I'm making a 4 tier wedding cake and just wondered if anyone can tell me if I'm best to transport it stacked or assemble it at the venue?
I am not an expert at all on this as I am just starting with cakes. But I bring mine unstacked. I am too afraid of the what ifs and would rather take the extra time when I get there. Plus I worry about how heavy it would be to move a stacked cake.
I travel with all my cakes stacked. If your suporrt system is good enough there shouldn't be a problem.
So if you travel with the 4 tiers unstacked, do you put a dowel through the entire cake after assembling at the venue?
This is without SPS... just the cakes on cake boards.
Let's get you started out right in the world of stacked cakes.
Seriously, buy SPS.
We finish all of our cakes in the bakery, chill them thoroughly and take them already stacked. We delivered a 5, yes, 5 tiered cake yesterday. It was a half hour drive, and the bottom tier was a 14" cheesecake. We build our cake drums out of plywood. Two layers, the bottom layer the same diameter as the bottom of the cake, the top layer at least 5 inches wider than the bottom of the cake.
We always have a center mast in any cake taller than 3 tiers. (Learned this from Ron Ben-Israel) . It adds support. We also put big fat Wilton straws (the white ones) inside the cakes as supports, the legs of a table so to speak.
That 5 tier cake yesterday was not cold all the way since we were doing some last minute decorating, so we were a little nervous during the drive. It arrived just fine and everyone loved it.
Just remember, cold! cold! cold! Make room in your fridge and chill the cake overnight. The home refrigerators have less humidity in them so your fondant will be okay. If you are using only frosting, it will be okay too. The cake will have plenty of time to come to room temperature once it has been delivered.
Get the decorating done the day before! Seriously!
Put your cake in a box for the ride. You can get corrugated boxes at Staples or Office Depot. We have been met with wind and rain on some deliveries so all of our cakes are sealed up in their boxes when they go into the car. It also helps keep the cake cold. Sometimes we deliver a cake that will go into the walk-in at the venue if we are delivering early. Commercial refrigerators have a humidity level of about 90%, which will ruin the fondant. The box protects the cake in this circumstance.
Make sure your car has a flat, level place to transport the cake. Make a secure flat platform that you can put in or remove the back seats if you can. Whatever it takes. A person's lap is NOT the right place for a cake. Seatbelt it in if you need to.
Drive slowly, watch for bumps in the road. Plan on your trip as part of the process. We add an extra 15 minutes to all driving time.
Plan it all ahead of time. Give yourself a lot of extra time. Things always takes longer than expected.
And keep that cake cold!!!
Everyone has their own ways of doing things. I do not deliver cold cakes. In twelve years I think only two groom's cakes ever went in the fridge. And I only use SPS. Easy, cheap, sturdy. And cake drums. Again, easy, relatively cheap, sturdy. And generally speaking, I was taught not to box for delivery. The only problems in delivery we've ever had involved boxes. I don't like to complicate things.
Can someone fill me in on what cake drums are and also SPS? I think driving cakes anywhere is the scariest part of the whole experience. I want to take some of that stress away. Every time I take more precautions and do more supports but I still have issues in one way or another! I have orders coming out of my ears for two and three tiers starting this next weekend and I need advice quick!! Thank you!
I do box for delivery, it prevents cakes being rained on or having things fly into them! You have to make sure the box is sturdy, though. I use brown moving boxes, not cake boxes. I didn't box them for a long time, but it makes it easier in terms of knowing that if something falls onto the cake in transit the box will take the hit.
I assemble on-site for anything over three tiers. I refrigerate everything since it makes the tiers less likely to slide, plus the health department in Virginia kind of likes things to be refrigerated. If it's a four or five tier I'll stack the two bottom tiers, then put the top ones on at the site.
Can someone fill me in on what cake drums are and also SPS?
Cake drums are the thick boards that your bottom tier sits on. They are several layers of cake board that are compressed and glued together, with a decorative paper covering it. It is about 1/2" or so thick. They are premade. I buy them @ my cake supply store. I'm sure you can buy them online, too.
Look at leah_s signature line (she's a prior poster to this thread) for info on SPS.
I use SPS or the wilton stacking plates, sometimes cardboard and dowels. Really depends on the cake and how sturdy the actual cake is, and how far the delivery is, and what time of year... I know that's a lot of factors, but if I'm doing a white cake with fruit filling in the summer, it will get SPS, because I know it would move otherwise. But if it's a pound cake with buttercream filling in November, I might cardboard and wooden dowel.
But that aside, I deliver the majority cakes room temp and pretty much all fully assembled. I can carry up to about 200 servings assembled, and I don't do too many cakes larger than that, maybe just 2 a year. If you cannot carry your cake fully assembled, then you probably wouldn't want to deliver it that way.
I have a masonite delivery board that I put my cake board on it makes it easier for me to carry then hands on the cake board. And I lightly wrap all cakes with plastic wrap. It helps for rain, dust, light loose things. Of course if something bigger fell onto it, the plastic wouldn't help like a box would, but I've never had anything fall on them...