Sandylee05 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 1:20pm
post #1 of

Yesterday, my biggest fear happened. I was delivering a 4 stacker (round tiers) and it fell over!!! I can't begin to tell you a terrible I feel. Please tell me how to deliver such a cake.

I have delivered a few square cakes stacked 4 high; maybe squares are more solid.
I used to drive a stake all the way through to the bottom cardboard, but this time I had a hardboard on the base so it wouldn't have punctured it.
Another decorator told me to drive several bamboo skewers through the tiers. The skewers go through two tiers and the cardboards. That sounded great. Well the cake ripped right through the skewers.

The other problem is that so many people want the all butter or nearly all butter icing. Butter seems to crust really hard, and I can't smooth it out again. That's why I felt I needed to deliver it in one piece.

I'm thinking I should make my icing with mostly hi ratio then I could probably smooth it out when I asseemble the cake at the reception hall.
Should I only deliver two tiers high?

I've looked at the SPS system and it just doesn't look right to me. I think there is a tiny point at the bottom of the plate that sorta punctures the cardboard. Can you use this for stacked cakes without the plates showing?

Please give me some advice. I have another 4 stacker next week, and I don't know what to do.

icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

Sandy

66 replies
mindy1204 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 1:27pm
post #2 of

I havent done a tiered cake yet but I just wanted to tell you I am sorry it happened..

leah_s Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 1:38pm
post #3 of

If you go to my website and look at any of the 100 or so stacked cakes - every one made with SPS.

Frankly, it's the answer you're looking for.

notjustcake Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 1:39pm
post #4 of

Their could have been a number of reasons why this happened,
first how long did you drive with the cake? any longer than 30 mintues and I would rather stack on site, the vibrations from the car can cause SOOOO many problems. Period.

SPS system is awesome!

I use tea straws (sold at Asian food stores)to insert in the cakes to support my top cakes and then a wooden dowel down the center I either use foam core(sold at Hobby Lobby & Michael's) look for that by the framing department. I sharpen my dowel and hammer it all the way down all my tiers that should poke the board enough but I don't believe that is what's holding the cake from falling over it is just to keep the top tiers from sliding off. Foam core can be pricey and I only use on larger cakes so I double board when I don't use foam core. Icing should not be a reason why a stacked cake falls over either, do make sure your icing is not too soft, and make your dams with a stiff icing.

I think you should invest in the sugar shack stacking DVD is like $30 maybe I could be wrong and it is worth every cent in fact I would have paid $80 for it!

This helped me lots! it helped improve my skills and achieve an amazing 4 tier square stacked cake I stacked on site in no time! Check it out in my photos, my first wedding cake too!

Good luck and I hope someone posts the link to sugarshack's DVDs

indydebi Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 1:43pm
post #5 of

Skewers are so tiny, I can't imagine them holding a cake together.

Crusting is a ratio of fat to sugar. More fat .... less crusting. If your icing is crusting too hard for you, you might add more fat.

Even tho' your bottom cake was on a hardboard, youi can put the cake on a cardboard and then attach that to a hardboard. (I do that all the time.) If you still want to use the center-dowel-system, then this method will work for you.

leahs came to my shop and gave me an SPS demo ..... if you deliver a lot of stacked cakes, invest in this system.

paolacaracas Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 1:49pm
post #6 of

What is SPS?

indydebi Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 2:01pm
post #7 of

Go to the "How Do I?" forum and click on the Sticky for SPS.

leah_s Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 2:20pm
post #8 of

SPS = Single Plate System

Read my siggy

tarheelgirl Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 2:38pm
post #9 of

I started using SPS when I did my first wedding. I had used cardboard circles and the dowel through the center for small 2 tier cakes.. but since using SPS I would never go back!!! I have delivered fully assembled 3 tier cakes and they don't budge one bit! I have a 4 tier square coming up and will be fully assembling it using SPS. Use it with total confidence that it WORKS!! Definitely a great investment! It is super easy to use once you get used to the way it works.

SaraClassic Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 2:53pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by notjustcake


Good luck and I hope someone posts the link to sugarshack's DVDs




Heres SugarShacks site, may help with several DVDs....from the icing decision to your stacking...
www sugaredproductions .com
I still go SPS for all my wedding stacked, I travel at least 30 min for all of mine because Im out in the country to begin with icon_smile.gif

Carlachef Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 3:29pm

My biggest problem is the weight of tiered cakes over 2 tiers. especially fondant. Does anyone know of a cart that is tall enough and colapsable that can take a cake from my counter top to the rear gate of my suv and to the cake table at the venue?

Kiddiekakes Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 3:38pm

SPS is definelty the way to go...I also would never use skewers.Not sturdy enough! Can you stack maybe the first two tiers beforehand and then assemble the other two on site?

