonite under every tier, pre-drilled with a hole in the center. My center post gets mounted to my base board and all of my tiers get lowered down onto the center post. I learned this method while interning at Pink Cake Box. It's how all her cakes are done (and transported, fully, assembled, as I now do also), and I've never felt unsure about traveling with a cake this way. Also, there is no hole on the top tier to have to cover up or repair, which I love, because many of my designs do not include a large topper or decorations right on the center of the top tier.

HBcakes Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 9:03pm
post #24 of 36

I also always use wooden dowels or the larger plastic dowels from Wilton, then a 5/8 inch dowel down the center of the cakes. On anything over 3 tiers I like to use foamcore instead of cardboard circles. I've delivered several 5 tier cakes, a 6 tier square cake, and even a 6 tier topsy-turvy this way and it works fantastically. I don't precut any holes for the center dowel because it does make a tighter fit. Just hammer those things in- it's scary the first time but if your cake is supported correctly it is perfectly fine! A few that I've ended up serving had to have the first 3 tiers pulled up off the center dowel because it couldn't be budged.

Tita9499 Posted 9 Dec 2008 , 10:27pm
post #25 of 36

I don't transport my cakes fully assembled. I'm too freaked out by that. This cake is only traveling less than a 1/4 of a mile though. It seems the consenus is that the stakes are more popular.

tdybear1978 Posted 10 Dec 2008 , 5:15am
post #26 of 36

I was very weary about the stake method at first. But after I watched sugarshack's dvd I decided to give it a try and have not changed since. At least try it once and see what you think. I have not had any problems delivering fully assembled and that saves SO much time. the largest fully assembled I have transported was a 5-tier square cake, I was scared to death and still drove like a little old granny icon_smile.gif but it made it there NO PROBLEM!

Tita9499 Posted 10 Dec 2008 , 6:33am
post #27 of 36

What kind car do you have (no I'm not a stalker) I 'm asking because I have a Ford Escape and I don't know if a 4 tiered cake will fit in it (it might).

milissasmom Posted 10 Dec 2008 , 6:45am
post #28 of 36

SPS, SPS, SPS, SPS...never stack a cake without it! icon_biggrin.gif

tracycakes Posted 10 Dec 2008 , 4:36pm
post #29 of 36

I haven't done many stacked cakes recently but I have converted to SPS also. It is so simple and easy to use and it's solid. Now, my biggest issue is getting my cakes to always be 4" tall, which is something I working on already.

leah_s Posted 10 Dec 2008 , 4:45pm
post #30 of 36

I'm tellin' ya, SPS--cheap, easy, sturdy. Try it once and you'll never go back.

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