cakesbydina Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 8:09pm
post #1 of

This is horrible...this is the second customer to let me know there cake didn't get to the destination in one peice. In both situations it was a stacked cake, bottom 10in top 8 inch. I use wooden dowels and cake boards underneath both cakes and use buttercream between the cake board and bottom cake base. I then use packing tape to secure down the cake base to the box and put it level in the car. I drive 25 miles with it for the customers to pick up and in both cases they put it level in there car and drove an additional 20 miles to their destination. Both cakes fell apart in transit. The first one had cracks on the bottom tier and the one from yesterday slid off the cake base and smashed against the side of the box. I am horrified and don't know what to do. I got it there in one piece and told them to drive slowly but someting is happening. I don't know what they (or I ) am doing wrong. HELP PLEASE!

47 replies
KoryAK Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 8:21pm
post #2 of

Are the cakes cold? That will help a lot with transport.

indydebi Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 8:27pm
post #3 of

Did you just sit the top tier on top of the bottom tier, or did you do a center dowel rod hammered down thru both tiers?

Another alternative that many MANY people swear by is the SPS system. THis is much more secure than the dowel-down-the-center method. I believe I recall leahs saying it was designed for cakes that customers pick up to ensure safe delivery.

But if you just set the cake on top of the dowels, the cakes were basically riding around in a car on top of 4 little sticks. Not surprised it slid.

peg818 Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 8:28pm
post #4 of

well, its more then likely their driving, people don't get what drive slow means. I do agree if you can refrigerate those cakes, a cold cake will travel much better. The other thing is to deliver all the way to the destination, then you don't have to be concerned about their driving.

BlakesCakes Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:05pm
post #5 of

The issues with both cakes are indicative of bad driving by the recipients--not issues with your construction.

Once a cake goes into another person's car, whatever happens to it isn't my fault. They have to drive as though the car is filled with 100 dozen eggs--if they don't, tough.

Sadly, the solution may be to refuse pick-up for any tiered cakes. You can simply up the cost for tiered cakes to cover delivery or add a delivery fee, telling people that if they opt out of delivery that there are no guarantees.

Feel better!
Rae

indydebi Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:12pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

Once a cake goes into another person's car, whatever happens to it isn't my fault. They have to drive as though the car is filled with 100 dozen eggs--if they don't, tough.




I've had one wedding cake pickup in my life. When I placed it in the vehicle, I told the guy, "Drive like you have a baby velcroed to the top of the car!" icon_biggrin.gif

susanscakecreations Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:17pm
post #7 of

BUY the SPS system...............it TOTALLY works!!!!!!!!
I am a believer!!!!!!

You won't be sorry!!!!!!!!
I used it on a 3 tiered red velvet cake, and drove the cake 30 miles in the back seat of my car in a box............made it there perfectly!!!!!!!

cakesbydina Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 10:32pm
post #8 of

I did dowel the cake nad another hammered down the middle all the way through. She this have gone through the cake base as well? I will look up the SPS system. Is this something you use once only and goes with the cake or do you ask it to be returned?

I'm stumped that this happened twice in two weeks. I feel like it was my construction. Although it made it safely with me but I drive REALLY slow with a cake. I think I may have forgotten to hot glue the cake board to the cake base as well ( just thought of this). It was probably a 30 pound cake and I didn't think it was going anywhere ( it did well for me) but with someone taking corners fast it would slide right off. Is this my fault still? Should I reimburse them?

susanscakecreations Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 10:43pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbydina

I did dowel the cake nad another hammered down the middle all the way through. She this have gone through the cake base as well? I will look up the SPS system. Is this something you use once only and goes with the cake or do you ask it to be returned?

I'm stumped that this happened twice in two weeks. I feel like it was my construction. Although it made it safely with me but I drive REALLY slow with a cake. I think I may have forgotten to hot glue the cake board to the cake base as well ( just thought of this). It was probably a 30 pound cake and I didn't think it was going anywhere ( it did well for me) but with someone taking corners fast it would slide right off. Is this my fault still? Should I reimburse them?




The SPS system can be used again, I suppose, but I would consider it a one-time use thing; just work the cost into your cake cost..........go to www.globalsugarart.com and type SPS into the search box. There is also a "sticky" somewhere here on CC...........I'm sure leah_s can tell you!

