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Urgent Help with cake support method that prevents cake sinking

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

I need urgent suggestions on how to prevent my tiered wedding cakes from sinking during the Summer (it always happens when I try to deliver them already stacked and assembled). I usually use the strong plastic dowels under the cake boards method.

 

I have read wonderful things about the pipe/flange cake stacking method and I think I understand how it works after having seen all the pics posted by several people. I understand that this method holds all the tiers together, but how do we prevent the top tiers from sinking into the bottom tiers, using dowels as usual ?

 

Why is this method safer than the usual wooden dowel crossing all the tiers?

What is the best way to prevent cake sinking when transporting tiered cakes (buttercreamed covered in fondant) in the Summer heat ?

 

Is the SPS system the same as using the Wilton plate and pillar method ?

 

Suggestions appreciated...

 

Thanks

 

Sara

Sara :-)

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Sara :-)

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post #2 of 36

Everything you need to know to bake, make and decorate tiered, stacked and layer cakes:

 

http://cakecentral.com/t/605188/not-a-pro-is-it-hard-to-make-wedding-cakes

 

HTH

post #3 of 36

I'm sorry to say this, but if the dowels are cut and placed properly AND the cake boards are sturdy enough, there is really no structural reason at all for the "top tiers to sink into the bottom tiers".

 

First an foremost, if it's hot, the cake and/or the transport vehicle MUST be cooled to less than 80F.  The cake MUST be placed out of direct sunlight.  It must be on a completely FLAT surface--NOT in a trunk/boot, but in an area where the air conditioning will keep it cool.  I also put my cakes on at least 2 layers of memory foam to dampen the vibration of the road--it really, really helps.

 

For stacking, I use 3/16th inch foamcore boards (I cut them with a heated xacto knife, sanitize them with vanilla extract, and wipe on a coating of melted food grade soy wax) and bubble tea straws (or Wilton hollow plastic dowels).  The dowels need to be cut to a point just above the finish icing and they all must be exactly the same height.

 

For very tall cakes or very long drives, I put in 2 full length wooden dowels to prevent slippage.  For smaller cakes or short drives, I may use 1 full length dowel--or none--depending on the design.'

 

HTH

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
Reply
post #4 of 36
I don't use any thing other than wooden dowels and sturdy boards between the tiers and nothing sinks. If the cake is dowelled the right way nothing should be able to sink, the tiers will all be supported and won't be able to sink. If the dowels are too short the tiers could sink into each other, though.
post #5 of 36
Yep, or if you cut the dowels below the icing, it can give the illusion that the cake is sinking.
post #6 of 36

I love this video!  I thought it was very helpful!!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSPfPGle33U

"How to build a Wedding Cake"

post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastrymaniac View Post

 

Why is this method safer than the usual wooden dowel crossing all the tiers?

What is the best way to prevent cake sinking when transporting tiered cakes (buttercreamed covered in fondant) in the Summer heat ?

 

 

 

The usual method is using a number of equally-spaced dowels between each board, ie within each tier. If all you are doing is putting a dowel through the whole cake, "crossing all tiers" as you say,. then yes, you are going to get sinkage.

 

This is how I read your statement above...is that what you mean?

Life's too short to make cake pops.
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www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

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Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply
post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. That was not what I meant Evoir.

 

So that it´s  clear to everyone I do it the following way (and it hasn´t been working) : aside from putting a dowel through the whole cake at the end I use Wilton hollow dowel rods between tiers and still add some non hollow plastic dowels (so I think this is not the cause of my problems), I cut all my dowels completely level with the cake and I use simple cardboard cake boards (3mm thick ones, 1/8 inch): I think these two issues might be causing my problems. 

 

Since I can´t find foamcore boards here should I use sturdier cake boards under each tier (I can buy 1/2 inch ones, should these do the trick ?) and how higher than my cake should I cut my dowels to release the weight from the top tier and not get a gap between the tiers?

