I am making a 3 tier baby shower cake. 14'' 10'' 6'' I have wooden dowels to place in the middles of the cakes. I'm thinking the 14'' should have 6, then 5 for the 10 and 3 for the 6''? PLEASE correct me if that's wrong. I need to transport the cake already stacked. Any words of advice? I was thinking of getting a shallow plastic tote putting a towel in the bottom ( so it doesn't slide) and putting the cake in there to make sure it had a flat surface to ride on. Thankfully where it has to go is only 3 miles away, BUT it's also nerve wracking. The first mile has a steady inclined hill, a big hill..
Thank you ahead of time for any help you give me!
I generally put the number of inches the cake on the top is. So for the 14" I would place 10 dowels. I space mine 2 1/2" apart, Mayble I overdo it but they have all arrived in one piece. Better safe than sorry, I say. Good luck.
I always use at least four dowels. Think of the dowels as table legs and the cake board as the table top. It's just not going to be as stable on three legs as on four.
I use the hollow plastic dowels and on that size I use 6 for the 14" and four for the 10". But you don't need dowels in the top tier unless you've got a heavy topper. You do need a center dowel...sharpen the end of a wooden dowel with a new pencil sharpener (that is, not one you have sharpened pencils with) and drive it down through the tiers and into the drum at the bottom.
When I'm sending a cake already stacked, I put it in a big moving box on a piece of nonskid drawer liner. Another piece of drawer liner goes under the box to keep it from sliding. I give them instructions to cut the sides of the moving box to get the cake out.
If you don't have a vehicle with a flat surface, like a suv, van, wagon, etc...then you need to transport the cakes unstacked and stack on site. It's not hard to do...put your dowels in before you go and then it's a quick easy setup. Pipe borders if you're going to, place flowers, etc...and you're done.
I use 4 in all cakes. If it's 4 tier or bigger, I'll use either the larger wilton plastic pillars or I'll use 5-6 wooden dowels. but never more than 6. I don't want the integrity of the cake turning to swiss cheese.
I've cut a cake at a reception, made by another baker, who did the 'overkill' thing on the dowels. This is an example of why I encourage ALL cakers to cut 2 or 3 of their cakes a year, just so they can see how their assembly affects the cutting/serving of the cake.
This cake that I cut was a freakin' MESS! With so many dowels in it, the cake just crumbled all over the place. It looked terrible on the plates and it was all I could do to actually get the pieces to the plate in one piece. I was cussing the whole time and trust me ..... I NEVER referred any overflow business to this baker!
That's what I was afraid of.. Making the cake weak and too much pressure from the inside pushing out on the fondant. I bought the wilton wooden dowels.
Also, the tiers are not going to be stacked directly in the middle of the tier they're sitting on. I am making a Jungle Baby cake and there's a waterfall on the front. I should of mentioned that before! *smacks forehead*
Thank you all.. IndyDeb I think I'll start with the 4.
Normally I wouldn't worry too much, I stay pretty confident.. I've read so many posts on here about stacking but I want to be so careful. Not only is the cake for family but my brothers, mother in law, is a beast! She's hyper critical of everything, everyone and I'm prepared for her to point out any mistakes I made *even though she's never decorated a cake* but I don't want her ruining this wonderful time with her open mouth should something happen to the cake. She is the main reason I want to take it already stacked instead of putting it together there cause she will be over my shoulder like a hawk in the sky! I normally do good under pressure, I have a 7 yr old with Autism and a 6 yr old Princess with only half of her heart (Hypoplastic left heart syndrome) and a fearless 4 yr old... I do great under pressure but this woman never forgets anything!
I may sharpen a long wooden dowel and take it with me though in case I need to poke her.
She's hyper critical of everything, everyone and I'm prepared for her to point out any mistakes I made *even though she's never decorated a cake* ....
At which point I stand and say pretty loudly: "Everyone who has actually made and assembled a cake raise their hand!" and then when I'm the only one raising my hand, I say, "That's what I thought!"
LOL! Good advice.
See the only problem with that though, Indydeb, is I have a huge chunk of Italian in me, along with Native American *which I'm very proud of* the Italian part of me gets me in trouble cause I'm pretty sure that half of me is centered in my mouth. It's like I have a smartarse Italian on one shoulder and a calm Native American on the other.. The Native American has to work very hard..lol
YEah, but I bet it's more fun to hang out with your Italian side!