I am doing a beer barrel cake for my brother's groom's cake in a few weeks.
For the right height/proportions, I was considering stacking four 12" round filled cakes that are individually 4" tall. However, we don't need that much cake and I have never stacked something that tall...not sure I am confident enough that I'll avoid a cake disaster...so I am thinking about using a 4" tall styrofoam cake dummy for the bottom tier and the third tier with cakes at second and top positions. I would support the dummies with pillars hidden in the cake layers and a dowel driven through the whole thing. Would this work? Is there an easier/better way?
ALL opinions/advice/experience welcome! I need to order the dummies ASAP if I decide to use them b/c the wedding is 3 wks away! THanks for reading.
Well, the important questions are:
How much cake do you need? Four 12" cakes is approx. 160 servings.
Any particular reason you selected 12" as opposed to 10" or some other size?
Does the cake need to be 16" tall?
If you're planning to taper the cake at the top and bottom like a barrel, the dummies could present a problem.
As for the positioning of the dummies, I really don't know what would be the best configuration. I've never included a dummy in a cake, so I don't have experience with that.
Do you have to make it that big? You can scale it down to the sizes you need for servings....
Just remember to dowel every 4 inches of cake is a board and some dowels. I would double board at least.Then run a big dowel down the center when your done. Support is KEY!!!!
...in addition to center dowel I once saw Collette Peters running subsequent dowels from 2nd to 1st (bottom tier) and even 3rd tier down to bottom. Just sharpen your wooden dowels with a pencil sharpener. As far as support, Dont laugh but I really like those plastic cake dowels. Yep in cases like this I wouldnt think twice of using two different types of dowels running through the tiers.
Needs some scale b/c I am using sugar bottles on top and if the barrel is too short or too skinny it won't look realistic. Was going off of someone else's recommendation of 12" rounds and 16" overall height...thinking about it now I relize that's probably overkill.
New plan: aiming for 10-12" in overall cake height and may downsize to 10" rounds. Still considering using a dummy as first tier to raise everything and not need as many layers of cake. Will play around with stuff (pans/beer bottles/etc.) at home this evening to decide final sizes.
Thanks for the ideas!!! I'll try to remember to come back & share the results. Event isn't for another 3 weeks.
I would probably use dummies as the bottom two tiers. Unless you were going to cut in without anyone around, they would see you pull off a dummy layer. Also, then you just have a 2 tier cake sitting on top of styrofoam. Less to worry about. Good luck!!