silly as I am, I am doing my own wedding cake later this year, and wanted a 2 tier sponge cake. Up until now Iv only done single tier cakes so am completely at a loss as to where to start. I was going to make a square cake, and noticed the idea of making each cake on its own board, then using dowels - problem is I was going to cover in buttercream icing, and presumed this wouldnt work as the top cake board would be sat on top of the buttercream (which sounds messy!) I hate using fondant, and cant think how I would cover a square cake neatly, so really would prefer to use buttercream if there is a way!!! Any suggestions anyone???
You would actually put dowel rods, or straws cut to the height of the lower cake (or maybe slightly taller) and the upper cake rests on these supports, not the cake. I also like t cut out a piece of parchment or wax paper just a little smaller than the upper cake to go in between, just in case.
When I tier a cake and set cake upon cake, I put some jimmies or sprinkles between the cake and the board above it. It keeps the icing from attaching itself to the board and folks think its fun to have sprinkles on their cake! Also, make sure your dowels come to just the height of the icing or a tiny bit below- you don't want the cake to press on the one below and icing squeezing out the sides and ruining the look of your cake. And finally, there is a great book out there called "Wedding Cakes You Can Make: Designing, Baking, and Decorating the Perfect Wedding Cake" by Dede Wilson". It really takes you step by step thru the process and I checked it out at the library first but loved it so much- I bought it! It helps with ALL cakes not just weddings: baking, freezing, recipes, servings, etc. Good Luck with your cake!
I'm sure this goes without saying, but you should really do a practice cake sometime beforehand just to make sure you're happy with how things come out. It's just way too much pressure on yourself to try to teach yourself a new technique on anyone's wedding cake, much less your own. One of my favorite hints about dowels is for if you're going to finish it at home and transport it already built: I measure a dowel just shy of the total height of my cake, then sharpen the tip with a pencil sharpener. I punch it down through the top middle of my top layer, punching through the cardboard cakeboard it sits on (which sits on top of dowels going through the lower cake, making sure not to do those small dowels in the center). Then re-cover the top where the hole is, or put flowers over or your topper or whatever to hide it. This firmly attaches the top layer to the bottom so it can't slide off in transit. If you don't do this, then there's not much holding the two tiers together and one big turn could spell disaster. With a nice dowel down through the center, you can pretty much take one on a roller coaster and it won't slide apart. Place it on a damp towel on a level surface in the car (I use the tailgate) so it won't slide, or have someone hold it the whole way. Good luck and Best Wishes!