Using Styrofoam Spacers

Decorating By Aeropanda Updated 27 Jan 2016 , 1:42am by catlharper

Aeropanda Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 3:19am
post #1 of 43

I was wondering what would be the best way to use styrofoam spacers between stacked tiers. How would I cover the foam? How would I support the cake without driving a dowel through it and getting styrofoam all in the cake? I like the look, I'm just confused by how to do it the best way.

42 replies
indydebi Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 3:28am
post #2 of 43

I covered the styrofoam in fondant. I set the styrofoam on cardboard circles, then supported those circles with dowels in the cakes. I assembled on-site. The reason I used cardboards was my apprehension about the dowels pushing thru the styrofoam.

msthang1224 Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 5:52am
post #3 of 43

Indydebi, I have a question. Do you place the cardboard circles on top of the styrfoam block and on the bottom? Or just on the top (under the tier its sitting on). I hope I explained that right.

indydebi Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 12:21pm
post #4 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by msthang1224

Indydebi, I have a question. Do you place the cardboard circles on top of the styrfoam block and on the bottom? Or just on the top (under the tier its sitting on). I hope I explained that right.


On the bottom. Then the cake, which is on a cardboard, sits on top of the styrofoam.

Aeropanda Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 12:36pm
post #5 of 43

Thank you! This makes much more sense! I just cringed at the thought of putting a giant dowel through the center of stryofoam into a cake that I'd put so much effort into!

msthang1224 Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 2:24pm
post #6 of 43

Yes, thank you. I have always wondered how it was done.

Melvira Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 2:39pm
post #7 of 43

If you still want to do the center dowel thing, you could predrill a hole through the foam so that it's cleared out and you can smear a little thinned BC in the hole to sort of glue down anything that might think it needs to flake off. But that's most likely not totally necessary. I never do a center dowel. It scares me. icon_redface.gif When I see them pounding that dowel in at Challenges and the cake is cracking or leaning, etc. I get sick to my stomach!

erin12345 Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 2:39pm
post #8 of 43

I'm curious to see what the styrofoam spacers look like on a finished cake. Can anyone please direct me to a picture?

jones5cm Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 3:00pm
post #9 of 43

Can someone explain to me the purpose of styrofoam AND cardboard?? I use thin cardboard covered with wax paper and doweled for support; but I don't get putting styrofoam in between the tiers.

tracycakes Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 3:00pm
post #10 of 43

In my photos, I have a 4 tier square wedding cake with styrofoam spacers. It is covered with ribbon (brides request) but it could be covered in fondant. I use sps so I put the sps in the cake and set the styrofoam on top of that and the next cakes sits on top of the styrofoam. These are the only cakes that I assemble onsite. I use double-sided tape to secure the styrofoam to the cake boards (top and bottom)

I usually make the styrofoam 2" smaller in diameter than the cake that sits on top of it.

soledad Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 3:07pm
post #11 of 43

jones5cm it is to give a space between tiers... it is a very pretty look. and you can cover them with fondant,ribbons or contact paper or sugar flowers or real flowers.

jones5cm Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 3:18pm
post #12 of 43

Ok, so it makes each tier 2" (depending on the size) taller without adding to the total number of servings, thus creating a 'larger' cake. Do your clients ever have a problem understanding that when cutting the cake, it's not all cake?? I always sweat over trying to make someone who knows nothing about cakes understand even about the dowels that need to be removed. I can just see them cutting a slice out of a layer of cake and it being partially stryofoam>>>? How do you explain this to them when you're not going to be there to 'supervise' the serving?

Melvira Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 3:25pm
post #13 of 43

Actually it adds to the overal height of the cake, but not the tiers. The foam is usually a different size and decorated in a way that you can see the difference between IT and the actual CAKE part. It's like having smaller tiers between the cake tiers. Imagine from the top, an 8" cake on a 6" foam, then a 10" cake on an 8" foam, then a 12" cake on a 10" foam, with a 14" cake on the bottom. So the middle between each cake layer is smaller than either cake it is touching. I probably just confused the snot out of you!

indydebi Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 3:25pm
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by jones5cm

Ok, so it makes each tier 2" (depending on the size) taller without adding to the total number of servings, thus creating a 'larger' cake. Do your clients ever have a problem understanding that when cutting the cake, it's not all cake?? I always sweat over trying to make someone who knows nothing about cakes understand even about the dowels that need to be removed. I can just see them cutting a slice out of a layer of cake and it being partially stryofoam>>>? How do you explain this to them when you're not going to be there to 'supervise' the serving?



