ok, I have a cake coming up in a few weeks that will be at least 2 possibly three layers high. I am not charging full price for this cake as it is mainly a marketing cake to boost business. Obviously the SPS is the best way to keep the cake stable, however I dont want to invest a whole heck of a lot in a cake I wont make money on.. What is the 2nd best alternative to this? It appears that the wooden dowels are not a good idea. Thanks so much in advance!!
Well, I have to disagree with your logic. If this cake is for marketing, wouldn't you want to be ABSOLUTELY certain that it's centered, straight and will stand up for transport? That's SPS.
I' also assuming that you mean tiers, not layers. SPS for a 3 tier cake (6/8/10) is $8.73 at Oasis Supply. Before shipping.
Instead of just ordering SPS for this one cake, perhaps consider laying in a supply of SPS for future cakes and to maximize the shipping costs.
I have to agree with Leah, it's worth the investment and just stock up to save on the shipping. Every time I read a post where a cake crashes or leans I just cringe. It's just not worth it. $10 to me is worth the piece of mind. Also will you be attending the function? The plates are reusable and the legs can be to if they're not cracked. I think you get two uses out of the legs and tons out of the plates. I'm a hobby baker so I rescue whatever I can.
I usually factor the cost of SPS into the final total of my order. If the cake is to promote your business and your not really making anything then think of it as a *good* loss.. A loss of a little money to get your awesome cake out there. And it will definitely be level, centered and withstand the drive!
Another alternative is Coast Tier cake system from Pfiel and Holing. But for marketing a product you would want it at its best. I've used both, love both products. HTH
I've never used SPS but I dowel. My cakes are fondant cakes made with a solid cake base and are ganached so there is no slippage or tearing.
Not only do I dowel each tier I also have a centre dowel that runs from the baseboard all the way thru each tier to the top tier. I've taken a cake up a 45degree hill and have come out the other side.
I drill all my boards at the same time which saves time in the long run and I always get them centred.
Never mind, I answered my own question.
Where do you purchase these SPS things, and tea straws too.
Thank you again.
SPS can be purchased from the manufacturer, BakeryCrafts if you can set up a wholesale account. For retail purchases, Oasis Supply and Global Sugar Art, both online.
Thank you for your help, now and with all the other newbie questions I have been posting.
Also check your local cake supply store. There are a few that carry them now.
I use the white plastic tubes sold by Wilton. You get 4 - ½ wide by 12 inch long tubes for around $2.50. I just cut them to the height I need. I've been very happy with their performance.
Edited to add: I like them so much that I even used them on my Son's three tiered wedding cake yesterday. There were 500 guests, and 99% of them were her family and friends, so you know I had to use a product that I believed would do the job.
The thing that I like sooo much better about SPS that Wilton, is that the SPS legs really lock into the plate with a twist. The Wilton stuff is sort of loosey-goosey.
I use the wilton dowels too, because my cakes are often not a regular size I could buy plates for. I've never had a cake fall or tilt.
I'm not usually big on recommending Wilton, but their plastic dowels work great.