Sps I Really (Desperately) Need Some Reassurance!

Decorating By mmhassa2 Updated 10 Nov 2015 , 8:44pm by Nancylou

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mmhassa2 Posted 7 Nov 2015 , 7:37pm
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Sign...ok here it is. Using sps for the first time for a wedding tom. 

I made sure my cakes were just a tad higher than 4" but by the time I had added fondant somehow the final cake was a little under 4.5"

Now I inserted the 4" plate/legs into my 12" cake so I can rest the next 10" and then 8" and really not sure if the legs have reached all the way to the bottom.  I mean I've pushed it down as deep as I can and it feels flushed against the top of the cake, but I just dont know whats going on inside the cake (ha!). I'm feeling sick to my stomach with the idea that MAYBE the legs haven't reached the base of the cake and once I stack the next 2 tiers the entire thing will collapse. What do I do??? My plan is to stack the 10" at home on the 12" and stack the 8" at site....but imagine the main base isnt secured enough? What can I do? For the next cake I'l definetly get the 5" legs as I can always cover up the gap with the border but the idea of a floating support is making me want to crawl under a rock. :(

31 replies
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AmberNada Posted 7 Nov 2015 , 8:01pm
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I've never used sps myself but I have transported cakes stacked two high before and never had a problem. I would suggest securing the cakes to the cake box prior to transporting to keep it from sliding around and also making sure the cakes are good and chilled.  I have a similar stacking system that I have used and was not happy with the outcome of the cake. I just stick with dowel rods now. 

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Nancylou Posted 7 Nov 2015 , 8:12pm
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Do you happen to have any of the Wilton plastic dowels?  They fit perfectly into the SPS plates and are easily cut to size.  If not, you should be able to pick some up at your local cake or craft store.  Or, you might be able to use some bubble tea straws and slide them into the SPS pillars to make sure there is support all the way down to the cake board. 

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-K8memphis Posted 7 Nov 2015 , 8:16pm
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if you are not sure -- stack the whole thing  on site after delivery -- it's a no brainer with sps -- there's a certain amount of cake that squishes up under the pillar/dowel but no sense pushing your luck with all the extra jiggling that will be created while delivering -- no sense putting all the weight of the 10" bouncing around on there on the ride over -- go with your gut on this --

sure 5" pillars would be good -- or just shave a tad more off of each cake next time --

well another idea would be to cut a 10" circle of fondant off the top of the 12" cake -- but don't do that -- just stack on site you should be fine --

you got this -- it's gonna be ok

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mmhassa2 Posted 7 Nov 2015 , 8:24pm
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@K8memphis Thank you for the encouragement.  I really need it for the next 24 hours! Im just really really nervous. It's a family wedding and I'll be attending the wedding too.  So if this thing collapses I dont know what I would do. You'd think it'll be easier as its a family wedding but feel the pressure is actually 1000% MORE than doing it for a client. 

OK see I think maybe I should do what you suggested about cutting out the 10" circle. I have fondant scroll type border going around the tiers so stacking and have the border added to the 10" would mean less stress at the venue. But then again at this point I dont mind the extra stress of adding all the borders at the venue as long as the cake is secured. 

Should I remove the SPS from the 12" and slightly do the cut out and re-insert the 10" plate so it sits on the cake and then stack all tiers at the venue. 

I need the cake to stay put for approx 5-6 hours. 

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-K8memphis Posted 7 Nov 2015 , 8:47pm
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if you feel more secure yes -- but mark where you want to cut before you remove the plate -- you can scoop out a bit of icing and cake too for that matter if needed to get it perfectly flush --

in fact doing the cut before you remove the plate is the better idea -- you will encounter less stretch kwim -- and it will be the perfect size too -- i'm gonna say this first though -- i have a concern that the fondant might stretch or get weird so be sure your fondant is well set up and there's no question of it's full cooperation -- we don't want to create a monster trying to remove a little bug --

i totally get the extra added pressure of not only attending the event but for family too -- yeah i getcha for sure --

i think you will feel better if the cake is the right height for the pillars and you're only off a tad bit --and you can get there with just a little surgery, doctor mmhassa, go for it -- i'm right behind yah

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-K8memphis Posted 7 Nov 2015 , 10:19pm
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no wait -- leave the pillars in there no need to remove those -- just put the 10" on a cardboard circle and trace around it -- cut it out and use that as your guide to cut out the fondant -- seems more secure to use the plate or a cardboard on top to do the cut -- better to use the plate though so it all fits well

then in addition scoop out more icing and cake if needed to hit the height mark perfectly --

i know i kinda repeated myself but i didn't think i was very clear not that you didn't already know what to do :)

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mmhassa2 Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 12:46am
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I really appreciate all this advice from the bottom of my heart! <3 I stepped away from the cake for a few hours and took a nap! LOL And yes I was dreaming about cake disasters! :S

So I went in to try and remove the 10" plate, but its really in there for good. I guess since I pushed it in really well while the fondant was fresh its somehow attached to the fondant under it.  If I try to remove it it'll probably rip the fondant and event worse ruin the quilt work I did on it. Soooo I guess I'll take your advice and stack them all at the venue and really pray the entire night nothing happens?  I just keep picturing the cake disasters I've seen on this board and can literally picture my own cake being squeezed by the upper tiers. Such a scary thought! Well at this point I guess I have no other options then to hope the legs are touching the board and all will go well tomorrow.  Any other tips without having to remove the plate to somehow add stability to the bottom tier?  

