What Do You Use For Support?

Decorating By adven68 Updated 16 May 2009 , 7:26pm by j-pal

adven68 Posted 15 May 2009 , 10:52am
post #1 of 15

Lately, on my larger cakes, I've been using the large plastic tube dowels. No doubt they can hold up a lot of weight... & they're easy to cut, but the last cake I made...even with 5 dowels on the bottom, seemed a little shakiy. (along with central doweling)

Thank goodness nothing happened, but does the sps or anything else really work better?

Thanks!

14 replies
saap1204 Posted 15 May 2009 , 12:22pm
post #2 of 15

I have used SPS once and the cake seemed very secure. I was bringing it to my neighbor's for a party and didn't even think about it while I walked it over. When I had made my daughter's birthday cake, using wooden dowels, I was very careful moving that cake. I have never used the Wilton plastic dowels. With the SPS, the legs lock into the plate.

HTH

Sheryl

j-pal Posted 15 May 2009 , 1:39pm
post #3 of 15

Are you using the hidden pillars or the long thinner ones that you can cut into 3? I use the hidden pillers that the plate legs fit down into the columns and they work great! If I'm doing a very large cake, then I use the four main columns that the plate legs fit into, but I'll also add 4 more columns in between for added support. When you have that much weight, you can never be too secure! It's not a matter of whether the SPS columns are stronger than the Wilton ones... to me it's about the pressure and weight on the plates and putting enough support all the way around. I have seen plates crack because of uneven or a lot of weight.

adven68 Posted 15 May 2009 , 3:37pm
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by j-pal

Are you using the hidden pillars or the long thinner ones that you can cut into 3? I use the hidden pillers that the plate legs fit down into the columns and they work great! If I'm doing a very large cake, then I use the four main columns that the plate legs fit into, but I'll also add 4 more columns in between for added support. When you have that much weight, you can never be too secure! It's not a matter of whether the SPS columns are stronger than the Wilton ones... to me it's about the pressure and weight on the plates and putting enough support all the way around. I have seen plates crack because of uneven or a lot of weight.




I was using the long thinner ones. I think the "locking" is the key, as you said, to get an even distribution of weight. Does the cake go right onto the plates? On a cakeboard or without?

terrylee Posted 15 May 2009 , 3:45pm
post #5 of 15

I use a SPS system of wilton plates and dowels.....I use the tube dowels that attach under the plates....I can cut them to size....make sure the bottom cake is level and stack on site. I don't travel stacked, it makes me to nervous. A bit of icing between the plate and the next cake to glue down.

j-pal Posted 15 May 2009 , 4:06pm
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by adven68

Quote:
Originally Posted by j-pal

Are you using the hidden pillars or the long thinner ones that you can cut into 3? I use the hidden pillers that the plate legs fit down into the columns and they work great! If I'm doing a very large cake, then I use the four main columns that the plate legs fit into, but I'll also add 4 more columns in between for added support. When you have that much weight, you can never be too secure! It's not a matter of whether the SPS columns are stronger than the Wilton ones... to me it's about the pressure and weight on the plates and putting enough support all the way around. I have seen plates crack because of uneven or a lot of weight.



I was using the long thinner ones. I think the "locking" is the key, as you said, to get an even distribution of weight. Does the cake go right onto the plates? On a cakeboard or without?




Here's what I do and it's been working great for 13 years!!!

Let's say I'm doing a 6, 10, 14 and 18" round cake... Each cake is on a cake circle the same size as the cake and iced. The 18" base cake goes on an 18" cake board and then placed on whatever base it's going on. I cut the Wilton hidden pillars level with the cake. Then I take a 13" cake plate and mark the 18" cake so I know where to put my pillars. I place 4 pillars where the "x's" are and then place my plate - legs into the pillars. I add some icing to the plate and put the 14" iced cake on top of that. (I always use a plate 1 size smaller than the cake that's sitting on it so I don't have to mess with seeing the plate.) I mark, cut and add the pillars to the 14" cake, using the 9" plate to mark it. For the 6" tier, I usually only use straws for support. They're not heavy enough to need the columns. In fact, I don't even use a plate under it all the time.

