I've just firmed up the details on my first wedding cake order, and I'm so nervous!! I have to travel with the cake a little over 2.5 hours to get to the venue. I'm making a 12x18 2 layer sheet cake, which I'm not worried about. The other half of the order is a 6/9/12 square tiered cake - my first 3 tiered cake. All indydebi's b/c, including filling - no fondant.
My plan so far is to have a wood base, to make sure that it's strong enough. I plan on using foamcore boards under the tiers and bubble straws for support. Question 1 - how many straws would you put in each tier?
I'm trying to decide if I should stack the tiers before we travel or not. We will have the use of an HHR with a flat place to put the cakes and air conditioning if necessary. Question 2 - would the bubble straws be enough or should I do some sort of center dowel as well?
Which brings me to Question 3 - if I do use a center dowel, how on earth do you put one in and not have the hole show on the top tier? The bride is using flowers as decorations, but I'm not sure if she wants anything on the top.
Thanks for any help you can offer!
So nervous! EEK!
If you decide to travel with it stacked, I would not use bubble straws. The Wilton plastic dowels are cheap enough and much sturdier. Also, if you travel with it stacked then you absolutely need a center dowel. The way you keep the center dowel from showing is to make a hole in the center of the foamboard before you put the top tier on the board. Then cut the center dowel a little shorter than the cake. Sharpen one end and pound it into the cake and down into the base board, assuming you're using foamcore for that too. Then put the top tier on, lining it up so that the dowel goes into the hole you made earlier.
Using the plastic dowels, I would put five in the 12" tier and four in the 9".
Might want to check into the SPS system. It is a good system, not very expensive, and it will give you peace of mind.
Here are the instructions on how to use them if you want to read up on it.
I just transported one 3 tiers and I had the dowel down the center. I am with everyone else its a must. I just filled in the hole on top with BC and then smoothed.
Global sugarart currently has a sale on SPS.
I do that size cake stacked all the time and I never use a center dowel. Just make sure it's cold when it's moved and it shouldn't shift. I also use a good quality cardboard drum for the base, not wood. Don't use a Wilton board, they're weak and flimsy. I agree with Texas Rose about the number of dowels...I use wooden ones, not the straws.
I did a similar cake the other week. I agree on teh number of dowels, and much like Costumeczar, I use the wooden dowels (I think they are easier to cut to the size you want.
Am I crazy to want to move this cake over 2.5 hours already stacked? I thought about waiting to stack once we are there, but I tend to get nervous and anxious when I'm stacking, and I don't necessarily want an audience while I'm doing that - which is why I was going to stack before we left our house. But am I nuts to try driving a stacked cake to a venue that far away?