Good Morning everyone! I have a questions for all those bakers who have been doing this for a while. I am making my first topsy turvy cake this weekend for a friend. It will be three tiers 6/8/10. I have printed several how to's and gone thru several threads and there seems to be mixed opinions on whether a central dowel is needed or not. I won't be traveling far with this cake. Advise would be greatly appreciated.
From what I have learned on here a central dowel is a false sense of security. The best thing to use is the SBS system. There is a sticky post on here about it. Most of the bakers on here swear by it. HTH
What is DBS
I ment sbs system
What is DBS
I wouldn't be one to advise against using a center dowel to later hear that it slid apart and I'm the one thrown under the bus for giving bad advice. The center dowel doesn't have anything to do with support, it just helps to prevent the tiers from sliding apart from one another during transport... and by "transport", that can mean moving across the room to its final destination or carrying it to your delivery vehicle.
If you're using SPS, it isn't a necessary option (unless you were to drill holes through all of the plates, which could be considered overkill for a cake that small).
If you aren't using SPS, I'd highly recommend a center dowel--better safe than sorry, if you want it to make it farther than the end of your driveway. Especially since most TT designs are typically made from three 2" tall layers making each tier 6" tall at the peak, that's a lot of crooked cake which can easily slide in multiple directions.
Edited to add: SPS = Single Plate Separators.
Here is a link that talks all about the SBS system.
I plan on using foamcore bases between each layer with wooden dowels under each one (this is what the tutorials called for) very similar to SPS in my opinion, and the birthday party throwers have nothing they need to return that way. I'm mainly asking because I do not want to use a central dowel if I don't have to because they will have quite a bit of cake left over and I think it will stay fresher if they can just remove the top two layers, without a big hole in them, to freeze/refrigerate and only eat the bottom layer at the party. Here is my sketch.
I think you will be fine with out a central dowel then. Looks like you really did your homework!
I think it will stay fresher if they can just remove the top two layers, without a big hole in them, to freeze/refrigerate and only eat the bottom layer at the party.
A center dowel doesn't need to be a massive pole that would leave a big hole in the tiers. It can be a tiny diameter dowel that's no larger than the diameter of a pencil. They can choose to either remove the dowel first, or slide each tier up the dowel to remove the top two tiers to save for later.
I can tell you that the center dowel is false sercurity it will can has torn right thru the center of a cake with I had to stop quickly. SPS or just dowels are safest. when doing a mad hatter cake none of my cakes actually sit at an angle I carve the center of each so that they sit flat but look crooked.
helps to prevent the tiers from sliding apart from one another
For those who don't know how to handle a cake, or those who come across an extreme emergency situation, it's entirely possible for the cake to rip through a center dowel. There is no guarantee that a center dowel will prevent anything, it can only "help" to prevent. Of course, it all depends on how the cake is being handled. You can't expect to be able to tilt it beyond a particular degree, nor turn it upside down, and get away with it.
Thakns for the quick replay. I do use the center dowel myself with no problem