No Support For A Tiered Cake??

Decorating By tarheelgirl Updated 12 Feb 2009 , 9:16pm by aswartzw

tarheelgirl Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 12:49pm
post #1 of 25

I met with a bride yesterday and she asked if I used wooden dowels inside of my cakes. I said actually I will be using a plate and pillar system inside your cake. She told me that she had previously met with someone the day before that told her they use NOTHING inside of their cakes. I was in total shock! Reading the horror stories on here about wooden dowels but this decorator uses NOTHING???? icon_eek.gif Why do all that hard work only for it to collapse and the bride has no cake!

24 replies
leah_s Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 1:03pm
post #2 of 25

If the other person hasn't had a disaster yet - well yet is the important word there. I would have laughed and said, "Amateur! I'm a professional and I know better."

I have had brides specifically ask if I use dowels in a cake and I do laugh ans say 'No, that's the #1 reason cakes fall. I use a much better system" and leave the convo there.

-K8memphis Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 1:26pm
post #3 of 25

I agree that an amateur's improper use of dowel could be a major factor in why cakes fall.

KitchenKat Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 1:51pm
post #4 of 25

Wow! NOTHING! Perhaps its not a stacked cake but graduated layers on tiered stands or pillars. I've never heard of a professional not using support inside stacked cakes...except perhaps for Sandra Lee. Didn't she have an episode where she stacked cakes and didn't dowel? I think it was the towering holiday cake with licorice strings. Maybe SL is the other baker. Just kidding now!

BlakesCakes Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 10:54pm
post #5 of 25

I guess there are some "old school" decorators out there who don't dowel/support some types of cakes--I guess they think their cakes are dense enough to withstand so much stress icon_confused.gif

I think it's pretty stupid and I can't see it being a selling point, but I also think a lot of today's brides are just plain weird about things.............

I was at a 50th wedding anniversary party here in the Cleveland area a few years ago. It was unusally warm for the March date--probably 75 degrees inside the small, airless venue.
The cake was a 3 tier, square cassata cake--white cake with fresh strawberries & whipped cream filling, iced in real whipped cream, too.....very popular here (and I won't touch it!), but also almost always just a sheet cake.
I noticed on arrival that the cake was leaning badly and the definition in the poorly piped whipped cream was disappearing.
I went into the kitchen and told them that they'd better watch it because it didn't look like it would make it to the toast.
I asked if the cake had any supports in it (because it looked like each tier was sinking into the next)--and they said NO! I just about died. I also knew that I couldn't help because I'd also bet that there were no boards between tiers, either.
They just stacked tier on tier, iced it fairly smooth, piped on some shells, and put it in the fridge. Fine if you're gonna' eat it the minute it comes out of the fridge, but if it sits, it's a disaster waiting to happen. icon_eek.gif

If she really wants a "support-free" cake, wish her luck & send her on her way!

Rae

cakesdivine Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 12:00am
post #6 of 25

I had a bride call me after her wedding complaining about the supports in her cake, that her friend who was cutting the cake had to pick them out...a DUH! (I use the thick plastic dowels then a center wooden dowel through the entire cake and into the cake base.) I asked her if her cake was intact and sturdy and she said yes, then I informed her that if those supports weren't in place her cake would have cratered. She then changed her tune.

chutzpah Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 12:09am
post #7 of 25

I had one call me once, literally screaming at me about the 'sticks' in her cake.

I very calmly asked her what she thought would have happened if there were no supports inside that cake. She hung up on me, but not before screaming that I had ruined her wedding by putting sticks in the cake and that she was going to sue.

BlakesCakes Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 12:15am
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by chutzpah

....not before screaming that I had ruined her wedding by putting sticks in the cake and that she was going to sue.




Mmhmm....damned if you do & damned if you don't..............damned if you did & damned if you didn't......... icon_lol.gif

Rae

cakesdivine Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 3:30am
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by chutzpah

I had one call me once, literally screaming at me about the 'sticks' in her cake.

I very calmly asked her what she thought would have happened if there were no supports inside that cake. She hung up on me, but not before screaming that I had ruined her wedding by putting sticks in the cake and that she was going to sue.





Well? did she sue?

summernoelle Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 3:42am
post #10 of 25

I bet you $10 that baker has no idea what she is going, and will be just like that wedding cake on Cakwrecks. This is prob. her first tiered cake or something. That is crazy-cakes are heavy! It's only a matter of time until one collapses.

chutzpah Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 7:08am
post #11 of 25

Nope, she didn't.

