I have a wedding coming up where the cake will be delivered one hour away, then up a steep, winding, narrow, bumpy mountain road to a historic manor house on top of a mountain. The cake is to be a three tier cake covered in butter cream. Because of design and time restraints on site I would like to deliver already stacked. I normally use SPS but wonder if this would be sufficient in this cake. I was thinking I should probably use the normal dowel construction with a sturdy dowel down the center on this one. Also, the bride chose butter cream due to budget constraints. If I upgrade her cake to be covered in fondant at no extra charge, do you all think this would make the transport of the cake stacked more viable?
Any suggestions from anyone who has delivered wedding cakes under these circumstances would be greatly appreciated!
a Cake Safe would protect it , but that does cost money. saw them at show ... wow!!! on my wish list. b) can you use styrofoam blocks to wedge in tightly the cake? If it can't shift it should stay safe. c) how about pre-decorate and the top layer gets put on at the venue. I can see 2 layers holding up ok... I think the top layer would get wobbly. hope this gives you some ideas and do let us know how it went.
I have a wedding coming up where the cake will be delivered one hour away, then up a steep, winding, narrow, bumpy mountain road to a historic manor house on top of a mountain. The cake is to be a three tier cake covered in butter cream. Because of design and time restraints on site I would like to deliver already stacked.
Just so we all understand correctly, the cake will have an hour (assuming there are no traffic delays on the way) to warm up in the car before it goes up that bumpy winding mountain road? Your A/C is in good working order, right?
For a buttercream cake you have the option of starting from home with the cake frozen solid. That gets it to the hill more or less still chilled. In that case three dowels off-centre through the full height would hold it together. And I would stop the car near the bottom of the hill in case you have to re-settle the cake at the road angle with wedges.
But remember that you can drop any chilled cake from a height of 40 feet and it will be just fine for the first 39 feet...Once you are at the site having driven at 3mph up that hill, the stacked cake will have to be lifted out, carried in, and placed onto its final table AFTER you find and make sure said table is clean and level. Please factor this extra warming time and cake-moving stress into the picture.
I personally don't know if fondant would make any difference at all to the above scenario. It's not the outside of the cake that will be your problem. Having solid ganache between the layers is the only way I would even think of trying to deliver this. My experience with real chocolate ganache (1lb chocolate, 1 pint whipping cream) is that it sets pretty hard when it's chilled overnight. If you want to donate an upgrade, that's where to do it IMHO.
I use a Cake Safe. It is expensive, but worth every penny....and no, I don't work for the company
I don't worry about deliveries any more and that used to be my biggest anxiety.
But remember that you can drop any chilled cake from a height of 40 feet and it will be just fine for the first 39 feet....
Same with a raw egg, it's that last foot that's gonna kill ya.
I have stress free supports and 3 CakeSafes. That trip wouldn't make me bat an eye.
However, without that, I would actually use a wooden base, screw a large dowel into the BASE, cover it with gumpaste or fondant or chocolate or plastic, whatever makes you feel the most sanitary, and then slide the cakes over the dowel with pre-drilled holes. I have done this with party cakes that made me nervous and I didn't want them to have to return parts with perfect results.
.....should probably use the normal dowel construction with a sturdy dowel down the center on this one.....
No! A 'sturdy dowel down the center' will give you a *false* sense of security. It might help but could easily tear the center of the cake w/all the shaking the trip would cause.
Use your SPS if you don't get a CakeSafe. Otherwise try very hard to work up/in some extra time to stack on site.
I have driven many cakes in similar situations you mention. It's never easy. I have taken some already stacked, some partly stacked and of course many UNstacked.
What size are the tiers? Are they close in size - like 6,8,10,12 etc OR more like 12, 9, 6? That will make a differece for sure. The *smaller* the base (largest tier) & closer the sizes, the more problems created.
Example: If it's 12,9,6 - put that 12"er on a base board at least 15"-16" to help spread the weight & it will be less likely to tip over. That way you could stack the 2 bottom tiers and finish up w/the top on site.
I just delivered a wedding cake 3 1/2 hours away through hilly terraine, road construction, and rough roads yesterday and I just opted to leave it unassembled until I got to the reception hall. It was buttercream icing and with the AC in the car full blast it traveled very well. I've done this in the past as well and It is just better to be safe than sorry.
I use 1/2" wood dowel for the center, a double cake drum, foam core and drinking straws. I regularly deliver up and down crazy hills (San Francisco) and have delivered to many steep mountain locations in the general area. I make sure my cake is COLD. Not frozen, you don't want to have your cake expand when it warms back up and have it crack your buttercream, but make sure it is well refrigerated. Boxing the cake also helps, and refrigerate it in the box, it will help to insulate. If you are even more concerned you can add some sheets of flexi ice to the inside of the box when you get it in the car. http://www.amazon.com/Flexi-Freeze-Refreezable-Sheets-pack/dp/B001PTGO5A/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hpc_1
Last weekend I made a 4 tier cake (14, 10,8, 6) and put it together with SPS. It survived the 1 hour trip through awful construction and 15 miles of a bumpy dirt road. I only needed my repair kit when the lady at the venue tried to move it. I didn't chill this cake at all, just ran my A/C in my Tahoe. Go with your SPS; it's a lifesaver!!