I will be stacking my first cake in a few weeks and so #1 I'm trying to figure out HOW to stack the cake. I've seen some just use dowels and cardboard rounds and other use the plastic separators. . .which should I do?
#2. . if you use the plastic separators, do you get them back? Or do they just stay with the customer and that is added into the cost of the cake?
Use the SPS system and include the price into the cake. Instructions are on a sticky at the top of the "How Do I" forum. You can purchase them at global sugar art and oasis.
For the cake structure I charge a $25.00 deposit. If it is not returned I have my price covered. If the customer wants to keep (for whatever reason) I just add the $25.00 in the price.
I roll everything into the price of the cake and call it a day.
I would include it in the price of cake too.I used cardboard before and it worked good.
I build the cost of the support/plates into the cake.
I used to do the deposit thing but found it was just added paperwork and too much trouble tracking everything down.
For an average 3 or 4 tier cake it's under $20 for the support/plate system.
I tell my bride that if she brings me back the support pieces then she will get $25 refunded. There are times I rent out cake stands as well and those have a higher deposit with no option not to return it. But,yes, always cover your cost of your supports.
I use a double cardboard so I can hammer a dowel down the center. For you that use the SPS if you don't run a dowel down the center how do you keep the cake from shifting or moving? How many tiers can you transport at one time with that system?
Build it in and forget about it. To me, it's not worth the gas for $10 or $15 worth of plastic.
I don't use plastic separators in stacked cakes anymore. dowels and cardboard work ok for me.