Delivering A Wedding Cake - Do I Finish It There?

Decorating By lallathinm Updated 26 May 2015 , 10:47pm by Magic Mouthfuls

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lallathinm Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 3:44pm
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I am delivering a wedding cake for a wedding. This cake is 3 butter cream tiers, and it will need a piping design between each tier to cover the seams. I assume I will have to finish the cake on the spot? I don't know of another way because It seems like it would be impossible to deliver a 3 tier cake all put together. I have attached a picture similar to what I will be doing: (I copied this from the gallery! It is such a beautiful cake!) Do you all spend time at the wedding finishing cakes?

24 replies
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jenidot Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 3:48pm
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I am by NO means an expert on this as I have never done a wedding cake before, but when I took my cake decorating class I was told that you can transport up to a 3 tiered finished cake. I guess you would just need someone close by to spot it! But just make sure you dowel everything really well and take extra icing for any uh-ohs.

Hope this helps,


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indydebi Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 3:55pm
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You have to consider the weight of the cake. Those are very very heavy! And even if you do manage to be able to lift it and carry it long distances .... ("Turn left at the first hall, go to the very end, then right, then ALL THE WAY to the end to the banquet room." Yeah .... happened to me this past weekend!) .... AND if you have to open any doors, have someone with you .... no way you can hold a 3-tier cake in one hand while you try to open a heavy banquet room door.

I've only recently started transporting the cake partially transported, but 99% are trasnported separately and assembled/finished at the site.

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mcassada Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 5:45pm
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the last cake i delived was a 4 tier and i put it together before i took it there
if i had to do it over i would probably wait until i get there
i don't regreat doing it before, and it turned out great, i was just a nervous wreck!
i had someone to help me carry it in
my suggestion would be to finsih it there

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ddmckinney Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 5:53pm
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I always, always, do mine the same way. I put the bottom 2 tiers together and completely finish them. Then, when I get on site, I complete the stacking and then any borders or other decorations that may be needed.

I would never attempt to deliver the full thing assembled. I probably couldn't lift them by myself.

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leah_s Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 6:16pm
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I will sometimes take a three tier already finished. I pretty much always take the bottom two stacked and finished. But as you all know by now, I use SPS and I swear you can take as much stacked and finished as you can lift and carry.

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msmeg Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 6:50pm
post #7 of 25

I would transport that cake finished and have no problem I usually take my husband along to help We first go see where the cake is to go then bring the cake in... I will bring a cart if it is a heavy cake.

I do NOT use wood dowels one because I prefer the plastic seperator plates so I can not use a center dowel and every mis hap I have ever had it was using wood dowels

I use the plastic hollow dowels by wilton they are much more stable as long as they are cut level.

the wideness of that cake makes it more stable but if you use the ntall narrow cakes with only 2 inch difference in each pan it is far less stable and will sway.

one disclaimer if I know I will be doing a gravel road I ask them to have a seperation It takes me too long to place all the gumpaste flowers to finish on site.

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leah_s Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 7:20pm
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If you like the Wilton plastic hollow dowels, then you'd love SPS! It is way more stable!

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Danielle5754 Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 7:47pm
post #9 of 25

What is SPS?

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divaofcakes Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 7:51pm
post #10 of 25

Please share... what is SPS??

I never deliver a wedding cake fully finished; primarily because I rarely have anyone helping me deliver. I fishish at the reception site and haul all my tools and extra icing with me just in case.

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CakesByBabycakes Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 7:53pm
post #11 of 25

Ditto, what is SPS?

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tcakes65 Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 7:56pm
post #12 of 25

Same here, what is SPS? I always assemble the cake at the reception site and pipe the borders there. It really doesn't take long, and I'd rather be safe than sorry. It would be way too nerve-wracking for me to transport two or three tiers stacked.

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abbey Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 7:59pm
post #13 of 25

When I was reading this post thought I had been missing out on something but I see i am not the only one what is SPS??

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tonedna Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 8:02pm
post #14 of 25

well..If you have a good support system the cake can travel already stacked..I used the round cardboard or plastic supports and then put at least 2 dowels running from top to bottom of the cakes...All my cakes travel like this...Biggest issue is weight icon_redface.gif gotta be strong to carry them..and if the cake is one with syrup and is to soft it can be an issue..Other than that i never had a problem with it! thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gif

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melvin01 Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 8:08pm
post #15 of 25

I don't usually have help in delivering cakes, so I always finish them onsite. Doesn't take long to pipe the borders and less stress when driving to have them separate. I sometimes put the top tiers together as oppose to the heavy bottom tiers, but it depends on what I can lift (I am in no way a delicate flower, but cake gets HEAVY!).

