2 Tier Cakes! Newbie Help :)

Decorating By Fudgemallow Updated 8 Aug 2013 , 4:26pm by tealeafs

Fudgemallow Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:18pm
post #1 of 15

Hi im new to cake baking, although i have made simple cakes before im now expanding my skills and trying new things!

Im making a 2 tiered cake for my boyfriend next tuesday and preparing all the decorations tomorrow(saturday)

What would like to know is do you have to use dowels/straws and a cake base to stack a 2 tiered cake? I dont have dowels or those plastic straws and i dont have a shop near me that sells them. I would have to order online but they wouldnt come in time!
I only found out tonight that you needed to use dowels and cake boards when making a 2 tiered cake, if i had found out sooner i would have been more prepared!

What would happen if i didnt stack it with the dowels and board?
Thanks for any help, its most appreciated and so sorry for a stupid question, if i dont ask i wont learn icon_smile.gif

Thanks again icon_biggrin.gif

14 replies
greengyrl26 Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:27pm
post #2 of 15

YES...you have to use dowels or straws or something...it's the only way to support the top tier. The weight will be too much for the bottom tier without them and it will look all "smooshy" and have cracked fondant.

Use BBQ skewers from the grocery store. That's what I use. They already have a nice pointy edge and they're cheaper than regular dowels. Just trim to fit.


prterrell Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:31pm
post #3 of 15

If you don't use the board and dowels, the weight of the top cake will squash the bottom cake and the entire thing will collapse.

You can make your own cake board. Get a piece of sturdy cardboard and trace the pan to get the size you need. Cut it out and then cover with Glad Press-n-Seal Wrap.

Bubble tea straws can be used in place of the dowels. Or you can go to the hardwares store and buy 1/8" dowels, just make sure you wash them first in super hot water.

I'm not sure where you are located, but Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and Wal-mart all sell cake decorating supplies, including cake boards and dowels.

calynmom Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:32pm
post #4 of 15

If your in a pinch you could just use regular straws from any grocery store. You will definitely need cardboard under the second tier, otherwise your top cake will just sink into the dowels/straw supports in the bottom tier.

Good luck

anesha Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:40pm
post #5 of 15

As we all know cake is not something that is conducive to much weight, so if you were to stack the cakes without any support, the weight of the cake and icing would cause your bottom teir to crack and crumble. Dowels are obviously ideal because they are sturdy but here are a few suggestions that require things you either have or can obtain easily.

First I would make and deocrate the layers seperately since these temporary solutions might not last as long.

You can get very sturdy straws from McDonalds to use as dowels. Any wide thick straw will do, Panera bread has wide straws and you may even be able to find them at the grocery store.

You can use any kind of sturdy cardboard and cut it to fit the size needed for the cake. The issue you are going to run into here is where you get the cardboard. If it as been previously used then you run the risk of it being dirty or contaminated. If the enviornment is controlled and you are going to be in charge of the cake, you could cover the card board with foil or wax paper. Though I do not suggest this if this is a paid order as you are usually not in charge of cutting the cake and the last thing you want is to have to leave instructions involving being careful not to cut foil or paper and serve it with a slice of cake. icon_redface.gif

Again, these solutions are being suggested based on the fact that this cake is not for a paying client and you will have control over it. I hope these are helpful.... icon_biggrin.gif

_Jamie_ Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:45pm
post #6 of 15

Oh sweet! McDonalds is selling their straws now....forget you BobaTeaDirect! icon_biggrin.gif

Chasey Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:58pm
post #7 of 15
Originally Posted by calynmom

If your in a pinch you could just use regular straws from any grocery store. You will definitely need cardboard under the second tier, otherwise your top cake will just sink into the dowels/straw supports in the bottom tier.
Good luck

This is exactly what I did last night for a 6 x2 inch tier on top of a 8 x 2 inch tier. The top tier had a piece of carboard box cut to size and wrapped in wax paper.

I used regular drinking straws cut to the height of the bottom tier and placed them in the shape of an X with one in the middle, dead center.

A BBQ skewer meant for grilling went through my entire cake, through the two cardboards. I just clipped off the extra up top.

If you let your cake icing crust, then stack...make sure you use some fresh icing as "glue" when you put the two layers together.

If you are transporting, hopefully you have a piece of that non slip stuff in a cabinet or under a rug. icon_wink.gif But a clean piece of course. icon_biggrin.gif Lay that down in a box and then your cake on top of that.

Your grocery store should have all of those items!

Fudgemallow Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 8:26pm
post #8 of 15

Thanks so much useful tips thumbs_up.gif

Im in Scotland so dont have a wal-mart etc. and our supermarkets dont stock much baking equipment icon_sad.gif

I do have plenty of unused cardboard boxes that i can cut to size and cover with tinfoil or something similar??

As for the straw, i have plenty of straws at home but i dont think they are as sturdy as Mac Donalds straws, so will have a nip to there and get some!

With the straws do i just do the same as with dowels! push them through the cake, mark, cut and put back in? Or is there another way to insert?

I wont be assembling the cake until the day of my boyfriends birthday and it will be transported in a box with someone holding it. It isnt a paid cake im making it as a surprise icon_smile.gif

Im really excited about it because its my first fondant cake so it sould be fun icon_lol.gif

Thanks for all the great tips icon_biggrin.gif

prterrell Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 8:30pm
post #9 of 15

With the straws, you can cut them with scissors whilst they are still in the cake.

You might want to update your profile w/ your location, so that we know you're not in the US. icon_smile.gif

tealeafs Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 4:28am
post #10 of 15

Hi, super noob on tiered cakes, so please forgive a super noob question: We place dowels into unfrosted cake, right? icon_redface.gif

thelittlecakery Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 4:53am
post #11 of 15

AI frost the cake first, let it "crust" then put the towels, straws, whichever, then stack the next tier.

thelittlecakery Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 4:54am
post #12 of 15


thelittlecakery Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 4:58am
post #13 of 15

AI just read you're using fondant, so I apply the fondant (smoothed and ready like it's the only tier), then insert straws into bottom tier then the next tier.

tealeafs Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 4:26pm
post #15 of 15

Thanks so much, littlecakery, your replies definitely helped!

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