Using Sps For The First Time And I Am Terrified!

Decorating By SPCOhio Updated 7 Apr 2014 , 2:09am by linnod

SPCOhio Posted 8 Mar 2013 , 11:57pm
post #1 of 33

AI am delivering a wedding cake tomorrow and I decided to use the SPS system for the first time. I don't know why, exactly, other than thinking it would be a bit sturdier and might be less likely to collapse after sitting for several hours. Anyway, I am terrified to stack these cakes and deliver them rather than construct on site and it's just a three tier. Lol! I know this system was designed for the consumer pick up rather than pro delivery, but I am having a hard time figuring out how the cake board stays put on the plastic plate. I do intend to lay down a little buttercream on the plates for glue (no royal on hand and I really don't feel like firing up the mixer again), but will it really help? Should I try melted chocolate instead? Or get some carpet tape? Please soothe my fears. :)

32 replies
ellavanilla Posted 9 Mar 2013 , 12:04am
post #2 of 33

I'm telling you you will never regret it!


I assembled my sister's 5 tiered wedding cake on-site with the SPS and it was amazingly easy! Best of all, you can grab the top and the bottom of the cake in your hands because the sps is on the top and the cardboard is on the bottom. it was 1000 times easier than assembly with a spatula!


Just don't forget to poke the little hole in the bottom of the cardboard rounds before you put your cake on it


I didn't use any frosting "glue" and the catering staff was able to move the cake about 50 feet for the cutting without a single shift or flutter.


the only caveat, my cake was still chilled when i put the supports in and it made the frosting crack a bit. My cake was covered in coconut, so it was not a problem, but if not, i would have had to do repairs. 




SPCOhio Posted 9 Mar 2013 , 12:22am
post #3 of 33

AI already have the cakes decorated on their (hole-poked) boards and have placed the legs into the middle tier. My bottom tier came up a bit short so I need to shave the legs down before I place the legs and start stacking. I read the instructions over and over and specifically remembered your problem with cracking so I'm letting my bottom tier warm up a bit before I put the legs in. :). I'm putting this in the floorboard of my car on a non-skid mat so I'm sure I'll be fine. I think.

Maybe? Sure I will!

I just get nervous trying something for the first time on a bride who is counting on me. I'm actually thinking about just waiting to stack and do it on site. That's probably what I should do but I'm a little eager to see the pieces come together!

ellavanilla Posted 9 Mar 2013 , 12:44am
post #4 of 33

do it on site. it will be smooth as silk. 

SPCOhio Posted 10 Mar 2013 , 4:17am
post #5 of 33

AI took your advice and assembled on site, Ella. It was a breeze and that sucker did not budge a millimeter! It as very nice to know everything was locked down tight. I will absolutely use this system again instead of my trusty wooden dowels. Thanks for chiming in!

leah_s Posted 10 Mar 2013 , 5:05am
post #6 of 33

A::wipes away proud tear:: Another convert!

Claire138 Posted 10 Mar 2013 , 7:20am
post #7 of 33

I've been thinking about using sps for my next stacked cake but try as I might I can't work it out, I'm a visual learner so I just can't figure it out. Do you know of any tutorials or even photo tutorials? 

Apti Posted 10 Mar 2013 , 7:53am
post #8 of 33
Originally Posted by Claire138 

I've been thinking about using sps for my next stacked cake but try as I might I can't work it out, I'm a visual learner so I just can't figure it out. Do you know of any tutorials or even photo tutorials? 

Claire~~I cracked up reading your post!  I said exactly the same thing.   It seemed like it should be so simple, but I could NOT figure it out!   I sent a PM to Leah, and she very graciously helped me out with a link to a pdf with---wait for it----pictures!  Whoo hoo!


I've only used SPS for one practice cake so far, and took some photos of the stacked cake for reference.  Expand the photo below, and look at the bottom of each tier.  You should be able to see the cardboard cake circle under each tier.  That cardboard cake circle is setting on the SPS plate.