DianeLM Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 10:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

Once a cake goes into another person's car, whatever happens to it isn't my fault. They have to drive as though the car is filled with 100 dozen eggs--if they don't, tough.



I've had one wedding cake pickup in my life. When I placed it in the vehicle, I told the guy, "Drive like you have a baby velcroed to the top of the car!" icon_biggrin.gif




Haha... I tell people to drive as if they have a thimble of nitroglycerine on the dashboard. icon_smile.gif

metria Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 11:02pm

Last Saturday I drove a 2-tiered cake (8" and 6" rounds) for 1.5 hours and it made it just fine. I hammered the center dowel through the cake drum as well. It was an easy drive, but I'm sure the cake could've stood rougher terrain.

Photos and blog entry about it here:
http://cakeoricandothat.blogspot.com/2009/11/happy-birthday-aunt-mimi-completed.html

Loucinda Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 11:30pm
Quote:
Quote:

I did dowel the cake nad another hammered down the middle all the way through. She this have gone through the cake base as well?




If that center dowel didn't go through the base board, it was completely useless. It HAS to be through the base board for it to help hold the cake. That is why they have slid, I am sure.

cakesbydina Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 11:51pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

Quote:
Quote:

I did dowel the cake nad another hammered down the middle all the way through. She this have gone through the cake base as well?



If that center dowel didn't go through the base board, it was completely useless. It HAS to be through the base board for it to help hold the cake. That is why they have slid, I am sure.




I have read directions on how to dowel a cake and it didn't say it should also go through the cake drum/base as well. Some cakes don't even have a drum base so I did't consider this when doweling. I read the purpose of doweling down the middle of all tiers was to keep the tiers from shifting within eachother. It does make sense that it would be more secure using your method. It sounds alot like this SPS system.

cakesbydina Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 11:51pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

Quote:
Quote:

I did dowel the cake nad another hammered down the middle all the way through. She this have gone through the cake base as well?



If that center dowel didn't go through the base board, it was completely useless. It HAS to be through the base board for it to help hold the cake. That is why they have slid, I am sure.




I have read directions on how to dowel a cake and it didn't say it should also go through the cake drum/base as well. Some cakes don't even have a drum base so I did't consider this when doweling. I read the purpose of doweling down the middle of all tiers was to keep the tiers from shifting within eachother. It does make sense that it would be more secure using your method. It sounds alot like this SPS system.

spring Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 12:08am

1. Use either Wilton Plastic dowels (they look like huge drinking straws) or sps system.

2. Make sure your dowels are cut properly.

3. Drive a dowel through the center of the cake...and make sure it goes completely into the cake drum.

4. Never under any circumstance use wooden dowels for anything other than a center dowel that goes through all the tiers and INTO the base board.

5. Chill cake thoroughly before transport.

Minette
www.minetterushing.typepad.com

cakesbydina Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 12:08am

just looked up the SPS system but still confused as to how this secures the top tier. There isn't a dowel going down through the middle securing the entire cake????

susanscakecreations Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 12:12am

The top tier "locks" into place in the middle tier.............I know it sounds complicated, but once you do it, your like "duh" brilliant!!!!!!

spring Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 12:16am

That's why I like the Wilton plastic dowels better.

Minette

My Blog www.minetterushing.typepad.com

psurrette Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:51am

This is a great allternative as well. www.cakesafe.com

Now a for wooden dowels. I have made thousands of cakes and only used wooden dowels and NEVER had a cake slide. Have never had a customer call to say it didn't make it. Maybe I am lucky and maybe I just jinxed myself but so far it has worked for me.

cakesbydina Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 1:06pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartin40

The top tier "locks" into place in the middle tier.............I know it sounds complicated, but once you do it, your like "duh" brilliant!!!!!!




But there is nothing keeping that top tier of cake from sliding off that base? That's why I was told to dowel the cake straight through the middle and in using the SPS you can't do that so I am just wondering how that stabelizes the top cake for travel.

susanscakecreations Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 1:22pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbydina

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartin40

The top tier "locks" into place in the middle tier.............I know it sounds complicated, but once you do it, your like "duh" brilliant!!!!!!



But there is nothing keeping that top tier of cake from sliding off that base? That's why I was told to dowel the cake straight through the middle and in using the SPS you can't do that so I am just wondering how that stabelizes the top cake for travel.




