What's Under Stacked Tiers?

Decorating By SueW Updated 23 Apr 2009 , 2:10pm by j-pal

SueW Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 12:01am
post #1 of 16

What goes under each tier of a stacked cake? Is it a plain old cardboard cake circle? Doesn't that get soggy? Is it ok for that to touch the cake if it is not laminated? Thanks, I want to attempt a stacked cake but I am still afraid icon_redface.gif

15 replies
leah_s Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 1:24am
post #2 of 16

Yes a cake cardboard and dowels. Or SPS and a cake cardboard.

indydebi Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 1:26am
post #3 of 16

Yes, a regular cake cardboard.

No, they won't get soggy. They are made of cardboard, not rice paper. I cut the majority of my cakes at my weddings, so I see the cardboards first hand. They are fine. I ice/decorate the cakes on Thurs or Fri for Saturday wedding, so the cardboard is in the cake 24-48+ hours before serving.

I'm not sure what a "laminated" cardboard is.

j-pal Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 1:33am
post #4 of 16

Different people do it different ways. The cardboards are food safe, so they don't have to be covered for that reason. Some people will cover them to keep them from getting soggy, but then they tend to be slippery.

Personally, I prefer a plain cardboard and a cake plate (1" smaller than the cake itself) and hidden pillers as my support system. I don't have to stick a dowel down through the middle and my tiers never go anywhere. I deliver my cakes completely assembled up to 7 tiers. I've delivered in 112 degree weather and 100% humidity. I have delivered up the sides of mountains. I have never had a cake fall, slide, lean or collapse in the 13 years I've been doing cakes.

It was probably more information than you were asking for, but I thought I'd be thorough! icon_smile.gif

SUUMEME Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 1:49am
post #5 of 16

J-Pal could you please explain "cake plate" and "hidden pillars". Is the cake plate different from the cake cardboard? You don't use wooden dowels?

j-pal Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 1:58am
post #6 of 16

The cake plates that I'm referring to are this:

http://www.wilton.com/store/site/department.cfm?id=3E30519E-475A-BAC0-59EAA7FA2BBC5ABF&fid=76ABA813-475A-BAC0-525EFB63FEEDE35E

The hidden pillars are also linked from that page. The plates have little "legs" underneath, that fit into the pillars that are "hidden" in the cake. This makes the structure very stable. I do NOT use wooden dowels. I don't like cutting them, I don't like the "wooden" taste that the cake can absorb, and I don't have as much confidence in them.

Because the plates and columns cost more, I either tack the price onto the cake, or I ask for a refundable deposit on the items when they return them.

This method has never failed me! icon_smile.gif Hope that made sense.

MACakes Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 2:12am
post #7 of 16

Wow, glad I read this thread. I'm with J-pal on using the hidden pillars. I am doing my first stacked this weekend and that's the option I've chosen. I'm glad to hear it is a reliable method, especially for transporting. thumbs_up.gif

Sassy74 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 2:56am
post #8 of 16

J-pal, that's a great idea! I've never liked having to dowel my stacked cakes, and didn't even think of this method! Gonna have to give it a try...

taxlady1 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 4:13am
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by j-pal


Personally, I prefer a plain cardboard and a cake plate (1" smaller than the cake itself) and hidden pillers as my support system.




J-Pal do you use both cardboard and cake plate?

I have bought the plates glad to hear they work so well!


Thanks

j-pal Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 4:34am
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady1

Quote:
Originally Posted by j-pal


Personally, I prefer a plain cardboard and a cake plate (1" smaller than the cake itself) and hidden pillers as my support system.



J-Pal do you use both cardboard and cake plate?
I have bought the plates glad to hear they work so well!
Thanks




Yes, I use a cardboard the same size as the cake, and a cake plate 1" smaller. I often have to put ribbon or a tiny border along the bottom edge and I don't want to see the cake plate.

The only tier that I don't put a plate under is the top 6". It doesn't need the hidden pillars for support... usually I just use cut drinking straws.

