I've cruised through the sticky and I still cant figure out what the heck to order when I'm 1st starting out using a SPS. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
go to or call Bakery Craft. They carry everything you need and are very knowledgable about the system. Love it!
First of all, what size cake tiers will you be using, and how tall will they be? For example, will they be 6", 8" and 10" rounds, and all 4" high... and will your cake be stacked, or are you looking for a separation between some or all of the tiers. If you give us that info, we can help you better.
dukeswalker, I just read every single post in all 25 pages and took lots of pertinent notes from all the posts. I've been dying to get SPS instructions for an upcoming cake competition in San Diego in March. I want to make REAL cake [call me crazy]. Since the virus thing on CC, I haven't been here for months. (I'm still scared, no matter what they say. My computer has died twice.)
I never could get the SPS pdf to open (tried about 8 ways, no luck), but a kind lady on the Wilton forum sent me the instructions. I can forward the email if you send me a private message with your email address. I can also email all my typed notes from reading the 25 pages on SPS--whew!
My assumption is that you will be using ROUND cakes (you can also use hexagon or petal on round SPS plates).
If you plan on doing a 12", 10", 8", 6" stacked cake you will need:
1 package (12 ea) 4" columns (GC-4)
Unless you plan on needing open space between the tiers for flowers, you will not need a multi-piece system of columns (GC10S). If you want to have them "just in case", order a package to keep on hand. Do NOT order the 9" columns (GC-9).
Since shipping is expensive, you may wish to order several plates in the sizes above, and a couple of the GC-4 packages. Also, look around the site for other stuff you need like luster dust, paint brushes, candy molds etc. If you are making SQUARE cakes, do the same thing listed above, only with square plates instead of round ones.
Where to buy?
Global Sugar Art (SPS thread said excellent customer service)
Oasis (SPS thread said better prices, but customer service not as good as Global Sugar Art)
f o n d a n t s o u r c e . c o m / (I put spaces so it wouldn't get blocked). I can vouch personally for their excellent customer service and pricing on other items). Also, the thread said you get a 10% discount if you enter the coupon code "cakecentral" (maybe with Global Sugar Art as well?)
dayti -- did you ever make that gorgeous stacked white cake with the ribbons and the styrofoam between tiers? If you did, I'd love to see a photo.
Apti!! Thank you! I guess I was just feeling very overwhelmed with all the many, many different parts that are listed on the websites that sell SPS. I do mostly round cakes with no separation between tiers. Right around 4 inches high, although I understand with SPS it must be exactly 4 inches. I was never able to get the SPS pdf to open either so I tried to dig up the necessary info from those 25 pages - I usually get to a point where I say "forget it! I'm sticking with bubble straws!"
So..for "legs" - GC4 and then the corresponding plates of the cake sizes I make, right?
Are the columns called GC-4S? And when ordering from Sugar Craft . c o m - are the prices per plate?
Can you tell me what the SPS system is?
dukeswalker, I had no freakin' idea what the *&%#@ everybody was talking about until I had BOTH the SPS pdf that the Wilton lady emailed me AND all the pages of information in the thread. After I could see both of them, I finally had the "ah ha!" moment. (It's actually embarrassing because it really is simple AFTER you've read 30 pages ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha)
SPS is one of those cake things that is extraordinarily simple to understand IF SOMEONE SHOWS YOU HOW TO DO IT!!! If I'd seen it done, it would have taken 5 minutes tops, but..... to explain it is another story.
To use the Bakery Crafts SPS system on a 4 tier stacked round cake, 12/10/8/6" tiers, you will need one of each of the following:
White 6" Round Plate Bakery Crafts (SPS), #SPS-6, $2.59
White 8" Round Plate Bakery Crafts (SPS), #SPS-8, $3.59
White 10" Round Plate Bakery Crafts (SPS), #SPS-10, $5.09
4" White Columns Pk/12, #GC-4S, $5.89 $7.79
Total before shipping: $19.06
and cardboard cake circles, one of each, in 12", 10", 8", 6"
and cake drum/foamcore/cake stand that will go under the 12" tier and support the weight of the entire cake.
You will NOT need any dowels, nor any center dowel.
I am a master at searching out information and it has taken me days to get the information I wanted. There are 2 reasons why this is such a massively confusing subject:
1. Bakery Crafts does not make a detailed pictorial instruction of the SPS system for home bakers. [I did call them and got an idiot on the phone who knew bupkus!]
2. When somebody in cakeland tries to explain it, questions pour in to explain the different ways the system could be used for 100 different cake configurations instead of saying, "If you have a 12/10/8/6 round stacked cake this is what you need. After you've used it for a round stacked cake, you'll KNOW how to do other configurations."
3. Cake newbies have a real hard time grasping the concept of how to get a 4" filled cake tier so those instructions become a red herring.
dukeswalker--why don't you explain to the other lady "what SPS is". I'm Pooped!!!
My local cake supply store actually carries SPS - so I picked up some of the parts for a cake I have due tomorrow. However....I can already see an issue. I'm sure someone with experience can guide me in the right direction.
Lets say I'm stacking a 10/6 - I bought the 6in plate and the 4in legs. I have my cake baked & frozen and I bring it out this AM. I put together the 6in plate and lay my frozen cake on top (just to see what it looks like) and the plate is larger than my cake. I could lay on a REALLY think layer of frosting to make up the difference but between the torte'd layers and then all the frosting required to build up the sides it would be buttercream overkill. As it is, I usually trim my cardboard circles anyway...so...what to do?
Is your 6 inch cake already decorated? Usually by the time I decorate my cakes they fit the board almost exactly. I don't trim my cardboards and use that as a guide to how much buttercream to apply to the cake. For me it's probably about an 1/8inch around between my boards and my cakes. cakes do shrink in baking but I'd be concerned if they are significantly smaller than the cardboard.
If you cover in fondant then I can always get that space covered. I do find that I have to do a border with SPS because I can't get the cake on the plate without messing up the bottom a bit but the more experienced cakers on here have had success with borderless cakes!
All the tiered cakes in my pics are SPS. I started with it thanks to Leah_s great thread. I've never cut a dowel and never want to
Hope it works out for you. Remember to dab some buttercream on the plate before you place the cake on it. I always forget this and my cakes want to "spin" on the plate.
Good luck. SPS is awesome once you get the hang of it.
Thanks! Its only about 1/8 inch of cardboard that shows around my cakes too....when I was doing straws/dowels - I always trimmed my cardboard circles but now that I think about it - I really dont *have to*.
This one is not fondant and does need a border - so perhaps it will all work in the end!
Thanks for all the help cakers!