How Do You Seperate Tiers Without Destroying Them?

Decorating By zespri Updated 17 Dec 2010 , 11:28am by indydebi

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zespri Posted 17 Dec 2010 , 1:11am
post #1 of 4

I watched the kitchen staff cut up my beautiful cake last night at the wedding I attended. She started by lifting the top tier up a little bit, and jabbing the knife inbetween until she could life it up. It completely demolished the top of the cake beneath it, it was a mess. Then she did the same with the next cake, which wasn't quite so bad, but still took off the entire top layer of fondant from the cake below.

What did she do wrong? Or is this normal?

I did use some royal icing daubs on the top of the dowels to help secure the cake, but as I understand it that is common, so surely it wouldn't destroy the cake?

The person cutting up the cake pretty much butchered it, I feel certain it was her first time cutting a cake, especially as the first piece she cut was a wedge....I have no idea how she thought cutting it into enormous wedges was going to feed the entire party. Someone else had to tell her to cut it like a grid. But I've never cut a cake either, so I didn't know what to tell her when I saw her hacking into my lovely creation.

How do you seperate the tiers without destroying them?

3 replies
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Kitagrl Posted 17 Dec 2010 , 1:23am
post #2 of 4

With a little royal icing she should have been able to just, with a long knife or server, lifted the tier just fine. Sounds like she was just being careless.

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zespri Posted 17 Dec 2010 , 1:26am
post #3 of 4

I would have guessed she would have slipped an angled spatula underneath there, and pried it up. So you're saying she should have maybe slipped the spatula underneath, then flicked a knife in there to break the royal icing?

She really butchered it in the worst way. I took photos because I could't believe what she was doing and wanted to show my friend, but I guess attachments still don't work on here. You would be horrified if you saw the mess, I bet it's worse than you can imagine!

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indydebi Posted 17 Dec 2010 , 11:28am
post #4 of 4
Originally Posted by zespri

How do you seperate the tiers without destroying them?

Slip a spatula under the tier.
that's it.there should be no need to dig into the bottom tier; no reason the spatula should damage the bottom tier.

During the consultation, one question I always asked was "Who is cutting the cake?" No matter WHO they said was cutting it, even if they said "the caterer", I asked "Have they ever CUT a weddign cake before?" because I've run into more than one caterer who said they would not cut a wedding cake or "yeah we'll cut them but we don't really know what we're doing so we dont' like to." Find out so you can educate them, which leads me to my second point I need to make here ......

Originally Posted by zespri

But I've never cut a cake either, so I didn't know what to tell her when I saw her hacking into my lovely creation.

And let me warn you, I'm about to step on my soapbox .... again ... on this one.

This is why I believe EVERY caker MUST cut 2-3 of their own wedding/tiered cakes a year. How can you proclaim to be the cake expert when you have no idea, no experience in how to expertly cut a cake? "here's your cake ... good luck in figuring out how to eat it?" is not a great sale tactic.

If you don't know how to cut a cake, then step away from the table and say nothing because you have no credibility, no expertise, no competence to register a vote in how they cut it.

It doesn't have to be a tiered cake .... I cut my grandchildren's birthday cakes the same way I cut a wedding cake, so I will assume any caker has ample opportunity to practice cutting a cake "the wedding cake way."

And I've never "glued" my upper tiers to the dowels with royal icing. it never crossed my mind to do so because I've just never (never!) found it necessary. I'm willing to bet this was part of the problem. If I were cutting someone else's cake and couldn't remove the upper tier/boards from teh bottom tier because they were glued together, I would have been totally pi$$ed and may have ended up iwth some "not pretty" lower tiers, too.

This is another reason I promote getting experience cutting your own cake: So one can see how the way its assembled affects the way its cut. I've run into more than one assembly that gave me a headache and a half at the cutting end, and while I was cutting it, I was thinking "If they only had any ANY idea of the PITA factor they are building into this thing!" icon_mad.gif

Click on the link in my signature on how to cut a wedding cake. Print this off and give it to every client if you have to.

Here is a pic of me cutting my son's cake. It was a BC cake (not fondant) and you can see it was disassembled with no damage to the lower tiers:
and this one .... no damage:

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