She actually called two years later to order a christening cake and I refused the order. I asked her if she remembered verbally abusing me because of the supports in her wedding cake. She denied it.

tarheelgirl Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 3:50pm
post #12 of 25

This wedding is in the middle of May! Could you imagine delivering that thing in the car? I would die! That was the first question the bride asked me about the dowels. I almost wonder if she had witnessed a cake wreck!

-K8memphis Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 3:54pm
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

I guess there are some "old school" decorators out there who don't dowel/support some types of cakes--I guess they think their cakes are dense enough to withstand so much stress icon_confused.gif




"Old school"?? What is old school about undoweling of cake?

You mean dense fruit cakes?

Cakechick123 Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 7:18pm
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis


You mean dense fruit cakes?




I make a lot of dense fruit cakes and even with those I wont stack it unsupported.

Unless her cakes are as solid as a brick its a disaster waiting to happen!

chutzpah Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 7:27pm
post #15 of 25

[/quote]You mean dense fruit cakes?[/quote]

And when was the last time, in the United States, that a fruitcake was something other than the butt of all Christmas jokes?

icon_lol.gif

-K8memphis Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 7:29pm
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by chutzpah

Quote:
Quote:

You mean dense fruit cakes?



And when was the last time, in the United States, that a fruitcake was something other than the butt of all Christmas jokes?

icon_lol.gif




When they're used as door stops. icon_biggrin.gif

rockysmommy Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 7:46pm
post #17 of 25

I still love a good fruit cake at Christmas..my Mom still makes the best...well, she used to anyway. It had rum soaked into it...almost wet...good thing she never tried to stack it...LOL!

CareyI Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 7:58pm
post #18 of 25

What "horror" stories about wooden dowels? Are they not very good to use? If not....what is? Thanks to Blakescakes I have had no more disasters with a collapsing cake....it only took one. icon_cry.gif And of course it was a first with someone other than a family member or friend. icon_redface.gif
Blakescakes..... LOVE YA!!!!!

jlynnw Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:14pm
post #19 of 25

Our wedding cake did not have any dowels in the cake and I wore the cake. My sister who had been making cakes for years promised us a cake we would always remember! She gave us exactly what she promised! Unless the baker is using some cake towers and not stacking the cakes and putting several cakes on the table. If she still insists on no supports for her cake, please remind her to wear an apron over her gown, she or some else will be wearing it.

allibopp5 Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:18pm
post #20 of 25

Do you think she's talking about the floating cake stands, like the ones Wilton has? Maybe it's not all one cake, but 3 seperate ones on a stand like that???

sweetlayers Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:19pm
post #21 of 25

I too have a dowel rod horror story. (Still can't talk about it!)

However my jury is still out on the perfect support system.

Does anyone use hidden pillars and smooth edge separation plates from Wilton? Would you say they work a lot like SPS?

tarheelgirl Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:28pm
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Quote:

Do you think she's talking about the floating cake stands, like the ones Wilton has? Maybe it's not all one cake, but 3 seperate ones on a stand like that???




No, this bride was very specific on stacked cakes. She wants squares too. I cannot imagine how heavy and unsteady it would be. It is a cake to feed 125 people too.

I wondered about the Wilton plates and pillars myself. I have to order the SPS stuff online and sometimes have to come up with something last minute.

leah_s Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 8:46pm
post #23 of 25

No Wilton does not work exactly like SPS. For one thing, SPS is much sturdier and you don't have to cut the legs if you bake to height. That's major. Any time you're cutting a leg for a support, there's a risk of not doing it perfectly. And then the risk of collapse increases.

karateka Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 8:57pm
post #24 of 25

I read somewhere, and now I really wish I could remember where... that "old school" cakes were covered with and decorated with RI, and it dried hard enough to support the weight of the stacked tiers. Of course, the cake involved was a fruit cake, so that dense structure helped, too.

It was fruitcake soaked in booze icon_lol.gif covered in marzipan, then RI.

Maybe that's what she was thinking?

Of course, this brings to mind the video I saw posted on here once where the Bride and groom couldn't cut the cake. They were practically hacking at it and couldn't get into it.

aswartzw Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 9:16pm
post #25 of 25

Hacking the cake....lol. That is such a funny image.

I can't wait to use the SPS system (the mess I went through ordering it I'm sure is worth it!) for my wedding cake. I'm so excited!!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%