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Help! What did I do wrong?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I made two cakes and delivered them this weekend. I'm still relatively new, so I'm still learning. The cakes were cute, but during transport they both shifted and the top tiers (one cake was a two-tier and the other was a three) moved over to the left. Actually, the larger cake was already slightly slanted, but not too bad and it shifted majorly during transport.

I used cake boards and I used wooden skewers. Those are too thin, aren't they? What size dowel should I use, or should I look into SPS (I really don't know what that is, but I've heard great things about it here).

I'm just really frustrated. I love doing this, and I hope to continue and get better. Ideas, please? Thanks for the advice, and thanks for not laughing too much at my inexperience! haha icon_lol.gif
post #2 of 19
i would never deliver a cake that is already stacked, always try and stack it once you're at the venue it may take a little longer this way but at least it you won't have problems while transporting it
post #3 of 19
((I'm so not experienced))

But, did your top tier slide off the board, or the cake and board slide off the bottom tier? Use dowels, not skewers.. they are not strong enough. I use skewers when hold up decoration out of gumpaste and stuff. You can find dowels in the cake decor aisle, or home depot, but they come in one very long stick form.

Also, stick the dowel in the cake and mark it where you need to cut. Do this for each one, and they may all be different. if you use the same size on all of them chances are, your cake will lean.

It may also be the way to transported them. A simple turn can shift it all if you are not super super careful.

HTH
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post #4 of 19
I have heard great things about SPS. So you may want to look into it.

I use Bubble tea straws. I get them at my local Asian market. They are very strdy and pretty large in diameter.

If I am doing a large tierded cake I stack on site.
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post #5 of 19
I highly recommend SPS. I'm ok with dowels but SPS takes all they guess work out as long as you bake your cakes to 4" high. Really easy to use. I can/have road over 3 sets of railway tracks that were in a row and it didn't budge an inch.
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post #6 of 19
I also use SPS but let me ask you a coupld of questions. Do you put a little either melted chocolate or buttercream on your cake board before putting your cake down? This is what I do - put either a little candy melts or just some buttercream on the cake board before putting the first cake down to act as sorta glue. Then once I have seated my bottom tier I take and sharpen a dowel and hammer it all the way thru the cake into the cake board to help stabalize the cake. I hope this makes sense. I have used bubble tea straws but just on cakes I assemble on site or the ones I serve from the house, but I am chicken.

The SPS are plates and supports that all snap together and you use for a support system. They are not really expensive and are very strong. I hope some of this has helped you - don't give up it will all get easier
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post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimPound

((I'm so not experienced))

But, did your top tier slide of the board, or the cake and board slide off the bottom tier? Use dowels, not skewars.. they are not strong enough. I use skewars when hold up decoration out of gumpaste and stuff. You can find dowels in the cake decor isle, or home depot, but they come in one very long stick form.

Also, stick the dowl in the cake and mark it where you need to cut. Do this for each one, and they may all be different. if you use the same size on all of them chances are, your cake will lean.

It may also be the way to transported them. A simple turn can shift it all if you are not super super careful.

HTH


I have to disagree! All dowels should be the same length. If they aren't the cake will not be level and definately lean. If you aren't using the SPS you need to run a sharpened dowel from the top through all tiers and the bottom cake board for stablility.
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post #8 of 19
It sounds like you may need to check the levels of your cakes. You mentioned the one cake was already leaning - That is a cake disaster waiting to happen. I used to have "leaning cakes". I shudder to think of what may have happened. I now have a small level that I use only for cakes, I can't trust myself to eyeball it to see if it's level. I make sure my lower tier is level before I add the next tier.
post #9 of 19
I agree with fundraiser.......

You might want to invest in a leveler, you know those little thingys that the bubble rolls to the middle.

I also have a cake leveler from Wilton. Best tool I could have invested in.

I have heard that sometimes the dowel rods you put into the cake may not be going in "straight". If you think you are putting them in straight, that may be also what caused your cakes to shift.

And, sometimes the dowel rods may have had a crack in them which when they are in the cake, may sometimes go soft and bend or something.

When it's a stacked cake I have to do, I take it to the venue in separate pieces, then put it all together at the site. Sure, it may take a little bit longer, but it's worth it.......

HTH........ icon_wink.gif
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post #10 of 19
I also use a level and won't do a stacked cake without the SPS. I also learned that I can shorten the legs of the SPS is my cakes are a little shorter or longer than the standard 4". I have a small vise and tiny hacksaw just for cake decorating and so using them I can adjust the length of my SPS legs. Check out the 7 tier wedding cake in my photos...so stable you wouldn't believe it - unless you have used SPS yourself. We stacked the bottom two tiers, the next two tiers and the top 3 tiers, and then assembled the 3 sections on site. Once it was all finished and set up on the cake stand, it had to be moved 3 times to adjust a problem with the cake stand and it never moved a bit. Worth every penny and like Leahs and many others, the cost of it is factored into every cake. Won't do cakes anyother way.

HTH icon_smile.gif
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post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone. I realize I made a silly mistake...along with the skewers, I forgot my "glue."

I wanted to deliver the three-tier (10, 8. 6) and stack it upon arrival, BUT the lady wanted to meet me and take it herself. I'll definitely more insistent next time with any customer. I will deliver and assemble the cake myself!

As for the leaning cake, I realize once again that it was a silly mistake. I'm going to get a leveler this weekend. Definitely can't trust just eye-balling it!

Thanks again! icon_biggrin.gif
post #12 of 19
Absolutely get the SPS!
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimPound

Also, stick the dowel in the cake and mark it where you need to cut. Do this for each one, and they may all be different. if you use the same size on all of them chances are, your cake will lean.



If the dowels are all different lengths, it's very possible to have an uneven support for the cake/cake board above, which will cause the cake tier above to lean.

If all the dowels are cut to the same length (highest point of cake tier) then the cake/cake board above will absolutely be level (even if the cake below has high/low spots).

indydebi's illustrated guide to cutting level dowels:

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-434013-.html

HTH
post #14 of 19
Absolutely try SPS. It was developed so that customers could pick up their own stacked cakes for bakeries that don't offer delivery. It is NO problem to deliver a stacked cake - if you can lift it - if you're using SPS.

As I alwas say, cheap, easy, strong and secure.

Step away from the dowels.
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.
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post #15 of 19
Absolutely try SPS. It was developed so that customers could pick up their own stacked cakes for bakeries that don't offer delivery. It is NO problem to deliver a stacked cake - if you can lift it - if you're using SPS.

As I alwas say, cheap, easy, strong and secure.

Step away from the dowels.
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
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
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