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I have a wedding cake to do this weekend and the bride wants each cake tiers on separate tree stump. The top tier will be a 6 inch layer with a 4 inch layer. The tree stump for this top layer the bride wants the tree stump height to be 20 inches tall. But the cake topper is a Burlap heart shape with the base of 2 1/2 inches wide.

Burlap Heart from Hobby Lobby

The topper is 6" tall and I'm using buttercream frosting for the cake.

What can I do so that the cake topper will not topple over? I thought about using white chocolate to adhere it to, but don't have any way to heat the chocolate when setting it up. It's an outdoor wedding with no electricity. I suggested to the bride that she let me glue the topper to a dowel rod but the bride doesn't want anything screwed or glued to the base.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciate.

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    How tall is the topper? What type of frosting are you using? Does it seem unsteady? – Catija Aug 11 '15 at 16:28
  • The topper is 6" tall and using buttercream frosting. The top layer cake will be set on a 20 inch high tree stump thus making the height of the cake, stump over 2 foot tall so putting the 6" tall 2 1/2 inches wide base scare of it toppling over. The bride doesn't want any thing screws or glue to the base. – Cakelady Aug 11 '15 at 17:31
  • But maybe I'm misunderstanding... Is it at all possible to add a photo of the topper? Do you have it in your shop? – Catija Aug 11 '15 at 17:37
  • OK, so the base isn't burlap, it's plastic. That makes more sense why she wouldn't want to drill into it. – Catija Aug 11 '15 at 17:46
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You can make the base wider with white chocolate. No glue, and you can do it in advance so you don't need to have any electricity at the site.

Put a parchment paper round into an appropriately sized cake pan or a plate or shallow bowl. Stand the cake topper in the middle of the parchment paper. Carefully pour or pipe melted chocolate around the edge of the base and build it up, coating the base and widening it. Allow the chocolate to cool, carefully peel away the parchment paper.

If the weather is likely to be warm, you may want to make the additional chocolate layer thicker so that it will not melt quickly and release the topper.

You could also widen the base with some other material (cardboard covered with foil, for example -- make a large cardboard disc, cut a hole in the middle for the stem of the topper, cut a slit on one side of the hole the size of the base, slide the base through and center it) and cover that with chocolate or frosting, but I think plain white chocolate would work well and it sounds like the bride wants to keep everything touching the cake edible (except the topper itself, of course).

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There are lots of other ways to attach a topper to a dowel that don't involve glue. (eg, screws)

Here are some other alternatives:

  • fix the topper to a wider base, so that you can just set that on the cake. Something like plasticard (thin, white, can be drilled & screwed from underneath (use stainless steel pan-head screws; might want to wash them first to make sure there's no cutting fluid on anything else on them)). You can then cover the new base in flowers, fruit, fondant, or icing (either to match, or to make 'moss')

  • Insert dowels (or stiff straws, or similar) into the cake to support the topper, all the way to the base of the cake, and then trim them flush with the cake. Set the topper on the dowels. If you're using slick plastic, you might be able to lift the dowels back up an 1/8" after finding the bottom plate before trimming flush, so that the topper can sink just slightly into the cake. (mark the dowels when all the way down so you have a reference mark, then spin them as you lift up to minimize friction ... you might want to set a central dowel just to test if this is going to be problem with your cake or not, so you know the topper will cover it if something goes wrong).

update:

  • Make a wider base from plasticard, but afix it with something non-damaging that you can let set up before you get there. (eg, frosting as a mastic, or hot glue)

  • Attach a dowel to a wider base (eg, a counter-sunk screw that just barely catches a fender washer ... you'll want a larger dowel, and pre-drill it so it doesn't split), then use frosting or hot glue to affix the topper to it. As another alternative that doesn't require as wide of a dowel, find an appropriately sized T-nut that the dowel fits tightly in (the threads should compress the dowel some). The dowel should be shorter than the height of the cake (as we're not going to be able to trim it once it's inserted).

  • The bride doesn't want anything glue or screwed to the base. I am adding dowel rods under the base of the topper. But with it being 2 1/2 width base afraid of it toppling over. – Cakelady Aug 11 '15 at 17:29
  • @Cakelady I'd go for the dowels. Three should be good (a table with three legs can't wobble). – Stephie Aug 11 '15 at 18:07
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    @Cakelady : is the issue that she wants the topper undamaged? If so, you might be able to use the idea of the larger base, but afix it with frosting, so it has a chance to harden up in advance, but can be cleaned off afterwards. – Joe Aug 11 '15 at 19:14
  • Even hot glue would peel off afterwards without damaging the topper. – Sobachatina Aug 11 '15 at 21:01
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I would suggest a miniature "tree stump" made of sugar; will match the theme and hold well if you stick the topper in the sugar.

Something like : http://www.foodmigration.com/2005/11/pulling-sugar-burning-thumbs.html

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    Do you realize you're recommending someone learn to pull sugar in the next 3 days? (When they also have to bake & decorate a wedding cake.) – Joe Aug 11 '15 at 16:42
  • The bride wants Round White Buttercream cakes. Any other suggestions? – Cakelady Aug 11 '15 at 17:27

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