Advise Wanted

Decorating By knd118 Updated 24 Mar 2011 , 4:50pm by awatterson

knd118 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 2:05pm
post #1 of 20

looking for any advise please! My lovely hubby volunteered me to to make his brothers wedding cake which i am also a bridemaid in. The cake they want is 6 tiered. i have never done a cake larger than 3 tiered. This would also be my first wedding cake. I think im hoping to delivery the cake stack 4 and then just add the 2 becuase the cake they want has swags going down it. I dont want alot to do when i get the cake their. Any advise on supports without buying one of the systems. i can't afford to buy it right now. my hubby told them this was their present from us. I appreciate any advise or experience with making the cake and being in the wedding. i'm very nervous about it all. thanks! icon_smile.gif

19 replies
tiggy2 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 2:22pm
post #2 of 20

I would use the SPS support system, very inexpoensive. Then I would kick DHs hiney and tell him he better plan on being in the kitchen with me every minute I'm working on this cake. He may not be able to help decorate be can certainly clean and do a lot of other gofer jobs icon_smile.gif

LKing12 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 2:30pm
post #3 of 20

Amen to what tiggy2 said!

chefjess819 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 2:40pm
post #4 of 20

here is a post about a 5 tier cake and which support to use.
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-710801-.html&sid=0d0aa820047032e1217e3fccc1fedd26
as far as i can tell, you can use the wilton plastic dowels (or wooden dowels) for the bottom 2 tiers, then use the bubble tea straws for the top tiers. i bought the bubble tea straws at my local dollar tree. 12 in a package for a buck. since the bottom tiers hold the brunt of the weight, i would definitely use the dowels since they are thicker. good luck on the cake! it's crazy what our husbands get us into. icon_rolleyes.gif

Corrie76 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 2:47pm
post #5 of 20

if you are transporting 4 of the tiers stacked then I would highly recommend a center dowel going right down the center through all the layers (or at least the bottom four). You can do this by cutting a circular hole in the middle of each separation plate and running a dowel through, or if you are using cardboard circles,you can just jam a sharpened wooden dowel through it all , like a wedding cake sheesh-kabob icon_lol.gif

knd118 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 5:25pm
post #6 of 20

lol i know i wanted to kill my husband and normally i would put him to work but the wedding is on a friday so looks like he gets out of it cause he will be working all week and can't take off. what a butthead icon_smile.gif he thought i would be excited. which normally i would but its a lot of pressure especially since we have 3 kids and one is in the wedding too. but the bride and groom are very exctied that i am doing it so I suppose thats a good thing and makes me want to do it for them.

Ok without sounding like an idiot what is the SPS support system. when i was looking for ideas i saw that alot but dont know what it stands for... i was thinking about having my husband make a base for me with the main support through it ( he's a carpenter). just figuring it all out still and weighing the best options.

ajwonka Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 5:45pm
post #7 of 20

Chef Jess,

What section did you find the bubble tea straws? I've never thought I had an option except to buy them online!

cakedout Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 5:46pm
post #8 of 20

My hubby was a carpenter too and often made my base boards. Problem with that is, you can't pound a center dowel thru wood! LOL That's why I now use cake drums of foamcore board. That way the center dowel goes the entire way thru the cake and into the baseboard- no way that cake is goin' anywhere! thumbs_up.gif

leafO Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 7:23pm
post #9 of 20

I highly recommend SPS. I have transported stacked cakes over an hour away with great success. It would take a lot of stress of you to be able to stack most of it and decorate before hand, especially since you're in the wedding.

KJ62798 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 7:32pm
post #10 of 20

SPS is made by Bakery Crafts and can be found online. Oasis and GSA both carry it.

It is a system of separator plates & support legs that snap together VERY securely. Each plate has a spike that holds the cardboard cake circle in place so the tier doesn't slide around. It replaces the use of dowels, wilton pillars, bubble tea straws etc. No need for a center dowel.

LeahS is the guru of all things SPS and has a "sticky" with all the details in the decorating forum.

I wouldn't use anything else for a wedding cake. I use bubble tea straws for small tiered cakes but for a wedding cake, esp one that tall SPS is the only way to go for me. I would stack 2 3-tier sections for transport and then put the 2 parts together onsite. You don't want to stack something too heavy to carry.

HTH
Kristy

cake_architect Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 7:44pm
post #11 of 20

i agree with using sps. i used it for my last wedding cake and it was so amazing! i agree, read leah_s's sticky and order the pieces asap icon_biggrin.gif

knd118 Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 1:34pm
post #12 of 20

Great thanks for all the suggestions. I am gonna look into getting a SPS. especially know that i know what it is icon_smile.gif

TiffyB73 Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 1:48pm
post #13 of 20

I found the big straws at Bed Bath & Beyond. They are called milkshake straws... 50 in a bag for $1.99.

Annabakescakes Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 2:00pm
post #14 of 20

Um, you mention she wants a 6 tier cake, but is that what she needs? 6 tiers is 300 servings. If she doesn't need that much, make the bottom tier or bottom 2, styrofoam! It will be much lighter so you can stack it before you go, and it will save you supports as well, since styrofaom does'nt need support.

