Support Help For Next Time.

Decorating By QueenJessica Updated 8 Jul 2010 , 10:52pm by CWR41

QueenJessica Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 3:02pm
post #1 of 19

I recently did a teapot cake and need a little guidence on support. I cut a cardboard circle and placed it under my teapot and put that on top of a cake "table" that had 4 dowels. My problem was that the teapot was a little wobblely and seemed to smash the cake underneath ever so slightly. What can I do next time to avoid this problem?

It's the most recent in my pictures.

http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1731497

18 replies
artscallion Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 3:20pm
post #2 of 19

Did you cut all of your dowels to be the exact same length? Or did you cut them individually to match the height of the cake at the point they were placed. You should have done the former.

Also, I use bubble tea straws. they're much sturdier than dowels. Dowels are so thin, they can lean or tip if they're not precisely vertically aligned. Bubble straws are very wide, don't displace cake, are easier to cut at the same length and, architecturally, are stronger then dowels.

Kiddiekakes Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 3:23pm
post #3 of 19

I agree with Artscallion....The dowels all need to be the same height and a little taller so the teapot won't crush the cake below.You can fill in the gap or space with flowers,border etc...

Kitagrl Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 3:31pm
post #4 of 19

Not to disagree but I do not think the dowels should be cut higher than the height of the cake. I think the board should be flush with the top of the cake. But if you use something like bubble tea straws this is going to be alot easier to get done, and they are wider so its more stable.

Also sometimes if you have a 3D cake on top of another cake, it stabilizes it a bit to push a sharpened dowel all the way through the cake, small board, bottom cake, and base boards. Then it won't wiggle so much.

Finally, refrigerating before transport assures it to be firm during the car ride.

Kiddiekakes Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 3:41pm
post #5 of 19

Yeah..I understand what you are saying and I am not suggesting cutting the dowels so there is a large gap..I'm talking 1/4 of an inch maybe less.I do this with my tiered cakes so it doesn't cause buldging etc...There is still a small enough space to pipe a border to hide the gap and it doesn't allow the cake below to be crushed/squeezed.

QueenJessica Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 3:58pm
post #6 of 19

my dowels/cardboard were level with the cake. I can try to use bubble straws, does anyone know where I can buy them (anywhere other than the internet)?

Kitagrl Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 4:01pm
post #7 of 19

I get mine at a restaurant supply store but not sure what you have in your area.

carmijok Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 4:04pm
post #8 of 19

I would have run a long dowel from the center of the teapot through to the base of the bottom cake. It would have steadied it. The movement of the teapot probably contributed to the slight smashing of the cake.

Kitagrl Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 4:05pm
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

I would have run a long dowel from the center of the teapot through to the base of the bottom cake. It would have steadied it. The movement of the teapot probably contributed to the slight smashing of the cake.




Right that's what I was thinking too....

QueenJessica Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 5:29pm
post #10 of 19

I thought the center dowel was a great idea, however, the last time I tried that I had a small catastrophe. When I placed the long center dowel through the middle of the cake it pressed and bent the cardboard underneath which pushed the dowels underneath out of the way and crushed my cake.

Kitagrl Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 5:31pm
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenJessica

I thought the center dowel was a great idea, however, the last time I tried that I had a small catastrophe. When I placed the long center dowel through the middle of the cake it pressed and bent the cardboard underneath which pushed the dowels underneath out of the way and crushed my cake.




You have to make sure the dowel is pretty sharp....

CWR41 Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 5:32pm
post #12 of 19

Did you sharpen the dowel?

QueenJessica Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 5:36pm
post #13 of 19

yes, I sharpened the dowel. I must admit it's shaken the my confidence.

CWR41 Posted 6 Jul 2010 , 6:21pm
post #14 of 19

Did you try pressing it in, or tap it in with a quick hit with a hammer or mallet?

QueenJessica Posted 7 Jul 2010 , 3:16pm
post #15 of 19

I just pressed it it. I didn't know if it mattered that my cake was only a single layer 10inch. That shouldn't matter because the dowels support it right?

CWR41 Posted 7 Jul 2010 , 9:14pm
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenJessica

I just pressed it it. I didn't know if it mattered that my cake was only a single layer 10inch. That shouldn't matter because the dowels support it right?




Ah, I see. It really needed to be tapped in. When you mentioned the "catastrophe that pressed and bent the cardboard underneath which pushed the dowels underneath out of the way", the cardboard wouldn't have bent if it was a quick clean break through with only a tap or two rather than a steady pressure that bent the board. Once the dowels were pushed out of the way, even slightly, they can no longer support the weight since they were no longer perpendicular.

I'm not sure how many layers or tiers you were stacking on the single layer, but if there was only another single layer, it doesn't need any support dowels. Supports are generally required for every 4" of cake height.

QueenJessica Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 7:22pm
post #17 of 19

You can see what I was stacking in my pics, the teapot (full wilton sports ball pan on top of a single 10inch round). Do you think that the fact that I only had a small piece of cardboard (because of the shape of the ball) could have effected anything? I mean can the size of the cardboard affect how much support is given?

I'll keep my husbands hammer nearby for whacking in those dowel rods! icon_biggrin.gif

karabeal Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 7:52pm
post #18 of 19

QueenJessica, I get my bubble tea straws at my local Asian food market. They are super cheap--like $1.25 for 100. Good luck tracking some down.

CWR41 Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 10:52pm
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenJessica

You can see what I was stacking in my pics, the teapot (full wilton sports ball pan on top of a single 10inch round). Do you think that the fact that I only had a small piece of cardboard (because of the shape of the ball) could have effected anything? I mean can the size of the cardboard affect how much support is given?

I'll keep my husbands hammer nearby for whacking in those dowel rods! icon_biggrin.gif


thumbs_up.gif

Oh... when you said something about "the last time" I tried using the center dowel rod, I assumed it wasn't on this cake! This cake looks fine... I don't see any smashed cake below. I would think the small piece of cardboard is going to be much, much harder to bend while inserting a center dowel than a larger surface would. Also, four support rods in the smaller space would support more pressure to the center than the same four rods spaced apart farther under a larger board. That's strange... I don't know why it happened, unless it had something to do with the short dowels inside a single-layer cake. Perhaps they had nowhere to go but out. Sorry it happened, but it really doesn't show that you had any difficulty (unless you had to redo something that we can't see).

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