Cakesafe Vs. Cake Stacker System Which Is Better?

Decorating By sberryp Updated 10 May 2014 , 2:09pm by karukaru

alliecakes82 Posted 27 Sep 2011 , 12:57am
post #31 of 86

I am a bit tone with which system to invest in. They all have their pluses and minuses.

CakeStackers have a million and a half pieces and I haven't quite figured out if you can do odd sized tiers. I tried calling and emailing them a couple of times and got no response. I am weary of ordering from them in case I need customer service in the future.

CakeSafe, just checked them out seems neat, but you still have to cut dowels/straws. The price seems Very steep.

StressFree, well I would not to have to cut dowels, but I am not sure how secure the tiers are to each other. I guess maybe a dowel down the middle will do it?

and then there is SPS, no a huge fan of having to bake to 4 in or deal with cutting the big tubes, but it does seem very secure because of the little nob on top of each plate that goes into the cardboard of the next tier up.

Ahhh, decisions, decisions, wish someone would just make up my mind for me icon_smile.gif

inspiredbymom Posted 27 Sep 2011 , 1:15am
post #32 of 86

Alliecakes82, I agree, the cakestacker does have a million pieces. I use a clear divided craft box to separate and store all of the parts. However, the little pieces help with the odd size tiers. You customize to what you need. The ice-cream cone cake I have in my photos was 23" tall! The cone was all cake as well as the "scoops". It was done on a cakestacker system. It was moved from the island, to the stove, to the island, to the table and back to the island! It didn't move! I'm not sure about why you are not getting a response though. I didn't have a problem when I called them. I actually spoke with him (they guy who invented it and made it for his wife) on several occasions before I wrote that check! Has it been recently? I was talking to a lady who was at the ICES convention about it last week and she said that they had a booth at the convention. Maybe he was at that? The way he talked, he was the only one doing that end of it. There are other who manufacture and ship.

sberryp Posted 27 Sep 2011 , 2:06am
post #33 of 86
Originally Posted by alliecakes82

I am a bit tone with which system to invest in. They all have their pluses and minuses.

CakeStackers have a million and a half pieces and I haven't quite figured out if you can do odd sized tiers. I tried calling and emailing them a couple of times and got no response. I am weary of ordering from them in case I need customer service in the future.

CakeSafe, just checked them out seems neat, but you still have to cut dowels/straws. The price seems Very steep.

StressFree, well I would not to have to cut dowels, but I am not sure how secure the tiers are to each other. I guess maybe a dowel down the middle will do it?

and then there is SPS, no a huge fan of having to bake to 4 in or deal with cutting the big tubes, but it does seem very secure because of the little nob on top of each plate that goes into the cardboard of the next tier up.

Ahhh, decisions, decisions, wish someone would just make up my mind for me icon_smile.gif

I emailed the cake stacker people and they emailed me twice today so keep trying. I am thinking of going with cake stackers because you don't have to buy things again if you get the reusable plate too. I really want to get the cake safe because it protects the cake from the elements, but buddy on the cake boss doesn't cover his cakes. Like you said decisions, decisions..

Katiebelle74 Posted 27 Sep 2011 , 9:41am
post #34 of 86

I have the cakestacker system which I love for:
being wildly creative, doing outside the box designs, tilted, or 3d (like someone here did the ice cream cone) hang from ceiling upside down etc.etc. I love it for 3 or 4 tier cakes that I am going to transport already assembled. I also love it for having all the pieces to do a thick tier or a thin tier or whatever my crazy imagination dreams up. The ribbon cutter saved my butt this week. Not crazy about using it as a turntable but have done it in a pinch. Anything you put on it is rock solid. Love being able to do tall separations and gravity defying looks.

