Tips On Doing A Pillared Wedding Cake!

Decorating By YummyChoo Updated 29 Jun 2011 , 8:24pm by heater79

YummyChoo Posted 16 May 2010 , 10:16am
post #1 of 22

Hi
Does anyone have any tips on assembling and making a pillared wedding cake? Its three tiers choc sponge with pillars in betweena and a cake topper. I have the dowels for the pillars but will this be enough to hold it and the cake wont collapse or sink? Help!

21 replies
eccl1-12 Posted 16 May 2010 , 10:23pm
post #2 of 22

I have made a couple pillared cakes, I used the wilton push in pillars and they worked great for me. They pair together with the wilton separator plates. I recommend using this system if you can, or a similar system of a different brand, if you don't use wilton. It is easy to work with and sturdy, and you can even take it to the event separately and stack it there. To use it, gently mark the lower tiers with the bottom of the separator plate that the next tier up is gong to sit on. (Each plate has little feet where the pillars will attach.) Then when you are ready to stack, you can easily attach the pillars to the plates above and line them up with the marks on the cakes below, and push them in.

I think if you are using dowels and pillars that are not push in style, then you have to have a plate on top of each cake for the dowels to hold up and the pillars to sit on. If you don't want to have to decorate around a plate on top of each cake except for the top one, then push in pillars is the only way to go. HTH!

indydebi Posted 16 May 2010 , 11:30pm
post #3 of 22

I cut my cake-decorating teeth on pillared cakes back in the 80's when NOBODY had a plain 'ole short little squatty stacked cake (yeah, no bias HERE, huh? icon_biggrin.gif ). I either didn't know about push-in pillars or they didn't exist back then, so setting up with just wooden dowels was pretty much my only option. I either learned to do it or I didn't do wedding cakes.

If you're not comfortable or familiar with setting up a pillared cake, I wholeheartedly agree with the above post about using the push in pillars with the plates fitting right inside them.

And of course assembly is done at the venue.

heater79 Posted 28 Jun 2011 , 7:02pm
post #4 of 22

I have a question, I am doing a wedding cake soon where there is 2 10" round and then a 8" round on top. All separated by push in pillars and plates. There are also 2 satellite cakes on either side, but those dont come in to play on this question......
My question is......If I push the pillars in to the 10" cake and put the 8" cake on top are the pillars going to match up, being different sizes? Are the X's for the pillars going to be in the same place ? I have to order online without really looking closely at them.
Thanks

Unlimited Posted 28 Jun 2011 , 7:48pm
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by heater79

All separated by push in pillars and plates.




Not platesthe push-in pillars use only one single plate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heater79

are the pillars going to match up, being different sizes?




What is different sizes? I don't understand your question.

Just use a 9" plate, mark the cake below with the plate's nubs, press the pillars into the markings, and stack the 8" tier on top of the pillars at the venue.

Unlimited Posted 28 Jun 2011 , 8:03pm
post #6 of 22

BTW, if you're thinking that there's a second plate to press the bottom of the push-in pillars intothere is not. The pillars are the support systemno doweling needed.

An additional support system is needed, when using pillars with a double plate system.

heater79 Posted 28 Jun 2011 , 8:09pm
post #7 of 22

Oh Ok Thanks, I thought the pillars attached to plate on bottom. Thanks SO MUCH!!!!!!!!

indydebi Posted 28 Jun 2011 , 9:03pm
post #8 of 22

If you're going to use a 9" plate under the 8" cake, be careful when you push those pillars in as the 9" spread may put the pillars VERY close to the edge of the cake and could cause a "push out" on the sides of the cake. I always used an 8" plate with 8" cakes and had plenty of room.

The 9" plate WILL work ..... just work it very carefully and make sure it's centered well. thumbs_up.gif

heater79 Posted 28 Jun 2011 , 9:32pm
post #9 of 22

There 2 10" cakes then a 8" a top of them. All 3 are dummies. There are 2 satellite cakes on the sides, (stairs on either satellite cake going to first 10" tier) those will be the only edible cake.
Does that change anything? Should I still go with the push in pillars in the dummies?
I wanted to have a bit of room on the edge of the plate, wanted to go 10"cake 12" plate....Will that not work? I cant buy an 11" plate only 10" or 12"......Dummy will be 10" then will be decorated in fondant.

Unlimited Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 12:19am
post #10 of 22

You'll need to cut slashes on both sides of the dummy where the stairways will go. I wouldn't go with push-in pillars in the dummies, it's unnecessary workuse pillars that aren't tapered with an upper and lower plate.

