Stacking Cakes

Decorating By bmarlow001 Updated 12 Jun 2009 , 7:50am by Ivory28

bmarlow001 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:15am
post #1 of 17

I just completed my very first 3 tiered cake and honestly I was not very happy with it and maybe that is because I am very critical of myself BUT still... not happy. I would really appreciate any help anyone can give me as far as stacking cakes and making it look good.
I was watching a cake show the other night and noticed that the tiers are all pretty much the same size, are you supposed to measure the tiers to all be that way or is it in the baking? the other problem I am having is as you can see, where the tiers sit on top of each other it is very sloppy.. any ideas to what I am doing wrong?

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be half as good as a lot of people here on CC and greatly appreciates any input I can get!

Also, I am using the MMF right now and thinking about switching because it does not lay as smooth as a lot of fondant cakes I have seen, is there any ideas to which recipe I should switch to or to why it is not laying like I want it?

TIA!!
LL

16 replies
pursuing_perfection Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 6:07am
post #2 of 17

You are too hard on yourself. You have done very well for your first triple tier cake. icon_smile.gif

No, your layers do not all have to be the same height. It depends what look you want and how you are decorating it. If you do want your layers to be the same height, then Wilton has a great tool for cutting even layers.

As far as fondant goes, I have only used MMF several times, so I don't feel qualified to answer that one.

Every cake is a learning experience. Some more than others. icon_redface.gif Just make sure that you enjoy the process.

Rylan Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 6:11am
post #3 of 17

The cake look nice. Very Hawaiian.

The height of each tier depends on the way you want it to look.

pursuing_perfection Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 6:12am
post #4 of 17

A couple more tips (you may already be doing this):

Using cake boards in between the layers helps to keep your cake more level. This also makes it easier to disassemble the cake to slice and serve.

Inserting a wooden dowel through the layers (you'll need a hole in the center of your cake boards) also helps to tie them together, giving strength and stability.

Ivory28 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 1:56pm
post #5 of 17

Would the board of the tier above stick to the icing below and come off on the underside of the board?

woodruffbn Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 2:10pm
post #6 of 17

I like it! icon_biggrin.gif

pursuing_perfection Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 2:53pm
post #7 of 17

Ivory28:

Yes the icing from the tier below sometimes does stick to the cake board. However, you don't disassemble until you are ready to cut & serve. I think it is still a better option than cutting a 10"tall slice of cake icon_lol.gif If you have multiple tiers, you may not be able to find plates big enough icon_lol.gif

bmarlow001 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 3:22pm
post #8 of 17

Thank you so much for your replies!

As to Ivory28 question, I had that problem with this cake where the fondant came off of the bottom tier but I am not sure if there is a way to prevent this. I would sure like to know though because it was ugly once taken apart!

KatesCakesBC Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:34pm
post #9 of 17

*** "As to Ivory28 question, I had that problem with this cake where the fondant came off of the bottom tier but I am not sure if there is a way to prevent this. I would sure like to know though because it was ugly once taken apart!"

Are you using dowels in your bottom layers? Excuse the rest of the post if you are already aware of how to use dowels:

Basically you can use wooden dowels or straws inserted vertically right into in the bottom layers of a tired cake to "take the weight" of the layers sitting on top. So basically the second layer of your cake is sitting on a cake board and that cake board is sitting on the tops of the dowels more so than sitting right on the icing on the layer underneath. The dowels should be just be slightly higher than the layer you have stuck them into -- so you see just the tops of them sticking out. Then the second layer is placed on top of those and can be lifted off to cut and serve and your icing on the bottom layer is in tact -- although you will most likely see the dowels.

There shouldn't be too much space in between the layers for stability in the type of construction you showed us. But just enough 'breathing room' created by the dowels between the two layers to save your fondant. If there is a bit of a gap between the layers - ice a border or make a fondant border of some kind to make the cake look seamless.

And as mentioned one long dowel that goes right through all three layers from the top down will add to the stability of the cake. There are lots of YouTube videos that show how to stack like this -- although there are other stacking methods too -- puruse YouTube and see what you can see.