Not to be argumentative, but I have put my cakes on my cake boards and before they ever get iced, the boards start to get soft... just from the moisture of the cake. I use a crusting BC icing, but it still soaks up the moisture from it, also. I know a lot of decorators who use non-crusting, very "wet" icings, and the boards have been compromised. It obviously doesn't happen to everyone, but I'm an advocate of "better safe than sorry". icon_smile.gif

madgeowens Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 4:41am
post #11 of 16

If you want to see what a crusted frosting dows to a cardboard, go to my photo page and look at the bunny cake you will see how over night it was stained ....look at it.......I will never again forget to cover my cardboard....and i would be afraid to stack on carboard myself......

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 5:00am
post #12 of 16

Foam core, cut with a hot knife, covered in Glad press and seal. Nice and sturdy. Plus it adds a bit of height to your tiers! I use SPS occasionally, and sometimes the bubble tea straws.

taxlady1 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 5:00am
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by j-pal


Not to be argumentative, but I have put my cakes on my cake boards and before they ever get iced, the boards start to get soft... just from the moisture of the cake. I use a crusting BC icing, but it still soaks up the moisture from it, also. I know a lot of decorators who use non-crusting, very "wet" icings, and the boards have been compromised. It obviously doesn't happen to everyone, but I'm an advocate of "better safe than sorry". icon_smile.gif





I'm still very new to cakes but have made a few and some of my boards do get soft, that is why I purchased the cake plates.

Thanks for the advice! icon_biggrin.gif

leah_s Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 12:29pm
post #14 of 16

As always I believe that a comparison of SPS and the Wilton Hidden dowels will come out with SPS the winner.

SPS = no cutting of the legs, so no mistakes in gettign them exactly even.
Hidden Pillars = you must cut them. And they need to be even.

SPS = cheaper than Hidden Pillars.

SPS = fit very tightly into the plates for a secure fit.
Hidden Pillars = a little wobbly.

SPS = mail order.
Hidden Pillars = available in craft and cake supplies stores. This really is the only advantage.

Sassy74 Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 1:52pm
post #15 of 16

Gonna sound like I don't know nuthin...but I gotta ask! What is SPS? Seriously, I can't figure out this acronym, and I can't find it in the acronym thread. Thanks!

j-pal Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 2:10pm
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

As always I believe that a comparison of SPS and the Wilton Hidden dowels will come out with SPS the winner.

SPS = no cutting of the legs, so no mistakes in gettign them exactly even.
Hidden Pillars = you must cut them. And they need to be even.

SPS = cheaper than Hidden Pillars.

SPS = fit very tightly into the plates for a secure fit.
Hidden Pillars = a little wobbly.

SPS = mail order.
Hidden Pillars = available in craft and cake supplies stores. This really is the only advantage.




See - that's what I mean by how different things work for different people! icon_smile.gif I have the SPS system as well and have found it to not work as well for me. The main problem being that if you HAVE to cut the columns, it's much more difficult. I have a drawer of the Hidden columns that I "pick" from when doing a cake. I have had 6-12 weddings in 1 weekend and have needed dozens of columns. I am forever amazed that of all those tiers, I can have NONE of them the same height! icon_biggrin.gif

I bake them all the same and I level them in the pans, but some bake up a little higher than others and it has just been impossible for me to always have them come out exactly the same height. It's not been an issue for me though, because I just cut (with a serrated knife) the pillars to the height I need them.

I was a little confused when you said the pillars were "wobbly", but then I realized that if you attach them to the plate and try to turn them upright and press them down into the tier altogether that, yes, they would be. I just push them down into the cake individually and then put on the plate and it's very stable.

I like what I do and it works for me, so I "don't fix what ain't broke", but I definitely think people should try a few methods and see what they like.

BTW - Sassy - Look at the top of this page at the stickys... Leahs has an instruction page for the SPS method. That should help... and I think it stands for single plate system.

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