Quick Help Pls! First Time Doing A 3 Tiered Cake, Question About Stacking.

Decorating By mmhassa2 Updated 20 Apr 2015 , 5:59pm by mmhassa2

mmhassa2 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 5:48pm
post #1 of 23

I've previously chicken out of doing 3 tier cakes but now have taken on an order which is due tomorrow and I've just completed decorating them.  Question is when is the "safest" time to stack them? I'll be delivering it tomorrow morning around 10.  Ideally I could stack them tonight but dont know if the odds are better tiered the morning of the event? But if I do it tom morning, will 1-2 hours be enough time to "chill" the cake for ease of transport? 


The cakes are 10", 8" and 6" with the 10" being a rosette cake.  I'm using the thick bubble straws and a skewer in the middle for added stability.  

Also while Im at it doesnt anyone know a easier way to put the middle skewer in?  I'm not using super thin board between tiers but using the harder thin boards so hammering down the rod isnt going to be easy.  Any way to work my way from the bottom to the top?


Thanks :)

22 replies
-K8memphis Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 5:59pm
post #2 of 23

" Any way to work my way from the bottom to the top?"

sure if you put a hole in the board first -- and i've done it after the tier was done but of course it's risky ;)

there's no time more safe than any other --it's just whatever you decide -- do you want to deliver it stacked -- your individual tiers could be pre-chilled then stacked anytime -- you don't have to wait until it's stacked to fridge them -- there's no right or wrong here -- there's 10,000 different ways to do it though ;)

your straws are all cut the exact same length right? not cut to the height of the top of the cake yes?

and i place mine where they will bear the weight of the tier above -- not super close to the perimeter of the cake above -- because if you have to scoot the cake a bit to center it you could lose a dowel or two

k3lli3n Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 6:05pm
post #3 of 23

It's completely up to you, there is no wrong time/way. Safest way would be to stack them at the event just for traveling safely.

I would stack it tonight, just to get it out of the way so you won't have to rush.

What do you mean by harder thin boards?I personally have never used a middle skewer, but I have not done cakes larger than three tiers. Would it be a good idea to put a hole through the bottom of the board before you stack?


Kellien

k3lli3n Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 6:09pm
post #4 of 23

Yeah, what K8 said

lol

Kellien

mmhassa2 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 6:12pm
post #5 of 23


Quote by @-K8memphis on 9 minutes ago

" Any way to work my way from the bottom to the top?"

sure if you put a hole in the board first -- and i've done it after the tier was done but of course it's risky ;)

there's no time more safe than any other --it's just whatever you decide -- do you want to deliver it stacked -- your individual tiers could be pre-chilled then stacked anytime -- you don't have to wait until it's stacked to fridge them -- there's no right or wrong here -- there's 10,000 different ways to do it though ;)

your straws are all cut the exact same length right? not cut to the height of the top of the cake yes?

and i place mine where they will bear the weight of the tier above -- not super close to the perimeter of the cake above -- because if you have to scoot the cake a bit to center it you could lose a dowel or two


I do have holes made into the separating boards of the cake.  So might give it a try, wondering how to make sure tiers are all aligned?


Also could you please elaborate on the straw height part?  I always (while I do my standard 2 tiered 8" and 6" cakes) insert the straw and then trim off the access, so even if the cake isnt 100% leveled the straws supporting it is.  Am I wrong?

-K8memphis Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 6:21pm
post #6 of 23

YES you are wrong -- you insert one straw, mark it, pull it out, wipe it off careful to not wipe off the mark, and make all the straws that same length so the cakes will sit level and stable and secure -- 

you can also use one of these too, a sewing gauge, to measure -- the little dooey there slides up and down to mark it for you --

http://www.amazon.com/Dritz-620-Sewing-Gauge/dp/B000YZ8N46



-K8memphis Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 6:32pm
post #7 of 23

this might not be so important with straws but if you get into larger dowel i slide them back and forth like this with a ruler so i can be assured they will hold the cake steadily -- that the cuts are even -- i use hedge shears to snip them off or a pvc pipe cutter -- see if these pictures work -- slide them back & forth with a ruler to be sure they are all nice & even steven --

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1163276226/gallery_19538_3873_9928.jpg

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1163276226/gallery_19538_3873_22248.jpg

"When you put in your dowel, put them under the weight of the cake you will place there--like if you were balancing that cake on your fingertips--kind of place your dowel there--not on the far outside perimeter of the cake--put two circles of dowel if necessary--put enough dowel to hold the weight--nobody was ever sorry they used to much dowel.