So.... you have the top tier on a cardboard circle.  That is then setting on the sps plate with 4 legs:



Top Tier on cardboard cake circle


l  l  l  l

Middle Tier on cardboard cake circle


l  l  l  l

Bottom Tier on cardboard cake circle


l  l  l  l

Glass Cake Serving Platter


Here's the finished cake.  (Please forgive the flaws, I was trying new recipes/piping techniques/tips, etc. for this practice cake.)  This was assembled at my home, carried to the car, placed on the floor on a rubberized non-skid mat, driven 20 miles on windy, hilly, roads, and delivered intact to the staff at an Alzheimer's facility.





leah_s Posted 10 Mar 2013 , 5:13pm
post #9 of 33

AMy signature line tells you where the tutorial is.

ellavanilla Posted 11 Mar 2013 , 6:00am
post #10 of 33



congrats on success!

Girlfriendal Posted 23 May 2013 , 5:54am
post #11 of 33

AHummmm...I've been seeing a lot of posts about assembling with SPS onsite, but I really need to have the cake fully done and assembled on delivery since its for a friend and I'm in the wedding. It going to be four 4" tall tiers, 14/12/10/8, buttercream with fondant embellishment. Is it not possible (or advisable) to fully assemble and transport a cake of that size using SPS? I have to travel at least an hour and a half with the cake. I've never used SPS before, but I've seen so many great recommendations (despite the commonly mentioned terror of the absence of a dowel through all layers), I thought I should try it, since I've never worked with a cake so large.

rdjr Posted 23 May 2013 , 3:16pm
post #12 of 33

My costumers usually pick up their cakes. The largest one they have picked up was a three tier on which I used the SPS, no complaints and one of the passangers had to carry it in her lap since they had a small car. I read somehwere that the SPS was invented for Bakery's that do no offer delivery so my guess is that you would be okay.

kearniesue Posted 23 May 2013 , 3:29pm
post #13 of 33

Girlfriendal, I use SPS and usually tranport the cakes stacked and just drop them off and I'm done.  The only reason why I wouldn't is if the cake is too heavy to carry.  For a 4 tier, I'd stack the top 2 and the bottom 2, then put those together onsite.  Just my preference...

leah_s Posted 24 May 2013 , 10:03am
post #14 of 33

Yes, SPS was created for bakery's who didn't offer delivery, so that the customer could transport their own tiered cakes.  If you can lift it, you can deliver it assembled.


PS that center dowel doesn't really do anything.  If your cake is really sliding sideways, the dowel will stay firmly impaled in the bottom board and tear right thru your cake.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 24 May 2013 , 1:04pm
post #15 of 33


Original message sent by leah_s

If you can lift it, you can deliver it assembled.

This is my problem. Not sure if I'm weak or my cakes are just really heavy.

Claire138 Posted 27 May 2013 , 5:59am
post #16 of 33
Originally Posted by leah_s 

Yes, SPS was created for bakery's who didn't offer delivery, so that the customer could transport their own tiered cakes.  If you can lift it, you can deliver it assembled.


PS that center dowel doesn't really do anything.  If your cake is really sliding sideways, the dowel will stay firmly impaled in the bottom board and tear right thru your cake.


That's interesting, many thanks for the advice. I haven't gone down the sps route yet (haven't had the need bc I mostly do 2 tier & have found bubble straws ideal for that. I do have a 3 tier coming up and will be reading through your words of wisdom upon construction)!

Claire138 Posted 27 May 2013 , 6:21am
post #17 of 33

Leah, Can I use Wiltons sps system? I know it's not the same as the one on Global but it's the only one I can get here (France) & the shipping prices are too expensive to make it worth while. Do you or anyone else on here have any experience with the Wilton ones?

Claire138 Posted 27 May 2013 , 6:55am
post #18 of 33

Sorry y'all but I have another question, what if the cake isn't exactly 4"? Mine are usually just a tad over, will it make a difference? 

travmand Posted 27 May 2013 , 12:17pm
post #19 of 33

The only down side with SPS...I want to buy them in a store.  Geesh...I hate waiting for them...and I hate paying for shipping! 

