so i made a 4 tiered cake this weekend (thankfully not for a client) and it totally collapsed, i have been trying to find info in the forum about the perfect support for multiple tiered cakes. i used dowels and cardboard boards. i thought this was gunna be completely fine as i had no idea that maybe i should be buying more thatn dowels etc. how do i buy these "stacking systems" to use, do i lend them out? rent them out? i just like the idea of giving them thier cake and not expecting anything back. help please!
Cardboards, dowels, and a chilled cake should be just fine (I use plain old drinking straws in mine). Perhaps things weren't level or something?
Could you explain exactly how you inserted the dowels, which cakes were on boards, how you assembled the cake etc - maybe it was a simple positioning mistake that can be easily fixed
How many dowels did you use in each tier?
As long as there were enough it should have supported the cake. I use bubble straws and they work great. I like them because they are strong and are wider then dowels making me feel safer
I always have a circle of them 4-8 depending on the size of the cake then one in the middle.
I also use bubble tea straws with a smaller McDonald size straw inside of them for the larger tiers. Also, after dowelling, I place an extra cardboard over them that's the same size as what the upper tier is sitting on. That way, when stacking, it makes it much easier to set the upper tier onto the cardboard below. It sounds like either your dowells were crooked or you didn't use enough of them. Can you supply more details?
i think that i probably didnt pay as close attention to my length of my dowels as i should have and that one may have been longer than the other. i also am sure that i didnt use enough dowels. i had a ten inch round on the bottom with 5 dowels, an 8" with ONLY 4 dowels. supporting a "red hat lady cake with a "yarn cake on top of that! !! the cake with only 4 dowels is the one that collapsed/tipped over. live and learn. i m glad to here that i can stick with dowels. where do you all get your straws so i know what type to use. thanks you so much! i will try to post a pic of this cake as it turned out amazing (before it collapsed) well i cant figure out how to get a pic on here, but ill keep on trying (i am computer illiterate)
SPS is the system that most of us swear by on here. It's cheap. sturdy, easy to use and disposable. It comes pre-cut, so you can't make a mistake. Read my siggy for additional info.
I swear by SPS! I have delivered up to 4 tiers fully stacked and assembled down bumpy roads, hills and it has not failed me.
I use bubble tea straws with card board rounds and then hammer a long wooden dowel through the middle of the entire cake into the cake board. I have gone as high as four tiers and transported it 60 miles or so multiple times w no issues.
to me i feel like the sps is quite expensive for disposable use. where are you ordering them from?
I order from Global Sugar Art. To me the price is worth the peace of mind I get from using it. I'm going on 4 years with straight, sturdy cakes delivered. I like to deliver, setup and leave. I charge them an equipment fee and if asked I just explain the extra charge. Couples usually have no problem paying it.
I also charge an equipment fee. "This is the internal support for your cake. Without it your cake will fall down." No one has ever refused to buy it. The usual response is, "Oh yes! We want that!!"
I order direct from the manufacturer because I use so much, but Oasis' prices are nearly identical to what I pay wholesale. You can't beat Oasis on pricing.
i dont do a lot of wedding cakes , i do tons of specialty cakes and two tiered cakes. what do you charge for an equipment fee? cost plus shipping? thank you so much for your fast responses. im thinking ill stick to my original stacking method, but try the bubble tea straws, and then when making a larger cake (for sure a wedding cake) ill get "system" ill have to order one to try out! again thanks ladies
..........an 8" with ONLY 4 dowels............
If placed/spaced properly 4 is more than enough to support what was above it. And I too use only plain old drink straws - the fatter ones like you get at McD's and a few other fast-food places.
I don't make a lot of cakes any more but before I usually would go into the resturant when it was not busy - order a drink and grab a handful of straws. Ask the mgr 'how much?" and almost always they'd say - nothing
Many people do not watch when they place dowels (whichever kind they use). Many times they end up being crooked and your cake has problems. When I taught, I'd make the students place the dowels only deep enough to stnad on their own.....the cake is on a turntable so I make them turn it around observing if the support is *straight*; if not, slight pressure as it is being pushed into the cake will make it go which ever way necessary; push it in another 1" or 2" and again turn the cake all around observing how straight it is. You will be surprised how 'off' they can get. If you continue doing it this way until it is fully in there should be no problems.
With dowels or straws, you have to understand that your cake is simply balancing on itself. Nothing is really tied together.
With SPS the legs lock into the plate and the nib on the plate grabs the cardboard which is bc'd to the cake itself.
My standard equipment fee is $10 per tier. That pays for SPS plus the cake drum on the bottom.
Leah, what's the longest delivery you have done using SPS? I have to deliver a cake 12 hours away (family event) and I wanted to know can I stack it or wait until I get there? Thanks for your help. Have you used the cake safe?