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Topic: Pipe/Flange Assembly Method....finally posting pics!
cami5271 06/11/2011 2:09 PM
Ok, a while back I mentioned that I only use the pipe/flange assembly method for wedding cakes because I like to deliver them assembled so I can literally just "drop n' go"! I completed a wedding cake last night and remembered to take a few pics to share! I didn't take any of the cake being "threaded" onto the pole, but I think you'll get the idea when you look at the pics!

Benefits: Very inexpensive option allowing you the ability to deliver very tall cakes entirely assembled so you can place the cake on the table and GO! When supported properly, it is virtually impossible for the cake to shift in transit, which is worth its weight in gold for your nerves while driving with your cake! Another great benefit is that when you cut your holes in your cake boards, it guarantees that your tiers will be centered on top of one another since they're threaded down onto the pole!

No part of the cake is touching the metal flange because the bottom tier is on it's own cake board, and the PVC pipe is a food-safe water pipe that you can buy at your neighborhood hardware store (just wash with warm, soapy water first)! My hubby cuts my cakeboards, you can buy a piping flange for about $5, the "adapter" for under $2 and I think 6-8' of PVC was under $2 also! A real bargain! So, if you don't get the PVC pipe back, you're not out very much! I always get the board/flange/adapter back...knock on wood!

There is a little prep as far as your cakeboards go, but again, it's worth it! I use 1/2" foamcore for my wedding cake boards...both for the added height to the tiers and stability. I also use bubble-tea straws in each tier for support. Note that one of the cakeboard holes look a little different; this is the bottom cakeboard and you have to "dig" out a little groove in the foam to accept the height of the plumbing flange so it will sit flat on the wood board. Easy to do with a sharp exacto blade!

Enjoy! And let me know if you have any questions!
cami5271 06/11/2011 2:14 PM
I forgot to mention...I use 3/4" PVC and I do not glue the pipe into the adapter. The adapter is what they call a "slip thread", meaning it's threaded on one end to screw into the flange, and smooth inside the other end to accept the PVC pipe! It's a VERY snug fit, so no worries about it coming out!
ginnyl 06/11/2011 2:24 PM
Cami, just love your idea..seems a lot similiar than the stress-free system and perhaps a lot less expensive. What size cakes do you use this fo ---3 tiers and larger? Do have any photos of cake you have used it on..
Am are right -the base is of plywood covered with decorator foil and your cake board under the first tier sits on that..?
ginnyl 06/11/2011 2:29 PM
Sorry for the typo...should read "a lot simplier"
cami5271 06/11/2011 5:25 PM
Ginny....yes, I think it's A LOT simpler than SPS....and when I've tried the SPS system in the past, I've had two occassions where the little plastic "nipples" (if you will) BROKE and my cakes slid! The 2nd time it happened I threw every single plate in the trash! When I went to the Oklahoma Sugar Show back in '08, all of the demonstrators (Marina Sousa and James Rosselle) used this pipe/flange method and after I tried it, I've never looked back!

And yes, the bottom tier is sitting on it's own cake board also and threaded down over the top. I use this method for 3 or more tiers. All of my larger tiered cakes use this internal structure. I'm getting ready to post the wedding cake I delivered this afternoon, which was assembled with this structure!
cakedujour 06/11/2011 6:05 PM
Wow, these pictures really clarify the questions I've had about this. Thanks for the great pictures and explanation!
trybaking06 06/11/2011 11:32 PM
thanks for sharing instructions for your stacking method
eatmrcake 06/21/2011 3:48 PM
Ok..once you get to the venue do you remove the cake from this and just set it out? How do you get under the cake to lift it up and over the pipe? Sorry...I live in a very mountainous area and the roads are very winding...this would be a huge help to me if I can figure out how to use it. Thanks for posting this!

