First Wedding Cake, Need Some Stacking Advice

Decorating By littlestruedel Updated 18 Oct 2011 , 1:34pm by TinkerCakes

littlestruedel Posted 16 Oct 2011 , 8:44pm
post #1 of 14

Hi all! I am doing my first wedding cake in two weeks and I want to make sure that I have all of my ducks in a row. I have stacked cakes in the past, but never 3 teirs, and never for someone's wedding!

I think I have it pretty much figured out, but can you let me know if I am forgetting any crucial steps or any advice would be appreciated!

The teirs are 14, 10 and 6, covered in chocolate fondant with gumpaste fall leaves. 14" cake will be filled and stacked on the 18" cake drum. For the 10" and 6" teirs I will be filling and stacking them on cake boards.

I will put dowels in the 14", use royal icing as the glue to ensure that the 10" cake board (with cake on it obviously!) sticks well to the 14" layer. Repeat for the 6" layer as well.

I know that the cakes need to be as level as possible, but when doweling the layers, I should ensure that I measure the dowel going into the lowest part of the cake and then make sure each dowel is exactly the same size. Is this correct?

I haven't planned on using a centre dowel, because the idea of hammering it through the layers scares the crap out of me, but should I overcome this fear and use the centre dowel.

Any advice is much appreciated!

13 replies
Sorelle Posted 16 Oct 2011 , 9:05pm
post #2 of 14

My first recommendation is to check out youtube, hundreds of tutorials on cake decorating on there.
I also would recommend putting the 14in on a cake board first then transfer to the cake drum. It will make it less messy, easier to cover with fondant, and less likly to dirty or scratch the drum.

I prefer tea straws to dowels easier to cut and sturdier because of no displaced cake.
and yes use a center dowel especially if you are transporting a stacked cake. hth
Good luck and remember to check out youtube!

KatsSuiteCakes Posted 16 Oct 2011 , 9:12pm
post #3 of 14

I agree on the use of bubble tea straws! I buy my center dowels at the hardware store, and have them sharpen right there at the counter for me. They're super easy to use.

kakeladi Posted 16 Oct 2011 , 9:15pm
post #4 of 14

........will put dowels in the 14", use royal icing as the glue to ensure that the 10" cake board (with cake on it obviously!) sticks well to the 14" layer. Repeat for the 6" layer as well...........

I would not use royal but buttercream.

.......I should ensure that I measure the dowel going into the lowest part of the cake and then make sure each dowel is exactly the same size. Is this correct?.............

NO, cut the dowel ito the *highest* part of the cake and cut all others to that size. This way any low spot will not cause the rest of the cake to sink down, but will hold up the upper tiers, then you can fill in w/icing if the gap will not be covered w/the border. If you level your cakes to begin with there should not be much, if any difference.

I have done dozens & dozens of cakes those exact sizes without using a center dowel. If you get the cake finished at least about 6 hours ahead (prefereably the night before) the icing/borders will set up and hold the tiers in place. Just be careful driving - try to anticipate any problems other drivers might cause.

BlakesCakes Posted 16 Oct 2011 , 9:22pm
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlestruedel

I should ensure that I measure the dowel going into the lowest part of the cake and then make sure each dowel is exactly the same size.




This is the only thing that I do differently than some--I measure the dowel going into the HIGHEST point of the cake.

WHY?? Because in my view, if it you use the lowest as your exemplar and you have higher spots, some of your dowels will go deep(er) into the cake & icing and that has to mean that in that area, some of the cake & icing is actually feeling the weight of what's above it--or worse yet, not even making contact with the dowel until it's squashed what's above that dowel.

If you use the highest spot for your exemplar, you may have to adjust your border to hide any gaps where the cake is lower, but everything from the tier above is sitting only on dowels, and not on icing & cake.

Rae

ufo9978 Posted 16 Oct 2011 , 10:05pm
post #6 of 14

thanks for starting this thread. I am doing my first wedding cake next weekend and I also appreciate all the help. I was going sps route but it seems like too much for me at this point. so now I have couple of more questions and I don't think OP will mind this extra sets of questions icon_smile.gif

1. where do you get your tea straws
2. how long should I wait before staking my tiers ( after each tier is ready to go)

Thanks a lot guys

littlestruedel Posted 16 Oct 2011 , 10:22pm
post #7 of 14

Thank you so much for the advice! I had been debating putting the 14" on it's own board so I will definitely do that, and the advice on measuring the dowels at the highest side of the cake make a lot of sense, not sure why I had it in my head to measure the lowest!

The cake is a fairly simple design, so I plan on using most of my time to ensure that each teir is the same size, as level as possible, and the buttercream as smooth as possible before fondanting.

KatsSuiteCakes Posted 16 Oct 2011 , 10:45pm
post #8 of 14

I get my bubble tea straws at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Win Posted 16 Oct 2011 , 11:03pm
post #9 of 14

Funny this should come up. I did my first really LARGE wedding cake this weekend.

I have been putting off the SPS system because I didn't think it was worth investing in (even though it is not that expensive) for smaller cakes. HA, wrong! I will ALWAYS use this method from here on out. The confidence level in stacking goes way up. Use Leah's instructions and you won't go wrong. My only advice would be to order the longer columns as I had two tiers go slightly larger than 4" tall and had to make some quick adjustments. If I had some longer columns, I could have simply cut them to size.

Please, consider this method. I am converted!

http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2181929[url]
[/url] (my cake)

Leah's instructions:
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-603925.html

littlestruedel Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 1:08am
post #10 of 14

Unfortunately SPS isn't all that easy to find in Canada. If I can find a reliable supplier, I will definitely consider this for future orders!

TinkerCakes Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 1:52am
post #11 of 14

You can get bubble tea straws at your local Asian market. I shopped around, some stores had them at $2.99 for 50 and I ended up finding 100 for .99

Best of luck on your cake!!!

leah_s Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 2:20am
post #12 of 14

I know that there is a supplier for SPS in Canada. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the place at the moment. It really is the easiest with the most peace of mind.

Wildgirl Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 5:55am
post #13 of 14

So really, bubble tea straws are strong enough? Or do you use a few more than you would dowels?

TinkerCakes Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 1:34pm
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildgirl

So really, bubble tea straws are strong enough? Or do you use a few more than you would dowels?




YES!!!! You use the same amount as you would dowels. I am soooo glad I found out about bubble tea straws, dowels are a pain. I will only use bubble tea straws or SPS!!!

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