The New Cake Construction System: Stacked Cakes Driven to Success!

May 8th, 2015 by Desiree Smith

cake construction setAs the Product Manager for Buttercream Dec orating Tools and Accessories, I am constantly striving to create products that help make decorating easier, so decorators can focus on their amazing vision coming to life on a cake. I love monitoring trends and have noticed the increasing presence of stacked cakes. We love the look of these cakes but realize that they can be quite difficult to put together—and stay together! Working with our engineers, we developed an easy cake construction system using Wilton Support Rods and Caps and Center Core Rods.

Together, these products create a sturdy support for stacked cakes. Simply cut the Support Rods to the size of the cake tiers and place the caps on the rods. The caps are great for maintaining a secure foothold on the cakes. Then, insert the Center Core Rod on the base cake and keep building using the same steps. Our perforated cake boards make it easy to put the next tier over the Center Core Rod for stacking. Check out the detailed instructions included with the products.

Always striving for the best product for our brand, I wanted to test this new system against the existing method of stacking cakes. The existing method includes bamboo rods and driving a sharpened dowel rod through the finished stacked cakes. We evaluated many methods of testing and statistics to prove the new system—the Decorating Room was full of tiered cakes for testing! We know that these beautiful cakes are supposed to be shown off at events and transporting the cake to the event location is part of the challenge.

The best way for us to test this component to the new system was to conduct a driving test with two stacked cakes—one using the new Wilton Method of Stacking Cakes and the other using the traditional method of stacking cakes. The cakes were made exactly the same otherwise—heavy fondant, same size tiers.

The Test Drive

A fellow coworker volunteered to use his car for the test while I rode along taking pictures and notes. We wanted to mimic regular transportation challenges—stop and go traffic, construction and bumpy streets, acceleration and deceleration at different speeds, equal left and right turns, and speed bumps. The drive started out with regular streets and both cakes performed well. After a couple turns, we noticed that the cake using the traditional method of stacking cakes started to lean. We continued the test and the cake continued to lean until it was touching the cake that was built using the new stacking system!

We were concerned that both cakes would fall over because of the weight and I was concerned about the mess we would have in the car! After a couple more bumps, the leaning cake had completely toppled onto the still-standing cake. We continued the drive for ten more minutes to see what would happen. Surprisingly, the cake using the new stacking system remained upright even with the entire weight of the second cake on it!

The test was a great success and a testament to the new system. We feel very proud of this new introduction into the Wilton family of products! Although we are still finding cake crumbs in the car, it is worth it to know that we produce the best products for you.

Desiree Smith Desiree is the Public Relations Manager at Wilton. She spends her days monitoring media opportunities, working with newspaper, magazine and television contacts, collaborating with bloggers and handling a variety of other odds and ends. Desiree has a degree in journalism and experience writing for newspapers and television. Outside of Wilton, she enjoys running and planning outings with friends.

29 Replies

  1. pat says:

    what happens to the supports when the cake is cut

    • Grandma52 says:

      When I do tiered cakes, part of my requirement is the return of my tiers or an additional replacement fee is added to the bill.
      I have never had a problem having them returned so, Just ask for them back!

  2. stephanie harkin says:

    i am not sure what “traditional methods” mean in this picture- the cake on the right does not have any dowels visible after falling over…doesnt sound traditional. ??

  3. Patricia Zaleski says:

    This looks like an awesome product. I Have no formal training but have been doing wedding cakes for family and friends for years. Stability is always an issue for transport and at the wedding itself. Good job

  4. lynn sims says:

    I was all ready to order Cake Stackers for my son’s wedding cake when I opened up this email. What I cant find ANYWHERE is the PRICE!!!!!! How much is this? Cake Stackers is all metal/stainless steel, but it’s easy to see the price!!! HELP

  5. Patricia says:

    I am concerned about using the center rod for cakes with more than 3 tiers–for instance 4 or 5 tiers. Would one continue using rods to be as high as 16″ to 20″ or more and would it still be secure?

    Is it possible to use the caps on the bottom of the rod instead of the top so the cake would be secure on the cake board?

    Thank you.

    • Desiree Smith says:

      Hi Patricia,

      The system has been tested with a 5 tier fondant covered cake and was very secure. We do recommend 4 or 5 tiers to continue using the center rods.

      Thank you!