What I do not love as much about it:
LOTS of pieces. LOTS. So yes you either have to take a hefty deposit or have your own cake cutting service who brings the thing back. Also do not love assembling a cake on site in front of onlookers with all these bits and pieces. Which is why I decided to purchase the stress free system. OK YES I have some cash tied up in cake support systems but I own a cake business.... and instead of buying 2 of the same system I opted for one of each. I like the stress free for LARGE cakes which I intend to assemble on site (As in TOO LARGE and TOO HEAVY to move assembled!) as sadly I do not have a Mr.Universe on staff. On those cakes having the support system already in the cake before leaving the bakery makes assembly on site - stress free. It also has way less pieces and is easier for people to disassemble than the cake stackers system. AMAZING how even after training people on taking a cake apart from the cake stackers system some people still REALLY struggle to do it.

What I do not like about the stress free system - damn I miss that center post from the cake stackers system when I use this instead. So nice to know everything is automatically lined up, no playing with each tier a little this way... a little that, is it centered??? Uh mmmm I think so. Also do not like that for different height tiers I have to buy a whole other set of legs.

as a cheap alternative I do like "cakethings" support system which I learned about and got a 15.00 show special on at ICES. It is nice for tiered cakes at smaller events., infact if I had learned about this first I probably would not have ever purchased the stress free system. This does the same thing and you cut your own legs to whatever hieght instead of buying a set of this size leg, a set of that size leg etc. oh and from cake things the racketing dowel cutters are a dream for cutting dowels.

They all have their place. All have strengths and weaknesses. If I had to choose only one I would choose cake stackers.

As for the pricey box (cake safe) $400.00 to $500.00 for a BOX?! Yes I know it is a very nice reusable box, but you can buy a cakestackers AND a stress free support system for the price of that box! Sheesh

- I use a shipping box covered in contact paper.

Uploading things here that are non cake can be a challenge so sometime on a less busy week I will upload a photo of my make-it-yourself cake delivery box to my blog and post a link. It is large enough for a 3 tier cake, still have to work out something for the 4 tier cakes. Anything 5 tiers or larger I transport separate not stacked my muscles just ain't that big.

inspiredbymom Posted 27 Sep 2011 , 5:33pm
post #35 of 86

Kattiebelle74: WOW! I am in awe! It was nice to see a review of so many different products from a single person! I am looking forward to your posting of the cake box. I like the idea of having something covering the cake from the elements. Around here, there is a lot of raining weekends! I was looking at the "stress free" products before I bought my stacker. I just like that center post! I don't like putting it together either! My DH is the right man for the job! He also decorates, stacks, carries and delivers! Oh how I love that man!!!! He and one of his brothers actually carried that 5 tier and delivered it together (again thanks to Jennifer Dontz for holding my hand on that one!) We deliver stacked because most venues here can not accommodate my late hours. I have a 12 hr a day business and do this after the kids go to bed. Also, we don't use the stacker on 2 tier cakes. We use regular poly dowels and a center dowel. However, I am still always looking at the latest and greatest things! Will look at the cakething!

leah_s Posted 27 Sep 2011 , 6:04pm
post #36 of 86


and then there is SPS, no a huge fan of having to bake to 4 in or deal with cutting the big tubes, but it does seem very secure because of the little nob on top of each plate that goes into the cardboard of the next tier up.

SPS legs come pre-cut 4", 5" 7" and 9"

Just FYI

aprilismaius Posted 27 Sep 2011 , 6:30pm
post #37 of 86

I have and use a CakeSafe in conjunction with SPS. I use a small hole saw to drill a circle in the middle of my SPS plates. Yes, I know that gets rid of the notch, but I use double stuck foam tape to adhere the board to the SPS plate, and have had no problems. Then I stack the cake as usual and put in the CakeSafe for delivery. The hole that the metal rod from the Cake Safe leaves is not very big at all, and is very easy to patch. Very easy. Even when there is no topper. I love the CakeSafe as a preventive tool. No accidental bumps into the icing during delivery, no worries when it's raining and I have to take the cake into the venue, etc. Did I mention that I LOVE my CakeSafe?

sberryp Posted 27 Sep 2011 , 6:48pm
post #38 of 86

Katiebelle, Thank you so much for all of your information!!!!!! You are a great baker and friend to all of use here. You said that you separate the 5 tier cakes. You can do that with cake stakes? Cake stackers can get pricey if you buy all of the different sets. That's one thing I was thinking about. With the cake safe you can do different types of cakes. I am leaning towrd the cake stackers because I am just a hobby baker.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 27 Sep 2011 , 8:50pm
post #39 of 86

I don't like SPS because it is a pain in the a$$ to get out of the cake. So when you disassemble it you have to fight with it to get out to serve the lower tier.

