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Bride's complaint re: removing sps from cake

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
This is the second time that I've used SPS and I can't say that I'm really a fan but this caps it. I delivered a 4-tier cake last Saturday. The reception was self-catered by the bride's family and the MOB was cutting the cake. Got a call from the bride today - the cake looked beautiful and tasted delicious but they had a tough time pulling out the sps plate/columns and the cake was essentially a mess to cut because of it. What do I say to that? I asked her how much cake was unservable and she couldn't really give me an answer. I use IMBC and the thing was as hard as a rock when I delivered it but they didn't serve it until 3 hours later so I thought that it would soften up enough to pull the plates/columns out. Has anyone else had this issue? I think I'm going back to bubble tea straws.

Frankly, I think that part of the problem was that the MOB was cutting it. I talked her through dismantling and cutting the cake but it does take a certain amount of skill. I'm also wondering if, because most wedding cakes are cut by a caterer, are we not told that the support system is a problem, since caterers can't really complain to us and they probably don't like to complain to the bride?

I guess I'm looking for feedback from others, if they've ever heard anything from the people cutting the cake about this system?
post #2 of 21
I haven't heard of any problems but I am also interested to hear from others.
June
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June
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post #3 of 21
SPS is the only system I have ever used and it is a dream. You remove the top layer, pull the plate with the attached supports straight up and out. What could be easier?

Kathi
post #4 of 21
Let's face it, stacked cakes look great, but for a novice, they're a bear to deconstruct & cut, no matter WHAT support system you use.

Because the mom has no experience putting a cake together--let alone taking one apart--and was probably nervous as all get out, I'm sure that this was a difficult, frustrating experience.

I tell people that the disassembly will be painful, that icing will get pulled up, etc., but that is the price of a stacked cake. Some have better luck than others, but so far, knock wood, no "complaints".

If you like the system for what it does FOR YOU, I wouldn't give up on it. I'm sure that it's a breeze for caterers and other food service personnel when they find one in a cake. Maybe for "home" deliveries, it's a bit trickier.

JMHO
Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Kathik, that is just it, I thought it would be easy...but the bride said the sps plate/column assembly wouldn't come out of the cake so they ended up cutting around it until they were finally able to free it...it was in there like cement.

Does anyone have personal experience with cutting a cake with sps? I'm going to have to use it on my next personal cake to experience it for myself. Thanks for your opinions, keep 'em coming!
post #6 of 21
I used my new SPS system on a cake I did for my "day" job's Christmas party this past December--just so I could experience it from both sides myself.

I thought it stacked wonderfully (from the decorator's side). My DH and I served the cake (to experience the customer's side)--and thought it was great. Very easy to disassemble and clean up. Of course, we've served cakes together several times (he's very helpful), so we knew how to take it apart. The legs slid out smoothly (bottom and top layer were WASC and middle tier was chocolate cake, all covered in fondant).

I guess I'm not sure why the legs wouldn't want to come out? I would encourage you to try it yourself before giving up on it. It really is a solid, reliable way to stack cakes. HTH!
"It's not denial. I'm just selective about the reality I accept." --Bill Watterson
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"It's not denial. I'm just selective about the reality I accept." --Bill Watterson
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post #7 of 21
I have never had any complaints about SPS. I personally have served/cut cakes with this system and have not had issues. I usually just pull the whole top tier up with legs and all. I've never had a problem with the legs being stuck.
post #8 of 21
I've used SPS on cakes that I've cut, and I think it's a lot easier to disassemble than trying to find the edge of a flimsy piece of cardboard and unstucking it... Just my personal opinion. I don't know why it wouldn't come out of the cake. I've never had that problem, or heard about it from anyone else.

Any chance the complaint was just to try to get some money back after the fact? Some people do that...
post #9 of 21
maybe they thought they had to take the plate off of the legs first? ANd when the plate wouldn't pop off, they thought the whole thing couldn't be removed? icon_confused.gif
post #10 of 21
Your cake was too cold. 3 hours is not enough time for IMBC or any meringue icing for that matter to come to temp. The outside inch or so, yeah. But the middle part of your cake, no. And this has happened to me to. Actually the plate came clean off, the legs were still in the cake, and we had to cut around them too. I have done about 200 cakes with SPS, all with IMBC, so I knows what I'm talkin bout Wilis.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok, so let me ask you all this, when you push the sps plate assembly into the cake do you have to hammer it in or does it push in easily for you? Cause I have to work and hammer it a bit to get that sucker in. This was an IMBC frosted cake with added white chocolate and now I'm wondering if the white chocolate just hardened up like a rock around the columns - although the bc was soft at room temp it may still have been cold and hard inside the cake. Ack I just don't know, as I said I will have to try it on my next celebration cake as a test.
post #12 of 21
I've certainly taken the SPS plate and leg assembly out of a cake. it's quite easy, as long as you know it's supposed to come out together. Just get a long knife under the plate and pull up enough to get your fingers under opposite sides and pull up straight and slow. Really, really, simple. I suspect the problem was "amateurs" serving the cake.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
Reply
post #13 of 21
Yes topitier, that's probably exactly what happened. I put the legs/plate in as soon as I'm done icing, before I refrigerate, BEFORE the rock hardness can affect it. And like I said, 3 hours=not enough time.
post #14 of 21
Would it be easier to take the cake off the SPS plate first and set it down, then take a long knife and slide underneath the SPS plate (with the legs attached) still on the cake and lift it up and off?

Also, I'm wondering if this is the reason why the SPS shouldn't be used more than one or two times - because the legs won't come out with the plate? Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
So, Cammyblake, you still use sps despite this effect on IMBC cakes? I'm wondering how long does the IMBC have to soften up (inside the cake) for the sps to come out easier? Maybe I need to deliver earlier, 5 hours instead of 3?

BTW, I did instruct the MOB that the columns are locked into the plates and the whole unit comes out together -however she was pretty harried so who knows if she retained that info. I'm sure that a lot of this was amateur hour too.

Do you sps users leave an instruction sheet that specifically deals with dismanteling an sps structured cake? If so, perhaps you could share it?

Thanks everyone

-Laurie
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