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stacked weddding cake shifting during delivery to wedding

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I was commissioned to prepare a stacked wedding cake with the bottom tier having lemon curd, the middle layer having raspberry filling and the top tier with buttercream. Even though there was a center dowel as well as supportt dowels on each tier, the cake shifted upon delivery. Did I put to much filling in each layer or what? The cake was beautiful and I spent toooooo many hours on it, because I couldn't get the thing from shifting from the get go. Please send any advice to prevent future mishaps. Thanks!
post #2 of 17
I know a lot of people transport cakes already stacked, but I never do that. I ALWAYS transport each layer in an individual box and stack on-site. Call me paranoid, but transporting a stacked cake makes me nervous. icon_surprised.gif
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post #3 of 17
was your cake warm? warm cakes are much more likely to shift. transport your tiers cold, and it should help prevent that.

sometimes i transport assembled, sometimes unassembled (depends on size, design, etc). but i always keep my cakes cold. as they sit at the reception they'll warm up to room temp and be ready for guests to enjoy.
"Don't let the hand you hold, hold you down"
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"Don't let the hand you hold, hold you down"
-anonymous


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post #4 of 17
I agree, I never transport assembled. I'm to accident prone!!!
Let go of the past, grasp the future!
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Let go of the past, grasp the future!
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post #5 of 17
I just about always transport assembled(as long as Im able to pick it up)
but I always transport everything(even fondant) ice cold.At least 24 hours
refrigerated......................I dont understand why people dont refridgerate their cakes??? icon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gif
post #6 of 17
I had almost this exact thing happen to me back in April - 3-tiered wedding cake, bottom tier with raspberry filling (3 layers torted), middle tier and top tier with 3 torted layers of lemon curd. It was properly doweled and center-doweled (I even put in 2 center dowels!) and it shifted and partially collapsed en route. I think those fillings were just so heavy it caused the whole thing to shift. Now I never travel with more than 2 tiered stacked at a time, and I switched from those skinny wooden dowels to the hollow plastic dowels that Wilton makes -- they seem to make it much more stable and secure.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnniekake

......................I dont understand why people dont refridgerate their cakes??? icon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gif



Probably because many people don't have the extra fridge space.

But I am with AJsGirl, here. I PREFER to transport separate, then stack onsite. It makes for a sturdier setup.

That being said, I have, in the past, delivered some cakes pre-stacked. I don't know that chilling vs not chilling makes a difference. What I have found DOES make a difference, though, is the support system I use.

I used to just use good ol' 1/4" dowels. You know, the kind sold specifically for supporting tiered cakes. But the larger the cake, the more weight that is pushing down on those dowels. Any chance that I may have an ever-so-slightly-off-straight dowel cut, coupled with a bumpy ride (whether due to road conditions, a "tremor" in the vehicle, or whatEVER) can make for a shift, even on a small (3-tier) cake.

I now use the hollow plastic supports sold by Wilton (I think) in my local supplier's shop. For any cake bigger than 10" across, it gets those hollow dowels. Yes, I have to still cut them accurately, but the fact that there is a wider area for the pressure to apply to, makes for a sturdier cake.

Also, I use a pretty thick center-post dowel (anywhere from 3/8" to 5/8") that I sharpen in an electric pencil sharpener that I use ONLY for cake dowels, which also helps.

There are other types of support systems, but in the event nothing else has to be returned to me, why take the chance that my expensive support system gets tossed after cutting the cake? The hollow dowels are the way to go in my book.

HTH,

Odessa
The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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post #8 of 17
Could you use a little less filling in your cakes? The amount of filling might be causing the instability. I've started using less filling and I'm happier with the look and taste of my cakes. AND I'm not having to fuss with the dams to hold it in. Just a thought.

