This is gonna be a long one...I need advice on several questions related to a drum cake I'm making for a Groom's cake in December. I made one last June and had some problems with it and am hoping not to have the same issues on this one.
I'm planning to make a 3 tier, 12" round cake. Each tier will consist of 2 layers separated by a cardboard cake round. The last one I made like this started to collapse by the time I got it to the church. However, it was about 100 degrees outside and I had to drive 45 minutes to the site.
Here are my questions. I'll try to keep them short.
1) Approx. how many slices can you get out of a 12" round cake?
2) Do most people use a box mix or from scratch? The box mix tends to be more moist and my customers love them, but I think that's one reason why it started to squish. I had plenty of supports in each tier so there shouldn't have been a problem.
3) Any suggestions on how to support the tiers? I used wooden dowels last time.
Thanks so much for any help you all can give.
You're basically doing a two tier cake - the tiers just happen to be the same diameter. A 12" round serves 56, so your proposed cake will serve 112. That's awfully big for a groom's cake, but I don't know what your customer specified.
You use support in a bottom cake to support what's on top of it. If your previous cake was just all cake stacked on top of each other there was actually no need for the dowels, as they weren't holding up anything.
However, the rule o fthumb is that you need support every 4 vertical inches. Therefore you will put a cardboard in the interior of your cake and dowel below the cardboard to support the cake above the cardboard.
I only bake from scratch. Temperature has not affected how my cakes travel.
Box mixes should not in any way affect how the cake stacks. I have used box and scratch recipes and as long as the support system is good there shouldn't be a problem.
Look up the SPS system to stack, or use the hollow Wilton dowels that you cut to size and insert in the cake.
You mentioned that it was hot out. Maybe your buttercream started melting and drooping, giving the appearance of a squished cake. That can happen with butter recipes.
Thanks so much! I'll try both of your suggestions. I really appreciate your help!