4 Tier Cake Help!

Decorating By baker145 Updated 15 Apr 2014 , 3:25am by leah_s

baker145 Posted 10 Apr 2014 , 10:54pm
post #1 of 36

Aok so I wasn't worried about this cake until I started talking to someone. I have a 4 tier wedding cake to be delivered Saturday. I was planning on using wooden dowels for supports and then assembling at the venue. Someone said they've had wooden dowels warp on large cakes...should I get the plastic ones that wilton sells? Since I'm assembling there I see no reason to use SPS. Advise please! Thanks!

35 replies
sweettooth101 Posted 10 Apr 2014 , 11:49pm
post #2 of 36

I have delivered so many cakes assembled at home using the wilton wooden dowels  but like you recently I read a thread here and someones cake didn't hold up. A lot of readers were confident with bubble tea straws. I have an order for a 4 tier cake in a month and am going to try the straws.

AZCouture Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 12:16am
post #3 of 36

Find A Cake To Remember, LLC on Facebook, our own Costumeczar's page. She posts pics of warped Wilton stuff all the time. Drums, and especially those horrid wimpy Wilton dowels.

 

Part of good solid support is the ability of the decorator to make sure they're cutting them even and distributing them evenly. Nothing is failproof, not even the rock solid SPS. The individual has some responsibility as well....yes, yes, I'm not lecturing.

 

That said, I use bubble straws in everything. 

leah_s Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 1:10am
post #4 of 36

I don't understand why you wouldn't use SPS.  It is very solid.  You never know who's going to bump a cake table or what's gong to happen after you leave your cake.  With SPS you just don't have to worry.  Besides, it's quite INexpensive.

AZCouture Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 2:03am
post #5 of 36

I think it's great for newbies or people who are scared about tiered cakes, and I always suggest it when I think it's something a particular person would need. It is absolutely not necessary though, as evidenced by the many people who use dowels/straws/other methods. I personally don't care for the 4" legs, I don't make tiers that short, nor do I want to have to have to hack thru the longer ones to get a 5 inch leg. I don't care for the thickness of the legs either. I don't care for the plates...I just don't personally care for it, period. Straws are perfectly fine for me.

ApplegumPam Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 2:13am
post #6 of 36

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 
 

I think it's great for newbies or people who are scared about tiered cakes, and I always suggest it when I think it's something a particular person would need. It is absolutely not necessary though, as evidenced by the many people who use dowels/straws/other methods. I personally don't care for the 4" legs, I don't make tiers that short, nor do I want to have to have to hack thru the longer ones to get a 5 inch leg. I don't care for the thickness of the legs either. I don't care for the plates...I just don't personally care for it, period. Straws are perfectly fine for me.


SO true - I have tried to say as much over the years -  People need to realise that you CAN make a cake that won't fall over, be lop-sided or collapse WITHOUT using SPS system.  People in all parts of the world do it on a daily basis.

The 'secret' is learning the proper way to construct a cake - no stortcuts - no looking at a picture on Google and THINKING you know how it is done.  No substituting your latest mai-tai cocktail for the filling - no using cakes what are as crooked as a dogs hind leg - no assembling them on a cardboard paper plate.

 

leah_s Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 2:54am
post #7 of 36

AJust for tbe record the SPS legs do come precut in 4", 5", 7" and 9" lengths. And I love SPS. Every cake, every time.

morganchampagne Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 3:00am
post #8 of 36

A

Original message sent by ApplegumPam

SO true - I have tried to say as much over the years -  People need to realise that you CAN make a cake that won't fall over, be lop-sided or collapse WITHOUT using SPS system.  People in all parts of the world do it on a daily basis.

The 'secret' is learning the proper way to construct a cake - no stortcuts - no looking at a picture on Google and THINKING you know how it is done.  No substituting your latest mai-tai cocktail for the filling - no using cakes what are as crooked as a dogs hind leg - no assembling them on a cardboard paper plate.

 

Mhmm. I use poly dowels and have traveled far and wide. Tis possible indeed.

TheNerdyBaker Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 3:46am
post #9 of 36

SPS or boba straws.  Nothing else for me.

 

I have only ever had a cake warp or fall when using dowels.  Plus the thought of the wood in my cake kinda grosses me out with possible bacterial breeding ground or wood taste seepage.

howsweet Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 4:16am
post #10 of 36

I don't think there's wood taste seepage because the cake sort of adheres to the wood and when the dowel goes in the fat from the icing kind of coats it. But I suppose it's possible. I can't eat ice cream on a stick because of that wooden taste. I don't use sps for the same reasons AZ mentioned. For cakes 3 tiers and under, wooden dowels are my go to. Just so quick and easy and they don't take up much space in the cake. If i put those big straws in, I feel like I'm taking a serving away.

 

I don't like using the boba straws - if I were a customer and pulled straws out of the cake, I'd wonder why my baker used such cheap stuff in my cake. I know they work great, and I've used them, but customers look at things from completely different points of view.

AZCouture Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 4:28am
post #11 of 36

AOh I know a baker who had a customer throw a fit because the baker put "sticks" in her cake. True story, was told here in fact. I would imagine they musta been dowels. ;) I can't think of a reasonable person honestly finding fault with any of these perfectly acceptable support systems, or thinking one or another was "cheap".