Ruthmarie 08/08/2011 12:28 PM
what a great way to do your cakes. do you cover the circles with anything?
emmer_d 08/08/2011 3:58 PM
Thank you so much for this info and pictures!!!
emmer_d 08/08/2011 4:19 PM
Cami - quick question ... so do you have several pieces of plywood in various sizes and shapes with the flange already drilled into place?

For example do you have at least one round 8", 10", 12", 14", etc. round with the flange already drilled in place that you use over and over again?

Same for squares?

I'm trying to decide if I want to have my dad make me a couple 10 and 12" rounds just to have on hand.

I hope this makes sense.

cami5271 08/09/2011 12:02 AM sorry! Just saw your post! The pipe is part of the assembly of the don't remove the cake from it, that IS the assembly that you leave when you sit the cake down! I hope that makes sense? They just cut/serve "around" the pipe....or remove the tiers (1 at a time) by lifting it up and over the pipe (aka "unthreading" it).

Hey Emily! Yes, I do have several sizes of plywood bases with flanges attached! I don't have smaller sizes as that would not be a very heavy and/or large cake....the smallest base I have is probably a 14-15" (round and square) which I would use for a 6-8-10 configuration. My most popular sizes are 18" round and 18" square because they fit perfectly on my silver cake stands. But, I do have smaller as mentioned. TRY IT! Once you do and have a successful assembly and delivery, you'll never look back!

Oh, and I cover the foamcore boards with Glad Press n' Seal!
lyndsayscott7 08/09/2011 10:57 AM
I just put my first one together last night and took pics to do pretty much the same thing! When I get home, I will make sure to post my pics here as well just so there will be a bunch to look at! :o)
Spooky_789 08/09/2011 11:54 AM
This may seem like a silly question as I haven't stacked a cake yet. Do you cut out the holes in each cake before sliding them onto the PVC or not? It would seem like if you put the cake onto the PVC without removing a "core" of the cake first, it would be very messy. Maybe I'm missing something. Thanks!
gmoakes01 08/09/2011 1:22 PM
I've used Cami's system a couple of times and it works great. Yes, you do need to carve a core out of each layer before stacking. Make a hole in your board before putting your cake on it then I used an apple corer or very thin knife to go up from the bottom and carve your cake. You might have to be creative and find something to support your cake on 2 sides so you can go up from beneath (2 tool boxes worked well for me). I had the wooden base with flange returned after the wedding. Mine looks a little different so I'm attaching pictures of mine. In the cake support 2, I've removed a layer or 2 of the base of a silver 16" cake board to fit down snugly over the metal flange. You can use some tacky stuff to stick the cake board to the wooden base if needed - my cake stayed fine without it and I could pick it up for transport.
gmoakes01 08/09/2011 1:23 PM
When sitting on a table, you can't see the wooden base under the board.
cami5271 08/09/2011 4:02 PM
gmoakes01...Very clever to use it as a "delivery system"! I actually assemble my cakes on the stand and leave them that way when I drop them off! So the plywood base IS the bottom cake board (covered with foil, of course). Am I understanding correctly, that you are you actually unthreading the entire cake from the pipe/flange assembly after delivery?
luvbakin 08/09/2011 4:05 PM
Cami thank you very much for the pics and explanation. Will be using your method when I do my next wedding cake...not in the near future so I will have time to play and get it down pat!
cami5271 08/09/2011 4:07 PM
Oh, and spooky....yes, it's much easier to cut holes in the center of your cake layers before filling/stacking them. I place a piece of packaging tape or Press n' Seal over the top of the pipe to keep cake/icing/filling from getting down the center of the PVC...although if it did it woudn't really matter! I just pop it in the dishwasher upon return! Also, I use round biscuit cutters to cut the circles! Nice and clean!
gmoakes01 08/09/2011 4:30 PM
No, I leave them stacked on the system, just didn't want to have to cut a nice wooden base and cover it with foil. The flange sits snugly up in the bottom board and you can't see it. Just the wooden part with the flange (and PVC pipe if they can - that part is cheap) got returned. I've used 1/2" pipe so I didn't cut as big of a core in the cake.