No, it doesn't make "the cake" bigger. It's the effect of having pillars between the tiers without actually having pillars between the tiers.

HEre's one I found (scroll down to the black and white cake): http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_MUC6Z_UDWhU/SsPRcjGJuFI/AAAAAAAAAFs/vFKVlzi7LMI/s320/blog_152.jpg&imgrefurl=http://kathysicingonthecakeblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/cakes-15sep-to-27sep.html&usg=__oyB6KbOATrjYe3puY2LaxpCD4G8=&h=320&w=204&sz=21&hl=en&start=37&sig2=MIoovVOt4WWMskRDU-VGRg&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=zjDxkYFfcJjPZM:&tbnh=118&tbnw=75&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dwedding%2Bcakes%2Bwith%2Bspacers%26start%3D20%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us%26ndsp%3D20%26tbs%3Disch:1&ei=yWErTO_TIYShnQfb1NX0DQ

Melvira Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 3:25pm
post #15 of 43

Some people also use angled foam to turn regular, straight layers into a topsy turvy cake. That is a really neat look as well!

jones5cm Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 3:39pm
post #16 of 43

The light bulb just came on!! Thanks guys, that make so much more senseicon_smile.gif And I love that look of the black & white cake; but I just assumed the tiers were separated.

Melvira Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 3:44pm
post #17 of 43

Wilton actually makes a stand like this, it's called "Tailored Tiers" and I've used it. You just wrap ribbon around the round pieces, or something like that, based on your design. I do not find that stand to be well made though. It just has these little teeth that jam into the foam pieces and it's not very stable. And if you use it more than once you're poking all these holes in the foam. Ugh. icon_rolleyes.gif

Aeropanda Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 6:35pm
post #18 of 43

Wow! Thanks, everyone for your thoughts on this subject. I had thought about assembling on site, but that always kinda freaks me out with everyone watching! I guess this is one situation where it would be best, though.
I am challenged to get a nice, even cut around the bottom of the cake, so I always have to put some sort of ribbon or border. I think that these spacers would expose this personal challenge even more! Any suggestions about how to make it less noticeable. I was thinking the ribbon would be my best bet.
Melvira, I know what you mean about the center dowel. I'm always afraid that one day I will stick a center dowel in and the whole cake will come tearing away during transport.
I know there are a lot of people advocate SPS, but does anyone have a suggestion as to the best place to order it on-line? I really want to try it!

Melvira Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 6:52pm
post #19 of 43

Global Sugar Art just happens to be having a sale on SPS right now. My only problem with SPS is that I haven't apparently read enough about it because I don't see how it's any different than dowels and plastic plates. I know, I know, I'm ignorant, please don't beat me people. School me, but don't shun me! icon_redface.gificon_lol.gif

thecakeprincess Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 7:10pm
post #20 of 43

Thanks!

Aeropanda Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 7:17pm
post #21 of 43

HAHAHAHA! That's how I feel at times, Melvira! You make my day with your sense of humor! Thanks for the sale info! In the brief time I have been on here, I have seen bits and pieces about SPS sprinkled in the posts. Guess I'll have to do a search. I've just not had the focus to sit down and figure it out yet!

Melvira Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 7:21pm
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeropanda

HAHAHAHA! That's how I feel at times, Melvira! You make my day with your sense of humor! Thanks for the sale info! In the brief time I have been on here, I have seen bits and pieces about SPS sprinkled in the posts. Guess I'll have to do a search. I've just not had the focus to sit down and figure it out yet!




My pleasure hon! I know there is a whole thread about it, written by Leah, she seems to be the authority on it. I don't know exactly how it works because I have never used it, but the pictures and descriptions just sounded the same to me as the plate system. But there has to be something better about it because so many people swear by it! And when so many people like something so much, there has to be SOMETHING there! (Unless we're talking Twilight. That's just a crime against humanity. Hehehe. Ohhhh, I'm gonna get it now!!!) icon_surprised.gif

Aeropanda Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 7:29pm
post #23 of 43

You might "Get It" from some, but not from me! I've been so busy being sucked into CC, that I have no time to be obsessed with tweeny vampires and werewolves!