Elcee Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 2:54pm
post #15 of 20

I'll give you honest advice based upon my own experience. This past December, I made the biggest cake I have ever done. It was 5 tiers, served something like 218, for a wedding. It was one of the most stressful things I've ever done and I made a lot of mistakes. I doubt if I'll ever take on a cake that big again. If I did, though, here's a few things I learned that would help to reduce the stress icon_smile.gif.

1. Re: SPS...while I like the CONCEPT a lot, my tiers weren't exactly 4" so I struggled with it. I ended up using the Wilton plastic hollow dowels with it. They fit perfectly onto the SPS plates and I was able to trim them to the height I needed. If I use SPS again, I will only purchase the plates and not the columns. Don't try something new on this cake, practice first! Making 4" tiers is not as easy as it seems.

2. Allow yourself plenty of time! I absolutely can't stress this enough! If the wedding is on Friday, make it your goal to have the cake ready for transport before you go to bed on Thursday. Especially since you are in the wedding party. Mine was for a Friday wedding. The flowers were done well in advance. I baked and froze a week ahead (FYI, it took 11 hours over the course of 2 days to bake...you do have somewhere to freeze all this cake, right?); I made all my BC on Wednesday night; on Thursday night I trimmed, filled, and crumbcoated my cakes. I had taken Friday off work; all that was left was to cover in fondant, prep for stacking and decorate. NOT ENOUGH TIME! I should have backed everything up a day.

3. One of the things that contributed to the stress and difficulty is that I hadn't predicted just how much SPACE that much cake takes to work on. Do you have space to be working on 7 tiers of cake? If not, figure that out ahead of time. Borrow folding tables if necessary.

4. Is there a friend or family memeber who can help you with the children for 2 or 3 days prior to the wedding? Seriously, you will need to be focusing all of your attention on this cake.

I'm not trying to discourage you at all...I just want you to go into this with your eyes open! I'll look forward to seeing your cake!

KJ62798 Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 10:46pm
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcee

1. Re: SPS...while I like the CONCEPT a lot, my tiers weren't exactly 4" so I struggled with it. I ended up using the Wilton plastic hollow dowels with it. They fit perfectly onto the SPS plates and I was able to trim them to the height I needed. If I use SPS again, I will only purchase the plates and not the columns. Don't try something new on this cake, practice first! Making 4" tiers is not as easy as it seems.




SPS does sell longer (9"?) columns that are scored for about 4in on one end. They are intended for building cakes w/lifted separations between the tiers. I get these and have the DH cut them to length to match my cake height. If your cakes are not quite 4in you have the ability to adjust. If you tend to have shorter than 4in tiers, you can get 2 legs from each column.


HTH
Kristy

chefjess819 Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 1:14am
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajwonka

Chef Jess,

What section did you find the bubble tea straws? I've never thought I had an option except to buy them online!




i found them just hanging on one of the strips in the food section. they're not labeled as bubble tea straws, you might be able to ask them if they carry the plastic reusable straws.

knd118 Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 4:14pm
post #18 of 20

Thanks agin for all suggestion. I think I have them conviced to let me make it 5 tiered. they really love cake and want enough cake for everyone and then for lots of leftovers to take home and give away, plus the top tier would be their anniversary tier. i suggested a sheet cake to cut not diplay instead but they didn't like that idea. I ironically found out that i had 8,10,12 SPS how funny is that I didn't know what it was and was orgainzing and found it. SO i just nee dto get the inserts and a 6in one. even cheaper.

Elcee thank you soo much for sharing your experience. its what i am worried about the most. I will defiently plan it out and take in everything you have suggested thanks icon_smile.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 4:28pm
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by knd118

Thanks agin for all suggestion. I think I have them conviced to let me make it 5 tiered. they really love cake and want enough cake for everyone and then for lots of leftovers to take home and give away, plus the top tier would be their anniversary tier. i suggested a sheet cake to cut not diplay instead but they didn't like that idea. I ironically found out that i had 8,10,12 SPS how funny is that I didn't know what it was and was orgainzing and found it. SO i just nee dto get the inserts and a 6in one. even cheaper.

Elcee thank you soo much for sharing your experience. its what i am worried about the most. I will defiently plan it out and take in everything you have suggested thanks icon_smile.gif




It sounds to me like your husband kicked you in the mud, and now the bride is stepping all over you. He volunteered you to make the wedding cake. I don't think he volunteered you to make dessert and gifts for their friends for a week.
If you are not going to be taken further advantage of, then you really need to tell them taht you will make enough cake for the wedding, and any additional servings that you make above and beyond, are full price. And full price is at least $2 a serving, and really, should be about $3.

If you allow them to do this to you, then you are bending over for them to take advantage of you again and again.

awatterson Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 4:50pm
post #20 of 20

I agree with Annabakescakes. That is a lot of dang free cake that they are getting. I would tell them they get a 3 tier cake and then a sheet cake. I don't think that they realize the stress of a wedding cake. Can you post a picture of the cake that they want?

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