Originally Posted by kelleym
I only ever had one cake fall/partially collapse. It was a 3-tier wedding cake, torted and filled. It was supported with wooden dowels, there was a long wooden dowel through the middle and into the board, the reception distance was very short, and I did drive like I had a baby velcro'd to the roof
. I used plenty of dowels, but the cake was very dense, and the 3 layers of filling made it super-heavy. I think its weight just pulled those skinny wooden dowels to the side when I turned in the car.
Since then I use the Wilton hollow plastic dowels or SPS, which is outstanding as long as you can get your cakes exactly 4" tall. For a heavy cake, my personal opinion is that you need support with more diameter and stability than the standard wooden dowel.
Well said, Kelleym!!! That's the very reason we don't use wooden dowels.
Circles are the strongest geometric shape and columns are probably the most effective building element. Thicker columns are more stable than narrow columns. When columns fail, it's usually because of instability...not cutting the dowel (column) correctly.
When wooden dowels (narrow columns) are inserted into a cake the displaced cake ends up being pushed to the side of the dowel and also a portion of cake ends up under the dowel...because the dowel is not sitting flat on the cake board you end up with a degree of instability. If you pull the dowel out of the cake to remove the cake stuck to the bottom of the dowel...you have now broken the "seal" and when you reinsert the dowel you'll have some "wiggle" room...again, a degree of instability.
Wilton plastic dowels or SPS are wider hollow columns. Wider columns (dowels) are more stable and because they are hollow, the displaced cake has a place to go....making them a better option for cake doweling.
The Wilton plastic dowels are readily available and are easily cut with a pair of pvc cutters....They are more expensive than wooden dowels...add the extra expensive into the cost of the cake.
Off my soap box....and as always, JMHO
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