The Importance Of Dowelling!!!

Decorating By yaadie Updated 12 Oct 2009 , 3:02am by cabecakes

yaadie Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 10:09pm
post #1 of 9

well, here is my first REAL disaster...and I thought I had some before..lol

last month I made a 3D Mr. POtato Head cake for my 5 year old....I worked on it all day, from baking the cakes, stacking the cakes and carving. I used 3 layer cakes with supports in each layer. When I started to crumb coat the cake I realised it was not sturdy and had that DO'H moment. I forgot to put a dowell through the centre of the cake. It was too late to do it at this point as each cake board (although cut smaller than the cake) did not have a centre hole for the dowel!! well...how to fix this??? hmmmm I put the cake in the fridge to set the crumb coat and thought when I cover it with buttercream and then fondant, it will 'glue' it all together....and since the cake did not have to travel it should be fine...
The cake out great!! I had made all of Mr. Potato head's parts weeks before and it looked great. My son was ecstatic!! this was about 7pm...the party was the next day at 2pm... well, I went on my merry way, the cake was fine..I cleaned the house and got the kids all bathed, we watched a movie and then went upstairs at 10:30 for bed...on my way up the stairs I looked in the dining room and the cake was in 2 pieces!!!! the entire top half had flipped off the cake....fondant cracked and torn, as if someone tried to decapitate Mr. POtato head!!!!
I was so exhausted I almost cried, no way I could redo that cake that night...I sighed, wiped my tearas and went to bed!! the next morning I got up at 6am and redid his cake...alas..and sadly...it was a regular sheet buttercream... shape of Mr. potato head and all buttercream... luckily..I was able to salvage the parts (eyes, nose, ears, arms, mouth and feet) but my son was not happy....he said the other one was better.. icon_cry.gif
In the end, the guests liked the cake and we ate cake all week!!!
(my igital camera had died that very week, so I got NO pictures of eitehr cake, sadly, and I am waiting on my brotehr in law to email me the pics he took of the replacement cake)

8 replies
Callyssa Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 10:21pm
post #2 of 9

I'm sorry! Would it make you feel any better to have someone to commiserate with?! I had my first real disaster last night....my carved whimsical style bottom tier that I'd gotten talked into in the first place started to get a tiny little hairline crack in the center (you know where I'm going with this!), and within 20 seconds it looked like an earthquake had hit! Broke completely in half. I was up until 3 this a.m. rebaking, icing, and back up at 10 to finish and put it all together. Today is my daughter's bd and I was supposed to be doing a cute little Hello Kitty cake for her but all she's getting is pink icing and a purple bow!

I'm so sorry you didn't even get pictures, that really makes it feel worse!

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

Just for future reference, if you sharpen your dowel (electric pencil sharpener is great) you can just hammer it down through the center of the cake--right through the boards. Pre-drilled holes are not necessary for cardboard or foamcore (unless you do the reverse doweling technique).

indydebi Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 10:43pm
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZiab

Just for future reference, if you sharpen your dowel (electric pencil sharpener is great) you can just hammer it down through the center of the cake--right through the boards. Pre-drilled holes are not necessary for cardboard or foamcore (unless you do the reverse doweling technique).



Pink is SO right. I was scared to do it the first time, but that dowel goes thru the cardboards like a knife thru soft butter. TOO easy!

yaadie Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 10:46pm
post #5 of 9

(pink) really!!??? I will HAVE to remember that......thanks a bunch!!!!!!!!!!
lol...and yes, I knew where you were going with it, with he hairline crack...and had to make do without the hello kitty.....we are sisters in arms..lol

manomi Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 11:02pm
post #6 of 9

Sorry it happened to you icon_sad.gif I can imagine how it must have felt...and no pictures! icon_sad.gif
One related question. I m really scared to do a dowel through out the cake. I have visions of cake splitting from everywhere. Do we do it after it has been completely assembled, covered with fondant and decorated? should the cake be chilled before that?
Sorry about hijacking ur post icon_redface.gif

StaceyCakes75 Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 11:27pm
post #7 of 9

I decorate all my tiers. Dowel each tier. Stack and dowel them all together like the previous posters said. Sharpen the end and hammer gently and it goes straight through. No cracking or splitting. This only works if you have a topper to cover the hole. If I don't have a topper I will dowel the bottom Tiers and cut a hole in the cake board of the top tier and slide it down the dowel. Just make sure your dowel is shorter than the cake. You don't want it poking through the top.

Pagea Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 11:28pm
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by marianauman

Sorry it happened to you icon_sad.gif I can imagine how it must have felt...and no pictures! icon_sad.gif
One related question. I m really scared to do a dowel through out the cake. I have visions of cake splitting from everywhere. Do we do it after it has been completely assembled, covered with fondant and decorated? should the cake be chilled before that?
Sorry about hijacking ur post icon_redface.gif




Hi. I'm a newbie but I have made several tiered cakes covered with fondant and others with just BC. When using fondant, I placed the dowels in each cake prior to putting the fondant on and finished decorating as normal after that. With BC I add the dowels as I stack the tiers and decorate as I normally would. Hope that makes sense icon_redface.gif

cabecakes Posted 12 Oct 2009 , 3:02am
post #9 of 9

Sorry to hear about your disaster. You say you had to eat cake all week like it was a bad thing. See, I would think that that was looking on the bright side. LOL. Well at least all ended well. At least, although tired, you were still able to have cake at your son's birthday party. And it didn't have to come from walmart.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%