Deliver Assembled Or On Site?

Decorating By Megabot Updated 7 Jun 2010 , 1:44am by confectionsofahousewife

Megabot Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 5:01pm
post #1 of 25

I'm doing my second wedding cake this weekend. Four tiers (8,10,12,14) planning to assemble using dowels. The location is probably 20-30 minutes from my house all highway. I would like to deliver assembled but it makes me nervous. What do you think??

24 replies
tiggy2 Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 7:58pm
post #2 of 25

If you're using dowels I would not deliver assembled. For future refference you can deliver assembled if you use the sps system. In structions are at top of the "How Do I" forum.

3GCakes Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 8:14pm
post #3 of 25

I use bubble tea straws and I transport chilled and assembled.

The biggest factor to me with a cake as large as you are planning on making...is can I carry it? Do you have someone to help you help you carry the thing, cuz it's gonna be heavy.

Price Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 8:22pm
post #4 of 25

I just did a 4 tier wedding cake for my nephew's wedding about 3 weeks ago. I have the "Stress Free Support System". I delivered assembled with no problem, and believe me I was definitely not on highways. It was about a 45 minute ride, the last 20 minutes being pretty twisty, bumpy roads! I also used a center dowel thru all 4 cakes and the base.

Awent9 Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 8:24pm
post #5 of 25

What vehicle will you be delivering in? If you have a specialty van or some other type of vehicle refrigeration you might be ok... i would make you someone, probably the best would be you, sit with the cake while you go... i have delivered both ways! If you're worried about too much assembly maybe have the bottom 2 tiers together and finish on location... I have delivered a couple smaller cakes assembled but like you I'm usually too afraid to deliver assembled (not to mention I don't have a good vehicle for it!

nonilm Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 8:48pm
post #6 of 25

I did this same size cake for a wedding last year and delivered assembled. I used the wilton plastic plates and pillars. The cake was all buttercream so I cleaned out my refrigerator and kept it in there ALL night so the buttercream would be stiff. It was very sturdy. I even tried tilting it (just a little icon_surprised.gif ) and it wasn't going anywhere. That being said delivery always makes me very nervous!

We have a large SUV so I was able to lay a sheet in the back and transport the cake in there. I rode in the back with the cake while hubby drove very slow.

3Gcakes has a very good point, I could NOT carry this cake, thankfully hubby did an excellent job with this! What would I do without him!

My major decision for transporting assembled whenever possible is that I am more comfortable working in my own kitchen, and I can fix almost anything at home. What if I forget to bring something with me that I need to finish the cake? What if something unexpected happens and I don't have what I need to fix the cake? What if my piping bag explodes and sends buttercream all over the nicely decorated cake table?

All that being said, I guess I forgot to ask if your cake will be all buttercream or fondant. Fondant would definitely be easier to assemble on site depending on the design, for example if you have a cascade of flowers or something you may not want to fuss with that at the site.

Sending good vibes your way.

Kitagrl Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 8:48pm
post #7 of 25

I hate assembling on site...so I use Bubble tea straws and sometimes a sharpened dowel through the center of all tiers...and definitely transport chilled with the a/c blasting in your vehicle.

I agree with the previous poster, the main issue is weight. I often need my husband to carry it for me or make the delivery for me.

catlharper Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 10:02pm
post #8 of 25

I assemble the bottom two tiers and the top two tiers and then put the top on the bottom on site. This summer, tho, I'll be getting a Cake Safe and that will be the end of having to assemble on site for me!

Awent9 Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 10:46pm
post #9 of 25

catlharper... just wondering.... what is a cake safe?? i've never heard of these but i currently do some assembly onsite since no vehicle we have can fit a cake together! however i drive a mid sized pick-up, is this something that could go in the bed of the truck? thanks

3GCakes Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 10:58pm
post #10 of 25

There are pros and cons to both.

If you can't stack a cake that'll hold up to some travel, you may want to re-think your cake stacking abilities.

And if you want to stack a cake at the venue, you may want to think about your cake stacking abilities on a "performance" level, since you may have an audience.

And think about what facilities are at the venue, as far as handwashing, tool washing...and also how much "equipment" is needed to make it presentable once you get it stacked?

And think about carrying the heavy cake if you trasnport it stacked (as I mentioned before)

Mainly....if you deliver it stacked, it's basically carrying it that you have to worry about (assuming you've done your research and due-diligence stacking at the origin of the cake)

And if you stack at the venue....can you handle the possibility of limited resources and perhaps a full audience watching?

Lots to think about.

catlharper Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 11:02pm
post #11 of 25

check out their website W W W . C A K E S A F E . C O M with out the spaces of course. I often deliver cakes over 2 hours away so for me delivery is always a nightmare. Everyone I have talked to here that has a cake safe says its a wonder and if I can remove the stress from delivering cakes from my life I'll be grateful!

AND I can use it with SPS which will make me feel twice as safe! LOL!

Cat

3GCakes Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 11:24pm
post #12 of 25

Cake safe is a great idea...in theory IMHO...

But for those who don't do too many wedding cakes...it's a tough price to swallow.

You CAN deliver a 4-tier cake...bubble straws only....for a fraction of the price. Or even stack it at the venue and not spend a penny more.

If you are planning on doing many more wedding cakes, then maybe check into it...but there are MANY people on this site who delivery fully assembled cakes....chilled...(some center-doweled, and some not) and have great results. Some with dowels, some with bubble-straws (which is what I use...and some with SPS and no CakeSafe.

