I'm doing a wedding cake in October, 3 tiers: 12-in bottom, 8-in dummy in the middle, topped with a 10-in cake. Is there anything special to do support-wise when putting a larger cake on a smaller size cake? How about with the dummy cake? How do I disguise the underneath of the top tier board? any suggestions would be appreciated.
Bump......Big time! My exact configuration and questions.
Dowel the 12" bottom tier the normal way. Put a cake board under the dummy and stack that on top of the 12" tier. You now have a cake and a "separator" tier. No need to do anything to the dummy tier, it's not going to collapse if you stack anything else on it. Just put the 10" tier on top of it and it will support it fine.
You don't need to bother disguising the underside of the top tier board because unless someone wants to squat down and study it they're probably not going to see it anyway.
I'll add that to support the top tier you should use a corrugated plastic board, not a cardboard round, since the cardboard could possibly maybe absorb moisture from the cake and soften up. If you're really nervous about it you could rig something up with one of the separator plates that has the little bumps in it that go into pillars, then pound it into the styrofoam dummy so that the bumps anchor it into the styrofoam. That's probably what I would do because I'm paranoid.
Thank you costumeczar! Can't believe it's you who answered....I study on here all the time and you're my fave. I'm a full on groupie!
I am paranoid too. My mom made cakes my whole childhood and I've seen enough to know safe is just that, safe. I'm relatively new to it all so I'm double safe. My particular concern is that my middle tier, the 8" really really wants to be a pretty double barrel. Mine isn't a dummy. The 8 "double will be fondant but the 10" on top will have rosette sides. It's mudcake, if that matters.
I have the pillar system and the beginner set of Dawn Butler's Cake Frame system (which I haven't played with yet). I have the 9" trimmable dowels I can use with the double but I really intended to double plate it. I thought of using an 8" plate on the 10" tier, but wonder if that is sufficient since it will be suspended? I can't use the 10 plate as intended, of course, because of the pillar holes outside of the 8 cake itself. I only have two of each size plate.
Groooaaaannn......this feels like one of those really long word problems in math.....
Oh, since I have you, I'll pick your brain some more. I worry about those roesettes on the 10" on top hanging around mid air. Should I? I originally considered using a 12" board under the 10 so they would rest on something. I also considered using royal on the bottom row of rosettes but sit seems riskier than buttercream. I will stack the top after delivery and it won't be outside. But we get random fall rain and we're still seeing hot temps here that can get humid. Thank you so much for your help with this!
First of all, I'm a dork, so don't get too excited.
As for your questions, If I was doing the cake you're doing I'd use an 11" or 12" round separator plate to support the 10" top if buttercream rosettes are going on it. You can always turn the bumps that the pillars would fit into it facing up and put the 10" tier on the plate so that they stick into the cake. That way the bottom will be flat, and you can hot glue that to another smaller 8" plate that would sit on top of the dowelled 8" tier with those bumps facing down into the 8" tier for extra stability.
For a double-barrelled 8", dowel and support the two cakes in the middle, so it's basically going to be two 8" tiers stacked on top of each other like a normally dowelled cake would be.
Ahhh....it's the dork thing that made me like you. My oldest daughter got me a black sweatshirt with DORK in white across the front but she kept it to wear herself. We do some dork round here!
Your answer is absolutely perfect! I was coming to the decision to flip the top plate but I was still concerned about the free flying rosettes. I was thinking of gluing the pillars onto the larger top plate to fit the 8" circumfrence. And I wanted to do the two 8" as separate tiers for ease in serving and just cover them in one solid fondant piece. So you read my mind perfectly on that too.
Whew...man....I feel much more confident now. Thank you so very much! And keep up the posting because you have helped me over and over by answering other people's questions too. My own personal dorky hero!