I use a shipping box with the front cut down so it flaps open to transport cakes. I wouldn't dream of delivering a cake uncovered. So many things can go wrong. Rain... dirt... bird poop... it's food and it should be protected from the elements.

I know people will swear that it's detrimental, but I use cardboard cake circles and bubble tea straws with a central dowel for all of my cakes. I put a hole in the bottom of the board of the top tier and place the top tier on once it's built. I always transport the cake chilled so it is nice and solid and not going to shift in the layers. I know it's not scientific, but it works. I transport cakes fully assembled and boxed up for transport. The only time I'd transport not fully assembled is if it was a REALLY tall cake that wouldn't fit in my car.

Katiebelle74 Posted 27 Sep 2011 , 9:23pm
post #40 of 86

inspiredby mom, the "cakethings" support system is a great cheap option that is still reusable option for 2 and 3 tier bday cakes etc... you know the smaller parties that still want an impressive cake but you don't always want to send your $$ system out with. Also LOVE the 3" support piece to keep in cake kit *IN CASE* of heavy cake topper;

sberryp I do not understand what you are asking...?? you can make the center post with cake stackers as tall or short as you want for separation, you can also cut dowels as tall or short as you like if using the "cakethings" and fill space with flowers to cover dowels. If I were only a hobby baker and not getting my money's worth from it being a biz investment then I would suggest you buy the "cakethings" support system MAKE sure to get the brawny board with hole for center column (dowel) as your base board (also nice 1/2" thick easy to decorate with ribbon) and get the my thin boards with holes instead of cardboard cake circles (also washable/reusable) use with the cakethings hex supports for each tier. That will still be plenty solid for your grandparents cake. No need to invest hundreds in a support system if you are just baking for family and friends here and there.

Dunno how big a cake you are making but this is a durable system for way less money, unless you have intentions of going pro someday.

inspiredbymom Posted 27 Sep 2011 , 9:56pm
post #41 of 86

Katiebelle74: I looked at the cakething during lunch. I think it has potential to be in my arsenal! Especially for the smaller ones. I don't let my stacker out for those. I could still have my center dowel that I am very fond of! I will have to show it to my DH. He keeps me grounded. In this business one can spend LOTS of money! icon_smile.gif

For sberryP: that cakething may be an answer for you. It doesn't look to be the big investment. You can always go bigger later! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my stacker but my end desire was to get into bigger wedding cakes in the future when I retire from daycare.....ha ha ha!

sberryp Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 1:14am
post #42 of 86

I am currently a teacher, and hope to own my cake business soon. This cake is very important to me because it's going to be 5 tiers and it's my grandparents 50th anniversary. I want something that I can use for the cakes that I make. I have a cake disaster with a 3 tier cake, where a friend slammed on the breaks and the top tier was lost. This cake have to hold up for a 12 hour cake ride. So I need something very solid. I do about 2 cakes a month and more in the summer months.

sberryp Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 1:20am
post #43 of 86

Katiebelle, I am asking if you can separate the cake with the cake stackers one 3 tiers high and one 2 tiers high and then put together on site. 1 because the top 2 tiers would not be on a base plate and I only saw the cake assembled all at once on here website. Sorry for typos and grammatical errors I am tired, sick, and have a new baby.

Katiebelle74 Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 2:25am
post #44 of 86

If you plan to have a biz in the future then buy the cake stackers.

You could assemble the bottom 3 on cake stackers but would have to transport the top 2 separate and add the top 2 one by one after you arrived.

Hope you feel better!

gscout73 Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 5:36am
post #45 of 86

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the "cake stacker system" is just push in pillars that are metal and screwed to the plates. Period. It supports the next tier up as you are adding tiers, but there is no stabilizer or connector to/through all the tiers as there is in the CakeSafe. The cake stacker is in reality nothing new.

