So I've done a lot of research on stacking cakes, and most of my info came from right here, but I still have a couple questions!
I came to the conclusion that the SPS system will be the most economical and user friendly, However since I'm in Canada I would have to order them and may not get them in time, Is it true that the wilton stackers don't work well unless you want gaps between each tier?
2nd question, can the cake be placed directly on the separator plate and decorated on that instead of on a cardboard base, and then the separator plate?
Thanks in advance for your help!
The cake can be put directly on the separator plate if you really insist.
Each tier is normally put onto a cardboard circle so that the separator plate is not scratched or damaged when the cake is cut. Remember that you have to glue the cake cardboard down to the separator plate with a gob of icing.
The legs on the Wilton stackers are so high (7" or 9") that you create a space between the tiers of 3" to 5" depending on your cake height.
If you can find a local shop, you can have 1/4" or 3/8" acrylic sheet cut into whatever plate shapes you want. The SPS plates have some sort of dimple on the underside to grab the legs. For the top 4" plate, that isn't important.
You can order plastic rod from Johnson Industrial Plastics in 8 foot lengths and cut it to size yourself--use a mitre box to get all the legs the same length. The acrylic plates can be "dimpled" by drilling a shallow well with a milling bit (leaves a flat bottomed hole) if you decide to have your own made up. The hole has to fit the plastic rod snugly. The holes all have to be the same depth so this is a project for a handyperson who can line things up nicely--like, can they build a box and it looks square?
I had the same thoughts about the wilton plastic supports. If you are referring to those plastic supports that fit into the notches on the bottom of wilton separater plates...I have done it & I think it's common to trim them to what ever you need.
I tried this method the very first time I stacked. I'm guessing experience would have helped me execute better. Didn't turn out too bad.
My issue, as a beginner, with this method is:
To look good, I guess you'd need to make sure the frosted cake almost fits exactly or exactly on the separater plate. Otherwise, you won't get that seamless look from one tier to the next. If you are putting a border, this may help cover up the seam from tier to tier.
I THINK some people put a piece of parchment or wax paper under the plate so when you lift it off of the bottom tier, the buttercream doesn't come with it.
I'm a beginner at stacking too - it's trial and error unfortunately. Pick a method & give it a whirl. I'm now getting comfortable with regular ole wooden dowels. I've even jammed a big one down through 2 tiers! Woohoo! It's the little things....
you can trim the Wilton hidden pillars with a serrated knife or if you have a PVC pipe cutter (the kind that look like pliers and that ratchet), you can use it, too, but not like normal. the pillars are made of thin plastic, so if you use a PVC cutter like normal you'll just squish it out of shape before it makes a cut. Instead, ratchet the cutter until it firmly holds the pillar, then turn/roll the pillar so the cutting blade digs into the plastic and starts to slice it.
hmmm looks like I can't find a Canadian SPS supplier I saw on here that someone bought them from L & M, but I just called them and they had no idea what I was talking about...
Anyone know of any Canadian suppliers? It just wouldn't be worth it for me to order it from the U.S...
and yes I was talking about the wilton supporter plates that have the notches that fit into the pillars, I understand that the pillars can be cut, but it still doesn't look as clean? or am i wrong?
Okay so other than SPS since that might not be an option, what would be the best system to use that's easy for a first timer andd economical andd will allow for easy transportation... wilton? dowels? ahh!
what i don't like about the wilton hidden pillars is that the are so very wide and take up a lot of real estate in the cake. i found them difficult to remove from the cake when disassembling and cutting the tiers.
what i don't like about the wilton plates is that they are very thick. they are more difficult to hide between tiers.
what i do like about them is that they are readily available in several nearby stores to me and i can use a coupon. i do also find them very sturdy.
"Tonedna" here on cake central has a youtube video on how she stacks cakes. I think she uses a kind of straw. Bubble tea I think it's called. I always wanted to try because they look like they are easy to cut & don't displace a lot of cake. You don't require any kind of "super cutting" mechanism. After she inserts all her "straws" & assembles cake..she uses the dowel down the middle of her tiers. Like I said...I've tried that & it's more intimidating in your mind.
Check out youtube for "Edna DeLaCruz". Her site is something like DesignMeACake. Check her video out...you may want to try it out.