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Wedding Cake Questions....

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Making a wedding cake for this weekend. I have several questions, trying to tweak what I've done in the past.

Learned from a local cakery that they use PVC instead of dowels to support the tiers. So that's what I want to try to do.

1) If stacking square cakes (like that matters), 14", 12", and a 10", do I still need the dowel support down the center of them all?

2) If so, how does the dowel go through the boards without topsy turving (LOL) the cake? In my head, I'm thinking the cake has made the board moist and soft enough that the dowel will poke through???

3) What size diameter of dowel?

4) Using IndyDebi's buttercream and a pineapple filling I got from suggestions on here a while back. Concerned about refrigeration. Does the cake need to be refrigerated once the filling is in? I will have to empty my fridge nearly completely if that is the case.... Sigh....

5) Bride wants ribbon at the bottom of each tier. Does the ribbon soak up the icing? Can I attach the ribbon at the time of stacking by using a small bead of icing around the bottom edge for it to stick to?

6) How do you place the 2nd tier on the first without leaving finger marks behind. The cake is to the edge of the board and I never can figure out how to set it down there without leaving my finger indents. ??????

Okay - I know lots of questions....but I'm trying to make THIS cake better than my last one....

Thanks all who take the time to respond for the newby...
Pam
Pam
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Pam
Simply baking for fun - for
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post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by pammylynn

6) How do you place the 2nd tier on the first without leaving finger marks behind. The cake is to the edge of the board and I never can figure out how to set it down there without leaving my finger indents. ??????



I describe how in this thread... "Any tips for stacking? Fingers/spatula in the way":

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-710889-fingers.html+spatula
post #3 of 15
CRW41, you did totally change my life with that tip, just wanted to say "thanks" again icon_biggrin.gif
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

CRW41, you did totally change my life with that tip, just wanted to say "thanks" again icon_biggrin.gif



thumbs_up.gif
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by pammylynn

Making a wedding cake for this weekend. I have several questions, trying to tweak what I've done in the past.

Learned from a local cakery that they use PVC instead of dowels to support the tiers. So that's what I want to try to do.

1) If stacking square cakes (like that matters), 14", 12", and a 10", do I still need the dowel support down the center of them all?

2) If so, how does the dowel go through the boards without topsy turving (LOL) the cake? In my head, I'm thinking the cake has made the board moist and soft enough that the dowel will poke through???

3) What size diameter of dowel?

4) Using IndyDebi's buttercream and a pineapple filling I got from suggestions on here a while back. Concerned about refrigeration. Does the cake need to be refrigerated once the filling is in? I will have to empty my fridge nearly completely if that is the case.... Sigh....

5) Bride wants ribbon at the bottom of each tier. Does the ribbon soak up the icing? Can I attach the ribbon at the time of stacking by using a small bead of icing around the bottom edge for it to stick to?

6) How do you place the 2nd tier on the first without leaving finger marks behind. The cake is to the edge of the board and I never can figure out how to set it down there without leaving my finger indents. ??????

Okay - I know lots of questions....but I'm trying to make THIS cake better than my last one....

Thanks all who take the time to respond for the newby...
Pam



PVC seems like overkill for a cake that is not massive or terribly wonky. Think of all the cake is is will displace! (I'm picturing no less than 2" pipes...) I don't think you need it. I use standard cardboard (doubled) and drinking straw dowels for cakes up to 4" tall. Then I just sub in a few wooden dowels as well.

1) The center dowel is to keep the cakes from sliding left to right. Unless you are using the SPS system, you may want to do this.

2) The center dowel must be sharpened and then hammered firmly (no girl taps!) though the cake. It will punch right through the boards.

3) I like to use a bamboo skewer (they also make 36" ones)

4) IDK about that recipe in particular, but I prefer to refrigerate every cake for stability in transportation.

5) Yes the ribbon will probably soak up some grease. There are many ways around this but the the fastest, easiest, and most reliable is to simply spray the ribbon down with Pam before attaching it to the cake. It will darken a bit, but it will be very even. Yes attach it after stacking with a little icing in the back.
post #6 of 15
post #7 of 15
I've heard rubbing/coating the ribbon with shortening/Crisco before applying helps it not soak up the colour/bleed onto the cake icon_smile.gif
A down-to-earth South African who has a growing interest in fondant cakes...I've been bitten by the cake bug!
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A down-to-earth South African who has a growing interest in fondant cakes...I've been bitten by the cake bug!
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post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for the tips...I appreciate it SO much. I have time tomorrow to try to buy one of those cake lifters. Great idea. If I can't find one on such short notice, then maybe I'll try the extra cake board. I will definitely put some Pam on the ribbon first....