The top tier doesn't slide off b/c you have it sitting on your cardboard that you smeared w/buttercream before you put the cake on; then I smeared some more buttercream on the separator plate before I put the cake onto it. It's really very easy! Try it one time, if it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work for you.........

Loucinda Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:05pm

The SPS system the plates also have a "notch" on them - whcih grabs the board you have the cake setting on too (which wilton's does not have). The SPS selling point is that the SUPPORTS are what keeps your cake from going anywhere. (wilton's does about the same thing) The dowels are very large - about 3/4" around - and you have 4 of them going into each layer and locking into the plates. Very difficult for a cake to go anywhere.

susanscakecreations Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:15pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

The SPS system the plates also have a "notch" on them - whcih grabs the board you have the cake setting on too (which wilton's does not have). The SPS selling point is that the SUPPORTS are what keeps your cake from going anywhere. (wilton's does about the same thing) The dowels are very large - about 3/4" around - and you have 4 of them going into each layer and locking into the plates. Very difficult for a cake to go anywhere.




Yeah...........I forgot to tell them about the "notch"...........thanks!!!!!!!

cakenewby Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:22pm

I'm sure this is more about the horrible driving than it is the construction of the cake. I avoid allowing someone to pick up a cake if it is more than one layer. People just don't understand how bumps and turns can destroy a cake. Plus if a cake is in the back of a car, like the cargo area there will be more bumping than the driver can feel. Remember riding in back of the school bus and how fun the bumps were! HAHA!

cakesbydina Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:34pm

I hope that it was their driving and not me. It really hurts your confidence when this happens twice in two weeks. Even when I say drive like there is a baby in the back without a carseat, I can't imagine that they would not be more cautious. It's really frustrating that there have been so many setbacks when starting my business selling cakes. It's hard to keep moving forward and it really makes me not want to do wedding cakes too. Thanks for all the feedback ladies. I really appreciate it.

andrea7 Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:35pm

#1. Go to Walmart and pickup a roll of cabinet liners. It's a roll of slip mats that can be cut down. Put a piece down the same size as the bottom cake drum, then put you cake on top of it and no more sliding.

#2. Invest in bamboo skewers. After cake 1 has been placed on cake two get the skewer as push through both cakes. Cut off the remaining skewer hanging out at the top of the cake.

I have used wooden dowels for 20 years with no problems. We do not use plastic because we a green facility. You just need to make sure the dowels are cut the the EXACT size.

Hope this helps.

susanscakecreations Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:43pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea7

#1. Go to Walmart and pickup a roll of cabinet liners. It's a roll of slip mats that can be cut down. Put a piece down the same size as the bottom cake drum, then put you cake on top of it and no more sliding.

#2. Invest in bamboo skewers. After cake 1 has been placed on cake two get the skewer as push through both cakes. Cut off the remaining skewer hanging out at the top of the cake.

I have used wooden dowels for 20 years with no problems. We do not use plastic because we a green facility. You just need to make sure the dowels are cut the the EXACT size.

Hope this helps.




You can also get a roll of these 'non slip' liners at Big Lots for around $1.00......I use them before I put a cake in anything!!!!!

Trina36 Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 5:45am

I have a question on chilling the cakes before transport. If your cake is covered in fondant, and have many different colored fondant decorations on it, wouldn't the chilling of the cake cause the decorations to sweat and therefore cause the colors to run on the cake?

I like watching Cake Boss on TLC and I ususally see that after they are done covering a cake in fondant, it is placed in the frig. I thought it was a no no with fondant.

mom2twogrlz Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 6:01am
Quote:
Originally Posted by spring

1. Use either Wilton Plastic dowels (they look like huge drinking straws) or sps system.

2. Make sure your dowels are cut properly.

3. Drive a dowel through the center of the cake...and make sure it goes completely into the cake drum.

4. Never under any circumstance use wooden dowels for anything other than a center dowel that goes through all the tiers and INTO the base board.

5. Chill cake thoroughly before transport.

Minette
www.minetterushing.typepad.com




Why can't you use wooden dowels as supports also?

BlakesCakes Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 6:07am
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2twogrlz



Why can't you use wooden dowels as supports also?




You can. It's just a personal choice. With wooden ones, you use a lot more than if you use the plastic ones.

Do what works for you.

Rae

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