Transporting A 3 Tier Buttercream!

Decorating By CakeMama625 Updated 26 May 2015 , 3:29am by carolinecakes

CakeMama625 Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 2:39am
post #1 of 16

I will be making my first wedding cake! It is a 3 tier buttercream cake stacked one ontop of the other. My question is, do I assemble it at home or at the venue? I'm scared that if I do it at the venue that the decoration on the BC will get smeared. Here is a link to a picture of what the cake will look like. Please let me know tips on how to do this! Thanks!

15 replies
CakeMama625 Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 2:42am
post #2 of 16

OH also, I use the Wilton class buttercream which is a crusting buttercream. I love it and it tastes amazing. But when it crusts over and I use a paint roller to smooth it out, it gets lots of little cracks and I think it kinda looks tacky. Any pointers on that? Maybe a different recipe to try that doesn't need to be refrigerated?

cakegirl1973 Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 3:05am
post #3 of 16

What kind of supports are you using to stack the cake? If you are using SPS, you should be able to transport it fully stacked. If you are using anything else, in my opinion, I would stack the bottom two tiers at home and then add the third tier at the venue. That's just my opinion, and others may feel differently. I have read plenty of posts where other people transport a 3 tiered cake with a center dowel without a problem. I think it really comes down to your comfort level with your chosen support system.

cakelady2266 Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 3:22am
post #4 of 16

I work mostly in buttercream and I always stack my wedding cakes at the venue. You never know what non-driver will pull out in front of you. Always better safe than sorry.

CWR41 Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 4:12am
post #5 of 16

The pic looks like a small three-tier cake... you should be able to stack like this:
Follow the instructions to use the center dowel, decorate, and transport assembled.

CakeMama625 Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 4:56am
post #6 of 16

I was planning on putting each cake on a cake board of the same size and putting big plastic dowels in each one and then putting a sharpened wooden dowel down the middle. I would prefer to put each tier in a box and then assemble it there. But are there any tips on how to stack them at the venue without ruining the "artwork" on the cakes?

Another important question I had was, if I stack the cakes at home and take them that way, since there's obviously no box big enough to put the cake in, should I worry about it being in open air and getting dust and hairs from the air on the way there? Maybe a silly question but I can't help but think about it! lol

karabeal Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 5:07am
post #7 of 16

Also consider whether you can carry the whole stacked cake from the car into the venue. Will you have someone to help you carry it? Will there be a rolling cart for you to use (and will there be no steps)? If not, I'd stack on site because it is much easier to lift and carry individual tiers. A three-tier cake can be really, really heavy.

CWR41 Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 6:53am
post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by CakeMama625

I was planning on putting each cake on a cake board of the same size and putting big plastic dowels in each one and then putting a sharpened wooden dowel down the middle. I would prefer to put each tier in a box and then assemble it there. But are there any tips on how to stack them at the venue without ruining the "artwork" on the cakes?

If you assemble on site, you won't need the center dowel through the middle of all tiers.

If you aren't confident to stack on site, you'll be adding unneccessary stress that could have been dealt with at home a bit easier while all of your tools are already accessible. (Yes, you should bring your tool kit for unexpected repairs, but you might not need it.)

If you're worried about messing it up and decide to assemble at the venue, it may be easier for you to slide each tier onto a single-plate separator (SPS) rather than across a cake circle atop dowels.

Originally Posted by CakeMama625

...since there's obviously no box big enough to put the cake in,

There are boxes big enough.

VanillaCoke Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 2:38pm
post #9 of 16

I would assemble it on site...but I always do. I deliver cakes in a big city, and all that stop and go would make me a nervous wreck with a stacked cake in the van.

stlcakelady Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 7:17pm
post #10 of 16

I always stack and stake my cakes and then deliver. Never had a problem. I've done it the other way, but it's a lot of work once you get there. For me, it's far easier to take it fully assembled and do any touch ups once there. Quite frankly, I rarely have to do ANY touch ups. I don't use a crusting buttercream with shortening though. I know what you mean about the little cracks and I can't stand that. I only use butter in my buttercream. Then that cake is refrigerated fully stacked and very cold when I deliver. It goes straight from the fridge to the air-conditioned car. If you're thinking about doing the dowel down the middle (I always do), you'll want to sharpen the dowel and drive it straight down the middle with a hammer. It's the best way to keep anything from shifting. You don't need to bother with making holes in the boards ahead of time. BTW, I use foam core as my cardboard can get soggy and aren't as supportive. Drive slowly, and if you're worried about how other people will view your driving...put a sign in the window that says, "Wedding Cake on Board".

costumeczar Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 11:58pm
post #11 of 16

I stack and deliver three-tiered cakes all the time, and I don't use a center dowel. They need to be cold, though. If you have to deliver them and they're not refrigerated then it's safer to do them separately and assemble on-site.

Moondance Posted 27 Feb 2011 , 10:41pm
post #12 of 16

I have a really sturdy cake box which i bought on line -in the UK though - and it is fantastic for transporting stacked cakes - it has handles on the side and is easy to carry. I'll try an put a photo on here:

Sorry I can't, the file is too big. I'll put it in my photos - the box has circles cut into the bottom, which keeps your board secure.

CakeMama625 Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 9:55pm
post #13 of 16

I'm kinda leaning more towards stacking at home and then delivering. I will have to invest in one of those big boxes. I think I will feel safer with one. icon_smile.gif

Bonne Bouche Posted 23 May 2015 , 5:38am
post #14 of 16

You all are so wonderful!  Whenever I have a question I can always find an answer here--

I too am delivering a non-crusting buttercream 4 tier wedding cake next weekend (my first).  I am covering it in buttercream rosettes, so I am concerned about it getting "smooshed" in the transporting, but assembling at the venue and piping all of those rosettes is just out of the question!

I stack and use a center dowel and that always works well for my fondant cakes.  I was going to pop the whole assembled and iced cake into my freezer (taking all the shelves out) for about an hour and then delivering the cake.  It will be defrosted by the reception and hopefully the rosettes will not be disturbed in transport if they are frozen or super cold.  I'll take a bag of buttercream for touch-ups..

Does that sound like a plan to you guys?


carolinecakes Posted 26 May 2015 , 2:54am
post #15 of 16

I'm a hobby baker and did just that with my first 2 tier all buttercream cake recently. Its the First Communion Cake in my gallery. I arranged the gumpaste flowers on site. Also packed an emergency kit to do repairs if needed. The stacked cake went from the fridge to the car AC running for a 45 min drive to NYC in traffic. Here's the link with tips from CakesDecor and a box for delivery.The cake arrived in tact. HTH

carolinecakes Posted 26 May 2015 , 3:29am
post #16 of 16

Here's a link that I found helpful, it describes in detail what to pack in your cake delivery kit, to handle any emergency repairs. I can tell you it was so reassuring to know that I had things with me to do any repairs.  I was nervous about arranging the flowers on site since it was my first time making gumpaste flowers. You can edit the stuff depending on your needs. Also I used the SPS  system, a first for me, I usually use bubble straws in my cakes. But so many CCers had such high praise for SPS and I was nervous about the all buttercream cake in the car, on the road. I am now a fan. The cake never budged, I kept my eye on it like it was my first baby lol.


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