Cheers!

ncox Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:42pm
post #10 of 17

I read in another thread that Leah sprinkles coarse sugar on top of the layers before she places the next cake on because she doesn't use a crusting butter cream to keep the icing from sticking to the board or separator plate. She was discussing the SPS system of support for cakes. I just scrap the icing off and spread as best I can when that happens because as someone said you are cutting the cake anyway so what does it matter, right. HTH!

butterfly831915 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:47pm
post #11 of 17

I use the sps system, life saver, no more cutting dowels. works wonders. You may want to look into it. There is a sticky in the forums about it. So far the BC I use has not stuck to it but if you're worried about it place a parchment circle the size of the cake going on under the board. Hope you get it worked out, it looks great to me.

butterfly831915 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:51pm
post #12 of 17
Mikel79 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:56pm
post #13 of 17

Hi KatesCakesBC.....

I was reading your reply to this post and had a question. I have never heard of leaving your straws/dowells a little exposed and then placing your upper tier on it. Leaving the straws/dowells exposed like that, would'nt the upper tier likely fall off because it was not sitting on the bottom tier directly?

I have heard of leaving the straws exposed a little and then sit the upper
tier down on the straws and then the cake will decend on the bottom tier. The way you describe sounds amazing, I am just curious. Have you ever had a cake fall off with this method??

=)

jeking Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 5:57pm
post #14 of 17

You can also sprinkle a generous layer of powdered sugar or even dessicated coconut on the layer prior to stacking. It will keep the layers from sticking.

Just a suggestion...try using commercial fondant (not Wilton icon_sad.gif ) like Satin Ice, Pettinice, Regalice, etc...until you get more comfortable using fondant. Then, you can try the MMF again. It is a bit more difficult to use.

I think you did an admirable job for your first stacked cake. A couple of pointers...always make sure your dowels are EXACTLY the same length and don't go way below the surface of the layer you are doweling. You don't want pressure on the cake itself...that can cause side bulging between the layers.

KatesCakesBC Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 10:54pm
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikel79

Hi KatesCakesBC.....

I was reading your reply to this post and had a question. I have never heard of leaving your straws/dowells a little exposed and then placing your upper tier on it. Leaving the straws/dowells exposed like that, would'nt the upper tier likely fall off because it was not sitting on the bottom tier directly?

I have heard of leaving the straws exposed a little and then sit the upper
tier down on the straws and then the cake will decend on the bottom tier. The way you describe sounds amazing, I am just curious. Have you ever had a cake fall off with this method??

=)




I just responded to your PM but for the benefit of others -- no I have never had a cake fall apart using this method -- BUT THE KEY is the centre dowel. (NOTE, I have never done this for more than three tiers and none of the cakes required particularly rigourous or difficult transportation... thats to cover my liability if someone tries this and disaster ensues icon_smile.gif ) --If one long dowel goes down through all the layers of the cake and the cake boards seperating the layers and ideally straight into the cake base (I use think foam bases) then all the layers stay securely on top of each other.

When I say leave the dowels exposed a fraction... I mean a fraction - just enough to leave the tiniest slip of air between the top of a tier and the bottom side of the cake board for the next tier. Also if the fondant has been allowed to 'set' a little bit on the cake it stands up better to scraping and sliding that may occuer from placing and removing a layer on top of it. I don't even bother trying to save the icing when I am working with BC because no matter what I do the icing looks like crap when the tiers are seperated for serving.

I love the other suggestions on here about coconut, sugars and etc. I'm definately trying those. SPS did NOT work for me the few times I tried it years and years ago under someone's tutelage -- but honestly so much of this stuff is personal preference and what works for YOU. Give it a try and it may be your saving grace.

K

bmarlow001 Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 5:15am
post #16 of 17

Katescakes, Thank you so much for that!

I do use the dowels but what I am NOT doing is making them a little taller so I will definitely try that on the cake I am doing tomorrow. I think I just get caught up on those cake shows, their cakes look so wonderful, they are all the same size for the most part and their fondant just lays over it so smoothly and beautifully.. I wanna know what they use or what they do! I tend to need a lot of powdered sugar when I roll my MMF out and then my color just looks powdered icon_sad.gif It's hard enough to get my color the way I want it and most of the time I cant so it really makes for a bad day. Any suggestions would be great!

Ivory28 Posted 12 Jun 2009 , 7:50am
post #17 of 17

Thanks Kate and everyone for those fantastic replies. Will definitely give those a go!

Rachel

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