How To Frost Or Decorate Cake Dummy? How Do You Stack?

Decorating By charleezgal Updated 5 Jul 2016 , 8:37pm by Lynnette13

charleezgal Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 8:43pm
post #1 of 25

I'm thinking about using a a cake dummy at a bridal fair next month. I've never even seen a "dummy" in person. How do you decorate it or cover it with frosting or fondant? Are they easy to work with? If I stack or tier a cake, how does that work with a dummy?

Any help or ideas are appreciated. thumbs_up.gif

24 replies
LateBloomer Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 9:02pm
post #2 of 25

I love working with dummies, especially if you are making a smallish 2 tier. I can never get the top small cake to work so I revert to using dummies.
If you want rounded edges on top sand lightly with a fine sandpaper. Even a piece of styrofoam from packaging works well. Then just wet with water and cover. Works perfectly.

paula1234 Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 11:55pm
post #3 of 25

This is my first time working with dummies, too. There is this stuff called perma-ice that you can get to ice the dummies in if you want the buttercream look. It is expensive. I went to Home Depot and got spackling that you repair holes in the walls with. The kind I got went on pink and dried white. I let my dry for 2 days and then sanded them. Perfect. I also went to Home Depot for my cake stand. I got a piece of plywood and cut it out. Went into the plumbing dept. and got a flange and pvc pipe and attached those to the board, cut holes in my dummies with a drill and just slid them down the pipe and put on a cap on top of the pvc pipe. Looks great.

awela Posted 27 Feb 2010 , 6:17am
post #4 of 25

First step, prepare the board. Roll fondant the right size and lightly moist the board with water proceeding to cover it. Smooth fondant and with an exacto knife shave the edges where the fondant is sticking out. Now with the small rolling pin rub the border of the top part of the foam dummy - this is to smooth the sharp edge which might ruin the fondant. Roll out the fondant for the dummy and again lightly brush it with water. I use my big rolling pin to transfer the fondant on top of the cakes. Lightly powder the rolling pin so that the fondant does not stick to it - start from the front of the "cake" towards you. Then smooth the fondant by softly pressing it against the cake. For decoration, you can look at samples over the internet. Good luck.

dalis4joe Posted 27 Feb 2010 , 1:29pm
post #5 of 25


I start by covering my cake dummies with press and seal or saran wrap... why? so if I want to do another design later on I can just brake the fondant and remove the plastic wrap and I have a dummy cake to re-use if needed....
But just so you know.. it's awesome to work with dummy cakes.. better than regular cake lol cause it's sturdy, some people use piping gel but I use and spritzer (with the settings on the lightest mist you can get) I mist the wrap covered dummy cake and put the fondant... it's very easy... to stack them, since mine are wrapped... I use tan tape (i think it's packing tape) and they stay together....
some people make RKT and mold them into a cake pan to get the shape... and use that as dummy cakes...
Here is a tutorial on it by Lorraine..... this might help you....

Good Luck!

SallyBratt Posted 27 Feb 2010 , 2:12pm
post #6 of 25

That's an awesome tip on the RKT for cake dummies! I never thought of that.

I use piping gel before putting the fondant on. That's how we were taught at school. And stacking is very dowels or supports needed. Just put some BC or piping gel on the tier underneath so the one of top will stick...or you can even hot glue it since no one will be eating it.

dalis4joe Posted 27 Feb 2010 , 2:51pm
post #7 of 25

that's true.... hot glue can work also.... icon_smile.gif

here is another tutorial...

Postal_Cakemaker Posted 27 Feb 2010 , 3:09pm
post #8 of 25

Thanks for the info!!

indydebi Posted 27 Feb 2010 , 3:50pm
post #9 of 25

I iced my dummies with regular 'ole BC (less the vanilla and the dream whip, since no one is going to taste it). I never used any kind of saran or wrap, even with the dummies that I used fondant on. Fondant came off with a 'little' more difficulty than fondant but not that much.

I used BC as glue between the tiers to hold them together. The BC dries like concrete (or at least mine does) so it holds just fine. No glue, nails, or other forms of formal attachment necessary. I'd pick up a 3 or 4 tier cake by the top tier to carry it and never had one fall apart.