I'll surely update this thread (please everyone pray for me!) tomorrow night after the wedding.  563e9b6fd338b.jpeg563e9b7139965.jpeg563e9b723c52e.jpeg

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-K8memphis Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 12:33pm
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i really think you're gonna be ok  -- you're under a half inch of overage -- the pillars do  collect some cake underneath there -- 

for next time -- you center the empty plate over the completed tier and mark the top with the feet -- remove the plate then place the pillars into there and then you will have no worries -- or if you already have the cakes on the plates -- put it on a sheet of parchment and mark the feet then use that to mark the top of the cake and place the pillars -- or when you buy the plates take a sheet of parchment and smush it down on the upturned plate so you have the perfect pattern placement of the feet ergo the pillars -- just store it with the sps --

here's a thought to ponder for this time -- if you took a paring knife and just made a few cuts straight down around the plate right up close 'it might help to relieve any potential pressure -- just through the fondant -- like four cuts at the north south east west points -- 

i doubt that 3/8 of an inch will be an issue -- you'll be ok and i'm praying for yah! been there done that -- but you got this -- hope you can relax and have a good time --  at least after they cut the cake huh -- for cakes like these -- and we've all had them -- i think i would like to use a combination machete/samurai sword -- rahr


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-K8memphis Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 12:54pm
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btw -- what kind of cake and filling is in there

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-K8memphis Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 1:15pm
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see if it was 3/8ths of an inch too tall before the fondant you'd be ok no worries if it's 3/8ths of an inch too tall after the fondant it could bulge -- I think i would remove that layer of fondant -- i'm so torn on this one --

i really think you'll be ok but to be sure you'll be ok I'd remove it -- I'd cut around the plate and lift it up and slide a spatula in there 

aghh this is a toughy!

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mmhassa2 Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 2:41pm
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I'm just feeling really sick and almost thinking of just dropping the cake and mot attending the wedding (which hubby thinks I'm crazy to even consider). 

So I'm bad with numbers and here's what I see. The plate system is 10cm high and my cake might be closer to 11.5 cm high. Does that make sense? I'm going by what the ruler is telling me now. 

I lightly used a exacto knife and went around the plate to remove it but it's really in there. So I gave up because if I attempt to get it out I'll ruin the fondant for sure. I'm seeing it like this...say the legs r not flush and will be pushed down once I stack. If the fondant around the plate is already cut would the weight just make the cake under the 10" sink in and make the legs touch the board? If so should I bring the cake to room temperature before stacking?  It's red velvet with vanilla swiss Meringue buttercream.

*Last edited by mmhassa2 on 8 Nov 2015 , 2:50pm
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leah_s Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 2:49pm
post #13 of 32

You can ease the end of a palette knife/spatula under the SPS plate in several places, giving it a tiny twist to begin to ease the plate up.  You'll have to do that numerous times, but you can get the plate out.  (Ask me how I know.)  You might not even have to take the plate all the way out - just ease it up so it's up in the air.  Then cut away the fondant and puch the plate back down.

You took the collars off the legs, right?  That usually gives you an extra 1/4" of height.  Doesn't seem like it would, but from experience, it does.

SPS is a fabulous system, but you do have to pay attention to height.  And remember there's a pillar pre-cut to 5" and also a 9" one.  I always keep all three (including the 4") on hand at all times.

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mmhassa2 Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 3:10pm
post #14 of 32

Ok in think I did this right this time!  I somehow  managed to get the plate removed all the way and took the fondant under it off but along with it came some top frosting. I used my leveler to get it leveled and it'sfairly leveled.yay! Now since the plate is directly on top of the frosting once the cake come to room temperature if there is still some leveling issue it'll correct itself? I'm just so scared of all this that at this point I don't still know if the leg touched the board.I mean it should since I measured the height but I really wish there just was a way to know! 

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mmhassa2 Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 3:16pm
post #15 of 32

Before stacking the tiers should I bring the 12" to room temperature so if there is a leg which didn't touch the bottom board it will from the weight of the upper tier and soft frosting?  

Also forgot to mention prior to inserting the legs the first time I did remove the cake in the hole with a bubble straw as I didn't want mushed up cake  stopping the legs from going all the way through.

