Leaving Your Dowels Exposed Slightly???

Decorating By Mikel79 Updated 18 Jun 2009 , 5:36pm by JGMB

Mikel79 Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 4:34pm
post #1 of 17

Hi all!

I read on a "How To Stack a cake" post that someone leaves there dowels exposed out of there buttercream iced cake "slightly" when stacking. This helps with several problems when stacking with dowels all the way in. I was going to try this out on my next cake but I am afraid to do it =)

Has anyone done this? The post stated that they place a center dowel thru the entire cake, but it seems to me that the cake will still likely to shift because it is not actually sitting directly on the cake on top of the dowels.

Does anyone have any experiencewith this method?

16 replies
varika Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 4:37pm
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikel79

Hi all!

I read on a "How To Stack a cake" post that someone leaves there dowels exposed out of there buttercream iced cake "slightly" when stacking. This helps with several problems when stacking with dowels all the way in. I was going to try this out on my next cake but I am afraid to do it =)

Has anyone done this? The post stated that they place a center dowel thru the entire cake, but it seems to me that the cake will still likely to shift because it is not actually sitting directly on the cake on top of the dowels.

Does anyone have any experiencewith this method?




You're supposed to leave them exposed slightly by not pushing them all the way down--then, when you put the next tier on, it pushes the dowels down all the way so the next tier is sitting on the cake. It works fine.

phoufer Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 4:44pm
post #3 of 17

I tried it that way for my first stacked cake and the tiers ended up crooked. Why not use the sps system it is simple and foolproof! I threw all my dowels away!

tiggy2 Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 4:48pm
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoufer

I tried it that way for my first stacked cake and the tiers ended up crooked. Why not use the sps system it is simple and foolproof! I threw all my dowels away!




I 2nd this statement!

natou Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 4:57pm
post #5 of 17

My experience: one time i left the dowels a little higher than the cake, when I put the tier cake on top , everything was ok but when I picked it up to move it, the top tier was not really sitting on bottom cake just on those dowels so it was like dancing and not stable. Now I just cut them exactly the same high and everything is fine. When you run the center dowel through the cakes , you still need to dowel each tier first.

Rylan Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 5:02pm
post #6 of 17

I just level the dowels the same height as the cake.

varika Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 5:13pm
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by natou

My experience: one time i left the dowels a little higher than the cake, when I put the tier cake on top , everything was ok but when I picked it up to move it, the top tier was not really sitting on bottom cake just on those dowels so it was like dancing and not stable. Now I just cut them exactly the same high and everything is fine. When you run the center dowel through the cakes , you still need to dowel each tier first.




Even when you leave the dowels exposed, you're SUPPOSED to cut them to the same height as the bottom cake, so the weight of the next tier pushes them down in.

Criola Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 5:26pm
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoufer

I tried it that way for my first stacked cake and the tiers ended up crooked. Why not use the sps system it is simple and foolproof! I threw all my dowels away!




Dido!!!

miny Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 5:37pm
post #9 of 17

I tried to get the SPS yesterday and couldn't find it anywhere! Can you only order it online or where can I find it?

__Jamie__ Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 5:39pm
post #10 of 17

I prefer SPS, but when I don't use SPS, I use tea straws...no sawdust from sawing the dowels, much easier to get tea straws all the same length.

Loucinda Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 6:08pm
post #11 of 17

I do the same as _Jaime_ - either SPS or the bubble tea straws. Never had a problem - cut the first dowel level with the cake and then cut all the remaining straws from the first one - that way they are all the same size - no leaning.

When you put them in the cake, leave them up about 1" then you have room for your fingers to set the next cake on without messing the icing of the base tier up. Gravity will take it down - works like a charm!

I only do a center dowel IF I am transporting assembled, which I rarely do. (I am usually by myself when I deliver)

icer101 Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 6:41pm
post #12 of 17

i use all 3 systems.. when you use the wooden dowels. and cut them for each tier... when you put them in the tier.. you leave the dowel sticking out of the cake. a little.. then when you put the next tier on.. you fingers stays out of the icing.. etc.. the next tier slowly goes down and fits on the bottom tier.. then when you put the wooden dowel all the way thru all tiers.. it secures the tiers.. have done this for 13 years. never had a problem... the problem .comes .. when you don,t dowel the tiers right. and the long dowel.. never had any sawdust in my cakes ... when you use a rachet action pruner, you don,t get saw dust.. i use the bubble tea straws also ..like sharon shows and she also uses the dowels. in the stacking dvd and topsy turvy.. also have used the sps system . will again next weekend. hth

mommy2kids Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 8:36am
post #13 of 17

My experience with dowels... crooked cakes... anyone have advice on how to cut them and keep them straight? Never fails, I stack the cake and it is slightly wobbly and crooked! icon_smile.gif I don't have the money for sps right now! Thanks, hope this will help with your question, since I have the same icon_wink.gif

Unlimited Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 9:21am
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2kids

My experience with dowels... crooked cakes... anyone have advice on how to cut them and keep them straight? Never fails, I stack the cake and it is slightly wobbly and crooked! icon_smile.gif I don't have the money for sps right now! Thanks, hope this will help with your question, since I have the same icon_wink.gif




I don't really understand how your cakes could turn out crooked or wobbly if your dowels are all cut to the same length. Regardless of what tool you use to cut the first one with, use it (the first one) as a guide for all the rest of the dowels, or mark them all with a pencil before you cut.

For the last 32 of my 37 years decorating, I almost always use wooden dowels, but I'll tell you what makes it so easy... I definitely don't use a hacksaw to cut 'em, it isn't necessary. If you buy wooden skewer sticks (they come in a box of 1000 and are almost the diameter of a pencil), they are pointed on one end and you can easily hold the point in your scissors or wire cutters and apply enough pressure to either cut it completely off or score it enough to snap the point off. Walla! Of course, these aren't long enough if you're making extra tall tiers, but should be the perfect size for your typical 2-layer tiers.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck creating straight cakes!

Texas_Rose Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 10:39am
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2kids

My experience with dowels... crooked cakes... anyone have advice on how to cut them and keep them straight? Never fails, I stack the cake and it is slightly wobbly and crooked! icon_smile.gif I don't have the money for sps right now! Thanks, hope this will help with your question, since I have the same icon_wink.gif




Try using the hollow white plastic Wilton dowels. They're much thicker than a wooden dowel so they're more stable, plus you can cut them with a serrated kitchen knife. They're cheap too...about $3 or less at Michaels even without using a coupon. The only thing about them is, if you're using a serving guide with small pieces, the dowels take up enough room that you have to account for them in your servings.

cai0311 Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 5:10pm
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Quote:

I tried to get the SPS yesterday and couldn't find it anywhere! Can you only order it online or where can I find it?




I was wondering the same thing. When I google SPS all I come up are supports from Wilton.

JGMB Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 5:36pm
post #17 of 17

Here's a whole thread about the SPS -- where to buy it, how to use it. Hope it helps! http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-603925.html

I, personally, have never tried it, so I'm no help there.

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