This is the second time that I've used SPS and I can't say that I'm really a fan but this caps it. I delivered a 4-tier cake last Saturday. The reception was self-catered by the bride's family and the MOB was cutting the cake. Got a call from the bride today - the cake looked beautiful and tasted delicious but they had a tough time pulling out the sps plate/columns and the cake was essentially a mess to cut because of it. What do I say to that? I asked her how much cake was unservable and she couldn't really give me an answer. I use IMBC and the thing was as hard as a rock when I delivered it but they didn't serve it until 3 hours later so I thought that it would soften up enough to pull the plates/columns out. Has anyone else had this issue? I think I'm going back to bubble tea straws.
Frankly, I think that part of the problem was that the MOB was cutting it. I talked her through dismantling and cutting the cake but it does take a certain amount of skill. I'm also wondering if, because most wedding cakes are cut by a caterer, are we not told that the support system is a problem, since caterers can't really complain to us and they probably don't like to complain to the bride?
I guess I'm looking for feedback from others, if they've ever heard anything from the people cutting the cake about this system?
I haven't heard of any problems but I am also interested to hear from others.
SPS is the only system I have ever used and it is a dream. You remove the top layer, pull the plate with the attached supports straight up and out. What could be easier?
Let's face it, stacked cakes look great, but for a novice, they're a bear to deconstruct & cut, no matter WHAT support system you use.
Because the mom has no experience putting a cake together--let alone taking one apart--and was probably nervous as all get out, I'm sure that this was a difficult, frustrating experience.
I tell people that the disassembly will be painful, that icing will get pulled up, etc., but that is the price of a stacked cake. Some have better luck than others, but so far, knock wood, no "complaints".
If you like the system for what it does FOR YOU, I wouldn't give up on it. I'm sure that it's a breeze for caterers and other food service personnel when they find one in a cake. Maybe for "home" deliveries, it's a bit trickier.
Kathik, that is just it, I thought it would be easy...but the bride said the sps plate/column assembly wouldn't come out of the cake so they ended up cutting around it until they were finally able to free it...it was in there like cement.
Does anyone have personal experience with cutting a cake with sps? I'm going to have to use it on my next personal cake to experience it for myself. Thanks for your opinions, keep 'em coming!
I used my new SPS system on a cake I did for my "day" job's Christmas party this past December--just so I could experience it from both sides myself.
I thought it stacked wonderfully (from the decorator's side). My DH and I served the cake (to experience the customer's side)--and thought it was great. Very easy to disassemble and clean up. Of course, we've served cakes together several times (he's very helpful), so we knew how to take it apart. The legs slid out smoothly (bottom and top layer were WASC and middle tier was chocolate cake, all covered in fondant).
I guess I'm not sure why the legs wouldn't want to come out? I would encourage you to try it yourself before giving up on it. It really is a solid, reliable way to stack cakes. HTH!
I have never had any complaints about SPS. I personally have served/cut cakes with this system and have not had issues. I usually just pull the whole top tier up with legs and all. I've never had a problem with the legs being stuck.
I've used SPS on cakes that I've cut, and I think it's a lot easier to disassemble than trying to find the edge of a flimsy piece of cardboard and unstucking it... Just my personal opinion. I don't know why it wouldn't come out of the cake. I've never had that problem, or heard about it from anyone else.
Any chance the complaint was just to try to get some money back after the fact? Some people do that...
maybe they thought they had to take the plate off of the legs first? ANd when the plate wouldn't pop off, they thought the whole thing couldn't be removed?
Your cake was too cold. 3 hours is not enough time for IMBC or any meringue icing for that matter to come to temp. The outside inch or so, yeah. But the middle part of your cake, no. And this has happened to me to. Actually the plate came clean off, the legs were still in the cake, and we had to cut around them too. I have done about 200 cakes with SPS, all with IMBC, so I knows what I'm talkin bout Wilis.
Ok, so let me ask you all this, when you push the sps plate assembly into the cake do you have to hammer it in or does it push in easily for you? Cause I have to work and hammer it a bit to get that sucker in. This was an IMBC frosted cake with added white chocolate and now I'm wondering if the white chocolate just hardened up like a rock around the columns - although the bc was soft at room temp it may still have been cold and hard inside the cake. Ack I just don't know, as I said I will have to try it on my next celebration cake as a test.