Cakeonista Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 3:44pm

So Sandtlea what happened to the cake that fell over? Did you deliver that and what did the customer say?

indydebi Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 3:49pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlachef

My biggest problem is the weight of tiered cakes over 2 tiers. especially fondant. Does anyone know of a cart that is tall enough and colapsable that can take a cake from my counter top to the rear gate of my suv and to the cake table at the venue?




I use a hand truck that can be converted from a refrigerator truck to a flatbed. I lay a big piece of plywood on it to make a nice surface area.

Do you have someone to help you lift and carry? I carried a 5-tier fondant covered cake a couple of weeks ago. (From the van, across the parking lot, thru the front lobby, thru another room, to the outside patio. My arms were jello when I set it down, but I made it! thumbs_up.gif )

Carlachef Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 4:01pm

Yea, Gosh I wish I could carry that much confidently. Just the thought of falling would topple me. Bad memories of my first and biggest cake disaster about 10 years ago. I have a cart but its so low to the ground, it dosent help much. I'm going to ICES in August and hoping to find a solution, if I dont find one here.

Sandylee05 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 4:39pm

I still haven't spoken to the actual bride or mother of the bride. The lady running the reception was very understanding. I will refund all the money. The cake was delivered just 2 hours before the wedding. All I could do was run to Sam's and buy 4 half sheets and a half sheet of fancy brownies. Then I went to Kroger's and begged them to put a small cake on top of 10 in. cake and ice, so I'd have some sort of wedding cake to cut. I set it on a cloth covered box for height and decorated with my fondant daisies. It looked bad and probably tasted awful. I just didn't know what else to do. These cakes cost $100 plus I'll refund all the money they paid me.

I always have someone help me carry the cakes in on a heavy board. Is a cart better? It sounds like it may be smoother.

Sandy

Loucinda Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 4:44pm

Carlachef - check out the Carlisle folding carts - I got one, I am thinking that is what you need!

http://www.centralrestaurant.com/Folding-Cart2912Wx16D-Unfolded-c79p4531.html

When I saw a woman demo and use this cart, I had to have it!!

Sandylee05 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 4:47pm

Thanks Leah. I read through your SPS directions, but I didn't realize there were so many pages of replies. I'll have to read more.

I'm concerned about those wide posts going through cake. Of course, that would be much better than loosing a cake!!


Also, it's hard to believe that that little point keeps the cakes from shifting. I'm really considering this method, but only transporting 2 tiers stacked and assembling on sight. I will have to change my icing, so I can touch it up. Oh, I feel like I'm starting all over again.

Thank you so much,
Sandy

indydebi Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 4:49pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandylee05

I always have someone help me carry the cakes in on a heavy board. Is a cart better? It sounds like it may be smoother.




Carts can be great or they can be a handicap. If you have any stairs, cobblestones or if it's an outdoor wedding, you'd probably be better to forget the cart and just carry the cake.

I had one that I was assembling on site. The reception was in a theater and I had to park 1/2 block away. They loaned me a great cart but the sidewalks were cobblestone and bricks. The cakes were vibrating off of the cart!! I had to walk SO FREAKIN' SLOW to reduce the vibration that it would have been faster to make 3 trips to the van. Plus some of the decor fell off of the sides of the cake.

When did the cake fall? During the drive? While moving it from van to venue? After it was set up? (asking because you mention having someone help you carry a large cake......)

indydebi Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 4:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandylee05

I'm concerned about those wide posts going through cake.


They're not that wide. They're no wider than these pillars (that I cut and use in cakes frequently): http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E3127EA-475A-BAC0-5F98F056B4A6DC92&fid=BCA9E6A3-475A-BAC0-53B406C7C7B7E983

.....and they are smaller than these hidden pillars, which I also use in cakes frequently: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E3119F0-475A-BAC0-5772682F766C019C&fid=63EB9DA7-475A-BAC0-522158B536D3E04A

icer101 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 5:36pm

if you had your bottom cake on at least 1/2 in. board .. wilton sells them or you can make them from foam core.. then dowel this tier.. then you next cake on a regular card board.. then dowel this tier, set the cake on it. and as far as you needed to stack and dowel.. then drvie the longer dowel with a point at the end thru all this... then your cake would not have fallen.. i do this all the time.. delivered one yesterday .. 3 tier.. didn,t fall.. reading your post.. i am getting that you didn,t put the long dowel thru.. but don,t understand why.. and again , was your each tiers on a seperate card board. tying to help ...

Carlachef Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 6:43pm

Thankyou Loucinda, Thats the one I'm looking for !!!! Also to Indydebi, you're so right too. I guess theres something to be said for pre-scouting you venue. I know, not always possible.

