To Stack Or Not To Stack.... Help

Decorating By sarand Updated 8 Feb 2009 , 4:07pm by sarand

sarand Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 8:05am
post #1 of 10

Mmmm... I am still new at all this cake decorating and have only been making cakes for family and close friends. Obviously showing my cakes to the people I work with...

I have now been asked if I will do a 3 tier wedding cake for one of the girls at work, not too bad as I dont have to make the cakes as her gran has made them...

They are 12' 10' and 8' fruit cakes... Ohh err this is the biggest cake I have ever done. I have no problem decorating them but I am worried about stacking them as i have NEVER done this before...

Can you stack fruit cakes on top of each other or are they too heavy? I think that looking on this website and internet I can use the wooden dowels and a plate underneath the cake, but I am seriously worried they will be too heavy and fall off....

I am after any advice you can offer as I am quite nervous about this.

Thanks for reading... helping... I have tried to add a picture of the cake she wants me to do.

Sarah x

PS: I did think about asking to use dummy cakes on the top?? but not sure if she will go for this...
LL

9 replies
bizatchgirl Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 8:18am
post #2 of 10

Many people here will tell you don't use wooden dowels. They can give under too much weight, or shift, and make cake taste bad.

Many use bubble tea straws, which are really big, made to suck up a tapioca ball.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zelciia/259810296/

Many swear by SPS which is a system of plates that actually lock into plastic supports

http://www.globalsugarart.com/cat.php?cid=887

I wouldn't take the risk of using wooden dowels on such a heavy cake.

kakeladi Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 3:19pm
post #3 of 10

Yes you can use dowels. I am one that hates wooden dowels but there are times when they probably the best answer.......and I think this is one.
Fruit cakes are not anything like the basic U.S. cakes. Fruit cakes are compact, (can't think the the right term I want to use here). They will hold wooden dowels just fine w/o shifting.
The weight of the cake will be held by the dowels. You will be putting a 10" on the 12" so I suggest you use 7-9 dowels in the 12"er. Put the 10" cake on a cake circle/cardboard. For the top layer, again put it on a cake circle the same size as the cake and use 5-7 dowels in the 10" cake to support it.
If at all possible I would suggest you have each cake completely finished separately and wait to put it together at the venue, adding the people there too.
It's a pretty cake that you should have little, if any trouble withicon_smile.gif

tonedna Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 3:29pm
post #4 of 10

You can use the wilton plastic dowels, wich have a big diameter and holds well.. Same as PVC. I would not use the Wilton small wood ones cause they diameter is so small they do go sideways.
But you can use thicker wood ones instead of those too.
I have made them before, and as long as they are supported well, they travel fine. Is onlt 3 tiers so you should be ok.
Now, have in mind it will be a heavier cake to carry than a typical one.
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

Magnum Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 3:39pm
post #5 of 10

I think kakeladi is right. I have only done 1 tiered cake and i used dowels. I think they are the best things to use in fruit cakes as the texture should support them with no problem. I had a 10 inch rum friut cake on top of a 12 inch marble cake and it held up perfectly.
I also recommend putting the dowels in first and then setting up the cake at the venue icon_smile.gif

liapsim Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 3:42pm
post #6 of 10

I use the Wilton plastic ones as well. They work great! I had a lot of trouble with the wooden dowels but started using the plastic ones and have had no problems since then!

IcedTea4Me2 Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 3:46pm
post #7 of 10

Along these same lines...I have read on here that people put one dowel/whatever down the middle of the cake to hold all layers. Is that a specific cake-decorating dowel or is that just a dowel that you can get from Micheal's or someplace like that that isn't specifically for cake decorating? Also, when do you do that? Do you do it at the beginning and add layers on it or at the end and just push through all layers? Thanks.

Good luck to the OP on doing your cake. I was recently asked to do one that I'm probably going to say no to because of the jitters and other issues. icon_redface.gif I don't mean in ANY WAY to discourage you. I have storage/refrigeration issues I'm dealing with.


Lisa

tonedna Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 4:20pm
post #8 of 10

Yes I put a dpwel or 2, depending on how tall is the cake, to secure or levels together, For smaller tiers, the one from WIlton work fine. Just sharpen one side and measure so it's shorter than the cake. And then hammer it in until it grabs the drum.
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

tonedna Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 4:55pm
post #9 of 10

Yes I put a dpwel or 2, depending on how tall is the cake, to secure or levels together, For smaller tiers, the one from WIlton work fine. Just sharpen one side and measure so it's shorter than the cake. And then hammer it in until it grabs the drum.
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

sarand Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 4:07pm
post #10 of 10

wow thank you all so much for your help...

I am not sure how high the cakes ae as I have not got them yet and the wedding is not until May. I have decided that I am going to get both wooden and plastic dowels and have a practice with some fruit cakes at home.

I am really looking forward to making it, but im sooo nervous as its my 1st one. There is so much more pressure on a wedding cake... I hope i can pull this off as i really am loving decorating cakes....

Thanks again you are all so helpful xxxx

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