Wow thank you that is really helpful!
Also, you need to make sure cakes are all leveled and even. A lot of people also use SPS system which seems to be popular with using for tiered cakes. I feel sure you will do just fine. The more you do the easier it will get for you!!! Hang in there and keep the faith!!!
Make sure you cut your dowels or other internal supports so that they are all the same length for each tier.
Make sure that dowels are cut square and straight across both ends by using a mitre box (miter box) so that your cakes are sitting on solid ends instead of little hanging chads.
Make sure that the dowels/supports are within the edge of the cake that will sit on top--follow the Wilton instructions for marking the placement of supports.
It is safest to transport stacked cakes before they are stacked, because they get VERY heavy.
The only thing about transporting it before you stack it is having to decorate it at the venue right? Most of the time my cakes are a blank canvas and I just design it as I go. I feel like I couldn't wait til the cake got there to do that.
Stacking after delivery is determined by the design. With the picture shown, there are clearly three separate tiers that can be trasnported as such.
AA simple cake like that with three tiers and a four inche difference in tier sizes I would deliver it already stacked.
I have delivered a lots of 3 tiered cakes already stacked. Use SPS and you'll be fine. Please read my signature line.
I deliver all of my three tiered cakes stacked. They stay in the fridge until delivery, and as long as they're cold you don't need to do anything special. I don't use a center dowel, and I only use regular wooden dowels, nothing tricky.
I haven't done this personally but I feel I'd want the security of a center dowel. Videos are always much more helpful for me than written directions or even photos, so here's a good one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bawdeAmPbr4 She has a lot of other helpful video tutorials as well. Hope that helps!
AI always deliver 3 tiers stacked too, and 4 and 5 tier, too! I use bubble tea straws, and leave the very center open, and put a long, thick sharpened dowel in the center, hammered into the cake drum. The only cakes I transport in pieces are the one too heavy for me and my husband to put on a cart, and into the van.
AOh, that cake, with 4" separations, 3tier, I wouldn't bother with the dowel, but drive carefully.
The center dowel is false security, because if it starts to tilt and one of the tiers pulls the center dowel out of whack it can still shift. The only way a center dowel is going to keep anything from sliding is if it's securely anchored through, or attached to the base board. Just watch out. Stacking, chilling, then transporting the cakes cold is better insurance.
AI think if the cake shifts enough to dislodge my dowel that is hammered through the drum, there is no saving it anyway. I leave about 8" sticking up out of the cake, and pull it out at the venue, then patch the hole, or put a topper on it. The one time I didn't do that recently, the top 3 tiers went flying off! It was horrible...I saved it though, sorta.... let me switch to my other phone and post the pictures.
sometimes i like to insert a center dowel that's too long and it sticks up outa the top so i can have a handle on the cake--for stacking on site
then after stacking i remove it & patch or cut it off shorter so it disappear or place another tier on top--so one hand under the cakeboard and one on the dowel, like a 'delivery handle'
i like to do this especially with topsy turvy cakes and sometimes for big tiers that sit on a cake board that is almost the same size as the tier--
for a 12" or 13" or 14" tier that's going on top of a 16" where if i stack those two for easier delivery it's too heavy to carry
but i don't wanna bigger cake board under it either--because of the design--like if i already applied a fondant ribbon border--
i want a small dot border or no border-- i don't wanna try & cover a big ole piece of cardboard sticking out--
so the 'delivery dowel' gives me some leverage to handle it better.
can't yah just see it flipping outa my hands without the 'handle' or me grabbing a big glob of cake <shudder>
10,000 ways to do this--just whatever method/s feel best to you
Original message sent by Annabakescakes
I think if the cake shifts enough to dislodge my dowel that is hammered through the drum, there is no saving it anyway. I leave about 8" sticking up out of the cake, and pull it out at the venue, then patch the hole, or put a topper on it. The one time I didn't do that recently, the top 3 tiers went flying off! It was horrible...I saved it though, sorta.... let me switch to my other phone and post the pictures.
Yeah, i want to see the destruction:grin:
A4 tier was supposed to look pretty much like this dummy I made, but with a couple changes to make it more cohesive with her decorations.[IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/2884826/width/200/height/400[/IMG]
After it came crashing down, this is what the top tier looked like. [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/2884830/width/200/height/400[/IMG]
And the other two that cake off weren't as bad, but was all cake mush inside the fondant, so I smoothed it with fondant smoothers, smearing all my meticulous piping, lol. It was too mushy to hold the bubble straws so I pulled them all out and grabbed my Wilton floating tiers stand, and prettied up the tops with tinted buttercream (on fondant tiers, lol) stuck some premade roses on them, and the extra web I made, threw them in boxes and hit the door running! This was the result:[IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/2884839/width/200/height/400[/IMG][IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/2884840/width/200/height/400[/IMG]
In comparison, this cake had the dowel, and we had to slam on the breaks the same way. It shifted a bit, but held [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/2884844/width/200/height/400[/IMG].
OMG, Anna...did you cry?
The one time I lost a cake tier (it flipped off a tilting turntable as I was piping an intricate black BC design on ivory BC), I screamed and threw that POS Wilton turntable across the room.
AI didn't cry, I was too panicked to cry! I got in thinking mode, slam dashed it together and hit the door!!! After I got the cake and cupcakes set up, I watched the bride walk down the aisle 8) (venue was multi use) and slunk out the door behind her. When I got to the car, my knees gave out and my whole body started shaking! I felt chilled to the bone, and my teeth were chattering, lol! My husband had to drive.
When it fell, I was by myself and screamed like i got stuck with a pike! I pulled over, and opened the hatch, and I was picking tiers off my floorboard when a biker pulled up behind me and asked if I needed help. I turned around, hands coved in black and red icing, moved over so he could see the wreckage, and asked if he was a cake decorator, lol! My husband pulled up behind him and helped me put it all on my cart and gave me wet wipes and HE was about to cry! He kept saying,"Oh God, Baby, Oh God! What do we do? What do you want me to do?"
The best thing is, the bride was sweet as could be! She didn't need the servings, since she was going to keep it for her anniversary. She didn't even want money back, and said the cake was still perfect! I gave her a free box of cupcakes in their 2 favorite flavors when she returned my stands, and will also remake the top tier for her for free on their anniversary :-D[IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/2884876/width/200/height/400[/IMG] the cupcakes were silver wrappers and black web wrappers, with red airbrushed buttercream, and silver dragees. 4 of them got swished, but they wouldn't have fit on the stand anyway!
Yall are great! Thank you for all the different ideas they are all great!