Hello there fellow cake decorators! I had this post in a different forum, but not responses, so I thought I would try here in the "How do I" forum. I am delivering my first 4 tiered wedding cake, and first paid wedding cake tomorrow. It is 4 tiered starting with 14" square on bottom, 12" round, 8" square, 6" round. I am trying to think through this process and hoping if there are any glarring problems, someone can help me before it's too late! So I am going to put the bottom layer on a cardboard cake board that will be glued with BC to a mirror and underneath the mirror, my hubby is cutting a piece of plywood for added support.
1) I have wooden dowels for each tier...my local cake shop didn't have SPS system, so I am sticking with wood...lol! I typically glue each tier to the previous one using a little BC, but the lady at the cake shop said to put a little powdered sugar underneath the board so that when that tier is removed, it wont take all the icing with it. Thoughts on this?
2) I was planning on stacking at home and then delivering fully assembled...feeling nervous because of the horror stories I have read on here. I was planning to put a dowel rod in the center, running through each tier to stabalize it. How much will this cake weigh?
-another note about stacking, I have had my tiers in the freezer...can I go ahead and just stack them coming straight out of fridge and freezer? or should I let them come to room temp? I don't have a freezer/fridge large enough to accomodate the bottom tier, so I am planning to ice that tonight and have it be fresh when I begin to stack...
3) I have to attach ribbon to the cake..should I do this after I stack the tiers? Also, the ribbon is black satin...I have heard others say they coat their ribbon in crisco and wipe clean with a paper towel to avoid the grease from icing bleeding unevenly onto the ribbon...this a good idea? also, do I need to overlap ribbon or cut it to where the two ends meet exactly...I have used ribbon before, but didn't think about it nearly as much as when it is going on a wedding cake!
4) Do I need more than one cardboard cake board under each tier before I stack it?
5) Also, I have brooches to attach to 2 of the tiers...what is the best way to do this? Just with BC, I don't plan on making any other kind of icing...I may have some candy melts up in the cabinet
6) I am also attaching artificial roses...they are already washed and drying..I plan to wrap the stems with saran wrap before I put them into cake..If I want to reduce the amount of holes put in the top tier, can I just cut off entire stem and use hot glue gun if flower starts to come apart? can I then put flower with hot glue on the cake (not using the glue to attach to cake, obviously, LOL)
Any advice/suggestions are greatly appreciated..This bride is so sweet and I just want to give her the best cake that I can!
1: I usually use a little BC under the board of the cake that I am stacking onto another tier to hold it, but then yes, have the problem of the icing/fondant coming up with taking the cake apart. I like the powdered sugar idea, I just don't know how stable it will be once assembled.
2: Three words. Stack. On. Site. I never stack a cake and transport. Mainly because my car isn't big enough to hold a tiered cake. I would have the bottom tier on what ever board you're going to use for the function, then box the other tiers and stack when you get to the venue. You can have the dowels in the tiers, but I wouldn't stack. So bring everything you'd need to stack the cake there. I do have a question. Are you storing your decorated tiers in the freezer? And if so, why? Once decorated I keep them in the fridge. You can put dowels in the cake and stack from the fridge, but if you're coming out of the freezer, I'd definitely wait. Maybe not until room temp, but until it's soft enough where you won't damage the cake. The cake won't be light. Especially with 4 tiers and dowels. Keep them separate.
3: I've used ribbon once on a cake and didn't have a problem with the grease leaking into the ribbon. Always cut a little past where the two ends meet, just so you don't need to worry about a gap showing. I always put ribbon/fondant/BC boarders on after I stack so you don't ruin the boarders. That way you can cover up anything that happens during the stacking process.
4: One board under each tier should be fine. Since there's dowels in each tier you're not having to support a ton of weight.
5: If they're pins, I'd just pin them to the ribbon. BC might work, but the weight of the brooch with the light weight of the ribbon might not work. I'd pin.
6: I'd wrap the stems well and tight with saran wrap and keep holes to a minimum. Or, just put the roses where you want them and take the cake to the kitchen to dis assemble to serve, then no one has to see the holes that result from taking out the roses. I wouldn't put hot glue anywhere near the cake.
Thank you so much for your input! I actually did transport cake fully stacked with a helper riding in the back of my van...I was driving like 20 miles per hour with my flashers on...LOL..
I was actually storing tiers in fridge and feezer, basically because of a lack of fridge space...unfortunately, I did make a rooky mistake...I took cake straight from freezer to room temp, instead of putting in fridge and then to room temp to gradually thaw cake...so, that tier sweat like crazy!
As for the ribbon, I waited until I stacked cake to attach, which worked great! I also wrapped flowers well and went ahead and stuck them in cake.
Here is the finished product...It was a learning experience for sure!
Amazing! Love how it turned out! Yeah, transporting stacked is always a good idea with another person in the car! But I love how it turned out. Great job on your first 4 tiered wedding cake! And you learn from your mistakes. I'm sure there will be a few more rookie mistakes (practice makes perfect, right?) lol.
hey- i was in paragould last week!
but wow--your first tier cake is beautiful--you did a great job--i know your bride was very happy with that--
isn't that 'cake rush' awesome? teh rush you get after you deliver--i never get tired of it--
Thanks so much for the compliments and encouragement! There is definitely a feeling of great accomplishment after delivery is over!!! I am a nervous wreck until cake gets where it is going whether it is a delivery or customer pick up...LOL And yes, the bride told me just last night how pleased she was and how she and her new hubby have decided I am their official "cake lady!"