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Topic: Help with cake stacking method that prevents upper tiers from sinking into the bottom tier
Cake Maniac 01/16/2013 12:23 AM
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
CollectorEJ 01/16/2013 12:57 AM
Welcome to the forum. Someone will be along to give you a better explanation on how to do tiered cakes. You do need to have support between each tier and support between each layer, either with wooden dowels, plastic dowel rods or the best and easiest to use bubble tea straws. Again welcome to the forum.
cakedujour 01/16/2013 7:47 AM
Welcome to the forum. Always, always, always use a secure support system, either dowels, straws (much easier than dowels), the pillar systems designed to support tiers, a stress-free-support system. Even with the pipe/flange method, this is ESSENTIAL. The stress-free support systems are not the same as the Wilton pillars. They can be used on stacked cakes. The pipe flange is more secure than a central dowel because the pipe is heavier and very securely attached to the bottom assembly board. A central dowel is only as secure as the strength of the board it sit on and the wood it is made of. The dowel isn't attached to the board in any way. If the base is a foam core board or cardboard drum it might go through it, but it isn't attached to it like the PVC pipe is attached to the flange. The PVC pipe is infinitely stronger than that wooden dowel. But each tier needs to have proper interior support so the upper tiers don't crush it. It isn't the cake or icing that support the tiers, it is the internal supports.
Spooky_789 01/16/2013 8:01 AM
Also, you need to make sure your straws are cut tall enough so that the cake tier above is actually resting on the straws, and not on the cake/frosting. So even if you cut the straws 1/8" longer than how tall your cake is with frosting, that'd be better so that there is no pressure put on the actual cake below from the cake above.
dottiepark 01/16/2013 8:57 AM
Spooky, I had been stacking cakes a long time before I figured that out! Good advice!
Cake Maniac 01/16/2013 10:44 AM
Thanks so much cakedujour for the detailed explanation. It makes sense why the central pipe is sturdier now...

Do you think the Wilton pillars method is safer than the usual cake board and plastic dowel method, I have been meaning to buy these to see if they can solve my problem (it is not easy for me to get the sps system here in Europe).

So should I cut my dowels slightly taller than my cake is, I have been thought to cut them level to the cake (that seems a good idea to release the pressure from the upper tier, can you do this without getting a gap between tiers?) ?

Can someone tell me briefly how the sps system works?

Thanks again :-)

Sara