Help. . .dowel Through All Layers To Stack A Cake???

Decorating By forheavenscake Updated 8 Oct 2009 , 9:09pm by deliciously_decadent

forheavenscake Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 7:05pm
post #1 of 28

I just finished watching Edna's tutorial on youtube for stacking a cake "her way". . seems easy enough except i am stumped at her last step. She takes a sharp dowel the length of the entire cake and sticks it down the middle of the cake. Will this really go through the cardboard under each layer?? She looked like she barely had to even tap it, how is it going through the card board (covered in wax paper mind you) so easily?

I will be trying this in a couple weeks and don't want to screw up. . also, I will be doing this on a fondant cake, so how do I cover up the hole at the top of the cake? (mine will only be two tiers).

Thanks

27 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 7:11pm
post #2 of 28

You can do it without the center dowel if you're not taking it anywhere, or if you're stacking it when you get there. You can also cut a hole in the middle of the cake board before you put the cake on, stick the dowel into the bottom tier and then lower the top tier onto the dowel. Just make sure you cut the dowel a little shorter than the total height of the cake. That way you could do it without having a hole at the top.

It's not hard to get the dowel through the boards. I use foamcore and so I use a hammer to get the dowel through the cake. The cakes I've done with a center dowel all had some sort of decoration on top which covered the hole.

forheavenscake Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 7:17pm
post #3 of 28

Thank You! I think since this one will only be 2 tiers it won't be a huge deal. I will be traveling with the cake though and don't want to risk anything. I will try lowering the cake onto the dowel. I appreciate your quick response. .thanks so much!

indydebi Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 7:47pm
post #4 of 28

A sharpened dowel will go thru those cardboards like soft butter. I didn't believe it was possible either. I then found myself being forced to do my first stacked-n-delivered cake, so I HAD to do the dowel-down-the-middle. I couldn't believe how easy it was! I kept my eyes open and everything!

It really REALLY does work like Edna shows in her video.

millermom Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 7:47pm
post #5 of 28

Be careful if you are lowering the cake down on to the dowel, because if your hole is not EXACTLY in the center, the entire tier will be off-center. Trust me, I've learned from sad experience, even after measuring for the center, and everything. icon_mad.gif

mightydragon663 Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 8:06pm
post #6 of 28

Okay, this is probably a really dumb question, but how do you sharpen the dowel? icon_confused.gif

millermom Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 8:09pm
post #7 of 28

You sharpen it with a pencil sharpener that is ONLY used for your cake dowels

indydebi Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 8:24pm
post #8 of 28

As a kid, we learned to whittle with a pocket knife, so that's how I sharpen mine.

Texas_Rose Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 8:36pm
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by millermom

You sharpen it with a pencil sharpener that is ONLY used for your cake dowels




What's really funny is to sharpen a dowel, then hand it to your kid when they ask for a pencil icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_biggrin.gif You should see their little faces. I've gotten both of my kids that way before.

mightydragon663 Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 9:52pm
post #10 of 28

What's really funny is to sharpen a dowel, then hand it to your kid when they ask for a pencil You should see their little faces. I've gotten both of my kids that way before.

lol! I can just imagine the puzzled looks when they try to write with it.
icon_cry.gificon_lol.gificon_cry.gificon_lol.gificon_cry.gificon_lol.gificon_cry.gificon_lol.gif

deliciously_decadent Posted 4 Oct 2009 , 6:25am
post #11 of 28

hehe i was horrifies when i saw this too lol!! since seeing it i asked her, she uses foam core or styro/polystyrene boardsallowing her to jam the dowel through the center, here in australia we use very thick cake cards that you couldn't poke anything through, so i pre drill holes for my central dowel, i then hot glue gunt he central dowel into a predrilled hole in the base board and then thread each cake over the central daowel icon_smile.gif nothinh moves!!

chleonard Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 1:41am
post #12 of 28

i have a 5 tier (14,12, 10, 8,and 6) wedding cake this weekend that i will assemble at the location. i plan on doweling each individual cake (obviously), but would you recommend putting a long dowel all the way through the whole length?
and if so, where can i buy long dowels?
thanks!

deliciously_decadent Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 1:52am
post #13 of 28

you do not need to central dowel a cake unless it is beingmoved, it is a seafety procedure for transport so that the tiers do not slide icon_smile.gif

leah_s Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 2:14am
post #14 of 28

You guys do know about SPS right? Easier to use and way more stable than dowels. And I will say this again and again. The center dowel is false security. There have been plenty of stories on here about a cake going sideways and the dowel staying firmly implanted in the bottom board, as it tears thru the cake.

