4 Tiered Cake Stacking Questions

Decorating By soapy_hopie Updated 3 Aug 2011 , 2:59am by Texas_Rose

soapy_hopie Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 10:58pm
post #1 of 21

This will be my biggest stacked cake to date. It will be four tiers tall (I have only stacked two and I stacked it on sight). I was wondering if stacking on site is the way to go, or is there a way that I can stack it here before I go? When I have stacked cakes in the past I have used those large straws and a price of box board (like a cereal box covered in saran wrap) is there a better and safer way? I am sure this topic has been cover on here a 100 times over but i cannot find it. Thanks

20 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 11:03pm
post #2 of 21

I wouldn't travel with a stacked cake more than 3 tieres high..Other do it with great success but I would be so nerved up I would just have an anxiety attack.Stack the first two and then take the second two seperate and assemble on site...I also do not use bubble tea straws ..but again..others swear by them.I use the thick plastic dowel rods or wilton hidden pillars or SPS.The boards should be solid foamcore or a plywood base to hold the weight of 4 tiers..Skinny cardboard won't hold the weight.HTH

Torimomma Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 2:40am
post #4 of 21

For sanity's sake I would stack on site. Maybe stack bottom 2 and top 2 separately and then put the 2 stacks together when you get there if you are pressed for time. I also would use plastic dowels, not straws. People here swear by SPS but I haven't had to try that yet.

Texas_Rose Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 3:16am
post #5 of 21

No more cereal boxes! icon_biggrin.gif Looking at your photos, you've got some real talent...the detail on that nautical wedding cake is fantastic. Time to make the inside look as great as the outside (Imagine cutting into your wedding cake and seeing a Cheerios box underneath it icon_eek.gif ). Get some foamboard and cut cake circles, cover them in foamboard, then use the plastic dowels, or use cardboard cake circles and the SPS system.

And you should probably assemble onsite unless you're going to use SPS.

bethreed Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 3:55am
post #6 of 21

I won't travel with anything bigger than 3 tiers assembled. If the base is less than 14 inches (18" is too heavy), I will stack the bottom two and center-dowel them. I used to use straws or wilton plastic dowels, but I only use 1/4 inch dowels now. I have personally never used SPS but would one day like to. Just make sure your dowels are near-perfectly level before stacking. When in doubt, just stack all on site... I did that for a few years before getting comfortable with stacking and transporting.

Good luck!

Jess155 Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 1:10pm
post #7 of 21

I've used SPS to transport a 6 tier. Sucker was heavy, but it was perfect!

mrsg1111 Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 1:19pm
post #8 of 21

what is sps?

AnotherCaker Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 3:05pm
post #9 of 21

Oh soapy, stop using cereal boxes immediately, I almost spit my coffee out when I read that, thought it had to be a joke. So yes, cardboard cake circles, or foam circles from now on. If not, you're on the fast track for an award from this place, and not on Sunday. www.cakewrecks.com

Texas_Rose Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 4:49pm
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

No more cereal boxes! icon_biggrin.gif Looking at your photos, you've got some real talent...the detail on that nautical wedding cake is fantastic. Time to make the inside look as great as the outside (Imagine cutting into your wedding cake and seeing a Cheerios box underneath it icon_eek.gif ). Get some foamboard and cut cake circles, cover them in foamboard, then use the plastic dowels, or use cardboard cake circles and the SPS system.

And you should probably assemble onsite unless you're going to use SPS.




I should proofread what I write icon_redface.gif It should say cover the foamboard circles in press and seal wrap...doesn't tear when the cake is cut and helps keep the cake from sliding anywhere.

sadsmile Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 1:05am
post #11 of 21

I've tried to hold this back I really did. but I just can't.

What the heck are you thinking using an old cereal box? Recycling has it's place and this isn't it.
If someone gave me food on recycled old cardboard I would never eat anything they gave me again.
If I was a paying customer and received anything on a recycled bit of cardboard I would be royally pissed off.

Use new cake circles. Really!!! Restaurants don't recycle old foam containers to give you your take away in... and you don't eat off someone else's unsanitizable paper plate.

This is no different.

The outside of any food box has been touched and handled by countless people from the factory to the person who stocks the shelves, the store customers and then you, the cashier, the bag clerk and then your family at home.

That is gross. Cake circles really aren't that much. Or at least use a real plate that can be washed properly.

I'm not yelling or being nasty, calling names- just plainly honest.
And if you didn't think about this till now, these are the type of things anyone who handles food being given or sold to the public, should be thinking about. It goes with basic food prep management.

cakestyles Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 1:08am
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherCaker

Oh soapy, stop using cereal boxes immediately, I almost spit my coffee out when I read that, thought it had to be a joke. So yes, cardboard cake circles, or foam circles from now on. If not, you're on the fast track for an award from this place, and not on Sunday. www.cakewrecks.com




I thought it was a joke too. icon_eek.gif


I would stack on site OP since a 4 tier cake can be pretty heavy and awkward to carry...even boxed.

sadsmile Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 1:28am
post #13 of 21

And before anyone gets, mad, let's think about what is in your shopping buggy or basket next to those boxes that have already been handled way to much to eat off of them.
Produce that still may have pesticides on it and you certainly wash well before eating.
Cartons of eggs. We all know about the bakery that was shut down for using those cartons for storage, but what about it being stacked on those boxes?

