Seamlessness With Plate/pillar Construction?

Decorating By EvMarie Updated 16 Sep 2012 , 7:51pm by BakingIrene

EvMarie Posted 15 Sep 2012 , 6:40am
post #1 of 7

I am trying to gain confidence in the construction area. However, the times I've tried properly cutting wooden dowels...something goes wrong. Either, they are too long & my top tier looks like it's floating, or they are uneven. I just get so nervous that my bottom cake is gonna get mooshed.

So, I tried plates and pillars again. I tried it a couple times many years ago & had the supplies...and I felt pretty good about it. But...I'm not sure you can ALWAYS use this method because of presentation/design issues.

On the "clown" cake in my pics, I used a 12 inch plate for a 10 inch cake. This was the middle tier & it had a ruffle border so the plate wasn't super obvious. (The very top tier, a 6 inch, was on a regular cake cirlce & resting on straw supports)

I have a really pretty cake coming up that's supposed to be a 3 tier stacked right on top of each other. 14, 10, and 6 - just like the clown cake. There will be a border of fall leaves randomly placed at the bottom border of each tier. The leaves will probably cover the cake plate...but I'm not sure it's the cleanest approach.

Can I use a 10 inch plate with a 10 inch cake? The application of buttercream seems like it may be problematic seeing how the plates have legs. Will the buttercream extend too far past the plate for it to make sense?

I COULD just use the 12 inch plate like I did before. Knowing I'd have an edge to cover. I could use buttercream to randomly prop & place the leaf border.

What would you do if you were using plates/pillars method?

6 replies
DeliciousDesserts Posted 15 Sep 2012 , 11:01am
post #2 of 7

I use sps all the time, & never have plates showing.

I use a 6" cake board under my 6" cake. Once frosted, the cake is about 1/4" thicker all way around. The pillar & support plates are inserted into & on top of the cake below the 6". Once stacked, you shouldn't see it at all.

BakingIrene Posted 15 Sep 2012 , 12:30pm
post #3 of 7

To cut dowels properly you need to invest in a mitre box. That allows you to set the length and cut perfectly square ends.

CWR41 Posted 15 Sep 2012 , 2:46pm
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvMarie

Can I use a 10 inch plate with a 10 inch cake? The application of buttercream seems like it may be problematic seeing how the plates have legs. Will the buttercream extend too far past the plate for it to make sense?




You've received good advice. I just wanted to emphasize that you should ice your cakes on their own corrugated cake circle, then stack on your plate that has been placed. This way the nubs or "legs" on the plate won't cause you any problems or get in the way when icing.

BakingIrene Posted 16 Sep 2012 , 6:19pm
post #5 of 7

I think there is some confusion about plates.

Plates that have square nubs underneath are usually designed to be used in pairs with pillars covering the nubs. Wilton has some pillars that push into the cake so the second plate is not used.

I saw in one book (Jaynie Maxfield) that these plates were used with hollow tubes under the nubs instead of dowels--the tubes in the cake are about the diameter of a pillar so the nubs hold.

Other plates including the SPS have dimples underneath so that the dowels catch into them for stacked cake assembly. The crystal pillar sets that push through the cake also have dimples under the plates to catch the pillar tops. If the clear twist pillars are cut short AT THE BOTTOMS with a hacksaw and a mitre box, you can use them in place of dowels and they will support the cake. But the cutoff pillar tops MUST catch the plate dimples for this to work.

You can see that these two styles of plates are NOT interchangeable without some machine shop work at home. You can use plain bakers cardboard circles with lots of dowels instead of any plates at all for 3 tier stacks. Larger cakes require the use of more rigid bottom bases to make sure the whole thing will stand up when assembled.

CWR41 Posted 16 Sep 2012 , 7:21pm
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene

Wilton has some pillars that push into the cake so the second plate is not used.



Push-in pillars or spiked pillars:
http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E31469D-475A-BAC0-5B36A499A89FEA3B&killnav=1

Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene

I saw in one book (Jaynie Maxfield) that these plates were used with hollow tubes under the nubs instead of dowels--the tubes in the cake are about the diameter of a pillar so the nubs hold.



Hidden pillars:
http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E3119F0-475A-BAC0-5772682F766C019C&fid=33FA267F-1E0B-C910-EA661EA4ABF95D41

Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene

You can use plain bakers cardboard circles with lots of dowels instead of any plates at all for 3 tier stacks.



I wouldn't recommend lots of dowels, that would only perforate the cake causing a collapse. A sufficient amount is 5 for small tiers and 7 for larger tiers.

BakingIrene Posted 16 Sep 2012 , 7:51pm
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41


Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene

I saw in one book (Jaynie Maxfield) that these plates were used with hollow tubes under the nubs instead of dowels--the tubes in the cake are about the diameter of a pillar so the nubs hold.


Hidden pillars:
http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E3119F0-475A-BAC0-5772682F766C019C&fid=33FA267F-1E0B-C910-EA661EA4ABF95D41




Sorry, the Jaynie Maxfield application was pillars exactly the height of her cakes for stacked construction. She must have cut them down but there wasn't that much detail on her one page of instructions.

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