How Do I Get My Top Layer On Without Messing Up The Icing?

Decorating By JanessaJo Updated 6 Nov 2009 , 6:30pm by cakebaker1957

JanessaJo Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 10:11pm
post #1 of 20

Hey everyone! I'm new to this site and fairly new to cake decorating. I'm making my first double stacked caked and was wondering what is the best way to get the second layer on top without messing up the frosting? Also, if you could name one tip or trick to a beginner, what would it be? (I figure this is a quick way to get a few ideas from you professionals icon_wink.gif )



19 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 10:44pm
post #2 of 20

Well, I'm not a pro...

But here's how you get the top tier on. Cut the dowels to the length that you need, but only insert them halfway down into the bottom tier. Then set the top tier on and the weight of it will press the dowels in the rest of the way but leave you enough time to get your hands out.

Loucinda Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 10:44pm
post #3 of 20

Leave the dowels in your bottom tier up about an inch or so, set the top tier on there, and gravity will take it down.

leah_s Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 11:00pm
post #4 of 20

Or use SPS and then you can slide the tier into place!

JanessaJo Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 11:01pm
post #5 of 20

Do you have to use dowels? My top layer is going to be much smaller than the bottom one. and how do I get the top layer off the board its on and onto the top layer...with my hands? or with a tool?

ramie7224 Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 11:06pm
post #6 of 20

don't take the top layer off of its board. Trim the board to the same size as your cake (or if you're piping a boarder, slightly larger).

pattycakesnj Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 11:09pm
post #7 of 20

Each tier must be on its own board and you must use some type of support or the top tier can crush or sink into the bottom tier.
Welcome to CC by the way

and thanks Texasrose and loucinda for that great tip about leaving the dowels up a little and placing the next tier on. Wish I had known this trick sooner, would have saved countless hours fixing messed up BC

dstbni Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 11:16pm
post #8 of 20

Here's a great stacking tutorial by CC member tonedna

JanessaJo Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 11:33pm
post #9 of 20

Ok I'm confused, you leave the board under the top layer? I've bought layered cakes before and there has never been a board in there, or dowels.

Thanks for the welcome Pattycakes! icon_smile.gif

pattycakesnj Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 11:42pm
post #10 of 20

anything over 4 inches must have support, trust me, I speak from experience of cakes crushing each other. Each tier sits on its own cake board and the tier below has wooden dowels, bubble tea straws etc in it to support the next tier. Doesn't matter if it is only a 2 tier cake or a 5 tier cake. All must be supported in some way or you run the risk of crushing or sinking. Also it makes it easier to cut, just remove each tier to cut. HTH and good luck

dstbni Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 11:48pm
post #11 of 20

JanessaJo- Now I'm confused. Are you talking about layers or tiers? I'm not sure how you could stack tiers without some kind of support system to keep the top cake from crushing the bottom one.

ziggytarheel Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 11:50pm
post #12 of 20
Originally Posted by JanessaJo

Ok I'm confused, you leave the board under the top layer? I've bought layered cakes before and there has never been a board in there, or dowels.

Layers and tiers and 2 different things. Two layers of 2" or 3" each is fine, but each tier needs support.

JanessaJo Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 12:00am
post #13 of 20

I'm not exactly sure what a tier is (I told yall I was a beginner icon_wink.gif )My son's first birthday cake was a sheet cake with a number one cake on top of it. That's one of the cakes I was refering to, no dowels or boards were under the number one cake.

The cake I am doing is going to be a sheet cake (only a few inches high) and on top is going to be a much smaller cake only about 2 inches high as well. and I dont know how to get the smaller cake on the bigger one without messing up the icing.

pattycakesnj Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 12:11am
post #14 of 20

layers make up tiers. A tier can be 1 layer, 2 layers or 3 with icing in between. Layers are all the same size (usually, topsy turvy cakes are the exception) and tiers are different sizes stacked on top of each other. Layers are held together with frosting and decorated as 1 piece. A tier can be different then the next tier, in size, in design, decoration, cake flavor etc. Hope that makes sense.

dstbni Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 12:15am
post #15 of 20

Oh, okay. That should be fine then. A layer is one pan's worth of cake, usually 2-3" high. A tier is like a whole layer cake that is meant to be stacked on another cake (like each level of a wedding cake.) I'd use an icing spatula or some other really thin spatula to loosen the top cake from it's board, and then slide the cake off the side of the board onto the sheet cake. You'll probably still have a little damage, but nothing a little touch up can't fix, HTH.

dstbni Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 12:20am
post #16 of 20

Oh, and to add to the confusion, or maybe avoid some in the future, a torted layer is one that has been cut horizontally with filling in between (like an oreo).

letsgetcaking Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 12:44am
post #17 of 20

I think we're confused with the terminology you are using. Here is a cake with 3 tiers, which must have some kind of support between tiers. Each tier probably has 2 or 3 layers, and the bottom of each tier is on cardboard (which will help transfer the tiers when building the cake and also when cutting the cake):

This cake has 3 layers and needs no dowels for support, and should not have cardboard between the layers. icon_smile.gif

It sounds like you are making a cake more like the second one. You could use a flexible baking mat (like a silpat mat) to transfer the layer on top of the other one. Also, you could freeze the cakes before you frost them, which makes them a lot easier to move and frost. Feel free to clarify if we haven't answered your question.

*You also asked for good tips for newbies. Here's a great thread with a ton of the members' favorite tips:

JanessaJo Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 3:13am
post #18 of 20

Thanks for the help. I am defintely cleared up on some cake terminology icon_smile.gif I think my cake is inbetween those 2 examples but I am pretty sure it won't need any support. Wish me luck too....I'm going to start making cakes on the side and this baby shower cake I'm making this weekend is the first one I'm getting paid for! birthday.gif

leah_s Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 2:10pm
post #19 of 20

Now we have to remind you that depending on where you live and both your state's and city's rules, you may need to be inspected and licensed before you are allowed to sell cakes. You'll need to check the zoning ordinances, HOA rules if that sapplies, contact your local Health Department or Sate Department of Ag, you'll need liability insurance and perhaps you'll want to incorporae.

Once you move away from making cakes for family and into selling them, it's a whole new world.

cakebaker1957 Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 6:30pm
post #20 of 20
Originally Posted by JanessaJo

Ok I'm confused, you leave the board under the top layer? I've bought layered cakes before and there has never been a board in there, or dowels.

Thanks for the welcome Pattycakes! icon_smile.gif

Are you talking about the 2 layers together to make 1 big one, in other words when you bake a 2 layer cake the cake has to sit on a board or something to be able to move it, You will need a cake board under the entire cake so it can sit on the next cake, and do use dowel rods for support HTH

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