Any supports/pillars that push directly into the cake are going to be more stable than those that are resting on top/in between tiers. That is a proven fact.

Katiebelle74 Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 8:39am
post #46 of 86

gscout 73 you are mistaken.

inspiredbymom Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 12:59pm
post #47 of 86

gscout73: The cakestacker has the pillars that are screwed into the metal plates that goes into the bottom layer as well as the layer above it AND a center support that is attached to the base and each support plate giving it a skeleton of sorts. It adjusts to any size so you don't have to make your cake a certain height. It is so secure that you can turn it on it's side or upside down (with top plate on of course) and it will not go anywhere. That is why we purchased it. It wasn't just push in pillars that you set another layer on. It's really different from everything else that we looked at.

mayo2222 Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 2:13pm
post #48 of 86

May I ask cakestacker owners how much you each charge for your deposit and is there a lot of push back from you clients? I mean you are talking maybe $200+ in materials being loaned out at any given time.

inspiredbymom Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 2:41pm
post #49 of 86

may222: The way we do it is when we do a consult and find out what size of cake we need and then we "build" the cake skeleton. Then we look at what it would cost per piece to replace it. Replacing each component is more expensive that buying a set. That is how we set the price. Then we ask for a check for the deposit that we do not cash. We provide a box with our name and address on it and ask that each section be placed in the box (dirty). You don't want your customers taking it apart because there is no need to. Then, when it is brought back, we count the pieces that we used. If it is all there, the check in handed back. If not, we would hold it until the replacement parts are in. We had one deposit for $150 and one for $135. We have not used it on small party cakes (unless it is our party) only weddings. Nobody was upset about it. They were very happy with the fact that we cared enough about their wedding to be extra cautious. Everybody was nervous about delivery because of the bad roads.

luddroth Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 3:09pm
post #50 of 86

I agree with aprilismaius (on p. 3 of this thread) -- I use SPS with the centers of the plates drilled out to a 2 inch diameter and then the whole thing goes in the CakeSafe. The combination is super-reliable. SPS supports the cake and CakeSafe gets it to the venue clean and in one piece. Yes, you have to drill out the plastic SPS plates for the center post of the CakeSafe, but we do a bunch of them at one time and keep them on hand. Because the SPS stuff is pretty cheap, I don't worry about getting it back, so no deposit/return necessary. I don't find a big problem with getting the SPS out of the cake. Remove the cake tier on its cardboard base, then lift the plastic plate straight up bringing out the plate and the supports in one smooth movement. The lower tier has 4 holes in it, but they don't interfere with the cutting or mess up the look of the servings. The CakeSafe is wonderful and takes all the anxiety out of transport -- even protects from humidity and sunlight because the new ones have UV protection. Cardboard shipping boxes won't prevent condensation when a cold cake hits humid air, but the CakeSafe does. It gives you great peace of mind.

mayo2222 Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 3:13pm
post #51 of 86

Do you calculate shipping costs associated with replacement parts into your deposit as well?

inspiredbymom Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 4:07pm
post #52 of 86

mayo2222: yes, we try to get as close as we can. Now, if we had to order a single piece such as a spacer, we would order it and when it would come in we would deduct the entire amount from the deposit before we refunded the difference. We go over all of that when we talk to the customer and we have it in writing on our contract. We also provide links to the "how to" video cakestackers website as well as a diagram and cutting diagram. We also provide a box. We try to make it simple so people do not have to take it apart and risk loosing the pieces. HTH

Katiebelle74 Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 6:49pm
post #53 of 86

On Deposits -
I agree with inspiredbymom I handle it much the same way. The deposits I take on it run between 150.00 and 200.00 as I have done some HUGE towering cakes on it - over 4 feet tall. At the consultation before I talk about the deposit I pull out either pictures of the cakestacker system or the cakesatcker partially set up itself and explain how it works and that it guarantees the cake is going to be straight, centered, stong, level, will not lean, will not fall. It gives the customer a lot of confidence and peace of mind and they understand the deposit - or with me they have the option of hiring my cake cutter and then the cake cutter is responsible for the system including return of it.