Yes, you can put a 10" cake on a 12" plate.

heater79 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 2:50am
post #11 of 22

Here is a pic of it......mind you the satellite cakes will be directly on the table, there will be no fountain and the pillars wont be so high only 7", enough room for some flowers. the 3 tiers on the top will be the dummies, I wanted to go with the push in's so you could see the decoration to the cake from the top like in the pic, if i do it the other way there will be a plate there on top right? Ugh!!!! Thanks

heater79 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 2:54am
post #13 of 22

Oh and that pic the stairs are resting on top for some reason, maybe not enough room on the table to move the satellite cakes out a bit. If I understand right the stairs go into the side of the cake with the "stair hand rail" sitting above the cake?????

heater79 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 3:02am
post #14 of 22

Cakes will be 3" high. The pillars I will be using are 7" with upper and lower plates then 5" push in pillars for the next 2 tiers. What kind of drop will that give me for the stairs? I know i need a 8" drop?
Thanks for all of you help I am so confused, but getting it finally! LOL

CWR41 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 5:27am
post #15 of 22

You can ice/decorate the surface of the bottom plate.

The reason the stairways are resting on top isn't because they won't reach if the satellite cakes are moved out farther, it's because they wouldn't be level.

If your dummies are also 3" tall, then 5" push-in pillars would only have 2" exposed. The photo (if 3" tall cake) probably used 7" push-in pillars with 4" exposed.

You should have a 7" drop with your setup which means you'll either need to push the stairways into the real cake satellites approximately an entire inch to achieve level steps (perhaps not the best option because the scrolled rail section wouldn't show at the bottom step), or let the top of the stairways rest on the dummy (just like in your photo).

If you don't own the stairways, you might not be aware of the spikes that are suppose to be inserted into the cake (they also slide into the connecting bridge that comes with the set). The spikes will show when resting on the cake surface. If you choose to cut them off, keep in mind that they'll never attach to the bridge again. Here's a photo of one stairway that shows the spikes (the stairway is upside down):
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://ecx.images-amazon.com/dp/B000UOGCJO/?tag=cakecentral-20:&tbnh=156&tbnw=156&ei=SrIKTqToCZGGsALGuOigAQ&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dfiligree%2Bstairway%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D632%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=156&page=1&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0&tx=78&ty=82

heater79 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 12:48pm
post #16 of 22

Thanks for the info on the push in pillars, I thought when it said 7" pillar it was 7" after inserted into cake.
The 4 Pillars (with Upper and lover plates) that will be on the table holding the 3 tiers......Is that the height that i need to measure the drop? Should I use 5" Pillars with the upper and lower plates Instead of the 7"? Will that give me a 8" drop?
Thanks again

CWR41 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 2:57pm
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by heater79

Thanks for the info on the push in pillars, I thought when it said 7" pillar it was 7" after inserted into cake.




No... they sell 5", 7", or 9" and they have no idea if you'll be pushing them into cakes that are 3", 4", or even 6" tall cakes.
(Just use pillars with double-plate separators to avoid carving out holes in the dummies and then decorate the plate's surface.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by heater79

The 4 Pillars (with Upper and lover plates) that will be on the table holding the 3 tiers......Is that the height that i need to measure the drop? Should I use 5" Pillars with the upper and lower plates Instead of the 7"? Will that give me a 8" drop?




No... if you have a 7" drop now with using 7" pillars, switching to 5" pillars won't make it an 8" drop--you'd have a 5" drop.
(Just use 7" pillars and let the stairway rest on top of the dummy to avoid carving out slots in the dummy. Besides, I'm not aware of any 8" tall pillars.)

heater79 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 3:17pm
post #18 of 22

If I decorate right over the plates, wont you see the rise from the plate under the decoration? Do I put the plate under the fondant??

CWR41 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 4:12pm
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by heater79

If I decorate right over the plates, wont you see the rise from the plate under the decoration?




Not if you ice it level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heater79

Do I put the plate under the fondant??




What fondant? That's a buttercream cake.

Yes, you could put the plate under fondant. If covering with fondant, the sharp edge on the dummies may cause the fondant to rip. You might consider buying rounded edge dummies or filing off the edge to round them yourself.

heater79 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 5:16pm
post #20 of 22

Yes I know in the pic it is buttercream, but my client wants fondant, an I have done many dummy cakes just none with pillars or plates.
Thanks for your help.

heater79 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 8:21pm
post #21 of 22

Ok so I am going to use the 2 plate pillar system for each tier. If I am doing a 10" 8" and a 6" the plates that I will need are 12" 9" and a 7"???? I dont want the plates to cover the whole top of the cake, but want a bit of edge around each tier..... Does that sound right???

heater79 Posted 29 Jun 2011 , 8:24pm
post #22 of 22

Oh and I will be using 7" pillars for the 12" plate, then 5" pillars for the 9" plate then 3" pillars for the 7" plate..........if that makes a difference to know that LOL

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