Help! How To Properly Stabilize A Taller Cake? (12 Inch)

Decorating By Yuni Updated 27 May 2009 , 9:17pm by Yuni

Yuni Posted 25 May 2009 , 11:19am
post #1 of 16

I had my 1st cake disaster the past weekend~ icon_sad.gif the design looked o.k, (see pic) it was going considerably fine till the delivery... that's where my nightmare really started...

as you can see, the 12x8 headstone piece had to be moved separately, so I took it down from the bottom cake and place it in a deep box for the ride, .... it never came to me that the cake could be falling right and left while the car turning and moving.... icon_redface.gif I soon learned that at my very 1st turn, than I had to hold the cake by one hand (btw the heat from my hand soften the Fondant and icing which damage the cake even more.) and drive with one hand only, oh did I mention I drive stick shift?~ icon_cry.gif

by the time when I got to the b-day party, the cake looked pretty sad~ but I still had to try to put it back on top of the bottom cake~ that's when I realized that the bottom cake board (I use total of 3 boards for that cake, support in each of the 3 levels, than used 4 skinny dowels go through them all.) was completed soaked by grease from the icing which make it soft and can't stand on it's own anymore (OMG I WAS FREAKING!!!) with all the ppl stand around me, watching me and taking pictures I just couldn't afford to fail!!!

I fought with it for about 15 minutes (one of the longest 15 minutes in my life) Finally with some plastic knifes tucked under it, the headstone finally kind of stood up... ppl said that they think it actually looks better that way, cos it than looked more like an old, leaning headstone...

It can not happen again. HELP! How do I properly stabilize such a cake? any suggestion would be very appreciated!!
LL

15 replies
-K8memphis Posted 25 May 2009 , 11:55am
post #2 of 16

Ok--underneath everything plant some foam--put your bottom board on top of that--hot glue some dowel into the foam throught the boards--thread your cakes down onto that.

But most importantly for me is to deliver chilled cake. That internal cohesiveness cannot be overestimated.

Next time give yourself a break with that design and taper it at the top too.

Some construction thoughts for you.

Yuni Posted 25 May 2009 , 1:01pm
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Ok--underneath everything plant some foam--put your bottom board on top of that--hot glue some dowel into the foam throught the boards--thread your cakes down onto that.

But most importantly for me is to deliver chilled cake. That internal cohesiveness cannot be overestimated.

Next time give yourself a break with that design and taper it at the top too.

Some construction thoughts for you.




Thank you so much!!! I will get the foam asap and try what you said~ I have a similiar cake due in 3 weeks (scared!) and yes... the cake didn't get enough chilling time.... (banning my head on the wall) thank you again!! icon_smile.gif

-K8memphis Posted 25 May 2009 , 1:12pm
post #4 of 16

Also, dowel cannot penetrate where there's (cooled off) hot glue--so however you construct, obviously I use hot glue--be sure to not hot glue the foam to the board where you will need to plant the dowel. But but but I use a 3/8 or 1/4 inch dowel and I secure it into the foam with more hot glue.


icon_biggrin.gif Happy cakin', Cakebuddy--Great work--and it was a perfect sculpture to 'learn' this on--I bet it did look awesome!!!

pattigunter Posted 25 May 2009 , 1:13pm
post #5 of 16

I use candy melts for extra support - I make the holes for the dowels, fill them with melted candy and then put the dowels in. Let it set quite a while before putting the top cake on but the candy will not let the dowels move at all.

I used this method in my elmo cake - Elmo was extremely heavy but he never budged. I also used it to hold the deer stand up in the hunting/graduation cake. I did this BEFORE transporting it and it never moved.

-K8memphis Posted 25 May 2009 , 1:15pm
post #6 of 16

No no, my favorite part of your story is 'I drive a stick'.

Have you driven it since??

How's the "stick"??? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

yamber82 Posted 25 May 2009 , 1:32pm
post #7 of 16

yea i already drive like 5mph with one hand on the cake as it is, i can't imagine trying to keep it steady while driving a stick! kudos toyou for pulling it off.

i am doing a batman city cake in july and it's going to have 3 building similiarly shaped to that headstone. what size was your headstone btw and do you know how many people it would feed? i am trying to figure out how big to make my buildings. they have to feed 60.

as for transporting it, i was thinking of laying them down on their backs and then setting them back up when i got there. has anyone ever tried this method? i really don't want them to ruin and i have a hour drive too.

Scrumptious Creations Posted 26 May 2009 , 6:39am
post #8 of 16

Glad I found this forum. I need to transport a boom box this week Im afraid the cake will shift and the "dreaded bulge" will appear before I deliver it. It will be a tall cake. I was going to put it on a wooden base and use plumbers pipe, pvc and flange to secure it but I like this foam and chocolate idea. Is this the same foam like cake dummies are made with or the floral foam? Thanks for your help.

Yuni Posted 26 May 2009 , 5:11pm
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattigunter

I use candy melts for extra support - I make the holes for the dowels, fill them with melted candy and then put the dowels in. Let it set quite a while before putting the top cake on but the candy will not let the dowels move at all.

I used this method in my elmo cake - Elmo was extremely heavy but he never budged. I also used it to hold the deer stand up in the hunting/graduation cake. I did this BEFORE transporting it and it never moved.



hum~ that make senses!! thank you so much for the tip! icon_biggrin.gif

pattigunter Posted 26 May 2009 , 5:22pm
post #10 of 16

Yuni - the candy melts are a wonderful glue. My Elmo has to be forceably removed!! And on top of that its edible.

