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Cake supports

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Do you have a favorite way to support your cakes? I'v always just used Dowel rods and cardboard cake circles for support. I did a Yo Gabba Gabba cake for my Niece's Birthday this weeked and it was ver, very hot. We were inside witht he AC on but after about 4 hours the cake started to lean. It was apparent that the 20 dowels I put in the bottom layer alone were not enough. Each Layer was doweled separately but it still wilted. I'm looking for ideas on a better way to support heavy cakes.
LL
post #2 of 11
20 dowels in the bottom layer? You're exaggerating, right? That's so many dowels the structure of the cake would be compromised.

Anyway, I advocate the use of SPS. Easy, inexpensive and extremely sturdy.
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 #3 of 11
There are several styles of plastic plates and separators out there. The cardboard can start to deteriorate and lose much of its strength. It becomes more critical with more layers and/or added weight.

While I don't know how much is too much, there is a diminishing return to more dowels rather than better dowels. I think a rough rule would be that when you are considering twenty dowels, fewer dowels but also stronger would be a better solution.

Start with Wilton and SPS and go from there. It is always better and cheaper than a collapsed cake.
post #4 of 11
Leah's right--20 is way too many. If that bottom tier is supporting a 12", then the rule of thumb would be 12 wooden dowels or 6 plastic dowels/bubble tea straws.

All it takes is ONE slightly short, slightly tall, or slightly crooked wooden dowel to cause a cake to lean and/or crash. A dowel slips inside the cake and so go the other tiers......

With your cake, look to be 14,12,10,8,6---making a pyramid. That increases the need for very even dowels and very even centering of every tier.

I use foam core boards and bubble tea straws with one, or 2, central dowel(s)--especially in a cake that tall.

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 11
Thread Starter 
Haha yes I was exaggerating. Thanks for all the advice. I'll check out the SPS
post #6 of 11
Leah is the high priestess when it comes to SPS but as a dedicated disciple let me tell you that they are the only way to go. I transport stacked cakes over country dirt roads in the heat and humidity of South Carolina summers (ok we do have AC here and only mad dogs, Englishmen and those who don't mind getting bitten by mosquitoes would have their weddings outside in past July 1). I've never ever had a problem with cakes slipping or sliding. ...except once...and that was a full on being forced off the road by some speeding jerk with NY plates...and then the cake only suffered a slight dent in one corner where it hit the side of the box. Everything else in the car went flying but the SPS kept that cake in deliverable condition.
No license or insurance. Put lead wires in cakes, never wash hands, cake boards are used cardboard. No contracts cause I can't read or write. No lawyer cause I'm judgment proof. I bake with old mix boxes found behind Walmart. Now about my question
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No license or insurance. Put lead wires in cakes, never wash hands, cake boards are used cardboard. No contracts cause I can't read or write. No lawyer cause I'm judgment proof. I bake with old mix boxes found behind Walmart. Now about my question
Reply
post #7 of 11
SPS has it's devotees, but no, it's not "the only way to go", nor is it perfect for every size or shaped cake. Like everything else, it has it's place.

Proper stacking and stabilization CAN be done using other methods, as many of us can confirm. icon_wink.gif

Knowing your options--and when to use them--is important to every decorator.

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
Reply
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
Reply
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes


I use foam core boards and bubble tea straws with one, or 2, central dowel(s)--especially in a cake that tall.




How do foam core boards hold up to the weight of a cake that large? Will the weight compress the foam core and cause the cake to lean?
Tina

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place. ~Nora Roberts
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Tina

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place. ~Nora Roberts
Reply
post #9 of 11
No, not at all.

Foam core is closed cell polystyrene and is much more sturdy than standard cardboard rounds.

A properly stacked cake means that NO cake is pressing on the cake below, it's merely balanced on the supports in the cake below--that's why the supports have to be strong (as are large bore straws) and level.

I put a 3/16" thick board every 4" of cake height and could go higher--because the board would handle it--BUT the CAKE begins to compress badly............NOT the board.

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
Reply
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
Reply
post #10 of 11
Thanks.
Tina

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place. ~Nora Roberts
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Tina

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place. ~Nora Roberts
Reply
post #11 of 11

as I noted earlier, I use SPS system by Bakery Crafts exclusively and never ever had a problem. I love the idea of no center post.  However, I do wish the SPS posts were more attractive now that I have more brides going retro and wanting raised tiers.  I envy those charming doric columns that I used to buy when in London. I even tried to devise a method of slipping them over the SPS posts but to no avail.  I wrote to Bakery Crafts asking them to consider upping the appearance aspect of their pillars but never heard back.

No license or insurance. Put lead wires in cakes, never wash hands, cake boards are used cardboard. No contracts cause I can't read or write. No lawyer cause I'm judgment proof. I bake with old mix boxes found behind Walmart. Now about my question
Reply
No license or insurance. Put lead wires in cakes, never wash hands, cake boards are used cardboard. No contracts cause I can't read or write. No lawyer cause I'm judgment proof. I bake with old mix boxes found behind Walmart. Now about my question
Reply
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