With SPS, I can (and have) held a fully assembled three tier cake at a 30 degree angle and nothing moves at all. Just to demonstrate how stable the system is.

deliciously_decadent Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 3:05am
post #15 of 28

SPS is ridiculaously expensive to get in australia, we also use different cake boards that are extremely sturdy and when you attach the center dowel to the actual cake base board nothing is going anywhere i have slammed on my breaks to avoid an accident and no issue with 3 large stacked cakes in the car

franzel Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 8:56am
post #16 of 28

I still want to know how you cover the hole you've made in the fondant at the top of the cake if you don't have a topper?

deliciously_decadent Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 9:50am
post #17 of 28

you dont have a hole in the top if you do it my way icon_smile.gif as youtrim the dowel before you add the last tier so that it only goes half way through the top, as with my method you thread the cakes onto the dowel it doesn't ever go through the top
edna uses butter cream so she just filles the hole with more buttercream

chleonard Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 3:28pm
post #18 of 28

thanks for the tips on doweling through the center. i will be assembling the cake on site, so maybe i won't bother with the dowel.
for future reference, does anyone know where i can buy a long dowel for the whole length of the cake?

deliciously_decadent Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 10:10pm
post #19 of 28

if you can't get them from your cake supplier you can get them at the hardware shop (just be sure to steralise it icon_smile.gif

franzel Posted 7 Oct 2009 , 11:49am
post #20 of 28

silly me! don't go through the top just put the cake on top of the dowel. So, the next person said be sure to sterlize your wooden dowels. What is the process for that? I've never seen or been instructed to do so. Can you please shared how you sterlize them?

Rachie204 Posted 7 Oct 2009 , 2:23pm
post #21 of 28

wow i watched that and now i am so confused...lol. Maybe i was already confused and that video just exposed it...I haven't done a tiered cake yet but am about to try one. I know you use dowels for support....what I am confused about is what good is it to put short dowels in each tier by themselves like Edna did. How is a little dowel that doesn't enter the other tier help the cake from toppling over or does she do this just to add structure to the individual tier? I saw her put one long dowel through the entire cake but what about all the other spots...? I hope this question make sense.

Rachie204 Posted 7 Oct 2009 , 2:31pm
post #22 of 28

YAY I found another video that explained it to me....i get it now. Phew...that was stressful.

pattycakesnj Posted 7 Oct 2009 , 2:51pm
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by chleonard

thanks for the tips on doweling through the center. i will be assembling the cake on site, so maybe i won't bother with the dowel.
for future reference, does anyone know where i can buy a long dowel for the whole length of the cake?




I use the long dowel rods that you can buy with the barbeque stuff, I think they are for shish kabob and they are really long (much longer than the long ones Wilton sells)

chleonard Posted 7 Oct 2009 , 4:11pm
post #24 of 28

can you get the long dowels with the bbq stuff at a grocery store? does ac moore and michaels sell them?

pattycakesnj Posted 7 Oct 2009 , 4:27pm
post #25 of 28

I got mine at the Christmas Tree shop for $1.99 for a package of 12. I never saw them at Michaels or AC Moore and if your supermarket still has barbeque stuff, I would check there.

deliciously_decadent Posted 8 Oct 2009 , 2:38am
post #26 of 28

i don't steralise the dowels i get form my cake supplier, but if you were to get them at a hardware stor i would wipe them over with pure alcohol to be sure they haven't got any icky bits on them icon_smile.gif

young9 Posted 8 Oct 2009 , 1:53pm
post #27 of 28

i'm doing my first ever wedding cake and i have to travel with it! where do i find this tutorial??

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