Personally, I think adequate support and a chilled cake (center dowel or not) is all that is necessary to transport it assembled. (ha ha...beside a vehicle tall enough to house it and a person --or persons--strong enough to carry/transport it).

Megabot Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 1:46am
post #13 of 25

Are bubble straws better than dowels? I have been doweling each tier (besides the top) and then placing one down the center of all of them.

indydebi Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 1:57am
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3GCakes

If you can't stack a cake that'll hold up to some travel, you may want to re-think your cake stacking abilities.

And if you want to stack a cake at the venue, you may want to think about your cake stacking abilities on a "performance" level, since you may have an audience.


Absolutely agree.

Being a person who LUVS an audience (you'll have to pry that microphone out of my cold dead hands when I go!) I have a problem understanding why folks "don't like people watching me!" during cake assembly. This is your chance to shine! To show what a professional you are! To display your craft and your talents!

Since most people fall into the "omg I couldn't do that!" category, they are mesmerized by those of us who can!

If a baker has thoughts of "I dont' want anyone to see me mess up", then maybe the baker isn't ready to do wedding cakes. It never crosses my mind that I'm going to "mess up" during assembly. Never.

Putting together a cake with an audience is the best part of my day! Enjoy it and revel in your "stardom"!

To the original question, I've carried 3 tier cakes and thought my arms were going to fall off. I assembled cakes on-site for most of my 30 years.

confectionsofahousewife Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 2:09am
post #15 of 25

This question could not have come at a more perfect time! I am doing my first wedding cake next weekend. Its four tiers (6-8-10-12) and I can't decide if I should stack it at home or stack it at the church. I have never done a four tiered cake, but have done several three tiers and they have all travelled just fine. If I decide to stack at the church, I think I will have the bottom two tiers stacked and the top two tiers stacked so I can just put the two together. Will that work okay? My concern is that the cake has no border around the bottom so there is no way to hide my finger marks!

indydebi Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 2:10am
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by confectionsofahousewife

My concern is that the cake has no border around the bottom so there is no way to hide my finger marks!


Use your spatula to set it in place.

carmijok Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 2:16am
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by confectionsofahousewife

This question could not have come at a more perfect time! I am doing my first wedding cake next weekend. Its four tiers (6-8-10-12) and I can't decide if I should stack it at home or stack it at the church. I have never done a four tiered cake, but have done several three tiers and they have all travelled just fine. If I decide to stack at the church, I think I will have the bottom two tiers stacked and the top two tiers stacked so I can just put the two together. Will that work okay? My concern is that the cake has no border around the bottom so there is no way to hide my finger marks!




Just take a bag of icing and your knife and do touch up at the venue. If your cake is chilled there shouldn't be that much damage and what little there is is very fixable. Just bring everything you think you would need for touch ups. A good idea anyway for all deliveries.

giglechk4u Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 12:56pm
post #18 of 25

I don't have a dry refrigerated so I can't chill my cakes that are decorated with fondant. I keep reading in this thread that as long as the cake is chilled you'll be fine. Will it not be okay if the cake isnt chilled?

indydebi Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 1:00pm
post #19 of 25

I never refrigerate my cakes. Heck, most of the time, I don't even turn the A/C on in the delivery van!

carmijok Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 1:22pm
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by giglechk4u

I don't have a dry refrigerated so I can't chill my cakes that are decorated with fondant. I keep reading in this thread that as long as the cake is chilled you'll be fine. Will it not be okay if the cake isnt chilled?




I use my regular refrigerator. And I use fondant and gum paste decorations. If you decorate your cake the day you deliver it, the short time it spends in the refrigerator won't have that much affect on the decor...but it will firm up your butter cream which will make it more stable and easier to handle if you have to stack at the site. I use real butter so softening is an issue which is why i like to deliver cold and let it warm up slowly. Even when the cakes have sat out for hours at an event I've not had an issue with the fondant decor...even after it's been refrigerated. Cakes that are completely covered in fondant do not have to be chilled.

3GCakes Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 2:32pm
post #21 of 25

I like to chill mine because I usually use IMBC and it gets rock hard if you chill it. It gives me peace of mind that it's not going to move, and if I chill it while it's in my posession then the people who get the cake can leave it out longer.

But no, it's not absolutely necessary.

tesso Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 2:41pm
post #22 of 25

If the cake is stacked, I usually deliver it fully assembled. It all comes down to your cake stabilizing abilities. IF you dont have a good sturdy foundation, then it wont matter where you assemble the cake. I also get DH to carry them for me. icon_biggrin.gif Cake with tiers are the only ones I assemle on site.

Megabot Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 12:53am
post #23 of 25

I just wanted to say Thank You for all of your help! I ended up stacking at home and traveling with it and it went great! Only my second one so I'm still learning but I think it turned out pretty good. I can't seem to make the attachment post but its the four tier cake with ribbons and dots in my pics icon_surprised.gif)

momma28 Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 1:17am
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

I hate assembling on site...so I use Bubble tea straws and sometimes a sharpened dowel through the center of all tiers...and definitely transport chilled with the a/c blasting in your vehicle.




Ditto icon_smile.gif

confectionsofahousewife Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 1:44am
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by confectionsofahousewife

My concern is that the cake has no border around the bottom so there is no way to hide my finger marks!

Use your spatula to set it in place.




I have trouble stacking a cake using a spatula. I just havent done enough stacked cakes I guess. I have a really hard time centering the cake and then setting it down without somehow marring the icing and I feel like i have more control if I'm holding it with my fingers. I'm considering transporting it stacked but I'd like it to be chilled but dont think I have the fridge space. I am definitely taking my husband with me to help carry.

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