I'm making my son's 1st birthday cake in two weeks. It'll also be my first tier cake and I plan on making a three tier jungle/safari cake. I've never made a tier cake and had no clue until the other day that I needed dowels and cake boards. I'm making two different cakes. The big bottom tier will be a chocolate fudge cake, real thick and heavy and the two top tiers will be homemade yellow cake. I plan on using buttercream on all tiers and putting fondant animals as decorations.
I need advice on using dowels and cake boards and if there are any alternatives as well as how to transport my cake (assembled, unassembled, half assembled). Also decorating ideas would be nice! I just found some cakes on here with waterfalls in the jungle theme and that's nice, but would that work since I'm using buttercream?
Ooh and since it's a 1st birthday I have to have a smash cake! Should I just take the top tier off and use that as a smash cake or should I just make a separate cake for that?
Personally I would (and do) use the SPS system for stacking tier cakes. It is just about fool-proof, and very stable, especially for transporting.
For the smash cake, I always make a separate one, in buttercream.
Good Luck and post pictures!
I made a 3 tier jungle cake for my sons 1st birthday and I did just take the top tier off for the smash cake. It got a little messy removing it but it worked.
There are 2 tutorials here on stacking a cake. I have never used it but lots of people love SPS. If this is the only tiered cake you are going to make i'm not sure I would spend the money but thats just me.
SPS is the only way to go!!! Especially for your first time traveling with a stacked cake. The system is relatively inexpensive- I buy mine from Oasis. They are not meant to be reused- but I have when I have made tiered cakes for family members- and for sure each tier gets its own cake board. Three tier will require a very strong base- thick foam core would work-
As for the smash cake- I would make a small maybe 4 or 5 inch one - if you have the pan-
Its amazing what cakers can do with buttercream- unfortunatly- I'm not one of them- ha
Let us know how it all works out and post pics!!! Have fun with it!
Give yourself enough time- and make sure you have extra product on hand-
Abesmommy I just did a safari 1st bday cake. I used a 10" round on the bottom and 6" round on top. The 10" was used to feed the crowd and the 6" was used as the smash. My customer wanted a 2-tier cake but did not need that much cake to feed guest so I suggested using the top as the smash instead of ordering a seperate cake. It is in my gallery.
Here is how I stack mine.
I use the 5" bamboo lollipop stickes and 12" dowel rods. I take a 6" board measured to the size of my cake and place it on top of a crumb coated bottom cake and press lightly to leave an impression. Then I remove it and place a lollipop stick about an 1" in from the marked circle. Using a food writer or icing color mark the height, remove and cut to size. Then I go around the cake about every 1" to 1 1/2" and make a dot mark for my next sticks. This give me a count as to how many I need and then can cut them all to height at once. After all the cutting I place the sticks in the cake at he premarked spots.
Then I place the 6" round cake with a the board underneath it ontop of my cake in the same location as my premarked spot. Next I take the 12" dowel rod and line it up next to the outside of the cake to get a height measurement. I then cut the rod to height and using a pencil sharpner (bought brand new and only used on cakes) sharp one end of the rod to a point. Then I push the rod through the cake and once you hit the base board use a little pressure to "pop" it in the board. This helps secure the cake to the base board. Remember that you are pushing the middle rod through the top cake board to but with it being sharpned it will go through with a little pressure.
** Oh and on my bottom cake it too sits on a cake board ontop of the cake base.
I hope all this made sense, if not let me know what you need clarified and I will try to help. I have not had any issues using this method for stacking. I do not deliver my cake (well twice) so the customers pick them up and they have always arrived in one piece with no sliding or cracking.