Meat is usually on the shopping list. Those plastic wrapped packages are not usually fool proof for leaks.

What about the clerk who bags your stuff up? Helpful, yes but not usually mindful of what goes with what. Often I find cold wet stuff packed right next to dry goods in my bags if I don't watch carefully when my bags are being packed for me.

Now the cashiers and baggers aren't in food prep, so while they are to wash their hands, they probably don't do as good of a job at it or often enough as compared to someone who handles food at a restaurant.

And some times they can smoosh your bread or dig a finger into that plastic wrapped meat but guess what they are still bagging the rest of your order. Cross contamination anyone?

So there's even more reason not to recycle food boxes.

You could potentially make someone very ill doing this type of thing.

soapy_hopie Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 1:31am
post #14 of 21

It wasn't a cereal box it was just that thickness of cardboard I wasn't sure what that was called. And thank you very much Texas_Rose for taking the time to look at my cake (and not it was not fantastic..both cakes were crocked but both crookedness kinda off set them self a little bit, and the fondant elephant skinned in a few places but thank you for the compliment all the same I appreciate it)....and thank your assistance I really appreciate your help, granted the cake is a year away from now but I still freaking out a little bit and I just need some reassurance to know what the best way to tackle such a large cake, and another site I was looking at they all say they assemble on site which was giving me a heart attack was I needed some professional help, as it will be my biggest project. When using the SPS do I still need a dowel running through all of the tiers or will it be stable on it own? Thank you I really appreciate everyone help

Tea42 Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 1:33am
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess155

I've used SPS to transport a 6 tier. Sucker was heavy, but it was perfect!





When you use sps (I use it) do you also add dowels or bubble tea straws or just the sps system itself?

Jess155 Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 1:37am
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tea42

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess155

I've used SPS to transport a 6 tier. Sucker was heavy, but it was perfect!




When you use sps (I use it) do you also add dowels or bubble tea straws or just the sps system itself?




I didn't add anything. Just the SPS system is stable enough. I drove the cake a good 30 minutes on hills and over railroad tracks. thumbs_up.gif

soapy_hopie Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 1:38am
post #17 of 21

How thick is the foam board that you use? I have tried to put foam board under the cake, but it never stays flat it always bows.

Jess155 Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 1:40am
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by soapy_hopie

When using the SPS do I still need a dowel running through all of the tiers or will it be stable on it own?




You can't run a dowel through, the plates are plastic.

soapy_hopie Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 1:41am
post #19 of 21

I didn't think so but I need to know for sure

sadsmile Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 1:42am
post #20 of 21

Good icon_wink.gif
That type of card board wouldn't be firm enough to be stable anyway, even if it was cut from a clean cake box- it's just to flimsy. You need something a bit more rigid to prevent a collapse.

I've delivered 3 and 4 tiered cakes fully assembled. They were good and chilled from being in a commercial cake shop fridge so they were rock hard while transporting for the 20 minutes it took. Easy breazy. No biggie at all.

Texas_Rose Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 2:59am
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by soapy_hopie

How thick is the foam board that you use? I have tried to put foam board under the cake, but it never stays flat it always bows.




I use the thin foamboard. On large tiers or heavy cakes, I use two thicknesses of foamboard. The foamboard from Dollar Tree is cheap but not as sturdy as foamboard from the craft store, so I stock up when Michaels or Hobby Lobby has it on sale for a dollar.

I use the foamboard for the bottom board of the cake too...two thicknesses, glued together with tacky glue and covered with fondant (just roll it right out on the foamboard, no glue or piping gel or other sticky mess required). Then glue a ribbon around the edge of the board.

Anyhow, when you're trying to decide whether or not to deliver assembled, you've got to consider how much cake you can carry at one time and how far you'll have to carry it, or if the venue has a rolling cart you can use, etc. I assemble onsite, it's not a big deal...but then again, I can work with half the world standing around watching me and it doesn't bug me. I cut the dowels ahead of time and insert them partway into the tiers. Then put each tier in its own box (since my cake boards are cut to fit the cake exactly, each tier sits on a bigger square of foamboard that fits the box, so the edges don't get messed up and don't slide). I pack a repair kit with a little fondant and a piping bag of buttercream in a color that matches the cake (for filling in any gaps) but I haven't had to repair anything yet.

Smaller cakes, I use the foamboard and plastic dowels, with a sharpened wooden dowel hammered through the center of the tiers, then put a piece of nonskid drawer liner inside a moving box and set the cake on that. That's worked well enough even when the cakes were going 80 miles away or with a less-than-careful driver.

Now that I can have a home business, I'm planning to try the SPS system...couldn't justify the cost when I was doing free cakes for friends, even though it wasn't that expensive.

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