A few things I should have mentioned in my first "review" of the 3 systems (cakestacker, cakethings, stress free supports):

I did receive an email letting me know the cakethings have been used by other bakeries to do up to 7 tier wedding cakes it is very strong so is not just for little cakes. Personally I like using metal systems for huge cakes as I feel more at ease and I do not have to cut crazy amount of dowel legs (a task I hate). I Don't mind cutting dowels for smaller party cakes, but in the crunch of working on a HUGE wedding cake I'd rather not have to cut dowels. But it is a strong and a good system if you do not mind the cutting dowel business, the other thing that would irk me on a large cake is the dowels like to fall out of the hex as your trying to slide it down the center post and place it in the cake, no biggy on a small cake, would irritate me on a large cake. But if you need an affordable system it is strong and reliable even for large cakes. Still need to take deposits - I took a deposit on this one last week (enough to cover replacing it) and still have not received it back, so in the future I will take LARGER deposits on it. I think people are more likely to assume it is disposable.

Stress Free:
The stress free support system has more positives than I mentioned the first time and if you are using the cake safe then the stress free system would make the most sense to use with it.

you do not have to do any drilling to use the stress free system with the cake safe. If I had the cake safe I would use the stress free system with it. You cannot stab that center rod of the cake safe into the center rod of the cake stacker so to those who asked - no you cannot use that together.

Stress free (out of these 3) is the only one you can use a center rod with AND place in each tier separately and then quickly stack on site Because it is a ring with a large center area if you get it slightly off center it's still ok, with the cakethings the center hole is exactly the diameter of the center column so you need to place the bottom tier over the center rod then slide the hex piece down over rod into cake and repeat for each tier in order to have alignment right. Which for me is a draw back.

The cake cutters love the stress free system as it is very easy to remove from the cake and easy to keep track of all pieces. I love the stress free system for large cakes I have to move in separate sections. Also great that you can stack 2 or 3 tiers on the stress free and then place together on site. For example in November I am doing a wedding cake which is like the lace cake (against the red background in my pics) It is way too big for me to move assembled. I plan to use the stress free system and of the 6 tiers I will stack 2, 2, 2 so that I can do my ribbons and bows on each stack and then on site set on top of each other to build the 6 tier cake.

This weekend I am doing a cake for 356 ppl. I will use the brawny board w/hole and reusable thin boards with hole from cake things paired with my stress free system. Why? because I like having a center column and strong boards, I like having the stress free rings already in the cake when I leave and when I get there to stack I will simply slide each tier onto the center dowel and it will quickly and easily be perfectly aligned. If I were going to move the cake already stacked using the stress free system I would definitely pair it with the boards from cake things and center dowel.

Think I've already covered all the things I like about cake stackers.... Limitless creativity and HUGE peace of mind transporting already stacked.

Obviously every cake decorator on these boards has "their system" they LOVE and they can get pretty passionate about it. I'm just the crazy one who has 3 different systems for 3 different reasons and I use all of them all the time. But it works for me. I can send a bday cake out on cakethings with the client, a stacked cake on cake stackers delivered by someone else than me and not sweat it and I can go in a different direction to deliver and set up a big cake on the stress free system and it all works. The trick is to find what works for you.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 8:01pm
post #54 of 86

Shipping boxes do a fine job of keeping humidity off of a cake. Just saying.

I tape the sides back up so there is no open seam. It's cheap and lightweight and does the job. I wouldn't spend $300+ on a plastic box. Sorry... I know they work great, and people love them, and if you have the money great, but I prefer to not spend that much since I have multiple cakes going out any given weekend day I'd need 3 of them. There's no way I could justify spending $1000+ on three boxes. That and you need 2 people to carry the damn thing. I deliver most cakes alone.

On the SPS... I had to take apart a cake once after I assembled it with the SPS and I had to pry that thing out of the cake. I literally lifted a 9" cake up off the table by the SPS plate. I could only imagine venues cursing trying to get them out.

