How Can I Make A 16" Tall Mountain Cake?

Decorating By kathik Updated 29 Dec 2009 , 11:19pm by kathik

kathik Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 12:26am
post #1 of 16

I want to make a 16" tall carved mountain cake, 12" x 18" at widest point on base cake, covered in fondant. Is this possible or will it be to top heavy to move? I need to be able to drive it 30 minutes from the assembly point.

I have never carved a cake before, so any advice is welcome. I was planning to use the SPS system because I used that for the one wedding cake I made and it was very sturdy.

Please give me any suggestions you have to offer, especially on how I can avoid hitting the rods in the lower cake when carving.


15 replies
baycheeks1 Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 1:10am
post #2 of 16

What you could do is to start out with the widest cake you want on the bottom, torted and filled with whatever flavor icing you are you planning to use. Top with the next layer of cake that will be smaller than the 12 x 18, whatever size maybe a 13x9. And just build up from there.

As far as the dowels go, I have there are two options. One, dowel each layer of cake like you would a tiered cake, and place a cake board in between each "tier". Shape the mountain, crumbcoat, dowel down the center, and put fondant, if thats what you're using. The only problem I see with this is that you dont want to shape the cake and then run into one of the cakeboards and there be cardboard peices on/in the cake.

Second option, build the cake, with the largest layer on the bottom and build up and in from there. Dont put any cakeboards. Crumb coat, dowel down the center, and then fondant the outside.

kathik Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 2:15am
post #3 of 16

Thanks for the ideas baycheeks1.

I have a pattern for the shape of the base cake. Maybe I could practic with foamcore and then I would have a shape pattern for each smaller size. I am worried that if I don't have multiple dowels or cakeboards in between that the whole thing will collapse or sink. Am I being paranoid?


baycheeks1 Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 2:32am
post #4 of 16

IDK...I was hoping that someone who had done somethin this tall would have posted something. The highest I have done without a dowel is about 7-8 inches.

I would think to do the dowels with the cakeboards, but like I said you want to make sure there are no extra ingredients (i.e. cardboard) when carving the cake...

Lelka Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 2:41am
post #5 of 16

I made this one, it was about 12" height and about 9" diameter. I had a dowel all the way through to the board. Cake traveled an hour without any problems.

kathik Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 2:55am
post #6 of 16

Lelka, your cake is adorable! Did you use cake boards between any of the layers? And you only used the one central dowel?

Thanks again for your help,

Lelka Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 3:41am
post #7 of 16

Thank you for the compliment. The cake itself was chiffon cake that I carved frozen. Its a light cake and I wasn't worried about the weight and there was no internal support but the center dowel.

Doug Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 4:11am
post #8 of 16

16" tall is same as 4 tier cake.

so 12x18 base

then 12" round tier
then 10" round tier
then wonder mold cake (8" diameter base and all ready a rounded shape for top of mountain)

carve tiers so slant in to next tier on top.

for even more height (20"+) add 8" round tier between the 10 and wonder mold.

use scraps to make cake balls shaped like boulders and rocks.

kathik Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 4:33am
post #9 of 16

Thanks Doug.

It will actually work better for me to use 9x13's because of the shape of the mountain. It's supposed to be Mt. Sinai which has more of a "flat" top. I'll post a photo below.

My biggest concern is the internal structure. I've never made a cake 4 tiers tall and I don't want it to crash or sink. I just want to know if I should thoroughly dowel and use cake boards in between the tiers or not.


Doug Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 4:43am
post #10 of 16

of course board and dowel, like any multi tier cake. and would be remiss if didn't recommend the SPS system

great sketch btw

and flat top is even easier...
just use 8" round instead of wonder mold.

kathik Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 5:19am
post #11 of 16

Thanks Doug!

Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I already thought if it was necessary I would use SPS since I used that before and liked it.

But, one question about using SPS for this cake...Should I use one smaller than the actual tier since I will be carving?

I'm actually flying back to NC to make this cake so I need to preplan as much as possible and order what I'll need. icon_rolleyes.gif Okay, I admit it, I'm a LITTLE compulsive about planning and would be doing a lot of pre-planning anyway! icon_redface.gif

Thanks again,

Cake_Mooma Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 7:47am
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by kathik

I'm actually flying back to NC to make this cake so I need to preplan as much as possible and order what I'll need. icon_rolleyes.gif Okay, I admit it, I'm a LITTLE compulsive about planning and would be doing a lot of pre-planning anyway! icon_redface.gif

Thanks again,

Plan, pre plan and pre plan some more.....that would be me thumbs_up.gif I would be going nuts if I was going to be making a cake somewhere that is not my normal surroundings. Good luck!

Oh and yes I agree with the others, dowels and boards between the tiers and the center one. I sometimes ad two center dowels. one to the left of center and one to the right so not one in the complete center.

Hope it helps.


kathik Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 4:14pm
post #13 of 16

So, should I use a separator plate/cake board that is smaller than my "beginning" tier, since I will be carving??


Doug Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 6:27pm
post #14 of 16

this may help.

superimposed tiers on sketches.

note how you use full size plates under each tier and carve lower tier to slant in to the plate

drakegore Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 6:46pm
post #15 of 16

i did a volcano this summer that was over 18' (in my photos and doug helped me too, with the dry ice, thanks doug!). i used 10", 9", 8" and 6" stacked rounds which i carved. i would have loved to have sps but did not.
i used cardboard rounds, wooden dowels on each of the supporting tiers and a long center dowel.

i had a round wooden base cut to support was super heavy. it held up fine during transportation luckily.
if i had not had a very durable and stable base, it would have been a disaster.

using the cardboard rounds did have one nice thing about it: when i carved, if i had miscalculated, i could just "carve" the cardboard icon_smile.gif.

good luck!

kathik Posted 29 Dec 2009 , 11:19pm
post #16 of 16

Hi drakegore! I love your Volcano cake! I am actually going to use dry ice with this cake because it is for a Bar Mitzvah and the portion being read is when God gives the ten commandments on Mt. Sinai. There was lightning and smoke, etc.

Okay, so I am still trying to figure out what size separator plates to get. (Sorry, Doug icon_redface.gif ) I plan to make the mountain ovalish, not round, so I am wondering if I should get a size smaller separator plate then the cake I am starting with. This would give me room to carve more on the longer sides. Would it be a stability problem if I have an inch or so of cake extending beyond the separator plate?

Thanks again,

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