I usually get to the reception hall 30-45 minutes early to complete the assembly.

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SLK Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 8:09pm
post #16 of 25

I used to always deliver 3 tiered stacked completed cakes with no problems - however, I've had two disasters since September- one a fondant 3 tier cake and one a 2 tier bc cake.

I'm scared silly now to stack and drive. I will only deliver in pieces and finish upon arival (at least till I've gotten over the smashed cake trauma.)

My opinion is to better be safe than sorry - finish there - especially if you only have to add the border.

Good luck.

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terrylee Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 8:26pm
post #17 of 25

I too usually don't have a is much less worrysome even with a small 2 layer cake to travel separate and assemble at site...... let along the weight issue...... I use the separater plate and dowel system so I can't put a dowel thru the center.....

happy decorating

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SCS Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 8:26pm
post #18 of 25

I've only done one 3 tiered wedding cake, so can only go from that experience. I completed the cake, and stacked it before I left the house. However, I knew the journey, and it was only about a 20 minute drive.

Is your journey going to be straightforward, as that may be a deciding factor for you about delivering it stacked/unstacked?

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Elizabeth19 Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 8:28pm
post #19 of 25

My 2 cents:
I use a great support system (SPS) but still do not trasport fully assembled, I trasport 2 tiers stacked at most. You have to think of the other drivers on the road (which I learned the hard way with a 3 tier). It took me an hour and a half to get the cake put back together after a nice young driver cut me off and I had to literally slam on the brakes to avoid hitting him. The cake didnt like that too much icon_sad.gif Could have been a total disaster, it could have been beyond repair. Its just not worth the risk since it only takes a few extra minutes to add borders and final details.

Good luck!

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2508s42 Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 8:34pm
post #20 of 25

If a cake is 3 tiers, I will take someone with me and take it completely finished. If it is more, then I will finish it there. I use dowels and a center dowel. I also wrap my cardboard circles with clear contact paper or saran wrap at least so they dont saturate and I put a same size peice of wax paper between the teir underneath. If it is a pillar contruction...of course, assemble there.

I THINK sps is a plate and plastic leg system that holds together with little grooves. they are hidden inside the cake. Check out this web site. I was wondering if anyone had used them??

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Elizabeth19 Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 8:52pm
post #21 of 25

BakeryCrafts makes the SPS system, they are plastic plates that "lock into the legs underneath (hopefully Im making sense icon_smile.gif ). The only thing I dont like about SPS is you cant cut the legs to size so I use the wilton hollow plastic dowels instead.
Another benefit, you can pull the dowels a few inches above the cake to set the next cake on it, the weight of the cake will push them back in, then you dont have to worry about finger marks when you stack. Ok, one more benefit, cakes are always centered since you mark the leg holes with the plate that will be sitting on it. Love it, Im a convert thanks to Leah (you rock!).

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DEBBIE157 Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 9:08pm
post #22 of 25

I went to to look at the SPS (single plate separator) but it says they only sell to businesses, not individuals.

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susies1955 Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 9:15pm
post #23 of 25

You can get the SPS's here:
Start with page 5!

Item #: BC GC4S Price: $3.60
The plates are underneath the columns.


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elvisb Posted 31 Oct 2007 , 4:34am
post #24 of 25

I put my tiers togethre after getting to the reception hall. I feel much more secure making several trips in with very light boxes as opposed to a 50# cake and try not to drop it.

I even had one bride this summer who was taking pictures while I was setting up. She asked if I would mind if the photographer would get a few shots for her scrapbook of me setting up. She was so excited to see it get put together. She even sent me copies of the proofs. I happened to have my new shirt with my logo on that day so I plan on using them to show off at bridal fairs.

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Magic Mouthfuls Posted 26 May 2015 , 10:47pm
post #25 of 25

I assemble at home - so I can take lots of nice pictures against the white photo backdrop.  

I use a central hollow dowel (ie bubble tea straw or poly dowel) down through all 3 tiers for transport stability.  The boards under middle & top tier were predrilled dead centre to allow the dowel to pass through down to the bottom tier and sit flat in its board.  The top tier is added with the central dowel in place (ie lifted over and lined up with the hole and then dropped ontop.  If the top tier needs to be perfect on top,then the central dowel is shorter than the height of the tier.  If the top tier has decoration on top that will hide the dowel, then I do the central dowel last.

I live on a farm, so drive lots of bumpy gravel roads over cattle grids and rough erosions, with my 3 tier cakes before I get to the bitumen highway.  I drive extremely slow.  Yes, I am stressed, but so far, no issues at all.

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