I only bake cakes for friends and family. I have never made a large wedding cake. Normally I use bubble tea straws to support the tiers but this cake seems so heavy. Can I use bubble tea straws and just use more or is there something else I need to support the tiers? I just bought a cake drum at the local cake supply shop and I am wondering if it is sturdy enough to support the cake. Should I stack the cake at home and then transport or stack at the venue? I would probably stack it there but the wedding is at 6 o'clock on Friday and I have to work until 4 on Friday... I am now remembering why I always say 'No!' to making some one's wedding cake. I am so nervous that this is just going to be a disaster! The cake is 5 square tiers 12" - 10" - 8" - 6" - 4"
AI have heard a lot of talk about the SPS stacking system on cake central, you might google that...I am old school, and use wooden dowel rods...for a 2 tiered cake, I just use straws, but for a large wedding cake, I use wooden dowels. They can be found at Walmart, hobby lobby, lowes, Michaels, etc...you use the smaller ones and place them just as you would you straws....then I use a larger dowel and run straight down the center going through all tiers (you will need a large pencil sharper to get a point on your dowel so it will go through your cake boards...and I know it's not what you want to hear, but I don't think I would stack until I got to the venue, or may be you could stack 2 and 2 then add the top there...keep in mind, if you use the dowel rods, you will need to have icing to cover up where the dowel went through top tier....now that you have read my book, hope that helps...
ASo, I'm pretty sure you can use bubble straws. I know a lot of people do. But here's what I would say. For peace of mind I would use the SPS system. It's a system of locking pillars and plates.
Can't say about when you should stack. I typically stack two at home and then take the other three which are already doweled so when I get to the venue I just stack.
Thanks to those who replied. If I use wooden dowel rods, do I need foam board between the tiers? Do I need to glue multiple pieces of foam board together? If I use dowels, do I use the same number of dowels that I would use for straws? What size dowels should I buy? Where can I buy the SPS system? Is it something Walmart would carry? If they only have round plates, is it possible to use those under a square cake? Do I just sit the cake board on the plate or attach it with some icing. Will I need to use foam board with the SPS? What about the base? I bought one of those silver cake drums at the cake store - will that be strong enough for the base? Trust me the answers I received certainly do not feel like books - I probably should have read I book! Now I am just out of time - No time to read a book - No time to research it online - No time to run around town looking for an SPS system!
AI think the SPS system would have to be bought from a specially cake supply store, Hobby Lobby might carry it, I don't know...I use the cardboard cake plates between tiers, just one, as doubling them would make getting the larger dowel to go through more difficult and could damage your icing. The bottom tier should definitely have a very sturdy board...double or triple cardboard cake rounds, then put on you drum and yes, I would use icing to glue cake board to drum...I actually had my husband cut a square of ply wood to affix to the bottom of the mirror that I was putting the wedding cake on to give it added stability, I was delivering it stacked versus stacking at venue (it was only 4 tiers) I would imagine the cake drum would be fine to display it on...as far as the dowels, I used a 1/2x48 to go through the center and just measured and cut it down, got it at Lowes.i am attaching a couple pics of rods...the biggest is the 1/2" and the one I used to go through entire cake....there are two smaller ones...I used the 1/4" in the larger tiers and the the 3/16" in the smaller tier...I was able to buy a variety pack of sizes...just be sure you have a good pair of shears or good knife that will saw through those dowels, otherwise it can get ugly....lol...be sure the big dowel is sharpened to a point and that it gets I to the bottom board well without poking through...I am sure you will do great, however I remember the nerves and stress of my first wedding cake!!!!! [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3215285/width/200/height/400[/IMG]
AI would never stack or transport a cake without SPS. I am a newbie to decorating and that takes a big stress factor away. You can purchase at Global Sugar Art. Very quick with shipping and delivery.
I agree about SPS. You will save yourself time and worry, and it's really not much more expensive than dowels. Plus, you don't have to poke a dowel through the center of the cake. You will love SPS if you try it.
I definitely wish I had researched this situation early so that I would have had time to order an SPS system. Unfortunately there is no time to do that. I will definitely plan on it next time if there ever is a next time. Thank you all for your suggestions and support.
That cake will be massively heavy if you try to stack the whole thing ahead of time so factor that into your decision.