I always pre-stack and deliver completely assembled up to 6 tiers with this method and have never had a problem. I've delivered up into the mountains, down dirt roads, and in 110 degree weather and have never lost a cake. I've never had one collapse, fall, lean, or shift, either during delivery or during a reception.

I hope the above instructions made sense... Good luck!

adven68 Posted 15 May 2009 , 7:06pm
post #7 of 15

Thanks Jpal...that was very informative. Do you also drive a center dowel through it, or do you not need to? Can you even do that with the wilton plates?

Thanks again to all.

Irene

JenniferMI Posted 16 May 2009 , 1:18pm
post #8 of 15

I use foil covered dowels...have for years with no problems. The key to any doweling is putting enough in I think. I once had a friend that put FOUR in any size cake...OMG..an accident waiting to happen!

Jennifer icon_smile.gif

leah_s Posted 16 May 2009 , 1:25pm
post #9 of 15

Terry, SPS is the brand name of the system made by Bakery Crafts.

For my money, it's the best, easiest to use, sturdiest and least expensive. It's downright cheap! Once you try it, you'll never go back to dowels.

Kiddiekakes Posted 16 May 2009 , 2:10pm
post #10 of 15

I use the wilton hidden pillars that lock into their standard size seperater plates.It is very sturdy.I have had several 3 tiered cakes that customers have come to pick up and not one has crashed or toppled over.

sweetsbyl Posted 16 May 2009 , 2:13pm
post #11 of 15

I use SPS! I tried the dowels and bubble straws but SPS works best for me.

aligotmatt Posted 16 May 2009 , 2:23pm
post #12 of 15

I was going to say a Cross My Heart... but uhh...

Last year I used the Wilton Hidden pillars and plates. It was the easiest because I can buy it locally and don't have to plan ahead and order. I know that sounds really slack, but sometimes that's all it takes... On a 5 tier cake I was putting about $45 of plastic plates and pillars into my cake, so towards the end of the year when I was slower I started using different things.

I did bubble tea straws with center dowels for a few cakes, and while the cakes delivered just fine, the nerves were terrible! Without those legs popping in, I was really nervous.

The beginning of this year I ordered the SPS and did it for a few cakes, fantastic! I feel that it's easier to center and it is a lot cheaper. But of course, I picked up a last minute order and had to run to the supply store to get a wilton plate and hidden pillars.

With all of them, I've never had a cake tip or fall or cave in...

j-pal Posted 16 May 2009 , 5:00pm
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by adven68

Thanks Jpal...that was very informative. Do you also drive a center dowel through it, or do you not need to? Can you even do that with the wilton plates?

Thanks again to all.

Irene




No, you can't drive a dowel through the middle - but you don't need to... the way they're all interlocked makes it unnecessary.

We've discussed the pros and cons of the Wilton vs SPS vs dowels a number of times... I think they all have pros and cons. The main reason I don't use the SPS is that the dowels are such a heavy plastic that I can't cut them... and unfortunately, my cakes are never the same height! icon_surprised.gif)

I'm not necessarily concerned about saving a few dollars with the cheaper options, because I charge a deposit on all of the equipment, so if I don't get it back, I'm not out any money.

adven68 Posted 16 May 2009 , 6:02pm
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by j-pal

Quote:
Originally Posted by adven68

Thanks Jpal...that was very informative. Do you also drive a center dowel through it, or do you not need to? Can you even do that with the wilton plates?

Thanks again to all.

Irene



No, you can't drive a dowel through the middle - but you don't need to... the way they're all interlocked makes it unnecessary.

We've discussed the pros and cons of the Wilton vs SPS vs dowels a number of times... I think they all have pros and cons. The main reason I don't use the SPS is that the dowels are such a heavy plastic that I can't cut them... and unfortunately, my cakes are never the same height! icon_surprised.gif)

I'm not necessarily concerned about saving a few dollars with the cheaper options, because I charge a deposit on all of the equipment, so if I don't get it back, I'm not out any money.




oh, I get it about the center dowel being unnecessary....are the pillars unable to be cut, or just difficult to cut?

j-pal Posted 16 May 2009 , 7:26pm
post #15 of 15

The SPS columns are very difficult to cut - they aren't made to be cut... not impossible, but I wouldn't want to try.

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