Originally Posted by zespri
The bottom cake was a chocolate cake filled with a thin layer of raspberry jam. No, it was not as dense as the caramel mud cake and lemon coconut cake on top.
Yeah it sounds as though it was too light to cope with the other tiers. Jam is also quite slippery in a cake too, the good thing about filling with ganache or buttercream is it can be chilled to solid state.
How many dowels do I need? I have been told if I have a 10 inch cake, half that number is 5, so use 5 dowels. I used wooden dowels. Hmm.... good tip to glue them with royal icing, thank you.
A 12" is a big cake, I would have used 7 personally. Are you using the thick dowels from a cake deco shop or skewers? Also make sure they are all the same length otherwise you will get an uneven surface. When you dowel do you make sure you dowel as close to the size of the next tier as possible?
I used foamcore board covered in self adhesive plastic. Hopefully a centre dowel would break through that?
Should do, I dont use it myself so I dont know. But I cant see it being a problem.
I am confused about the definition of a 'collapse', as both cheatize and yourself said that. I assumed it collapsed because the top cakes slid, so there was no dowel underneath their new location to support them...?
I think it was a combination. If the cake wasnt level and you had nothing to bind the the other cakes to the bottom then it would have slipped but if there was already weaknesses in the bottom tier then it would have gone anyway.
Its all live and learn unfortunately, I remember my first collapse and it was a 5 and a 7! I didn't know about dowelling at all then.
Personally I think the SPS system is over-rated and not really relevant for the cakes we do here. I've delivered a 7 tier wedding cake (needed 2 boys to lift it) to the mountains up and down hills and had nerry a crack.
As long as you dowel properly, glue your tiers with RI and have it on non slip matting and on a flat surface in the car (I have a station wagon) you should be fine.