Cake Drum Not Adequate For 4 Tier Cake!

Decorating By beachcakes Updated 21 Jun 2009 , 9:03pm by PennySue

beachcakes Posted 20 Jun 2009 , 8:40pm
post #1 of 11

I needed a 20" cake drum for this weekend and they were out of stock, so I used 4 - 20" cardboard rounds, reversing the grain on each and hot gluing. Got all the tiers iced - they were level, i use a torpedo level to make sure and stacked using SPS. I finished at 1AM and it looked pretty good, a little off center b/c I put one of the plates in a 1/2" off-center (that will be the back icon_smile.gif )

This morning when I went to finish decorating, it appears to be more crooked than i remembered. DH agreed and said the drum was collapsing under the SPS legs. I had to drive it 1/2 hr, so this was a concern. Finally, he cut me a plywood base at noon (had to leave w/ cake at 2)- we covered it, beribboned it, then completely disassembled the wedding cake and reassembled on the plywood board, which was no small feat b/c the 14" bottom tier was not on a board, only sitting on the drum! When we reassembled, it was completley level!!

Don't make the same mistake I did! Cake drums cannot support 4 tier wedding cakes!!

10 replies
indydebi Posted 20 Jun 2009 , 9:11pm
post #2 of 11

I'm confused on how 4 cardboards can collapse? There's no air between the layers of cardboard to collapse into. Can you clarify what happened so I know what to watch for, as I use 3-cardboard bases all the time for 3 and 4 tier cakes.

Deb_ Posted 20 Jun 2009 , 9:59pm
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I'm confused on how 4 cardboards can collapse? There's no air between the layers of cardboard to collapse into. Can you clarify what happened so I know what to watch for, as I use 3-cardboard bases all the time for 3 and 4 tier cakes.





Me too Debi!

The only thing I can think of is maybe her fillings were really thick making the cake super heavy? But I doubt that would even make it collapse, I torte all of my layers so each tier is 4 layers of cake and 3 layers of filling, so my 3 and 4 tiered cakes are pretty darn heavy.

I have never had a cake drum that I've made collapse, I use this method all the time.

I'm thinking it had to do with one of the plates being put in 1/2" off center.

I'll definitely be watching this one for more clarification.

BlakesCakes Posted 20 Jun 2009 , 10:17pm
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachcakes

I needed a 20" cake drum for this weekend and they were out of stock, so I used 4 - 20" cardboard rounds, reversing the grain on each and hot gluing. !

Don't make the same mistake I did! Cake drums cannot support 4 tier wedding cakes!!




No, .........the only conclusion to draw from your actual experience is that 4 glued together cardboard rounds cannot support a 4 tier cake.

I know from personal experience a manufactured 20 inch round cake drum can support a 4 tier cake. The materials used for those drums are basically laminated & compressed together.

Hot gluing cardboards together would never produce a similarly strong product. There would be air pockets, highs and lows, etc.

At the moment, I rarely use drum because of the expense. I cut my own 1/2 inch base boards from 1/2 inch foamcore sheets that start out as 20x30 sheets, so for about $5 (unless I find a sale), I could get a 20" round and 2 10" rounds. These are also incredibly sturdy and will hold a 4 tier cake nicely.

HTH
Rae

indydebi Posted 20 Jun 2009 , 11:11pm
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

Hot gluing cardboards together would never produce a similarly strong product. There would be air pockets, highs and lows, etc.




Now that you point that out, as I think about some of the craft projects I've done with a hot glue gun, you're probably right in that the glue creates a space of air.

I never glue my boards together. I'm going to tightly wrap them in foil anyway, so why should I glue them? The foil will hold them together. Glueing is redundant. So maybe that's why it works for me ok.

beachcakes Posted 21 Jun 2009 , 12:47am
post #6 of 11

Sorry for the confusion! Rae, you're right, there probably is a difference between commercial & homemade drums. It's good to know that commercial drums will hold that kind of weight. Since the cake supply was out of stock, I had to improvise, and I read on here that people make their own with cardboards. Perhaps the process of hot gluing the cardboards together played a role in it. Or perhaps it's Operator Error icon_lol.gif

When I dismantled the cake, the "drum" had four indents in the top of it from the legs of the SPS, and the perimeter of the "drum" had started to curl upwards. It was weird. The cake was a 14-12-9-6, each layer was torted & filled. It was a heavy cake. When I reassembled it on the plywood, it was fine & completely level.

I had some 3/16" (?) foamcore - I was going to cut three & glue, but at that point we didn't want to chance it, so DH got out the saw. icon_smile.gif
So, maybe it was the glue, since Debi's are fine and not glued? I'm just glad the cake arrived in one piece!! icon_smile.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 21 Jun 2009 , 2:17am
post #7 of 11

Foam core or Wilton "drums"(YES-Wilton!) for smaller one to two tiers for me, and English style drums for all the rest.

all4cake Posted 21 Jun 2009 , 2:41am
post #8 of 11

I stack boards regularly to make a drum. I do not hot glue between them. Just stack, strips of tape at N,S,E,W and then in between those points. Then, cover.

I do prefer the pre-made drums though...they are so much neater...the covering is SO TIGHT AND SMOOOOOOOOTH!

But 4, 5, 6, 7 tiers high, no sinking issues...oh, yeah, and the larger the cake, the more circles I use for the drum. For a 14" base using a 20" board, because of the span, I would've used more than 4 boards.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 21 Jun 2009 , 5:16am
post #9 of 11

Foam core rocks. Much studier.

sjholderman Posted 21 Jun 2009 , 5:31am
post #10 of 11

Maybe it was because you're bottom layer wasn't on a cardboard? Based on what you said, I think a cardboard would have taken the abuse from the SPS and left the drum underneath intact, but because there was no cardboard, and the "drum" was all glued together it warped the whole thing. Just a thought. I use masonite for large cakes, and I think I'll use foamcore when my nice boards are all lost to my customers icon_razz.gif

PennySue Posted 21 Jun 2009 , 9:03pm
post #11 of 11

I use foam core for my square cakes. Wilton 1/2" drums or English 1/2" drums for rounds. I always, always double the drums under the bottom tier. I glue them with Tacky Glue and then either wrap or cover with fondant depending on the need. Don't have a problem with it being redundant to glue and wrap...mainly it is for my piece of mind. I have not had a cake shift or crack from the drums bending yet. icon_surprised.gif)

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