  6. Fasihah Imanina says:

    Hi…,how i want to attend your class..i am from malaysia.i live in johor bahru..and i want learn how make fondant cake wilton course…thank you

  7. donna cox says:

    Hi there, I am wondering when making a cake using fondant icing how long would it be able to sit for before having to be eaten?

    • Tabetha says:

      Hi Donna! I have had customers eat my cake with fondant up to 3 days sitting out on the counter and 5 days in the fridge, both covered appropriately. I don’t recommend making the cake that far in advance though. Hth!

  8. ann says:

    I am transporting the cake layers over a 2 day journey and assembling and decorating there. I am going to freeze the cake. Should I use dry ice and keep frozen for at least half the journey or let thaw before trip? Any suggestions are appreciated.

    • Desiree Smith says:

      Hello Ann,

      I spoke with one of our Wilton decorators and she has a few suggestions. The main thing will be to keep the cake cool. Start the trip with the cake layers frozen. Place them in a cooler or sturdy-triple thick corrugated box.
      Place dry ice or something similar like blue ice (note that blue ice does not stay cold as long as dry ice) in a pan below – putting in a pan will help keep things level. We recommend you put a cookie sheet on top to keep the dry ice away from the actual cakes. Metal transfers the temperature – cake boards do not. Then, place the cakes on top and seal the box to help maintain the temperature. If you stop for the night, bring the cakes indoors – it will help them keep cool as long as possible.

      Good luck!

  9. Lee Yen says:

    Hi Fasihah,

  10. Debra Westfall says:

    I have a question about the new stacking system. I saw the Support Rods and Caps, and Center Core Rods at the store last night. It looked pretty amazing. On the image for directions, it looked like there was round clear plastic “board” (for want of a better term), that had holes which the rods went through. It looked like it helped to create additional stability. I didn’t see a product like that at the store and you don’t mention it here. Can you tell me if those can be purchased, or is it something you make. Thanks! I’m under a time crunch for my daughter’s wedding. It’s my first cake in over 20 years. 🙁 I need all the help I can get. lol

    • Desiree Smith says:

      Hello Debra,

      Only the center rod goes through the cake board. Wilton does have new cake boards with a perforated center that are perfectly sized for the center rod. You can check Michael’s, Jo-Ann or Wal-Mart for these cake boards. Availability will depend on when the store ordered the boards.

      Good luck!


  11. Maguerite says:

    Aah not happy with these. The fact that you have that wider nut pushing through the cake means you have a thinner shaft in a large opening which could attract bacteria. Also why don’t you have something that goes through the bottom drum. The thin shaft should be the only thing pushing through the cake. Very shaky too. PLEASE Wilton think some more. The SPS too expensive. Someone surely can invent something totally satisfactory.

  12. Tina says:

    I cannot find the perforated cake boards anywhere, even Wilton’s own site, Amazon, etc. How can I get some, in various sizes, if possible?



  13. Jennifer says:

    I’ve got a question can the Wiltons stacking system be used on a cake larger than 3 tiers as well

  14. Kimberly says:

    I tried the stacker system, was sadly very unimpressed and disappointed 🙁

  15. Nush says:

    What happens if you have a 4 tired cake and some tiers are narrower than the others? in other words how can I stack a 18″, 14″,9″ and 6″?

  16. Myra Webster says:

    Please can I ask a couple of questions about your stacking system that I’ve just bought I am a hobby baker but am using it for first time on wedding cake for friend that needs to be transported Firstly as I will be icing a cake drum to sit the bottom tier on I presume I don’t need a cake board under the top tier as well ? I would normally use ganache to glue between the cakes and boards to secure them Do I not do this when using the system ? Thank you

  17. sherry says:

    I am making a 2 tiered cake with base being 16 in. round and a 12 in round layer on top. Do I need to put rods in this cake? I didn’t think I would need them. I will be transporting the cake in a large cardboard box lined with ice packs traveling by car for a 2 hr ride.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    • Desiree Smith says:

      Hi Sherry,

      I would still recommend using the rods. I recently made a two-tiered cake with an 8-inch base and 6-inch top and I used the rods from this system just to be safe, since my cake also had a two hour car ride. Held up wonderfully! Since your cake is so large in diameter, it would help to have the additional support rods.

      Good luck!

  18. I have been using the Wilton Stacking System for awhile now and I just wanted to say that I love it, I never have worry about my cakes collapsing or shifting anymore, even after driving for an hour or so! I will never go back to using straws or wooden dowels again!

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