And they have gotten very creative with dowel—I do use drinking straws sometimes—but I will often reinforce them with bamboo skewers too. So much easier to deal with than wooden dowel. Also there are stress free stainless steel set ups that cost so much it would stress me to use them but some people swear by them. And another kind they have now is a nice white dowel with a screw in the top that you can dial up or down to match the height you need—very nice—I found some in the drawer and used them in the groom’s cake—I loved not cutting freaking dowel!!!

mmhassa2 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 7:20pm
post #8 of 23

I've been following this method and now a bit confused.  :S




-K8memphis Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 7:22pm
post #9 of 23

do it anyway you want -- 

mmhassa2 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 7:27pm
post #10 of 23


Quote by @-K8memphis on 3 minutes ago

do it anyway you want -- 

Didn't mean to offend you, just confused as there seems to be many ways of stacking.  Just trying to learn the reasons behind it. :)

-K8memphis Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 8:10pm
post #11 of 23

oh i'm not offended -- didn't meant to sound so abrupt -- but seriously these are all your decisions -- cakes set on uneven dowel will be more apt to fall -- 

if you're stacking two tier cakes it's not that big a deal to do it right

Pastrybaglady Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 8:11pm
post #12 of 23

The reason to cut the straws exactly the same length is so the cake will sit completely level.  If you cut to the cake it's probably fine if it's just going to stay in your house on a table, but if the cake has to travel and be carried from place to place even a little instability can result in big problems.

rachelliz1 Posted 19 Apr 2015 , 6:45am
post #13 of 23

I agree with above comment to stack sooner. This way you then have the security of knowing it's done & that it's sits nicely with no concerns for all that time before delivery. But it depends if you want to deliver it stacked or not? 

Frank68 Posted 19 Apr 2015 , 1:13pm
post #14 of 23

mmhassa2 - I've been stacking cakes for a long time and switched over to SPS support the first time I had a problem with dowels/straws in multi-tiered cakes. I know it's too late for you at this point but look into it for the next time around. I deliver all of my cakes stacked (I also use a CakeSafe unit). It's practically impossible for an SPS stack to fail and you can stack well in advance. There's also not having to worry about delivery, that's a big plus for me in NY. It does cost a bit more than the wooden dowels but I'll take that over the anxiety. 

As far as the middle skewer, use a pencil sharpener on your dowel so it almost looks like a spear. The dowel will go right in. If you don't have a pencil sharpener then just use a sharp knife to whittle the tip into a spike, works just as well.


Best of luck, 

Frank

mmhassa2 Posted 20 Apr 2015 , 4:22pm
post #15 of 23

Thanks for all the amazing support! I followed the advice from here, slowly/carefully stacked the cake and drove it to the venue and it survived! Only scare I had was it was super windy while I was taking it from the car to the venue and it almost gave me a heart attack! lol 


Well I can finally say I've done my first 3 tiered cake! 


https://scontent-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/t31.0-8/s960x960/1523067_1564209803845406_4336131936522264686_o.jpg

-K8memphis Posted 20 Apr 2015 , 4:25pm
post #18 of 23

oh that's gorgeous -- you didn't have it in a box? boxes are our friend

mmhassa2 Posted 20 Apr 2015 , 4:27pm
post #19 of 23

I did have it in a cake box with the front covered in saran wrap and then on a costco cardbox as it's easier to handle the weight.  It was just super super windy especially at the condo lobby.  The bride loved the cake so that makes me happy :)

-K8memphis Posted 20 Apr 2015 , 4:35pm
post #20 of 23

i love it too it's gorgeous -- you did a great job -- 

-K8memphis Posted 20 Apr 2015 , 4:45pm
post #21 of 23

wind, rain, bird drops, etc. all reasons why i use these for my cakes -- i  tape up the top and cut open the front so i can put the cake in & out that way -- most importantly it protects from the sun which can wreak havoc with food coloring not to mention the whole melting thing -- it insulates a cold cake for hours --

http://www.walmart.com/ip/20551361?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227015960105&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=40940422592&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=78877422632&veh=sem

-K8memphis Posted 20 Apr 2015 , 4:45pm
post #22 of 23

plus you can grasp it better

mmhassa2 Posted 20 Apr 2015 , 5:59pm
post #23 of 23

Thanks I'll have to order a few for the next time I in the US and pick them up!  Of yes and you're SO right about protecting it from the sun, funny enough yesterday while my brother drove there were times I had to hold a newspaper around the cake to protect it from the sun! LOL  Im quite new to this cake business as until a few months ago I was only baking for family so always learning new things and this forum has been a blessing!  

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