This will be my first 2 tier cake, I am using an 8 inch round and a 12 inch round. Do I need to put that little cardboard thing inbetween the 8 & 12in? Or will it be okay without it?
I would suggest using dowels in the first tier and placing the second tier on a cake board, which will be supported by the dowels. Without the dowels and the cake board, I wouldn't trust that the bottom tier would hold up. I always use this method even on cakes that are just two tiers. I personally prefer wooden dowels, but I know a lot of people use other types of dowels.
i too suggest dowels, and something inbetween your tiers. this will prevent imploding. something a learned a long time ago when i thought i could get away with out putting support on two tiers. i thoughy, hey-im not moving it anywhere it was staying at my house. i went to bed it was fine, got up in the morning and it had literally imploded onto itself.
you can never be too safe.
Support, in the form of a cake board/circle and dowels or a system, such as the SPS, must ALWAYS be used when stacking cakes.
Thank you guys SO much! I am going to put it together tomorrow so I'm glad to get this info!
I always use cardboard separator plates and dowels when stacking, but since my cakes always shrink a bit, should I go one size smaller on the board? For ex: should I use a 6" cardboard with an 8" cake? Or is there something to do to keep my cakes from shrinking that 1/4 of an inch? I normally just use the same size board to match the size of cake, but it's annoying that the board is just a bit too big...
^what they said^. It's not a matter of "suggesting" that you use a board and dowels; that is something that NEEDS to be done.
To Giamom: use the same size board as your cake - the icing should make up the difference. Also if you feel that your cakes shrink more than they should, check out bak*ing911*.com/cakes/problems.htm#Shrinks but take out the asterisks in the name <--. I used to have terrible shrinkage problems with my white cakes until I discovered I was not using enough flour. Problem was resolved when I started using a scale to measure ingredients, rather than scoop/sweep method. As per the troubleshooting chart...I had too much liquid. My scoop measurement was 1/4c shy of the full amount of flour!
not trying to bombard the original post, but I have a quick question... after u use the dowels on first layer, is it necessary to use a dowel all the way through the top layer through the bottom? If so, do you just sharpen the wooden dowel and stick it down through the first layer into the second or do you need to make a hole into the top cardboard circle first? Sorry again to get in on the original post.. TIA April
Anything over 4 or 5 inches tall must have supports. Wooden dowels or straws are fine for a 2 tier cake.
aprilblack, if the cake is not going to be moved then the center support is not really necessary. However, even when I do stack the cakes on site at a venue, I use a center support just to be safe. If I make a mutli tier cake for a party at my house, I don't bother. Yes, just sharpen the dowel and hammer lightly so the dowel goes thru all the card board, no need to make a hole ahead of time (I think it would be next to impossible to line them all up)
Thanks so much pattycakes for the help!