 

Blakescakes what do you mean by memory foam, is it fluffy or like foamcore? Sorry I did not understand how high are your foamcore boards (more used to metric system lol) ... Thanks for all the tips !

 

Also should I refrigerate my fondant cakes overnight (inside boxes to avoid sweating) before transport when it is 90-95 º temperature ?

 

I know I will succeed with everyone´s help, thanks again. I had a wedding and a birthday cake sinking last summer and it was totally nerve wrecking !

 

:-) Sara

Sara :-)

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Sara :-)

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post #9 of 36

Corrugated cardboard is enough.  Your methods are fine.  Perhaps your description of "sinking" is really "settling" instead.  You may want to read Leah's thread about her "new trick".

 

Here's the link...

http://cakecentral.com/t/633571/my-newest-trick
 


Edited by CWR41 - 1/16/13 at 9:46pm
post #10 of 36
Ill put in a good word tor SPS. With the plastic plates that are part of the system plus the usual cardboards nothing is going to sink. More info in my signature line.
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 #11 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks  for your reply CWR 41. My cakes really sunk and partially destroyed the bottom tiers (cake disaster lol). Are corrugated boards several 1/8 inch cardboards taped together (different supplies here in Europe...) ? How thick should they be in the end?

 

Who thinks that I should cut my dowels slightly higher than the cake?

 

Leah, do you know if I can buy SPS from some retailer here in Europe ?

 

Does anyone swear by the Wilton plate and pillar method as a replacer of SPS?

 

Thanks everyone...  :-)

 

Sara

Sara :-)

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Sara :-)

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post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastrymaniac View Post

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. That was not what I meant Evoir.

 

So that it´s  clear to everyone I do it the following way (and it hasn´t been working) : aside from putting a dowel through the whole cake at the end I use Wilton hollow dowel rods between tiers and still add some non hollow plastic dowels (so I think this is not the cause of my problems), I cut all my dowels completely level with the cake and I use simple cardboard cake boards (3mm thick ones, 1/8 inch): I think these two issues might be causing my problems. 

 

Since I can´t find foamcore boards here should I use sturdier cake boards under each tier (I can buy 1/2 inch ones, should these do the trick ?) and how higher than my cake should I cut my dowels to release the weight from the top tier and not get a gap between the tiers?

 

Blakescakes what do you mean by memory foam, is it fluffy or like foamcore? Sorry I did not understand how high are your foamcore boards (more used to metric system lol) ... Thanks for all the tips !

 

Also should I refrigerate my fondant cakes overnight (inside boxes to avoid sweating) before transport when it is 90-95 º temperature ?

 

I know I will succeed with everyone´s help, thanks again. I had a wedding and a birthday cake sinking last summer and it was totally nerve wrecking !

 

:-) Sara


It would help to know where you're located.

 

I have no faith in basic cardboard cake boards for heavy tiered, transported cakes.  3mm is actually just over 1/10th of an inch, so that's pretty thin.  My foamcore boards are 4.75 mm thick and 10X sturdier than corrugated cardboard.  You could put together several regular cardboards--3, at least--alternating the way the corrugation goes and it'll be much better.  Even if they're not corrugated, I'd still put at least 2 together.

 

Dowels need to be 1.5 to 3mm above the finish icing.

 

Memory foam is visco elastic foam padding used in Tempurpedic mattresses.   It can be purchased in sheets for use as a mattress pad.  I buy a twin size and cut it in half so that it's then twice as thick.

 

If it's that hot when you deliver, yes, I'd definitely refrigerate.

 

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 #13 of 36
I wouldn't use cardboard rounds either, I use corrugated plastic tuffboards. No grease can defeat that!
post #14 of 36
Thread Starter 

I am located in Portugal and I buy most of my cake decorating supplies online from the UK and somethings (like long wooden dowels) at home improvements shops.

 

Thanks

 

Sara

Sara :-)

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Sara :-)

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post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much Rae for all your help.

Sara :-)

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Sara :-)

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