Melvira Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 12:19am
post #24 of 43

Hehehehe... thank goodness, ONE person willing to give me repreive. Hahaha. And honestly, I LOVE Vampyres, just not that one. icon_rolleyes.gif

indydebi Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 1:07am
post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeropanda

I had thought about assembling on site, but that always kinda freaks me out with everyone watching!


I always wonder about this statement when I see it on CC. I delivered my cakes one hour prior to the start of the reception and there was rarely anyone there except for the bartender and maybe the DJ, who were busy setting up their own stuff. Once in a blue moon, there might be 3 or 4 family members there doing some last minute stuff but that was very very rare. Usually, at one hour prior to the reception, everyone is at the wedding.

Aeropanda Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 2:08am
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeropanda

I had thought about assembling on site, but that always kinda freaks me out with everyone watching!

I always wonder about this statement when I see it on CC. I delivered my cakes one hour prior to the start of the reception and there was rarely anyone there except for the bartender and maybe the DJ, who were busy setting up their own stuff. Once in a blue moon, there might be 3 or 4 family members there doing some last minute stuff but that was very very rare. Usually, at one hour prior to the reception, everyone is at the wedding.




I can see your point. My problem is that all of the wedding cakes I've done thus far have been for women at my church, and there are the same group of "friendly" church ladies that just want to help, but end up getting in my way more than helping, even when I have the cake fully assembled. I had a wedding and a groom's cake for one wedding, and one lady tried to just pull the cake right out of my hands. It was the guitar cake in my photos, and the neck wasn't attached quite as well as it should have been, but I thought I'd be ok because I wasn't going far. I saw all of my hard work flash before my eyes, and I haven't been the same since!

Melvira Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 2:55am
post #27 of 43

Oh yah, someone aggressively helping you can almost be worse than someone who doesn't want to help at all!! I know what you mean. I've been almost tripped before (holding a cake of course) by someone who made an unexpected move to get the door, and I wasn't anticipating it. Nah, that still wasn't as bad as the mean old bat that met me at the VFW (is that the right name??) to 'let' me set up in a neighboring tiny town and let the door slam behind her right in my face while I was carrying the groom's cake. And yes, to answer your question, she KNEW it and didn't care, nor did she aplogize. What she DID do was let her five grandchildren run around the already decorated hall, bumping into the cake table, until I went borderline postal on her. Unfortunately I had another cake there after that. She didn't bring her grandchildren this time, but she did sit there staring at me and saying, "That cake is crooked! It's leaning... it's really crooked. Oh wait, that's the table." At this point she grabs the table will a fully assembled tiered cake on it that I was still arranging flowers on, yanks it up and tries to shove something under the leg. Um... I'm embarrassed to admit that this woman now thinks it is normal for me to go postal. She's lucky she can still walk... that's all I'm sayin'.

obabassa Posted 10 Jul 2010 , 10:23pm
post #28 of 43

indydebi
What is the size difference you use for the cakes with the styrofoam spacers on them. Say if I had a 6, 9, 12 and 15 square cake. What size styrofoam spacer would you use and where do you purchase them.
Please help. I have one like this coming up soon.
Thanks

catlharper Posted 11 Jul 2010 , 12:59am
post #29 of 43

Ok, so those who have done this before...I'm making a 10/6/8/4/6 cake. The 10/8/top 6 are real cake, the 6/4 are spacers. So IF I'm following you right I should assemble the 10 inch with dowels, cardboard round under the 6 spacer, cardboard round under the 8 inch with dowels in the 8 inch, cardboard round under the 4 inch spacer, cardboard round under the 6 inch top tier. RIGHT? So the dowels are really holding up the next real cake layer up, is that right?

I'm really nervous...this is my first cake over 3 tiers! Fortunately it's for a dear friend so if disaster struck I'd be ok..heartbroken, but ok. I'm going to be using my cake safe for transporting (I get it this week!) so I'm not so nervous about that but once I get it there I do not want it falling over on the cake table!

Thanx!
Cat

Melvira Posted 11 Jul 2010 , 2:07am
post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlharper

...I do not want it falling over on the cake table!




Well, why not? All of a sudden you're too good for Cake Wrecks??? icon_lol.gificon_surprised.gif

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