Hello, can anyone give me advice on their preferred way of attaching tiers of large cakes.
Do any of you put a support through the entire cake so it goes right the way through each tier. And how?
Or do you just attach each tier on top of each other. And what do you use? Royal icing? Or something else.
I'm just looking for suggestions on how to make cakes more secure for delivering etc. I would just like to know what the best way of making sure they're not going to move anywhere!
Looking forward to reading any advice and tips from you!
The best way to make sure cakes are safe for delivery is to make sure to deliver them when they're cold from the fridge. I only use wooden dowels and have no problems, but I deliver everything cold and I'll finish stacking tiers on-site if the cake is more than three tiers tall.
and test your recipes to be sure your cakes are at their best after they come out of the fridge back to room temp -- not all recipes bounce back --
but yes like cc said deliver cold and usually the only time I use a center dowel is when I do a topsy turvy or tilt-a-whirl type cake where construction is more involved than for regular horizontal tiers --
and a good corrugated cardboard box to seal the cake in for delivery for climate control and easier delivery where you can hug a box but not a cake kwim --
in hot weather secure a freezer pack inside and the cake will keep for hours w/o air conditioning for a stress free delivery
Thanks Julia 1812!
I swear by SPS. I used to have instructions on how to use it here on CC, but all the Stickys have been deleted. Sad.
Anyway, check out youtube for instructions. You just build the cost of the system into the price fo the cake. The system is meant to be disposable, so the customer/caterer just tosses it. It's sturdy, cheap and really easy to use. I've used it on 2 tier cakes and up to 7 tier cakes. I'm not sure there's an upper limit. Try it! I think you'll like it!
PS, I've never delivered a cold cake in all my years. But if it works for you, that's fine too.
I use a combination of Boba Tea Straws (some places they're called bubble tea, not really sure what the proper term is) and a wooden dowel through the center of the cake. While plastic, the straws have a high load-bearing capacity due to being hollow. They're usually about 1/2" in diameter. As long as they are inserted straight down, they have a large, secure area of contact with the cake board. I use 4 straws to support a 6" tier, 6 straws for an 8", and so on. I usually measure them at just under the height of the cake, maybe 1/8" less.
For the wooden dowel, I base the diameter off of how tall the cake is. For a two or three tier, cake, I just use a 1/4", but for larger tiered cakes I've gone as large as 3/4". I have an electric pencil sharpener that I use only for the dowels. I sharpen the dowel to a point, and then using a level, I align it to the center and drive it down through the cake with a twisting motion, pushing it all the way through the bottom tier's board and into the cake drum.
I transported an assembled six-tier cake over 160 miles this way. Part of the journey was on I-81 (super congested interstate) and the other part country roads with lots of hills and sharp turns. It made there completely sound.
I also have a non-slip pad that rests in the trunk space of my car, so there's less chance of slipping if I have to brake suddenly (yay DC metro traffic.)
I've heard great things about SPS as well, but I purchased straws and dowels in bulk a while back, so I haven't had need to try it yet.
I always refrigerate my cakes, but I would think that, especially in summer, you would want them cold. I don't know how much of my A/C makes it to the very back of my wagon.
Also, some people like to transport the tiers separated and assemble at the site. I started by doing that, but I have an extremely high level of performance anxiety. If someone watches me trying to stack the cake, it reminds me so much of when I still worked as an RN. Trying to get an IV line on a kid, and the parents and forty million concerned family members staring intently at you while you work. NOOOPE! No, thank you lol.
I use SPS plates. You can get them at www.bakerycrafts.com I stack my cakes and refrigerate them. 4 hours prior to my delivery time I place them in a large cardboard box to let them warm up slowly. They are still cold when I leave to deliver but this also allows my fondant cakes to warm up enough so that they don't sweat and firm enough for transporting and by the time the cake is served it's room temperature and perfect for serving. Oh and yes I too use the non skid pads to place my cake box on.
I use a wooden central dowel that is pre-attached to the wooden/mdf base board. Make a hole in the board for each tier just slightly bigger than the width of the central dowel before you place the cake on it. Then you ice the individual tiers. place some royal icing on the base then slide bottom tier over the central dowel to the base. Use thinner dowels to dowel each tier and then repeat with each tier using royal icing between the tiers to secure it (that is if you are using fondant).