You'll find the smaller dummies are a PITA to work with. Because they are lightweight, they tend to move around when working on them. Some good size pieces of no-skid material under the dummy will work great.

dalis4joe Posted 27 Feb 2010 , 4:11pm
post #10 of 25

I hate covering the small ones... once I ordered the 3" round.... OH MYYYY ggrrrrrrr lol

ljudd1969 Posted 28 Feb 2010 , 10:46pm
post #11 of 25

Thanks for posting this. I've had the same questions. I've never worked with a dummy (cake that is - ha ha), so all of this is very helpful. I do have another ? to add though. If you are going to use a dummy along with real cake (I'm doing a 10" dummy, an 8" WASC, and a 6"WASC on top) can I still get away w/out putting dowels into the dummy? What about bigger size cakes, say a 14" or 16" dummy with the rest of the tiers being actual cake.....will the dummy support the weight of the other tiers on top of it ?(obviously the other tiers would have supports in between)

indydebi Posted 28 Feb 2010 , 10:56pm
post #12 of 25

THe dowels are needed in a cake to support and hold up the upper tier. A styrofoam dummy is strong enough to support and hold up the upper tier. You can stand on a cake dummy and not smash it .... so the weight of cake is not going to do anything to that dummy. It's strong enough to hold you ... it's strong enough to support your cakes.

ljudd1969 Posted 28 Feb 2010 , 11:05pm
post #13 of 25

Thanks so much! Good to know. I had no idea they were that strong icon_smile.gif

Evoir Posted 9 May 2010 , 12:04pm
post #14 of 25

The only issue with stacking styro WITHOUT dowling occurs when you are using fondant, as if you do not dowel, the fondant on the lower level(s) can get squished out and upwards from the weight and surface area of the dummy abpve. Hope this makes sense!

I was taught always to dowel my dummy tiers that are between real cake tiers.

indydebi Posted 9 May 2010 , 12:21pm
post #15 of 25
Originally Posted by Evoir

The only issue with stacking styro WITHOUT dowling occurs when you are using fondant, as if you do not dowel, the fondant on the lower level(s) can get squished out and upwards from the weight and surface area of the dummy abpve. Hope this makes sense!

Wow! never had that happen before. I would ask how thick they make their fondant because styro cakes are super lightweight.

rcolson13 Posted 9 May 2010 , 12:56pm
post #16 of 25

I'm tackling my first part-dummy cake in a few days. Looking through the boards, someone said they tape their entire dummy (rather than use saran wrap). Just another option - Not sure how it compares to saran wrapping it.

tmgarcia_98 Posted 9 May 2010 , 1:18pm
post #17 of 25

I know some people are saying to sand or round the corners if you are using fondant. My cake dummies came with rounded corners. They were really inexpensive, too. I got a 5 piece set 4-6-8-10-12 for about $30 (including shipping). Way cheaper than buying foam circles from the craft store.

I got them from

I got some cupcake dummies, too. I love them. I don't have to bake a batch of cupcakes whenever I get an idea I want to try out icon_smile.gif

Evoir Posted 10 May 2010 , 3:19pm
post #18 of 25

Debi - it's only a concern when you have real cake above a styro tier. Sorry if I wasn't clear in my post icon_smile.gif

sberryp Posted 10 May 2010 , 4:02pm
post #19 of 25

Thanks for all of the tips

indydebi Posted 10 May 2010 , 6:46pm
post #20 of 25
Originally Posted by Evoir

Debi - it's only a concern when you have real cake above a styro tier. Sorry if I wasn't clear in my post icon_smile.gif

OH!!! Got it! Thanks for the clarification! thumbs_up.gif

becmeinzen Posted 23 Jun 2011 , 4:40pm
post #21 of 25

I am making my daughters wedding cake. The bottom 14" tier will be a real 6" high cake. The 12", 10" and 8" will be dummy cakes. I will dowel the bottom tier to hold the top three tiers, but, then do I need to put in a central dowel (which I usually do)? What is the best way to make sure that the top three tiers stay on the bottom tier?

Nazarine Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 11:11am
post #22 of 25

Love this thread! I just ordered 2 sets of cake dummies - square and round. I can't wait to use them!

SweetsbyLadawn Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 4:21am
post #23 of 25

Thank you all!

tokazodo Posted 15 May 2012 , 12:17am
post #24 of 25

Looking for a little help.

I am working with smaller wedding cakes and had a request for a three tier for 30 people. I am planning on making an 8", 5" and placing a 10" dummy under the small two tier.
I have a few questions: Do you just ice it as you would with regular butter cream? Is there any required prep work to the cake dummy?

After you stack the cake, do you need to set a center dowel through all three tiers?

Any help would be deeply appreciated!


Lynnette13 Posted 5 Jul 2016 , 8:37pm
post #25 of 25

I don't understand going to a lot of trouble to cover with saran/plastic wrap etc.  It's not like it needs to be sanitary.. The easiest way for me is to cover generously with veg shortening and fondant.  I take a flat metal implement of any sort, pry it under the fondant and the dried fondant pops off!  I re-use every time!

Quote by @%username% on %date%