Probably A Silly Question But...

Decorating By patton Updated 28 Dec 2008 , 11:03pm by funbun

patton Posted 26 Dec 2008 , 2:00pm
post #1 of 14

This is probably a silly question but...I am making the second wedding cake I have ever made. The wedding is tomorrow. I keep having the horrifying thought that the cake will topple over, or collapse upon itself. The tiers are 14, 12, 10, 8 and 6-inch tiers that are stacked, alternating chocolate and white. I worry because they are so heavy with the butter and sour cream, etc. I'm using wooden dowels and cardboard cake circles.

Am I worrying for nothing? Will the cake be pretty much be secure and not topple over or collapse?

Thanks to you all for being so willing to help with all the questions on the forum, even my silly ones!

13 replies
indydebi Posted 26 Dec 2008 , 2:06pm
post #2 of 14

You are worrying for nothing. The density of the cake has nothing to do with how it stacks because the cakes sit on your support system, be it dowels, SPS system or what-have-you. As long as you have a good support system and the tiers are level, you'll be fine.

Remember a wedding cake is just a bunch of birthday cakes that happen to be stacked on top of each other! thumbs_up.gif

tonedna Posted 26 Dec 2008 , 2:34pm
post #3 of 14

All you have to make sure like indydebi said is the support system. If you dont support your cake well thats where your biggest problem is.. I done cakes that big that travel all stacked.
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

tonicake Posted 26 Dec 2008 , 3:02pm
post #4 of 14

Since you are doing dowels, add a little extra protection by using a dowel through the center of the cakes.

jammjenks Posted 26 Dec 2008 , 3:43pm
post #5 of 14

In addition, make sure you cut your dowels the same height per tier and not just level with the icing. This way it will keep your cake aligned properly and not tilting.

smoore Posted 26 Dec 2008 , 4:14pm
post #6 of 14

And, use nice thick dowels .... not the Wilton toothpick dowels!

GeminiRJ Posted 26 Dec 2008 , 4:32pm
post #7 of 14

For the few stacked cakes I have made, I used cake jacks instead of dowels. You know with 100% certainty that all of them will be the exact same height, so you never have to worry about a cake that tilts!

projectqueen Posted 26 Dec 2008 , 5:03pm
post #8 of 14

As others have said, it has to be 100% level with good supports. It's too hard for me to cut the wooden dowels perfectly level so I have moved on to the SPS system that Leahs and others have recommended. I know it's too late for you to get that for this cake, and your cake has probably already been delivered and it's fine, but SPS has given me peace of mind and you might want to try it for future stacked cakes.

kakeladi Posted 26 Dec 2008 , 5:04pm
post #9 of 14

Are you going to deliver this cake? If possible stack the two largest tiers and take the others separately and put it together on site. Take a level with you and make sure the table/floor is level! Many times the table isn'ticon_sad.gif
As everyone has said, use nice strong dowels, that are cut to the same height for each tier. Do that by inserting one dowel wherever you think the cake looks the highest, then cut all the dowels for that tier to that same size.
Be totally sure you insert those dowels *straight* down; start by inserting them about 1"; turn the cake around & see that the dowel is straight from all sides, push down another couple of inches adjusting as needed and repeat looking & adjust. Never pull a dowel out & re-insert in the same hole or just next to it! If you have to move a dowel move it a couple of inches away from that hole & fill it w/icing.
I'm sure everything will be just fine as probably 99% of cakes areicon_smile.gif

patton Posted 26 Dec 2008 , 6:07pm
post #10 of 14

Thanks for the suggestions. icon_smile.gif You all are life savers! I don't think I would recover if the cake were to collapse!

I am using dowels that I found in the craft section of Michael's...I think they are 1/4" thick or maybe 1/2"...currently they are not here with me, as they are out being all cut to the same exact height by someone who knows how to do as long as I am careful to make each tier the same height, I think the dowels will be OK and level.

One other question related to the dowels. Should I put more than is recommended by Wilton underneath each tier? These tiers are really, really heavy.

I'm in the process of icing each tier now. And then I will decorate them. All this in the middle of another part of my family coming in to unwrap Christmas gifts.

Thanks so much. I will definitely follow your advice.

indydebi Posted 26 Dec 2008 , 9:26pm
post #11 of 14
Originally Posted by patton

One other question related to the dowels. Should I put more than is recommended by Wilton underneath each tier? These tiers are really, really heavy.

I tend to use only 4 dowels in each cake, regardless of size. For your own comfort, you might put 6 in the 14" but I wouldnt' go more than that, especially if you are using larger width dowels ... the strength of those will hold up fine.

This 5-tier cake I did ... .... had six 1/4" dowels in the bottom tier and only four in each of the other tiers. The only reason I put 2 extra dowels in the bottom tier was because it was a 5-tier cake. Anything smaller than that and I only use 4.

patton Posted 28 Dec 2008 , 10:18pm
post #12 of 14

Just wanted to report back that my scary of experience of making the wedding cake turned out OK. Yay! The cake did not fall over. icon_wink.gif

It was truly a scary experience for me, and I don't think I'll be doing any more wedding cakes...I will leave that to the professionals.

To make a long story short, (with my daughter's and God's help!) I got the cake set up by 4:30 pm--the wedding was at five. Ran into a few problems along the way...The cake was on a big table in the very center front of the room where all the guests--it was a sit-down dinner-- could clearly see it! I was horrified... because I felt that they would see the mistakes... but I am grateful that when it was in place and standing straight and tall, not toppling over icon_biggrin.gif and surrounded by white lights and tulle, it looked kind of pretty. Dark chocolate tiers alternating with white tiers, swiss dots and red roses on the top tier.

People seemed to like it and I was just so grateful to have finished with it! I have great admiration for all of you who make wedding cakes.

Thanks for all the very helpful advice!

-K8memphis Posted 28 Dec 2008 , 10:31pm
post #13 of 14

Yay!!! I'm sure it was lovely!!!

Praise God for soft lighting too huh [highfive]


funbun Posted 28 Dec 2008 , 11:03pm
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Praise God for soft lighting too huh [highfive]


Ain't that the truth!!! icon_biggrin.gif

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