Edited: 7 Serious Questions About Tiered Cake Assembly

Decorating By DelectabilityCakes Updated 10 Jan 2010 , 8:26pm by AngelaM

DelectabilityCakes Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 6:37pm
post #1 of 8

Hey guys.. sometimes the basics are the hardest to get a solid foundation on and here are some questions that I have based off the fact that different people have different strategies so I'm not sure which is the "correct" method of doing it... any advice would be helpful.

I've gone through some tutorials and still haven't found the answer... it seems like it's understood but not said.. so what am I missing?

1.) Regardless of using plastic separator plates or not, do you leave the cardboard plates ON or OFF when assembling your tiers?

2.) For tiered fondant cakes... when using support/dowel systems.. do you put a main dowel into the top tier all the way to the bottom but then if you don't have a top centerpiece/decoration it would leave a hole in the fondant (which when it's only buttercream you can cover.. how would you do that with fondant???)

3.) For tiered fondant cakes... I heard that you cover each fondant tier individually then assemble... which brings me back to question #2.. if you DO put a main dowel rod starting top to bottom, then would you do the fondant after assembly to cover the dowel rods?

4.) When cutting the cake and pulling out the separators/dowels.. does anyone ever get any complaints about how much cake is lost due to the support system? Do you lose any servings because of it (that people would consider unusable or less than what others are receiving)? (I doubt anyone would complain but who knows?)

I know I'll have more as time progresses but these are the questions that are irritating me right now. Thanks for the help! icon_smile.gif

EDITED:

5.) Here's another question as I said I would have one... does anyone not assemble the cake until the delivery location? For example.. a 5 or 6 tiered cake... does everyone keep it all together or does anyone do half and half and finish it on site?

6.) I'm assuming when using only cardboard and dowel rods, we're pushing the main dowel rod all the way through including the cardboard? Anyone ever worried about the torn cardboard shavings/pieces getting mixed up with the cake?

7.) If using a separator plate I'm assuming that there is no main dowel rod pushed through.. I know it's common sense but I don't want to ASSUME anyone just in case I turn out to be wrong... you know?

7 replies
bashini Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 6:45pm
post #2 of 8

Hi there, when you do tiered cakes, you always have to use boards under each tier that goes on top. When you are covering them with bc or fondant, you always have to keep the boards under the cakes and stack them with the boards.

I don't use the centre dowel, but fondant, you can cover the dowel with same colour royal icing as the fondant.

You cover the tiers seperately with fondant, and then stack, put the centre dowel and cover the top with royal icing.

I use wooden dowels, so you hardly loose any cake.

HTH. icon_smile.gif

brincess_b Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 7:01pm
post #3 of 8

1.) i dont use the plastic plates, so yes, i always have the cardboard between layers.

2.) 3.) always fondant first icon_smile.gif i dont central dowel, then again, i have not done more than two teirs.
-you can hide the hole under something/ fill with ri.
- you can leave the centre dowel long for travel, pull it out,a dn again hide the hole.
- do not put the top tier on. put in the centre dowel, leaving a bit sticking up, which then goes into the centre dowel. so it is hidden inside the top tier.

4.) i answerd this post mainly to say - then these people are in serious need of education! give them a look and ask how long they think a cake would stand properly without support? there is very little cake lost in any support system, anyone who complains (once you have explained how it works) can safely be ignored.
xx

Deb_ Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 7:02pm
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by DelectabilityCakes


1.) Regardless of using plastic separator plates or not, do you leave the cardboard plates ON or OFF when assembling your tiers?


Yes leave the cake on a cardboard plate


2.) For tiered fondant cakes... when using support/dowel systems.. do you put a main dowel into the top tier all the way to the bottom but then if you don't have a top centerpiece/decoration it would leave a hole in the fondant (which when it's only buttercream you can cover.. how would you do that with fondant???)

Yes, you can. Cut the dowel slightly 1" or so shorter then needed. Fill in hole with icing and smooth over.


3.) For tiered fondant cakes... I heard that you cover each fondant tier individually then assemble... which brings me back to question #2.. if you DO put a main dowel rod starting top to bottom, then would you do the fondant after assembly to cover the dowel rods?

Definitely cover each tier first and then stack.

4.) When cutting the cake and pulling out the separators/dowels.. does anyone ever get any complaints about how much cake is lost due to the support system? Do you lose any servings because of it (that people would consider unusable or less than what others are receiving)? (I doubt anyone would complain but who knows?)

I allow a 2 slice per tier loss from my support system. I use the wide plastic dowels with about a 3/4" hole in them, so 4 per tier does take away a bit of cake. I feel the 2 slice per tier allowance is very generous.


DelectabilityCakes Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 7:16pm
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by brincess_b

1.) i dont use the plastic plates, so yes, i always have the cardboard between layers.

2.) 3.) always fondant first icon_smile.gif i dont central dowel, then again, i have not done more than two teirs.
-you can hide the hole under something/ fill with ri.
- you can leave the centre dowel long for travel, pull it out,a dn again hide the hole.
- do not put the top tier on. put in the centre dowel, leaving a bit sticking up, which then goes into the centre dowel. so it is hidden inside the top tier.

4.) i answerd this post mainly to say - then these people are in serious need of education! give them a look and ask how long they think a cake would stand properly without support? there is very little cake lost in any support system, anyone who complains (once you have explained how it works) can safely be ignored.
xx




I appreciate the responses guys!. icon_biggrin.gif

brincess_b , oh believe me I know.. I just figured that I would ask in case anyone has run into this before? You know how some Brides or MoBs are where they want to complain about everything? You know just trying to get into the correct mindset but dkelly said that she accounts for a 2 serving loss which I think is a good idea too. I wasn't sure if there was a proper protocol on this issue or if anyone has run into the headache of someone complaining. Thanks again guys!

sadsmile Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 7:18pm
post #6 of 8

For the center dowel I have seen in done where they cut the dowel 2 or 3 inches shorter then the whole cake will be. Leave the top tier off for now. Insert the center dowel through the cake and make sure it is anchored correctly then place the top tier down over that. Placement must be worked out or the top tier might wind up crooked or off center. It worked best if you can accurately find the center point to your cake and each tier before assembly. Also cutting a small x in the bottom of the top tiers cake board before you begin so sliding onto the center dowel is easy.

Deb_ Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 7:48pm
post #7 of 8

hahaha you added more q's huh?

I only deliver anything up to 3 tiers fully assembled. Anything larger I deliver it in 2 or 3 parts. Usually I'll assemble the bottom 2 tiers and then finish the assembly at the venue.


I usually deliver alone and I find it difficult to carry anything over 3 tiers without causing damage. Those cakes get pretty heavy when fully assembled.

AngelaM Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 8:26pm
post #8 of 8

Sadsmile ~ I love that tip for the center dowel!

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