Yuni Posted 26 May 2009 , 5:22pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Also, dowel cannot penetrate where there's (cooled off) hot glue--so however you construct, obviously I use hot glue--be sure to not hot glue the foam to the board where you will need to plant the dowel. But but but I use a 3/8 or 1/4 inch dowel and I secure it into the foam with more hot glue.


icon_biggrin.gif Happy cakin', Cakebuddy--Great work--and it was a perfect sculpture to 'learn' this on--I bet it did look awesome!!!



got you! Thanks! yes, I've learned alot from this cake.

I havn't got the pic yet, after all that unexpected mess I was already kinda delayed the party, icon_redface.gif so I didn't have time to take pic myself, I asked the host to send me one from what she took. I'll post it when I get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

No no, my favorite part of your story is 'I drive a stick'.

Have you driven it since??

How's the "stick"??? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif



that was the most terrorizing moment of the whole thing for me too!! stick is fine~ I've been driving stick shift for 10 years, that day was the 1st time I regret it!

__Jamie__ Posted 26 May 2009 , 5:23pm
post #12 of 16

K8---I have no problem with Jilk. It comes from Albert Uster, therefore is fancy, gourmet and over priced. It is enough to impress the pants off of me. icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

Just kidding by the way, truly, you will go to cake hell and burn there whilst packages of box mix fly past your head in a neverending flurry, all the while slapping you with spatulas, dipped in boiling Jilk. Ouch.

Yuni Posted 26 May 2009 , 5:48pm
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by yamber82

yea i already drive like 5mph with one hand on the cake as it is, i can't imagine trying to keep it steady while driving a stick! kudos toyou for pulling it off.

i am doing a batman city cake in july and it's going to have 3 building similiarly shaped to that headstone. what size was your headstone btw and do you know how many people it would feed? i am trying to figure out how big to make my buildings. they have to feed 60.

as for transporting it, i was thinking of laying them down on their backs and then setting them back up when i got there. has anyone ever tried this method? i really don't want them to ruin and i have a hour drive too.




Trust me, I have no idea how did I pulled it off too~ icon_lol.gif

my headstone was 8" wide x 4" length x 12" tall (3 layer of 4 inch tall cakes) (after delivery it got half an inch shorter icon_redface.gif ) , I use party cake measure(2" x 2") to calculate the serving so it serve 24.

I thought of laying it down too, but I was worried what if the cake sink down a little while laying, the same time the cake boards in between won't (I had cake board in between each layer), than that could cause the Fondant to caved in on top of the cake part and might break on top of the cake boards.... I am not good at explaining, did I loose you? But if anyone have tried it please share!

btw I was thinking (have been since that night, this cake disaster just tortures me~) Next time I will 1st try what k8memphis and pattigunter suggested. than when it comes to transporting it, after a long good chilling time. I will still put it in a deeper box, use some 2 by 2s to frame it around, with foam boards in between the cake and 2 by 2, than use bubble wrap to fill the space in the box. oh oh oh~! before all that, lay a piece of flat wooden board in the box. the base has to be 100% flat!

and bring a little helper with you to watch the cakes plus giving a hand when needed.

Yuni Posted 26 May 2009 , 5:57pm
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattigunter

Yuni - the candy melts are a wonderful glue. My Elmo has to be forceably removed!! And on top of that its edible.




wow I love your Elmo!! is that head all cake or rice crispy? (I have a 3d cat cake coming too~)

pattigunter Posted 26 May 2009 , 6:08pm
post #15 of 16

That Elmo is all candy melts - It was VERY HEAVY! I got the idea from the Wilton yearbook and afterwards thought that it would have been much easier (and probably cheaper too) to make him from Rice Krispies. I had a big plastic dowel in the middle of him and when we put him in the cake he immediately started tilting foward. So we pulled him out and filled the hole with melted candy. We had to hold him in place until it hardened but after that he wasnt going anywhere.

That was probably the funnest time I've ever had with cake. My granddaughter has hypotonia and LOVEs Elmo. The look on her face when she saw him in her cake was just priceless. I think she thought Elmo was actually at her party. And I got it all on camera.

Yuni Posted 27 May 2009 , 9:17pm
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattigunter

That Elmo is all candy melts - It was VERY HEAVY! I got the idea from the Wilton yearbook and afterwards thought that it would have been much easier (and probably cheaper too) to make him from Rice Krispies. I had a big plastic dowel in the middle of him and when we put him in the cake he immediately started tilting foward. So we pulled him out and filled the hole with melted candy. We had to hold him in place until it hardened but after that he wasnt going anywhere.

That was probably the funnest time I've ever had with cake. My granddaughter has hypotonia and LOVEs Elmo. The look on her face when she saw him in her cake was just priceless. I think she thought Elmo was actually at her party. And I got it all on camera.




Ah~~ha~!! I think I just figured out how can I make that 3d cat happen! Thank you soo much for your valuable input!

yes, seeing how my cakes pop people's eyes open wild and bring big smile on their faces is always the best part~ and when it's some one special for me... priceless! your granddaughter is so luck, I am sure that's her best birthday cake ever!! icon_biggrin.gif

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