Franluvsfrosting Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 6:55pm

I know the SPS doesn't look like it will hold but somehow it does! I delivered a stacked cake that was about 30 minutes from my house. I live in the Pacific NW and we have some pretty steep hills to navigate here. My cake traveled up hill, down hill and around some very sharp corners. It was also taken over a couple of gravel roads that have potholes in them and still managed to arrive at the reception in the same condition that it started in. SPS is an inexpenive form of cake insurance and after using it I will never go back to the doweling method.

I did another wedding cake that was placed in an outdoor gazebo that moved when you walked in certain areas. They had placed bowls of candy and cookies around the cake table and in the back of the gazebo so during the reception the thing was flooded with kids seeking candy. The cake didn't budge even with all the people bumping the table and shaking the gazebo. I about had a nervous breakdown but the cake was perfect! icon_smile.gif

Leahs doesn't know me from jack but I consider her one of my very best friends! lol icon_biggrin.gif

bakingatthebeach Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 9:48pm

First, the posts arent that wide, second, cake all over the back of the car, or wide posts in the cake. I think Id take the posts.

sweetkake Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 10:18pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlachef

My biggest problem is the weight of tiered cakes over 2 tiers. especially fondant. Does anyone know of a cart that is tall enough and colapsable that can take a cake from my counter top to the rear gate of my suv and to the cake table at the venue?




Here is a link for a collapsible table on wheels. Ihad another link for a two-shelved collapsible cart but I can't find that one. Hop this helps.

http://www.globalindustrial.com/gcs/prod/30047519/i/1/productInfo.web?a=30047519&c=912110

Sandylee05 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 10:53pm

>>>if you had your bottom cake on at least 1/2 in. board .. wilton sells them or you can make them from foam core.. then dowel this tier.. then you next cake on a regular card board.. then dowel this tier, set the cake on it. and as far as you needed to stack and dowel.. then drvie the longer dowel with a point at the end thru all this... then your cake would not have fallen.. i do this all the time.. delivered one yesterday .. 3 tier.. didn,t fall.. reading your post.. i am getting that you didn,t put the long dowel thru.. but don,t understand why.. and again , was your each tiers on a seperate card board. tying to help ...<<<

Yeah, that was the problem. I didn't drive the dowel through all 4 tiers. Some one convinced me that if I use several skewers (ha ha) they go through two cakes and card boards that would work fine. Besides, I had used a hardboard on the bottom so the dowel couldn't have gone through it. Is the "foam core" strong enough base? Where do I get this? How thick is it?

Thank you so much,
Sandy

icer101 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 11:04pm

yes, foam core is at michaels, hobby lobby.. ac moore, 1/2" thick.. then cut that according .. then wrap in food safe paper.. some people use plywood 1/2" thick and cover that.. then as usual dowel each tier.. then put the long dowel .. not skewers. all the way from top to bottom . if it is the foam core.. than drive the dowel thru that ..you will hear it when it gets there and also feel it. hth of course , you cannot drive the dowel thru the plywood.ha! but down to it.. some people use masonite boards under all their tiers.. and then use the dowel all the way thru. haven,t done that before..

Sweetcakes23 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 11:28pm

Indydebi, I'd sure love it if you'd post a picture of that! Not the jello arms...I know all about those.... icon_cry.gif I mean the cart. Hee! Hee!
I've tried to come up with different ideas to help me deliver large cakes by myself without having to bother DH to help.
thanks!

kjt Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 11:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandylee05

Thanks Leah. I read through your SPS directions, but I didn't realize there were so many pages of replies. I'll have to read more.

I'm concerned about those wide posts going through cake. Of course, that would be much better than loosing a cake!!


Also, it's hard to believe that that little point keeps the cakes from shifting. I'm really considering this method,

Thank you so much,
Sandy




Believe it...SPS is an incredible way to transport...it will REALLY take the anxiety out of cake delivery. I can't say enough about this system icon_biggrin.gif ! Before I started using it I probably pm'd leah 10 times; AFTER I ordered them one of my questions was, "You mean to tell me that that TINY little nib on that plastic plate will keep my cakes from slipping?!?" she said yep, it will. I even had a customer pick-up a cake, transport it 100 miles propped up crooked, and the top layer slid off the cardboard circle, but the the cardboard circle stayed on the SPS separator plate sturdy and secure.

indydebi Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 11:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetcakes23

Indydebi, I'd sure love it if you'd post a picture of that! Not the jello arms...I know all about those.... icon_cry.gif I mean the cart. Hee! Hee!
I've tried to come up with different ideas to help me deliver large cakes by myself without having to bother DH to help.
thanks!




HEre's what mine looks like: http://www.engineersupply.com/safco-tuff-truck-convertible-hand-truck-4070.aspx

I just have a sheet of thin plywood to lay on it when I convert it to a flatbed. Greatest tool I ever bought! I found mine at a U-Haul store. It was a scratch-n-dent item and I got it for $50. As a caterer, you can imagine how handy this sucker is to me!

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