I've decided to rethink the PVC. I'm just worried about that. icon_confused.gif Here are a bunch of my ramblings if anyone care to read and offer an opinion.

Do you all just use 1 cardboard round under each tier? That sitting on top of dowels, or straws, or whatever supports you use, is enough to keep the cake stable? Unless of course I put one cardboard round on the top of the cake to use to prevent finger marks (as a posted suggested) - then their would be two?

Based on the brides picture I've decided to make a 14", 10", 6" stacked (square pans). She's going to be feeding 200, so I'll prepare another small, oh, maybe 10" to be sure there is enough cake for 200 (saving the 6" for them to freeze or whatever). Do you think I will need a center dowel???

That center dowel makes me so nervous. My first ever wedding cake, (two years ago January), I tried to stack using dowels and a center dowel (Hubby and I followed Martha Stewart's directions), and the cake nearly toppled over. I had to wing it - found vases in varying heights at Wal-Mart and just placed each tier on a vase with some pretty material on the inside....totally winged it as the cake was so moist, the weight of each tier caused the dowels to slant and it just was not stable. So, that whole scenario scares me and I'm afraid to try again....(it was for family and she absolutely DID NOT CARE - thank goodness.)

I've been using those plastic divider plates with the short legs on the bottom that you can use with the columns that you cut to size. So, each tier only has 4 supports. BUT, I can't place a center dowel because the dividers are hard plastic - - (all these things were purchased at Hobby Lobby). It worked earlier this month, but it wasn't extremely stable. We set it up Friday and it lasted through til the cake cutting Saturday evening. But, I just held my breath the entire time. Also, I built the cake at the wedding reception site.

Here I am, fretting three days before the wedding as to how I'm going to do this this time....

Seriously, regular drinking straw will support the cake? I just can't wrap my head around that after my near disaster with dowels.... icon_eek.gif

Sigh...
Pam
Simply baking for fun - for
family and friends....
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Pam
Simply baking for fun - for
family and friends....
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post #9 of 15
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bawdeAmPbr4

this video shows the type of straws used for stacking. they're the big sturdy ones.

Goodluck with your cake, hope everything goes well without a hitch icon_smile.gif
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you Rebecca...I hope so too. icon_biggrin.gif

I did watch that video....I just don't think I can find them in time or get them here in time if I order them. icon_sad.gif

I wish I'd asked my questions LAST week. LOL Then I would have had plenty of time...
Pam
Simply baking for fun - for
family and friends....
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Pam
Simply baking for fun - for
family and friends....
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post #11 of 15
I'd encourage you to join the large group of people who use SPS for support. It's easy, cheap and very stable.
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 #12 of 15
Nothing like the last minute!

You didn't really give yourself any time to learn how to execute a wedding cake for 200 - but I can tell you, drinking straws will work just fine. Grab a handful from McDonalds or whatever drive thru you can hit.

You only need 1 cardboard per cake, and a center wood dowel to help with stability for transport.

You don't need a cake lifter or any of that stuff. If your cake is nice and chilled you can do a lot of manhandling and it's easy to fix with a dab of buttercream.

I wish you the best of luck!
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by pammylynn

I've been using those plastic divider plates with the short legs on the bottom that you can use with the columns that you cut to size. So, each tier only has 4 supports.



These are single-plate separators (SPS or the like). It's all you need... no center dowel necessary with this construction. Four supports are enough... a table has only four legs. If you've had success with it in the past, there really isn't a reason to change.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the input everyone...I will go with what I did last time. Since this will only be 3 tiers stacked and last time it was 4 tiers - I think maybe I will breath easier.

SPS definitely sounds like the way to go, Leah. I should have looked into this sooner. I might call one of those places tomorrow to see, but I expect overnight shipping might be a bit much for a cake that is being done for family (and I'm not going to get paid what I should). Besides, I promised my hubby I wouldn't do anymore wedding cakes. LOL My stress rolls over to him and he says it's just too much!! I'll stick to birthdays and the like....

FromScratch - This is my third time to prepare a wedding cake for 200 people. I understand my messages are sounding frantic. But, I keep thinking there might be a little better way to do it, using the materials I have, where I wouldn't have to be so nervous that it will all come out all right. It is just my nature to be nervous.

I appreciate all the input....everyone has been so kind and helpful.
icon_smile.gif
Pam
Simply baking for fun - for
family and friends....
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Pam
Simply baking for fun - for
family and friends....
Reply
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Here is the result of the cake....All went well, down to the stacking. I received many compliments on the cake. icon_biggrin.gif

Bride wanted texture, ribbon, and flowers on the corners. I think I accomplished that! icon_biggrin.gif


Image [/img]
Pam
Simply baking for fun - for
family and friends....
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Pam
Simply baking for fun - for
family and friends....
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