Questions About A Stacked Cake?

Decorating By firstof9 Updated 30 Aug 2008 , 7:24pm by firstof9

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firstof9 Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 5:37pm
post #1 of 7

Hi Everyone! I have been put in charge of making a anniversary cake for my grandparents 50th. Anyway, the cake I will be making will need to serve around 40 people. I am fairly confident in making, stacking, and decorating the cake, but I have a few questions. First of all what size dowl should I use? Second do I decorate the cake assembled or dissesmbled also when decorating do I work from the top down, bottom up, or does it matter? Third, what is the easiest and safest way to transport and assemble the cake and what should I store any finished cakes in so that they are ready for travel? Also I know that my bottom cake board should be a heavier in order to better support the cake, what should I use? Oh, one more thing, I was thinking of using a 6", 8", and a 10" cake pans would this be enough cake to feed 40 people, and would these sizes work together? Wow, that was a lot of questions! Hope that wasn't too overwhelming. I didn't realize till I sat down and started typing how many little questions I had. Thanks so much!


6 replies
deliciously_decadent Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
deliciously_decadent Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 9:42pm
post #2 of 7

ok! firstle a 10"8"6" will feed 53 desert portions (the 10" serves 30 the 8" 15 and the 6" 8 -well in my portion sizes that is!!) next use cake cards at the base of each of your cakes you should be able to get these from cake deco or craft shops. dowels need to be about 6mm diameter cut to the exact height of your decorated cake (I always wait until i decorate then insert one it the middle mark it and cut the rest tro that size -if your dowels are different sizes the cake above will be on an angle!!)
next: use a heavy cake board or drum for the base so that when caried it wont buckle or bend under the weight -you will be surprised how heavy it ends up!
I always transport my cakes assembled and if you are concerned you can use a central dowel which is a long dowel placed through the middle of all tiers but i only use these in cakes above 4 cakes high. if you glue each tier to the one below with a combination of fondant balls dipped in a bit of water and thick RI (the fandant sticks it in place lightly while the RI has time to dry) it shouldn't gp anywhere. I then get a packing box big enough place some non slip matting at the bottom and carefully lower in the cake, if it is really heavy or highly decorated i cut down the front panel of the box slide in the cake and tape the sides back up.
as for decorating before of after stacking is both a personal preference and also depends on what you are doing. cakes with patch work and stripes etc are easier decorated separately but doing borders or flowers etc do it stacked so you don't break anything when stacking and also so your design is even.
If it is a fondant cake you can just store it in the transport box in a drk cool (not cold) place like a cupboard -keep out of direct sunlight when possible.
hope this helped let me know if you have any questions!!

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becklynn Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 10:00pm
post #3 of 7

I was going to post a response to but thanks to adatay - I agree with her instructions - that's the way I do mine. Especially that non-stick matting - that stuff is great for transporting cakes!
A member here on CC (sugarshack) has some great DVD's. The one she did called "Successful Stacking" helped me a lot! If you need more info on that just PM me. She uses those fat bubble tea straws instead of dowels for supports. I haven't had a chance to try them yet, but I did buy some from ebay.
Good luck!

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firstof9 Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 1:47am
post #4 of 7

Thanks so much! I can not tell you how much this helps me. I am a very detailed person and knowing more about what I need to do makes me feel so much better.


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cakemaker61 Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 10:51pm
post #5 of 7

Hi - I have a little different take on this subject. I always transport my cakes separately to the venue. It's much safer that way and the cakes don't settle as much as if they're already stacked. It's not that hard to assemble them there. I don't know what "cake cards" are as in the previous post. Each tier is on its own cardboard and I always place another cardboard on the lower tier same size as the one that will sit on it. That way, when assembling, it's so easy to just slide the upper tier on, using a pancake turner (heavy, one that won't bend) under one side and your hand under the other and it just goes right on. Then, pipe on your borders where the tiers meet together to cover up the cardboards.

For dowells, I use bubble tea straws ( which are big fat straws, and on the lower tiers I also put in another smaller straw. They work great and support very well without having to saw those wooden dowells. I did that for years and it was a big pain. If you choose to take the tiers separately, then there's no need for that long center dowell down through all the cakes after it's assembled. I get large boxes from one of those postal/storage places that range in sizes from 22x22x22 all the way down to 8x8x8. Just cut down one side for ease of getting the cake in, then tape it up and tape down the top flaps. That rubber shelf liner works great to put under the cakes as well as under the boxes to keep everything from sliding.

I'll transport a small two tiered cake already stacked if it's not going far, but not anything taller. Traffic is a huge consideration in doing it this way and you never know when you'll have to make a sudden stop etc. If your frosting dam isn't stiff enough inside the layers, then when the cakes are stacked ahead of time, there's more chance of that buldge showing where the layers come together, so that's another reason I don't deliver cakes already stacked. Good luck. If you have more questions, please email me directly. Dana [email protected]

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kakeladi Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 11:17pm
post #6 of 7

.......what size dowl should I use?.........
Use plastic drink straws. The ones you can get at fast food places like McDonald's are nice and fat. OR use the bubble straws mentioned.

........decorate the cake assembled or dissesmbled also when decorating do I work from the top down, bottom up, or does it matter?.......
I ice each tier 1st then depending on the style of decorating decorate each seperate. That way it doesn't matter if you work top down or buttom up. If you choose to stack before decorating (some prefere this so the decoration line up properly), then I suggest decorating bottom to top.

....... easiest and safest way to transport and assemble the cake.......
As others have mentioned it depends on how big the cake is and how far you have to transport. I have delivered 3 tiers already stacked about 30 miles (on well paved roads) w/o problems. But if the tiers are (as an example) 6, 8, 10 then the cake probably will be top heavy and can fall over in transport. If it is more like 14, 9 or 10 & 6, then it should be stable enough if you drive carefully.

.....what should I store any finished cakes in so that they are ready for travel?........
I make sure my car is well vacumned/cleaned; put down a clean sheet and transport as is - not boxed or anything IF it is already stacked. If transporting each tier & assembling on site, then you can box them as you would any cake.

.... bottom cake board... what should I use.......
Cake drums are greaticon_smile.gif But......NOT Wilton's!
Glue together 3 or 4 of the size cakeboards needed but make sure you have the 'cord' running in different directions so it strengthens it. That's the problem w/Wilton's .... they don't do that so they are not strong. Do you know what I mean about the cords? It's the lines of corrigation(sp?) - make them go as an X, +, etc.

....... 6", 8", and a 10" cake pans would this be enough cake to feed 40 ......
A 10"x4 yields 39 servings; an 8"x4 gives you 25 and a 6x3 should give you 10-12, so you should have plenty.

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firstof9 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 7:24pm
post #7 of 7

kakeladi and cakemaker 61, I can not thank you enough for your posts. I have heard of people transporting their cakes completely stacked without having any problems, but I will admit I was having my doubts. I will also be driving in a 15 passenger van so with a cake that will most likely be more top heavy as was mentioned above, I was not to sure about turning and stopping. So most likely I will transport it unstacked. Thanks again!


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