Please Help Today, Finishing A Cake For A Reception Tomorrow

Decorating By lalaine Updated 20 Apr 2009 , 1:38am by lalaine

lalaine Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 3:41pm
post #1 of 10

i'm making the cactus cake that so many have posted on this site.
i'm stacking it onto a small cake to look like a terracotta pot, then stacking that on top of a 10 inch round 2 layer cake.
i've only done a few stacked cakes before, but they were always a circular cake on top of another circular cake, with dowels.

this cactus is round, and its a lot less stable than a standard circular cake.
the base is small, so it tends to wobble. right now i have it on a small cardboard round, ready to decorate with the green spiky cactus leaves.
i dont know if i should stack it on top of the terracotta cake before putting the spikes on, or if i should decorate it separately, then try to stack it.

also, the cake has to travel in a car tomorrow for 2 hours out to the desert, it will be over 90 degrees (of course i'll have the air conditioner on, but it still might be warm in the back of the suv.) so i am concerned about it softening and falling over. i plan to stack it after i arrive, but dont know if i should transport all 3 layers separately, or have the 2 bottom ones already stacked and add the cactus last, or have the cactus and the pot already assembled as one unit, then place it on the largest tier when i arrive.

i'm worried about transporting the cactus portion by itself, unattached to anything, as it appears unstable. please help so i dont mess this up!

9 replies
JGMB Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 3:53pm
post #2 of 10

I can' t help with all of your questions, unfortunately, just the one about decorating the cactus before or after putting it atop the other cake.

The cake idea is from a Colette Peters book. She suggests cutting off the bottom of the cactus to make it sit level, then decorating a few rows along the bottom. Next, move it onto the other cake and finish decorating. HTH!

LeckieAnne Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 3:56pm
post #3 of 10

Can you stack it on top, then run a dowel down through the cactus cake into the larger cake underneath, and then decorate it? That would make it stable.

lainalee Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 4:30pm
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGMB


The cake idea is from a Colette Peters book. She suggests cutting off the bottom of the cactus to make it sit level, then decorating a few rows along the bottom. Next, move it onto the other cake and finish decorating. HTH!



I would probably do the same and then cut a circle cake board the diameter of the bottome of the catus top and "cement" with frosting or royal. Then decorate the few rows as stated and secure to the top of the pot cake with a dowel. I think maybe to transport, keep the bottom tier seperate and assemble on site making sure to run a sharpened dowel all the way thru. HTH icon_smile.gif

confectioneista Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 4:45pm
post #5 of 10

I'm curious - which desert? As for keeping the cake cool, I always get my air conditioner on first so the vehicle is good and cold when I put my cakes in. And make sure your SUV is out of the sun when you're loading your cakes, too. If your windows are tinted, that good.

ChristaPaloma Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 5:01pm
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by confectioneista

I'm curious - which desert? As for keeping the cake cool, I always get my air conditioner on first so the vehicle is good and cold when I put my cakes in. And make sure your SUV is out of the sun when you're loading your cakes, too. If your windows are tinted, that good.




I do that too, and I bag ice in ziplock bags and put a layer under a rack that I will put the cakes on. Then I put a non-skid rubber mat , and then the cake and close the box up. I drove 4 1/2 hours like that in the summer and it worked great!.. like a little makeshift cooler.

leah_s Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 5:07pm
post #7 of 10

OK, since you're stuck with using dowels, here's what I'd do. Stack the terra cotta pot on the base cake, doweled as usual, and then drive two skewers through the pot and cake and into the base board. Place these near the sides of the pot.

Transport the cactus on a thick piece of styrofoam with a skewer sticking up thru the top of the cactus but with the skewer driven into the styro. Visualize picking up the entire cake by grasping the skewer sticking out of the top of the cactus and the styro coming too.

Ok, when you get onsite, pick up the cactus by the skewer sticking out the top, pull off the stryo. Place the cactus, and drive the skewer through the pot. This skewer should be centered on the pot, which is why the other skewers were placed more toward the sides of the pot.

You can use another skewer placed on top of the one in the cake and pound on that one to get the internal one all the way in, then put a bc leaf/spike to cover the hole made by the skewer.

lalaine Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 5:08pm
post #8 of 10

i already leveled the bottom of the cactus and cemented it to a cardboard round, it sticks out about a half inch beyond the cake. its crumb coated and chilled.

i guess the mistake i made is not poking a hole in the cardboard round, but i guess i can still do that before i put the spikes on the cactus. i'll do as you suggeste, dowel the cactus to the middle layer, then decorate the cactus and transport this assembly separate from the bottom layer.

my suv is in the garage, so its cool to start with. i'll run the air conditioner before i put the cake in so its nice and cool, and i like the idea of putting a bag of ice under it. i've been using those non skid mats from walmart, its actually shelf liner and can be cut any size, its great.

last question--to run a dowel all the way through all 3 layers, should i leave an open spot at the top of the cactus and not fill it in with cactus leaves until after i assemble it at the location, or can i finish decorating it here, then poke the dowel between 2 of the cactus leaves and be unnoticed?

lalaine Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 6:28pm
post #9 of 10

leahs, we must have been posting at the same time. you have a fantastic idea, dont know why i didnt think of it.

that makes sense, i was trying to figure out how to lift the cactus without ruining all the buttercream spikes. styrofoam is perfect, and will keep the rounded cactus stable so it wont tip over in the car! thanks!
if i make that center transport dowel long enough, i can use it to go through all the layers of the cake after i stack them.

lalaine Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 1:38am
post #10 of 10

i skewered the cactus (top layer) to the terracotta pot (middle layer) and pushed the skewers into florist foam. the cakes didnt move an inch. they survived the 100 mile trip out to the desert where it was 97 degrees today. the bottom layer was separate. when i got there, i pulled the top 2 cakes out of the foam and stuck them on top of the bottom cake, the skewers went in the lower cake like a charm.

thanks to everyone who responded with suggestions. the cake and the flowers made the trip without any problems.
if i can figure out how to post the picture here, i will. otherwise, its uploaded in the "western" theme category, or can be searched by "cactus".

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