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-K8memphis Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 4:53pm
post #16 of 32

i would stack it cold and let it come to room temp all together -- the legs are going to hit the plates from the weight of it all once it's all stacked -- now that you have removed the fondant you have enough height there you won't have to worry about it bulging from the weight of the cakes above -- just stack it you should be ok -- 

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mmhassa2 Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 4:57pm
post #17 of 32

Deep sign of relief! You ladies have no idea how much I apreciate all the valuable advice but more importantly the reassurance. I'm a emotional mess today because of this cake and praying all goes smoothly from this point on. Leaving the house in 2.5 hours for the 1 hour drive to the venue. Pray for me ladies! 

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-K8memphis Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 5:10pm
post #18 of 32

 you got it !  pray.png praying for lots of cake angels angel.png angel.png for you and your cake 

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-K8memphis Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 6:05pm
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thank you, leah

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mmhassa2 Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 9:25pm
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Just stacked the cake and left to get ready for the reception. Cake looks great and still praying nothing goes wrong in the next few hours. 563fbdc77fae1.jpeg

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-K8memphis Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 9:41pm
post #21 of 32

well it's absolutely gorgeous 


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leah_s Posted 9 Nov 2015 , 2:34pm
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mmhassa2 Posted 9 Nov 2015 , 2:43pm
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Ladies thank you thank you! It survived! I cant thank you both enough for the support! And I have to say despite the height issue, I LOVED using the SPS system...so stable and a breeze to work with.  This was my first time stacking a cake on site and it was sooo easy!

I do have some questions as I place an order for the 5" and 9" legs. Since the height of my cake isn't always perfect and I use borders on my cake is it best to simply remove the fondant under the plate as I did to be extra careful for future use?  I ask as I'm always super nervous and when even working on my small 2 tiered cakes I use bubble straw supports and a dowel through the tiers and want to be fully confident if there are any slight errors the sps will still be stable. Also is it best to remove all cake from the leg area prior to inserting the legs or better to leave a little to be mushed down? 

Sorry ladies I might ask some for questions as I want to be doing this properly for my next cake. 

Here's another photo with the backdrop, I do have a question.  

How do the roses look? Real, fake or fondant/gumpaste? Just curious and then I'll explain why I asked. 5640b1075f9a6.jpeg

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Pastrybaglady Posted 9 Nov 2015 , 4:57pm
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Wow, incredible work!  The gold trims match the decor and it looks so perfect in that room!  I love how your top tier mimics the cushion in the background.

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Snowflakebunny23 Posted 9 Nov 2015 , 5:17pm
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pray.pngWill someone in the US PLEASE starting this system into the UK??!!!!!  pretty pretty pretty pwease?????angel.png

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-K8memphis Posted 9 Nov 2015 , 7:59pm
post #26 of 32

i love your cake  -- i think the roses are gum paste maybe? idk really just pure guessing -- but they do look real too --

as far as the cake accumulating under the dowel/pillars i doubt i ever thought about it much before i was only telling you that that little bit under there might help with your height problem -- i have never removed it on purpose for any reason -- hahahaha -- oh gosh like there's one more detail  to  add to your repertoire -- no -- just push in the pillar and it's good to go --

nancylou in post #3 has some very good advice and i would keep those items that she recommends on hand for back up -

no, you don't always have to remove the fondant -- you can of course -- it will save money -- just whatever you do make sure your finished product is the correct height for the pillars --

i do understand the nervousness especially with friends/family weddings -- but like you said/know sps is a great product -- so secure -- so easy IF you measure right -- so just subtract enough cake to allow for the fondant or go ahead and remove it it will save you some bucks --

you did great -- hey my husband wanted to know where you are at -- are you not in the u.s. but overseas from here? i can't remember -- that's a gorgeous venue

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mmhassa2 Posted 10 Nov 2015 , 2:42am
post #27 of 32

I'm in Ajax Ontario, Canada. The backdrop decorator can turn even the not so pretty halls into a magical venue for a receptions around here :D

Now about the flowers...believe it or not they actually look and FEEL more real in person.  They're foam roses...there are different quality ones but these mimic the real ones SO well...with curls on the petals and all.  I just dusted them with the gold.  I dont have the patience to make flowers..I've tried and it comes out very nice but just cant see myself make them. 

I've used similar ones on the cake below and often get asked if they're real.


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Nancylou Posted 10 Nov 2015 , 3:12am
post #28 of 32

Wow, that is beautiful. 

I was one of the many that was praying for you along the way - I'm so glad it all worked out for you in the end.  Thank goodness for Kate and Leah who got you through this.

P.S.  I like your pink cake too.

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mmhassa2 Posted 10 Nov 2015 , 3:16am
post #29 of 32

Nancylou Thank you!  All this praying really did work and so appreciated! With over 400 family and friends if something happened to this cake I really dont know what I would do.  Even now thinking of what could have happened makes me feel sick! My niece loved it and so did everyone else! My mom made a point of telling everyone she met to look at the cake her daughter created...lol..She's never cared for cakes until I started.  And now she's a cake snob! lol Mothers! 

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Nancylou Posted 10 Nov 2015 , 3:33am
post #30 of 32

That's funny about your mom.  Luckily she has something worth being proud of.

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