Assemebling At Location? & Tiering & Sps

Decorating By cloetzu Updated 18 Apr 2010 , 6:53pm by cloetzu

cloetzu Posted 18 Apr 2010 , 4:14pm
post #1 of 6

Hello Everyone!

I'm going to be making a cake for a bridal shower - it's part of my gift to the bride.

I'm planning a 3 tiered chocolate cake with whipped chocolate ganache filling (at her request - she loves chocolate and has tasted 2 that I've made like this), covered in pale pink buttercream. Adding a gumpaste figure of the bride and groom sitting on the side of the cake and then several pink flowers to accent (fantasy-ish peonies and ranunculus in various shades of pink and white with whitish green hydrangias here and there). It looks amazing in my head! LOL The event is on Sunday so plan on baking and covering in buttercream on Saturday (gumpaste flowers will be made ahead of time).

I've only tiered with dowels before (two 4" layers) and the cake was for my daughter so I didn't have to transport - it stayed here at home. The cakes were on those cardboard paper plates/bases, nothing else. A picture of that cake can be found here:

The bridal shower cake will have a third tier...

Should I:

1) make all 3 tiers and transport unassembled and then assemble once there. I'd prefer to avoid having to cover up the seems (where the top layers are put on the bottom layers) - I really dont' want to bring a piping bag and icing to do it once there... but not sure what else to do??


2) is it better to just assemble and decorate completely at home? I live about 15 minutes from the venue. And if I do this should I still be prepared and bring some icing for touchups?

Futher, are wooden dowels and cardboard plates enough/safe enough or should I invest in the plastic tiers & supports (an SPS)?

I saw this at my local Winners for about $25 - what do you think? I don't like the center foam pieces covered in shinny ribbon but I can't find any other sort of SPS locally. My local bulk food place has plastic plates like this: but NO pillars to go with it!

I dont' have a stand for the cake so instead plan on using a plywood base cut out to be 4 inches larger then the bottom tier - covered in something that accents or matches the cake.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

5 replies
Normita Posted 18 Apr 2010 , 4:53pm
post #2 of 6

First I would definitely buy the SPS system. It is sooooo sturdy and very inexpensive. I have not come across it at my local supply store, so I purchased it online. If you have time to order it online go ahead and do will not be disapointed!!

As far as assembling before hand or on the site...with SPS you can assemble before hand. I always take a little piping bag and extra decorations with me when I deliver my never know a little smudge or a broken/fallen decoration!! So, its always good to be safe than sorry.

But as far as the cake will have a better chance with the cake collapsing with dowels...I have never heard of cake disasters with SPS. Go on the "How to forum" and you will see a sticky on SPS that will explain to you with pixs all about SPS!! Hope this helps icon_smile.gif

Price Posted 18 Apr 2010 , 4:57pm
post #3 of 6

Woah!!! You are going to bake, fill, ice and decorate all in 1 day! I'm way to slow to accomplish that! These old bones don't move that fast anymore1 LOL.

I would rather have the cake at least partially assembled. In my opinion, it's less stress than trying to put the whole thing together at the party. I do not use the plain cardboards under cakes when tiering them. They can absorb moisture from the cake and get soggy. You can use wooden dowels, but make sure you cut them even heights.

leah_s Posted 18 Apr 2010 , 6:04pm
post #4 of 6

1. No, don't bake, assemble and decorate in one day. the cake needs 12 hours just to settle.
2. Yes, buy SPS. It's available online at Oasis Supply and Global Sugar Art. That way you can assemble at home and pick it up and take it to the party.
3. You can also order a cake drum is you're so inclined.

cloetzu Posted 18 Apr 2010 , 6:52pm
post #5 of 6

Thanks everyone! I'll look at buying a SPS.

I wish I could do more beforehand but a) i don't have time and more importantly b) I haven't had good results baking the cake earlier...

I work all week and have a 2 yr old so evenings are a out for baking... so if I do any work it has to be the weekend before or Saturday (the day before the event).

I chose Satruday the day before because in the past when I've done the cakes in advance Iv'e had horrible results.

If I make the cakes say on Friday it would be late in the evening and then I would need to leave out overnight to cool - I find they get too dry by morning if I do this. If I cover with a tea towel they stay too moist and get sticky on the outside...

I read about making ahead and freezing them so tried that once but then found that even leavnig them out for 5-10 minutes made them too soft/sticky and crumbly - which then made them impossible to ice - I couldn't even crumb coat without distroying them.

The last time I used frozen cakes I was also very nervous that they wouldn't thaw enough before serving... so I ended up not refridgerating them at all after decorating to allow for more thawing time - in the end they were okay but not great.

So in summary I'd love to make the cakes ahead but haven't had great success so stuck with doing the majority on Saturday. This is my plan this time (which is similiar to past successes):

  • the week coming up to the event - make fondant flowers and figures

    Friday night - make ganache and put in fridge to set

    Saturday 10am - bake cakes
    - while cakes bake whip filling and make icing
    - when cakes are done remove from pans and let cool

    Saturday late afternoon - ice cakes and let set a bit

    Satruday evening stack cakes and add decorations
    leave cake out on counter until next day (event day)....

It makes for a very busy and crazy Saturday! The event isn't until June so maybe I'll get up enough nerve and read enough about making ahead that I'll try it icon_wink.gif

I use box cake mixes for my cakes. Have tried Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines and found DC to be better. I've made as the box directs and also made the pudding and sourcream versions that are popular here on CC. I've had the same issues stated above with both. the best success I've had to date was this cake: Baked on Satruday, filled and a thin crumb coat added on Saturday, refridgerated to set overnight and decorated on was DC Devil's food made exactly as the box said. I ended up covering it in fondant at the last minute becuase I ran out of supplies to make buttercream to cover it and stores around here don't open on Sunday's until noon - way to late in the day to wait for.

Any and all futher advice would be greatly appreciated!

cloetzu Posted 18 Apr 2010 , 6:53pm
post #6 of 6

[quote="leah_s"]1. No, don't bake, assemble and decorate in one day. the cake needs 12 hours just to settle.

What do you do with the cake for those 12 hrs? leave out on counter? fill and crumb coat? wrap in plastic wrap? cover with tea towel????

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