I contemplated the stress free system for a while, but honestly just don't want to have to chase brides down to get it back.

gscout73 Posted 29 Sep 2011 , 8:56am
post #55 of 86

Oh, I must have missed something when I was looking at the picks in the one like that I followed. I only saw push-in. But I think the one I was looking at was the stress free, not cake stacker. I'm sorry for the mix up.

gscout73 Posted 29 Sep 2011 , 9:05am
post #56 of 86
Originally Posted by Katiebelle74

gscout 73 you are mistaken.

Ok! Wow that cake stacker is a great Idea! And simple!. Buuut I don't get how the top tier does not come off when the cake is slipped upside down. I watched a few cake stacker videos and, while all the other tiers are secure top and bottom, the top set with with posts coming up through the bottom. How does it not slide off when tipped upside down?? It defies the law of gravity... but I never studied law. icon_surprised.gif

I really like this. thumbs_up.gif

lilmissbakesalot Posted 29 Sep 2011 , 12:17pm
post #57 of 86

Because in the demo video, they have a plate on the top that they frosted over. It's why she didn't cut into the top tier to demonstrate it was actually cake. In real life that wouldn't work so well as people would NOT like to have to get their hands dirty to cut into the top tier. I can see it working for a cake with a large floral arrangement on top, but not for a bare topped cake.

What I don't understand is why the hell do you need something that you can hold a cake upside down any way? I get that it's just for shock value, but really... the friggin' thing makes taking the cake apart so much more complicated than necessary. I have talked with caterers who say that they hate it so much. Yes it's great that they can be so sturdy, but in all honesty... it's extreme overkill.

inspiredbymom Posted 29 Sep 2011 , 1:01pm
post #58 of 86

lilmissbakesalot: You do not use the top plate unless you are doing a chandelier cake that has to be upside down or an upside down cake. They really look awesome!

However, I'm wondering if the caterers are taking it apart correctly if they find it complicated? When you are taking the cake apart, all you do is unscrew one piece and then you take the plate and pillars out in one section like any other pillar/plate system. Unless they are washing it? That is not fun and takes some time but as far as just taking the cake apart, it is simple.

The reason we wanted a sturdy cake structure is because we live in the "county" not the city. The closest city to me has only 700 people (if that). The roads to ANY venue around here has gravel, potholes, narrow, tight curves, and tons of hills. When you get to the next biggest city, you have all of the crazies who run lights, cut you off, blah blah blah..... On top of that, I deliver the tiered cakes finished because I can not do it at the venue. I work at night when everyone is closed.

The stacker has been a blessing for me. I don't use it for my small cakes because then I would agree, it is too much for a small (2 tier) cake. I am really thinking hard about other systems that are disposable. (The small cakes I do not deliver and use things that I don't have to retrieve) I do more small cakes that the large ones, but the piece of mind for those is a blessing! My husband (who is my driver, stacker, and all around great guy!) is a lot less nervous about deliveries with the stacker as well. Those cakes just don't move! Thus neither does my blood pressure! icon_smile.gif

Anyway, I just wanted to share how it works for us because I was surprised to read that caterers you know have such a hard time taking it apart. Even though the stacker looks menacing, it really is very easy to take apart. Perhaps nobody has shown them the proper way? We always go over the video AND leave a diagram of it. We ask them NOT to take the sections apart and just put it in the box that I provide. I take it apart myself and clean it.

aprilismaius Posted 29 Sep 2011 , 1:14pm
post #59 of 86

@lilmissbakesalot, I know you are totally against the CakeSafe, but from my experience using both methods, the CakeSafe helps to regulate temperature far better than a simple cardboard box. I deliver all of my cakes assembled alone in the CakeSafe. I use a folding cart when it is is 4 or more tiers, because then it's too heavy to carry by myself. I drove a cake 12 hours in my CakeSafe in July and it was still cool when I got it to the destination. I also agree with @luddroth that I have never had any problems getting SPS out of a cake. If you put dessicated coconut or something similar down before pressing the plate in, it lifts right out. Everyone will find what works for them. From experience with other methods, I just find the CakeSafe and SPS to be the right solution for my business.

cms2 Posted 29 Sep 2011 , 1:24pm
post #60 of 86

I'm another SPS and Cakesafe user! thumbs_up.gif Love it!

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