Jammar is my great nephew and he asked me at the beginning of spring to make his wedding cake. He and Alisha were married this past Saturday and the ceremony was gorgeous. It was our second weekend in a row of family get togethers and a perfect beginning to the holiday weekend. Alisha chose round cakes, (woo-hoo) with stacked construction. Stacked cakes still give me a case of the willies, especially if I’m in attendance at the event. I end up watching the cake like an over protective parent, and worrying if any little kids come within four feet of my creation. Then there’s the worry of did I live up to the brides expectations, do the guests like it, and on and on. As you can see I’m a tad insecure about my cakes.
Even though I’ve been decorating and stacking wedding cakes for the last 27 years I still get nervous. In years past cakes with separation between the tiers were hot, not so much these days. Times, people and cake decorating methods do change so in came fondant covered cakes, precariously stacked one on top of the other. I didn’t change so easily. Fondant and I haven’t come to terms, and stacked tiers and I are trying our best to play well together. The stacked look requires support in the cakes. Way back in the day I used wooden ¼“ dowel rods for support, but they are horrible to cut. When separation between the tiers was popular I used what’s called push in pillars. And they functioned exactly as said, the decorative pillars made of plastic attached to a cake plate and you pushed the pillars into the cake. Presto Chango you had support and decoration all in one. I was a super happy camper!
In an effort to soothe my nerves and provide what I thought was the ultimate in tier support I came up with Plan B. I purchased extra push in pillars which are about ¾” in diameter and had the Mr. cut them to the height of each tier on his table saw. It worked like a charm, but was a bit expensive. Then I discovered plastic dowels; they’re less cumbersome than the wooden ones and they are hollow. That being said they’re a reasonable alternative and they can be cut to size very easily. And believe it or not, once upon a time I even used heavy duty drinking straws. On occasion I’ll still use them, but only for very small tiers. As of today with nerves frazzled, I’m ready to bite the bullet and go back to Plan B. Cutting the thicker push in pillars to size gives me the most assurance and peace of mind is priceless.
Jammar and Alisha were pleased and that was all that mattered. I’d halfway convinced myself that I’d never do another wedding cake, but that all changed. If someone called me today about a four tiered monstrosity I’d be own my way to the cake shop to buy heavy duty dowels tomorrow. Such is the life of a cake decorator. I’m sharing a couple of pictures from when I first started, please don’t laugh too hard!