MaurorLess67 Posted 27 May 2013 , 2:40pm
post #20 of 33

Hi Tra--


I do think there is a difference between the Wilton and the SPS I order from Oasis-- not sure if it is a mental difference but... I only trust the SPS from Oasis-  when I order (which I hate too) I always order multiple sets of each size, typically it is the one I don't have on hand that I need- Murphy's Law.


It DOES make a huge difference that the cakes are flush with the top of the legs-- I am not fortunate enough to own an agbay leveler (yet!!) but I will for sure try to bake my cakes to a 4 inch level or above so I can cut down- which is not easy I still have not found the right tool - saw- to do that yet- be sure to account for your

fillings- so measure the legs after you have filled and settled the


Once you start using the SPS you will not go back- it really makes delivery/pick ups so much easier and more confident-


A HUGE thank you to Leah for posting the instructions- with pictures- it made all the difference for me



waggs Posted 27 May 2013 , 2:57pm
post #21 of 33

AThis is probably a stupid question, I have never used this system, but why are you poking a hole on the cardboard, do you put a dowel through the middle?

Pyro Posted 27 May 2013 , 3:02pm
post #22 of 33

There's a little plastic spike in the center of the plastic plate that goes trough the hole you make.

leah_s Posted 27 May 2013 , 4:22pm
post #23 of 33

rant alert


ARGH!  The Wilton hidden pillars and BakeryCraft's SPS are NOT the same!  SPS is the proper name of the system by BakeryCraft.


rant over


If the W hidden pillars are all you can get, then at least it's better than dowels.  You still have to cut down the pillars, which is the risky part of any support system (if you don't get them exact) but at least the pillars do "fit" into the W plates.  They don't lock in tightly like the SPS legs and plates do, but they are waaaaaaaay better than dowels - which don't lock into anything.

Claire138 Posted 27 May 2013 , 5:19pm
post #24 of 33

AThanks for the answers but I'm a tad confused about this, are the Wilton ones not cut to size like the sps from global? Or are you talking about my cakes being slightly over the 4 inch or slightly under so therefore I'd have to cut them to size? ( something hat does not thrill me). Sorry about all the questions, I've been out a few hours and need a coffee so... ( am responding via cell phone). I think I may order the spa from global and have it delivered to family on the States and wait until I go or they come here. I've checked the shipping costs and it is almost as much as the item(s) so not feasible at al. Leah, I have found and bookmarked your page. Thank you.

nancylee61 Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 12:54pm
post #25 of 33

AHi, Been reading this thread and others, and am just very nervous. I have a 4 tier cake to be made for April 6th. I can't imagine that the little spikes that go into the bottom of the cake boards keep these cakes from sliding off? It just seems like a big job for a little spike. The colums are to hold weight, correct? They have nothing to do with keeping the cake from sliding?

Can anyone reassure me about this? Thanks! Nancy

cakesbycathy Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 1:36pm
post #26 of 33

SPS works great!  As long as the hole is punched all the way thru the cake board you will be fine.  I usually use the sharp end of a flower nail to make sure the hole is completely thru the board.  I also put a little melted chocolate on the board before I put my cake on it to kind of "cement" the cake to the board.


I only use SPS, never dowels or bubble tea straws and have done up to 6 tiered cakes using it.

hamtrina Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 2:07pm
post #27 of 33

Can these be used for a topsy turvy cake?

kimkait Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 2:39pm
post #28 of 33

I just want to say if you follow Leah's instructions be very confident. I had a cake Hubby accidentally turned almost sideways, one that had to be driven over a curb and down a sidewalk to deliver, and one that was picked up by groomsmen coming straight from the bachelor party in a sports car and rode on his lap for an hour. Every cake made it perfect!

nancylee61 Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 2:54pm
post #29 of 33

AThanks! I just ordered the plates and the Grecian pillars because they are the only pillars I saw that were 4 inches tall! Nanc

kellyk1234 Posted 19 Mar 2014 , 1:55am
post #30 of 33

AIf you're really nervous about transporting a cake stacked that big (like I am), then I have put double sided carpet tape between the plate and cake board. It's a little harder to get the cake off for cutting but it gives me more piece of mind when transporting the cake hours away. Melted chocolate or royal icing will probably work just as good though.

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