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HELP ECCENTRIC COUPLE WANTS THE IMPOSSIBLE!

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Ok I am actually not sure if it's really impossible, but I had to get your attention! I have a superhero themed wedding scheduled for next year and I am breaking my head over their cake topper. It is about 16 inches high with a base that is 4 inches in diameter. Oh and it weighs about 6lbs. And it's ceramic or something like that. And they want it on the top of the cake (top tier being 6in)

The groom swears it's possible to get the topper up there, he says he has done research and knows people who says there are methods (he has yet to explain what these methods are). The base of the topper is level, no spike to drive it into the cake with and I cannot hot glue a skewer to the bottom. I don't have much experience with pvc pipes or special support systems; I generally dowel with fat straws and stack and then hammer one long dowel down the center (you know, normal stuff) the couple is willing to pay extra for any internal supports but I am so afraid that the slightest nudge of the table might knock the topper off the cake or worse, cause the cake to Lean or cave into itself! I know a structurally sound cake can hold a lot of weight but have you ever topped a cake with something so heavy? Should I just tell them it's impossible?
post #2 of 40

Is there any way you can get a picture of their topper? Then we might be able to help you better.

In any case, you should be able to stack the topper on the top cake, since if your supports are used correctly in the top tier, they will take the weight properly. Another issue entirely is the height - how will you "glue" it to the cake to stop it falling? Does it have a flat bottom? Does it weigh more on one side than the other? Is there any way you can attach it to a decorated thin cake board? Give us more info...!

post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
I cant post a picture but the topper is tall, 16 inches. Its all one weight throughout, 6lbs. And the bottom is level but I cannot glue it with a nonperishable adhesive (not for the integrity of the cake but because they don't want the topper damaged, it's a collectable item)

I mean all the information I have is in my post above lol.

I guess I am just wondering if it's safe and possible to stack something that's 16 inches tall and 6 lbs on top of a 3 tier cake without it being attached to the cake? They basically want it to just sit up there.
post #4 of 40
Could you put a few drops of hot glue or silicone and attach it to a cake plate? With just a few drops they should be able to get it apart from the plate. I would stack it like it was another cake tier with supports in the cake below it. I would not put it on until the cake is in place at the venue.
post #5 of 40

If you decide to do it, write your objections (which are very valid) down on paper and make them sign a waiver releasing you from any liability should the topper fall and break, damage the cake, or God forbid, a nearby guest.  Does he realize that the topper, at 16 inches, will most likely be taller than the cake itself? 

 

I'm pretty cool with supporting 6 lbs on a 3-tier cake, it the height that bothers me.  I would insist on adhering the topper to the cake somehow.  Maybe you could put the topper on a separator plate.  I can't remember what it's called, but there is some sort of artists putty or gum that is used to hang paper prints on walls.  You could use that to adhere the topper to the plate

 

Edited to add:  Here's a link to the poster putty:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Duck-Removable-Mounting-Poster-1436912/dp/B000BQMFEC

post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JennaGee View Post


The groom swears it's possible to get the topper up there, he says he has done research and knows people who says there are methods (he has yet to explain what these methods are).

I wonder why he hasn't shared his research with you?

post #7 of 40

How about using white chocolate to attach to a decorative gumpaste plaque? Not sure it would work, but it would certainly come off in hot water!

 

If I were in your situation, I would say "after further thought and consulting with some experts (ha ha, us!), I really do not feel comfortable with your request. If you need to go in another direction, I completely understand."

 

If it's a collectible, then there is no way I would chance it because there is no way to guarantee that sucker will not fall and I would not want to be on the hook for replacing an expensive collectible! Even if you figure it out, will you sleep that night waiting for the phone call?

life is short, get a cakesafe.
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life is short, get a cakesafe.
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post #8 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your suggestions!

I haven't the slightest idea as to why he hasn't given me the methods yet; I am assuming it might not be much more than what you guys are telling me because he is neither a cake decorator nor an engineer/carpenter/physicist (unless he knows some incredible way to actually screw the topper through the cake and into the base board... Omg is there a way to screw the topper through the cake and into the base board? Lol) .

The height scares me too, I am only worried that it might tip over because it's not fused into the base board :/

Would it be excessive to set up a wooden base with some pvc pipe and somehow manage to screw in a plastic or acrylic disc/plate on top once the cake is stacked? And then white chocolate the topper onto that plate? (I hope this makes sense, I haven't had my coffee yet lol)
post #9 of 40
Because of the weight, treat it as an extra tier. Make sure there are extra supports underneath it, but i wouldn't use straws. Glue it down with melted chocolate. Should be good.
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #10 of 40

Let's see: 16" tall, heavy, possibly ceramic, collectible - sure, why not take all that risk for a ding a ling client who has researched methods and is sure it can be done???

 

How many extra hours are they paying you to engineer this?

 

I would just say no.  Just because somebody wants it, doesn't mean they get it.  Don't you have better things to do with your time?

 

Liz

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post #11 of 40
Thread Starter 
Omg liz you're hilarious! Those were my initial thoughts but then I got to know the couple and they rly are sweethearts and they're understanding. But I love this challenge and as much as it scares me I want to know if this type of request is at all possible. I haven't told them I could do it, but I said I would research and get back them. So far I am guessing that because of the height I should steer them in another direction for the sake of sanity...
post #12 of 40
If you're that concerned about the height, why not design the cake so that you carve out an "alcove" in the front of the cake so that the piece sits in front of the cake. I did a cake with figures on the front (totally different in that I sculpted mine and did it without carving space out), but I think it's a cool look, and my design won best of show at the San Diego cake competition several years ago. It's in my pics. Maybe you can get some ideas from that or come up with your own. Just a thought - the "topper" doesn't necessarily have to be on top.
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #13 of 40

I've done something very similar, except that my topper weighed 8 pounds.  USE SPS.  Put a plate into the top tier, so that the topper is sitting on the plate.  Obviously cover the plate with a circle of fondant.  Then use a smear of chocoalte or royal to adhere the topper to the fondant covered SPS plate.

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 #14 of 40
Thread Starter 
Brandisbaked do you have a picture of the cake you described? I'm a a little confused. We played around the the idea of making the tiers a little shorter (2 layer instead of my normal torted 4 layer) for Heights sake but then nixed that thought.

I wish the topper were short and heavy or tall and hollow, but not both! I will post a picture as soon as I get the permission from The couple
post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked View Post

If you're that concerned about the height, why not design the cake so that you carve out an "alcove" in the front of the cake so that the piece sits in front of the cake. I did a cake with figures on the front (totally different in that I sculpted mine and did it without carving space out), but I think it's a cool look, and my design won best of show at the San Diego cake competition several years ago. It's in my pics. Maybe you can get some ideas from that or come up with your own. Just a thought - the "topper" doesn't necessarily have to be on top.


Yes, Brandi's idea is great!

 

I was mostly being sarcastic in my previous post, but I really think if you are going to do something that will take a lot of time, your client better be willing to pay. :)  And you shouldn't accept liability for a fragile/collectible element just because they want to incorporate it.  That is at their risk, not yours.

 

Liz

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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