I'm about to bake and freeze most of the cake I will need to do a 5 tier wedding cake next weekend
I've never baked / stacked a cake this big. Any tips for the newbie?? I'm pretty nervous about stacking the 12" cake on top of it, just because that's a lot of cake to maneuver. Wish me luck and please post tips. Thanks - without this site I don't think I would be anywhere close to be able to do this cake. Thanks CC folks!
when you bake the large tiers, use a few flower nails in them and the bake even strips around the pans for even layers. good luck
Well, hopefully you know to put a cardboard under the layers to move them around to stack them. And of course, I hope you've ordered SPS for your support system.
Don't freak out. It's just a bunch of cakes that you are stacking on top of each other. Don't psyche yourself out. You CAN do it. Not sure what you are asking about with the 14" tier but when I bake mine in my home oven I use a Wilton heating core in the center and supplement that with four upturned flower nails spaced around it and I use baking strips. This helps it bake much quicker and no sunken middle.
Search the threads or PM Indydeb. She posted great pics on how to stack your tiers using a cake mover spatula. I found a great one at Smart and Final and it's the only thing I use now. I can stack the tiers so much easier without messing up everything.
Don't forget to add tons of dowels and err on the side of taller than shorter when measuring them for cutting. You can always fill in the gaps but you can't save that bulging tier once your done decorating and start stacking. Don't forget to squat down eye level and find the high side of the cake or use Sharon Zambito's method with a seam measuring tool.
Also, if you are dowel challenged like I am (I could never EVER get them even) cut your wooden dowels on a power miter saw (or have the hubby if you aren't comfy with power tools) so they are the same length. For the life of me I can't get them the same length if I cut them by hand and I've tried numerous methods mentioned here on CC from bubble straws to whatever else. This is the way I HAVE to do it.
For mine, I transported the bottom three tiers stacked and dowel with about a 3/4" center dowel then added the other tiers on site. It didn't budge during the long drive. I didn't want an audience at the venue while I was stacking. My husband and I carried and transported the stacked tiers on a plywood board (2' x 4') covered with that sticky shelf liner/under carpet stuff and I used foam core cake boards on all of my tiers. Hmmm...that's about all I can think of. Oh - make more product than you think you'll need because when you are in the middle of making that monster and are all burned out and SWEAR to NEVER make a cake that big again the last thing you want to do is run out of buttercream or fondant and to have to stop and make more. 'Tis better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Get with Indydeb on those pics for stacking and lowering your cake onto the tier. It's been the best method for me so far and I won't go back to trying to drop it, pry my fingers out from underneath, tear up the fondant, mess up the buttercream, etc.
That's all I can think of. I'm sure others will chime in with more tips for ya'! Good luck!!!