Well this week is a challenge for me, my first stacked cake and it's for a friends 30th party. However I followed the advice of others and have decided to use ganache under the fondant.......OMG I am never EVER going back to buttercream. I only used a thin coating, probably about 3mm thick but it's set up like a dream so I'm excited to apply the fondant, which is something I normally dread, so fingers crossed it all goes smoothly.
Anyway, my question is this, does anyone elses cake layers way a ton??? I have three layers (10", 8", 6") and they are all chocolate mud cake (seriously dense and moist) with chocolate buttercream and salted caramel. I have a 14" cake drum to set everything on and I asked before but I'll ask again, can I be sure that the drum will hold the weight of all that cake?? I'm really not so confident it will - I'm not kidding when I say each tier weighs a HUGE amount (well not so much the 6"). I'm so paranoid that the weight of the cakes will crack the fondant on the board, or worse, crack the board in half. I really need someone's professional opinion because it's stressing me out. I'm lucky enough to have my fiancee all the way and he does all the carrying etc (how do you people do it by yourselves???). Even still, I'm just not super confident about the board. Does anybody use actual wooden circles? If so, do you get them back from the customer, do you use them again etc?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I know what what you mean. After all the filling & frosting & decor. my cakes weigh a ton too. I do use plywood boards under my tiered cakes. I do get them returned back to me as well. It's all worked out pretty well. There was one time I had to have my husband carry a cake on site for me. I had it already completed in 4 tiers. I couldn't even pick it up.
I have one wooden board my husband made me. I'm about ready to ask for the next one. If you're worried about your cake boards, go to your hardware store and get a piece of plywood.
Well I think I'll need to invest in some plywood boards in varying sizes, because cake drums are just not up for the job.
The only other real concern I have is that everyone says I should put a dowel right through all of the layers, but I don't know about in the states, but here in the UK, the thinnest cake circles you can get are impossible to pierce - they are only about 1 or 2mm thick but boy are they sturdy. I couldn't even pierce the top with a sturdy skewer. Is it imperative to have the skewer through all tiers? I have a van at the moment and my plan is that my fiancee will sit in the back of the van with the cake and make sure it's not moving about, but is this advisable? Will this still prevent the tiers from moving??
I was really freaked out the first time I used a center dowel. There's just something about standing on a chair with one hand holding what amounts to a wooden spear and the other hand holding a hammer that strikes fear in my heart.
If there is a way for you to take a take board and support it so it will stay still but still allow you to pierce the center of it, grab a dowel, sharpen the end, and see if you can hammer the dowel through the center of the cake board. I know I can do it even using foam board. It's scary as heck, though. You push the dowel down until you hit something, hammer it until it pops through, push it down until you next one, hammer it through, etc....
The other ways to handle it is to stack it on site so you don't need a center dowel, use SPS, or use a cake safe (which is pricey).
As far as the board, if you use a wood board, get a deposit in the amount of the cost of the board. If they return the board on time, you give them the deposit back. If they don't take the deposit and buy another board. It's probably a good idea to put "please return to _____" on the bottom of the board so whoever cuts the cake knows not to throw it away.
I sharpen the end of a dowel rod so it's as sharp as a pencil. Then I pierce it right down the center. I've gone through 3-4 carboard cake circles this way. It keeps the cake stable. I do also try to travel with it chilled a bit. I know there's a few more ways of securing your cake through travel. This is just the way that works for me. You might want to check into the SPS system or a cake safe to.
I set the drum on a plywood board when I deliver it. After you drop it off at the location, just slide the cake drum off the board and keep your plywood. I am very fortunate to work for a company that has a professional carpenter on duty. He cuts the scrap wood into 12x12 and 14x14 pieces for me---huge lifesaver...no cost to me and I don't have to get my boards back.