I've certainly taken the SPS plate and leg assembly out of a cake. it's quite easy, as long as you know it's supposed to come out together. Just get a long knife under the plate and pull up enough to get your fingers under opposite sides and pull up straight and slow. Really, really, simple. I suspect the problem was "amateurs" serving the cake.
Yes topitier, that's probably exactly what happened. I put the legs/plate in as soon as I'm done icing, before I refrigerate, BEFORE the rock hardness can affect it. And like I said, 3 hours=not enough time.
Would it be easier to take the cake off the SPS plate first and set it down, then take a long knife and slide underneath the SPS plate (with the legs attached) still on the cake and lift it up and off?
Also, I'm wondering if this is the reason why the SPS shouldn't be used more than one or two times - because the legs won't come out with the plate? Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!
So, Cammyblake, you still use sps despite this effect on IMBC cakes? I'm wondering how long does the IMBC have to soften up (inside the cake) for the sps to come out easier? Maybe I need to deliver earlier, 5 hours instead of 3?
BTW, I did instruct the MOB that the columns are locked into the plates and the whole unit comes out together -however she was pretty harried so who knows if she retained that info. I'm sure that a lot of this was amateur hour too.
Do you sps users leave an instruction sheet that specifically deals with dismanteling an sps structured cake? If so, perhaps you could share it?
No instructions sheet, but I allow my three tiers (6-8-10, 5-7-9, 6-9-12) at least 6 hours to come to temp. So whether they are coming to temp in the shop, or at the reception site, they are nice and even temped throughout.
Hey, that might make my deliveries easier - 6 hours ahead!
what is sps?
I've only had 1 issue removing the SPS system and that was on a chocolate ganache cake. It stuck kind of like cement and it took a little bit to get it to pop out, but it did after about 2 minutes. I love using this system and swear by it.
I've drove over train tracks with this system, everything stayed solid.
what is sps?
It took me awhile to figure this one out, too. It stands for single plate system, and it's made by bakery crafts.
Here's a link to the components on GSA:
Hey, Heath... any chance that we could get that added to the list of things that have an explanation pop up when you mouse over them?
I saw the rep demo these at the NC Retail Baker Assoc conference last year. He was emphasizing how time saving and cost saving they are -not wasting time tracking down returnable plates, columns, etc. Also, not having to keep track or the additional step of collecting a rental fee. Everyone in the room agreed. I currently use large bubble straws, but am thinking about trying them.
So, do the grecian pillars attach to the plate and go straight into the cake? Are they meant to double as separator pillars?
What's the best system you all have found to use/insert them?
MEthinks they're probably only after a discount?? They should know full well that dowelling will use up around a portion's worth of cake in each tier? I'm sure you did a great job. Send us a picture!
I have to agree with the cold cake theory. I had a bride that wanted a buttercream cake with lots of sugar flowers on it. I warned her against buttercream and had her sign a disclosure that I did not guarantee that it would remain intact. She also contracted me to cut the cake. It was hot the day of the wedding. 90+ degrees and very humid. I delivered the cake cold 1 1/2 hours before the wedding and prayed that it would not melt. I decided that it was entirely to hot to be left outside in the heat for more than an hour, so I left it in the box on the inside until just before the ceremony was over. I set it up and it was still fine when they cut it. Unfortunately I was the one with the problem when I went to cut it. The SPS would not come out of the cake. I mean it was stuck! It was a 12", 9", 6" and I had no choice but to cut the pieces from the outside of the cake and then try to force the SPS out so that I could cut the remainder of the cake. It was a total mess and the pieces were not so pretty!
i vote for pilot error -- the cake cutter being the pilot and hey this thread is 4 years old too
"........I've drove over train tracks with this system, everything stayed solid..."
You gotta admit though.......this is a pretty good recommendation for how well it works.
and if I had to choose between a cake that collapses, or one that is hard to get the supports out as it's standing tall.............
mob shoulda been sipping an adult drink somewhere not arm wrestling the cake -- maybe trying to avoid a cutting fee
Sorry to state the obvious but this thread is four years old.
We had a caterer, but just the image of my own mother trying to cut my wedding cake makes me giggle. My mother was handling all my wedding details, but had she had to cut my cake it would have ended up on the floor…
It is easy though if you know what you're doing!
if i was not a caker i'd cut myself a piece and hand the knife to the next person