Forum: Cakes & Cake Decorating

How to support a 5 tier cake?

Hi, up to now my cakes have been small enough that bubble tea straws have sufficed but I have a 5 tier wedding cake to do next month and I’m sure the straws just won’t cut it. Should I use wood dowels or poly dowels or would you suggest I use a support system like sps or something – which I’m not familiar with at all. The cake is going to be 12", double barrel 10", 8" 6" rounds. Thanks for your help! Any advise would be appreciated.

Tags: cake support sps system dowel system straws wedding cake heavy cake

Maria @ http://www.facebook.com/rooneygirlbakeshop or http://www.rooneygirlbakeshop.com

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9 Replies

Nikki Belleperche ...

When I have to do big heavy cakes I like to use the wilton cake plates and plastic dowels that go with them. They lock into eachother so it makes the cake nice and sturdy. And if you are near a michaels craft store you can get most sized plates there with coupons to save money!

Maria @ RooneyGirl BakeShop ...

Thank you Nikki, are these wilton plates disposable or are they something you ask the venue or client to save for you and you pick them up after the event?

Kendra Hicks ...

I always use SPS by Bakery Crafts for large or heavy cakes and they work great. I took a five-tier cake down the roughest road in the county and nothing faltered. You can find them here at GSA or just Google Bakery Crafts SPS.
http://www.globalsugarart.com/cat.phpcid=887&s=&name=BAKERY%20CRAFTS/Bakery%20Crafts%20Pillars%20&%20Plates%20-SPS%20System%20-

Jenniffer White ...

Believe it or not, bubble tea straws work just fine for a 5 tier cake. I would recommend a center wooden dowel down the middle, but I would recommend that for a 3 tier cake. Don’t forget to support that double barrel tier in the middle too! :)

Maria @ RooneyGirl BakeShop ...

Hi Kendra, I’m very intruiged by the sps system and was checking out tutorials online. I think it looks really stable but my question now is that you can’t dowel the entire cake through the center when using this system so do you trust your cake to travel with it stacked or do you travel with your cake in pieces and assemble it at your venue? thank you!

Nikki Belleperche ...

I usually offer my clients a discount if they return the plates. I charge them a little extra for the supports so if they return them to me I give them back $10. Since they are plastic they can be re-used and that way I am not loosing money on the supports and when they are returned I actually make a little money by re-using them but still charging for them for the next cake order that needs them.

LOCD ...

HANDS DOWN…SPS! Try it once, you’ll love it.

Jenniffer White ...

Quote from RooneyGirl: I think it looks really stable but my question now is that you can’t dowel the entire cake through the center when using this system so do you trust your cake to travel with it stacked or do you travel with your cake in pieces and assemble it at your venue?

Yeah, I would love to know the answer to this too. The lack of a center dowel has always bothered me and is one of the reasons I have never tried SPS. I bought one of those horrid metal “erector set” plate support systems before and I was never SO scared about leaving my cake at a venue.

Maria @ RooneyGirl BakeShop ...

So the wedding was this past Friday and I decided to transport the cake all separately because since I never used this SPS system before I was afraid to assemble it ahead of time, especially since I could not dowel through the tiers. I was pleased with the sps system overall in that it makes it easy to assemble but my tiers were all 5+ inches tall and my measurements were falling in between the markers so I opted for the taller mark and then had to cover gaps between the tiers. And the rods are a pain to cut – I purchased a small hand saw for them but needed my husband to actually cut them – not very easy… The SPS system is fine overall and I would recommend this product. Certainly easier than bubble straws – the bubble straws I get are always crooked on the blunt end and I always have to trim both sides to get them level.