Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How To Give The Mother Of The Bride A Stroke On The Wedding Day

Photos by Honey Cooler Photography
Oh the terror...When you drop a wedding cake, that isn't a good thing. Unless it's built correctly.

Now, I've heard a lot of people say that they would "never" use wooden dowels, but they're also the ones who are content to use bubble tea straws, which I would never use. So it's personal preference, but I would say to not blame your equipment. If you put any dowel system in the wrong way it can lead to disaster.

I don't use anything but wooden dowels unless there's a special reason. This little cake was going to a wedding where the delivery times conflicted with another that I had to do, so the MOB said that she'd pick it up if I could do it. I said that would be fine since it was smaller and wouldn't be too heavy to pick up and move around.

It was a double-stacked bottom tier, I want to say that it was a 7" square. The top tier was a 5" square if I remember correctly, and the whole thing was covered in fondant since it was an outdoor reception. I used tuffboard cake boards, not cardboard rounds. I think that I did use a center dowel in this case since I wasn't the one who was going to be transporting it. It was refrigerated overnight and was packed in a brown moving box with a non-skid mat underneath it to keep it from shifting during transit.

All of these things were precautionary, but for a good reason, and they probably helped avert a disaster.

So the cake made it to the reception site fine, and the box was placed on the cake table. Well, along came the father of the bride, who wasn't aware that the cake was in the box, and he tried to help by picking the box up and dropping it on the ground to get it out of the way. With the cake still inside it. Oh my God.

So as the MOB cried and the FOB saw his life flash before his eyes, they opened the box to see the destruction. Turns out that the combination of dowels, tuffboards, cold cake, non-skid mat and fondant worked together to keep the cake in one piece, if just a little compressed from the impact. They were able to press some things back into place and display the cake with no problems. Look at the photo and notice that the cake was still in the same place that I put it in the box. Thank you, non-skid mat.

Looking at the picture, I can see where dropping it flat on the ground made it shift to the right a little at the base of the cake, which probably happened when it hit the ground. But the wooden dowels didn't explode, and I really doubt that other dowel systems would have behaved differently if the cake was thrown around. I've even heard of people having cakes fall over when they were using the SPS system, which  is supposedly foolproof, so nothing is 100%.

Make sure that YOUR skills at putting the cake together are intact, or the cake might not be, regardless of the system that you use.

Thanks to Honey Cooler Photography for the photos!

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and


Jenniffer said...

I saw this mentioned the other day on Cake Central and I was horrified! I'm glad things worked out well for everyone. Will you start labeling the outside of the boxes from now on? "CAUTION: CAKE INSIDE - DO NOT THROW BOX ON GROUND!"

Kara Buntin said...

No kidding, I might have to! I'll be telling people the story of this cake if they come to pick something up form now on, anyway.

Anna said...

Oh wow, I can totally see a man doing that! My husband would've done the same thing. And his life would've flashed before his eyes, as well! MOST of us ladies are going to wonder what is in the box before we toss it! Great job on construction!

micaela said...

I'm a home baker. We recently transported a cake for a family event 250 miles away. It was a two tier stacked cake that used our dowel system (of two wooden dowels in this case and bubble tea straws). The cake make it the whole way, through traffic and a couple quick stops. The rubber mats are lifesavers! Knowing I can trust the dowel system is priceless!