I always transport each tier in a seperate box/container too. I'd rather take the time to assemble on site than risk having to do big repairs because of problems enroute. Also, I can't imagine having to carry around a stacked cake. It's been bad enough to put one together and then carry it outside or another room for set up. They can weigh a ton, ya know?
"Life's tough, pilgrim. It's even tougher if you're stupid!" John Wayne
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"Life's tough, pilgrim. It's even tougher if you're stupid!" John Wayne
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post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJsGirl

I know a lot of people transport cakes already stacked, but I never do that. I ALWAYS transport each layer in an individual box and stack on-site. Call me paranoid, but transporting a stacked cake makes me nervous. icon_surprised.gif



DITTO! It took only one "accident" for me to never, ever do it again. It doesn't take too long to assemble tiers and maybe pipe a few rows of borders on-site and the peace of mind travelling with separate tiers in the car over bumpy roads/winding bends/traffic jams is SOOO worth it!! thumbs_up.gif
post #10 of 17
I have a question and it may be dumb, but there are so many opinions about delivery.
What about a topsy turvey cake do you deliver it stacked and if you don't , do you assemble it to make sure it works and then unassemble to deliver?
post #11 of 17
I transport most of my wedding cakes unstacked, because the roads are too hilly and curvy where I am and accidents are always happening with people pulling out onto a busy road, etc.


It does sound like your filling may have been too thick, especially with non buttercream fillings, things can just get too "slippy".

What I prefer to do, is to torte all of my cakes, then put a thin layer of filling instead of 1 thicker one. Works especially well with sleeved fillings, and no bulges.

I use my Agbay to torte all of my layers, my finished tiers are exactly 4" high, I then use the Bakery Craft SPS (Single Plate System) to stack my cakes. I hate dowel rods, and this system has NONE. Once you try this system, I promise you will NEVER go back go dowel rods.

Each plate does have a plastic peg that sticks up so you can prepunch a small hole in your cake board and the cake will stay in place if you prefer to travel with it stacked. No center dowel rod to go through the middle.

I did put this system to a pretty good test one time. It made it on a 3 hour drive and I told hubby to pretend there was not cake in the trunk. We slammed on brakes, took the curves at regular speeds, went over potholes, etc. The 3 tier cake stayed stacked. But I did have bulges, mostly because I was in such a hurry (and this was just a test cake), that I didn't torte and didn't let my layers settle overnight before icing, it was litrally a last minute cake.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimkait

I have a question and it may be dumb, but there are so many opinions about delivery.
What about a topsy turvey cake do you deliver it stacked and if you don't , do you assemble it to make sure it works and then unassemble to deliver?



My preference on these is to travel with it stacked but dowelled to within an inch of its life! And driving awfully slowly .........

Odessa
The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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post #13 of 17
I always deliver my cakes stacked. I use the wilton plastic dowel rods. I like them because of the diameter and they are very sturdy. I also stake each cake down before I place another on top with a couple or more bamboo skewers. I always do 2 center rods and I leave them sticking out of the cake like handles for the journey. I cut them once we get there and put the topper, or flowers or whatever on. Even with our terrible Michigan roads I have never had a problem.

It does sound like the filling caused your slipping. When did you stack your cake? If you stacked it a then left right out that may have contributed to the slip. The cake hadnt settled. I liked to have my cakes tiered the night before. 8 hours or so. I read that a long time ago I dont remember where.
"Hands to work, hearts to God."-amish quote
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"Hands to work, hearts to God."-amish quote
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post #14 of 17
Ok I have a question...... I have only made one tiered cake...and I am supposed to make another next weekend. here is my question....For those who travel with cakes (that have BCI) stacked: Do you decroate your cakes before or after you stack them? Just wondering, b/c I decorated my 2 tier before I placed it on top and I put finger prints in it but was able to smooth it out....but I am wondering if I should decorate after I place on top of the other cake?

Thanks for any input
Autumn

Shyanne Autumn 4/18/05
Don't worry about tomorrow never coming, because it is already tomorrow in Austrial!
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Autumn

Shyanne Autumn 4/18/05
Don't worry about tomorrow never coming, because it is already tomorrow in Austrial!
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post #15 of 17
A stacked wedding cake is the heaviest to move and transport. I always stack and finish on site.
I have heard using pvc pipes work (the smallest pvc pipe) have not tried it.
Happy baking and decorating,
Chef Angie
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