AZCouture Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 4:30am
post #12 of 36

AI think going to McDonalds and helping yourself to the straws there is pretty skeevy, seen that suggested here as well. Talk about cheap!

TheNerdyBaker Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 4:37am
post #13 of 36

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

I think going to McDonalds and helping yourself to the straws there is pretty skeevy, seen that suggested here as well. Talk about cheap!

 

Not that I am advocating this in any way, shape or form, but as far as fast food straws go, I would say McDonalds straws wouldn't be terrible.  They are made of a thicker plastic and have a diameter a good 50% larger than a standard straw.

 

Not terrible support, but yes, pathetically cheap. 

AZCouture Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 2:01pm
post #14 of 36

ANo, they're sturdy and perfectly up to the task. I'm just referring to the "stealing" aspect of using them.

Rudd Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 4:30pm
post #15 of 36

These boba straws (or I've heard them called bubble tea straws before too) are they just straws that are a larger diameter than say a standard straw? I've never been able to find any in Michael's, AC Moore's, JoAnne's, Walmart or Target (I'm in South Carolina by the way). I ran across some milkshake straws at Big Lots the other night & they seem about 2 times the diameter of a regular straw, does this sound like the same thing ya'll are talking about? I'm excited to try to use them, I've only ever used wooden skewers before.

morganchampagne Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 4:36pm
post #16 of 36

AMilkshake straws from big lots are the same in my opinion

howsweet Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 4:44pm
post #17 of 36

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Oh I know a baker who had a customer throw a fit because the baker put "sticks" in her cake. True story, was told here in fact. I would imagine they musta been dowels. icon_wink.gif I can't think of a reasonable person honestly finding fault with any of these perfectly acceptable support systems, or thinking one or another was "cheap".


Very few people are going to actually throw a fit, but they may have the thought. You can't please everyone, but I think straws are going to look cheap to more people than dowels would. That's just my opinion. I keep meaning to check into the poly dowels.

Rudd Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 5:05pm
post #18 of 36

Thanks morganchampagne! I was hoping my next cake wouldn't collapse when I used them not knowing if they were the right thing or not.

morganchampagne Posted 11 Apr 2014 , 7:09pm
post #19 of 36

AHowsweet, look into them if you can!! I love them!

kellyk1234 Posted 12 Apr 2014 , 1:29pm
post #20 of 36

A

Original message sent by leah_s

Just for tbe record the SPS legs do come precut in 4", 5", 7" and 9" lengths. And I love SPS. Every cake, every time.

Where can I find the 5 inch precut legs?

leah_s Posted 12 Apr 2014 , 5:24pm
post #21 of 36

AIn the multi pack.

kellyk1234 Posted 12 Apr 2014 , 6:50pm
post #22 of 36

Ahh! Thank you! 

howsweet Posted 12 Apr 2014 , 9:09pm
post #23 of 36

I googled 5 inch multipack sps and got results for easily raising brine shrimp nauplii to feed your marine fish. Something I haven't done in several years that I'd forgotten all about. I really, really miss my reef tank.  But nothing about cake support.

 

howsweet Posted 12 Apr 2014 , 10:19pm
post #25 of 36

Haha, thanks. I still don't understand what I'm looking at. Are those short pieces 2.5 in? I did notice it was $6 - not sure how much of that would be needed for a cake - $3 worth for a two tier? I'm not inclined to add $6 to the cost of a cake, so the customer would be right in calling me a cheapskate for stacking her cake with sticks! lol  :lol:

leah_s Posted 13 Apr 2014 , 12:31am
post #26 of 36

AThe multi piece set comes with a 5" piece and 2, 2" pieces. There are 12 of those sets in a bag. You'd use 4 legs in a two tier cake, leaving 8 sets left over.

kellyk1234 Posted 13 Apr 2014 , 1:07pm
post #27 of 36

AI need to start ordering sps from Oasis, nearly half as much as on GSA!

howsweet Posted 13 Apr 2014 , 5:53pm
post #28 of 36

Quote:

Originally Posted by leah_s 

The multi piece set comes with a 5" piece and 2, 2" pieces. There are 12 of those sets in a bag. You'd use 4 legs in a two tier cake, leaving 8 sets left over.

I'm so confused. if my cakes are 5 inches high, don't I need more than one 5 in piece?

kellyk1234 Posted 13 Apr 2014 , 6:15pm
post #29 of 36

A

Original message sent by howsweet

I'm so confused. if my cakes are 5 inches high, don't I need more than one 5 in piece?

You need 4 legs for each plate/tier. The 5 inch legs come with 2 two inch extensions. And all together there are 12 of those total sets - 5 inch leg, 2 two inch extensions. So 1 bag of the multi set will be enough for 3 plates or tiers.

howsweet Posted 14 Apr 2014 , 2:18am
post #30 of 36

I really appreciate you trying to explain this to me, but I still don't understand and it's starting to get embarrassing. It sounds to me like the 5 in tiers come with 2 inch extensions that would make them 7 inches long? I have some sort of mental block on this!

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