Cake Support Recommendation

Decorating By bakinhoney1980 Updated 22 Jul 2011 , 5:40pm by southerncross

bakinhoney1980 Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 3:53pm
post #1 of 14

Hey everyone. I am doing my first 4-tier wedding cake in a few months and am doing some homework on supporting the tiers. I have read alot about the SPS system, but still don't understand it! I have always used the wooden dowels as support for each layer and as the center support that holds the tiers together. I know that this cake is going to be too tall for this to work. I really feel more comfortable transporting the cake with some sort of center support. I will be driving on country roads for about 25-30 miles. Any recommendations???


13 replies
kearniesue Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 4:16pm
post #2 of 14

SPS is absolutely the best way to go. I've never had an issue using it.

There's an instruction sticky on the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Go to page 15 of the sticky and check it out. Good luck!


debbief Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 4:40pm
post #3 of 14

I'm also doing my first wedding cake in a few months. Probably four or five tiers. I've never used SPS but I already decided months ago that I'm going to use it for this project. From everything I've seen on here, it looks like the most secure way to go and very reasonably priced.

I've seen way too many disasters of collapsing, leaning cakes on here and I don't want to take any chances.

Just review the directions that Karen mentioned and make sure everything makes perfect sense to you. Here's a youtube video that I found that also shows you how to use it. Looks pretty much like the directions but it's nice to actually see it in action icon_wink.gif

The closer I get to this project, the more nervous I get. But I'm getting really excited too icon_smile.gif Good luck to you!

bakinhoney1980 Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 6:02pm
post #4 of 14

That has got to be the best product tutorial I have seen on the SPS system. Thanks so much.

debbief Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 10:01pm
post #5 of 14
Originally Posted by bakinhoney1980

That has got to be the best product tutorial I have seen on the SPS system. Thanks so much.

You're welcome, I thought it was really good too. I liked the tip about cutting out the little fondant circles before pushing the pillars into the cake. Hadn't heard that one before.

chefandbaker Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 10:06pm
post #6 of 14

This is also another way to do it (i'm mostly a SPS method kinda gal, but sometimes, I don't have enough time to buy the grecian pillars for the plates, or even extra plates).. This is good if you're ever interested in breaking down what tools are needed and so on and so forth:

southerncross Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 10:56pm
post #7 of 14

I've been making wedding cakes for nearly 20 years and started using SPS on my first tiered cake last week. I used the Bakers Craft brand. The Wilton system just doesn't have as sturdy and secure a system. I can't recommend it strongly enough. Not only does it give you peace of mind, it makes stacking soooo easy. The system is intuitive and makes centering the tiers effortless. it also makes "deconstructing" the cake for cutting at the event a dream. Leah was the advocate who convinced me and I join her in recommending this system.

leah_s Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 11:03pm
post #8 of 14

BakeryCrafts is the manufacturer of SPS. They are the ONLY company who makes it, although you can purchase it from several different retailers.

Glad you liked the tutorial.

SPS is all I've used for years for everything from 2 tier to 7 tier cakes.

Easy, fast, cheap, sturdy. Its everything I could ever ask for in a cake support system.

Mug-a-Bug Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 11:51pm
post #9 of 14

I hate SPS (just my opinion). Unless you plan on using ribbon at the base of each tier to cover up the grand canyon sized gap you're going to have, I don't recommend it. I really don't think it's that sturdy either and cannot understand why everyone loves it icon_confused.gif Nothing is holding each plate and tier to the next so it rocks and shakes since there is no center dowel.

I stack all my cakes using bubble tea straws. Easy to cut, and cheap. You can buy them at asian markets or at Bed Bath and Beyond. Cut each straw the exact same length and your cake won't be crooked. Then, use a sturdy center dowel (I use two actually). You can buy them at Home Depot or the craft store.

Sharon Zambito has a great DVD called successful stacking in which she shows this method. Or feel free to PM me if you have questions.

jenmat Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 12:23am
post #10 of 14

I'm not in love with SPS either. But it DOES work.
I use Stress Free Supports and swear by them, but they are definitely an investment vrs SPS which are disposable. I also just use bubble tea straws on my 2 tiers.

chefandbaker Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 5:09am
post #11 of 14
Originally Posted by Mug-a-Bug

I hate SPS (just my opinion). Unless you plan on using ribbon at the base of each tier to cover up the grand canyon sized gap you're going to have, I don't recommend it.

Wait a minute.... what grand canyon sized gap will you have? Just did my cake in SPS and it doesn't result in a gap unless your pillars are not perfectly flush with the height of the cake.....

I usually just buy the 4" pillars and make sure to make my cake 4" tall.... just exactly what Leah says in that SPS tutorial....

Mug-a-Bug Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 2:29pm
post #12 of 14

I find that making your tiers exactly 4 inches is a bigger challenge than I care to contend with... but to each their own.

sillywabbitz Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 4:28pm
post #13 of 14

I have had great success with SPS. I know some people struggle with it. My first cake did have a really big gap but after a few times I figured out how to get my cakes consistenly 4 inches. Once you get your system in place I really don't struggle with it any more. I use a tip to fill my cakes and with good pans I always get cakes over 4 inches tall so as long as I trim them to height and use a consistent amount of filling (hence using a tip) they are 4 inches every time.

But if you do can't get them consistently 4 inches, you can get the legs to be cut and Harbor Freight carries this little mini-saw thing that cuts through the legs like butter. It's awesome. I think they are only around $30 and then you don't have to worry so much about getting the cake the perfect height. I bought a pipe cutter like shown in the video and I cracked my legs but I didn't do her recommendation about slowly turning it as you cut...basically scoring it as you go around.

southerncross Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 5:40pm
post #14 of 14

My cake tiers never seem to be exactly 4" but the SPS system helps me avoid any problem. I cut the columns with a Dremel cutting attachment to the exact length I need with not any problem at all. I measure the exact height of each tier by sticking a sewing gauge into the cake and moving the sliding guide to the exact top of the tier.

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