When making a tiered cake do you really need to use cake dowels? Also do the tiers need a cake board under each cake before being placed on top of each other. Never made a tiered cake before and not really sure whats the best way of puting one together.
Hope you can help
Yes, to both questions. Basically you dowel the bottom tier with at least 5 dowels depending on size, the bigger the bottom tier size the more dowels, then you set the next tier on a cake board and then when stacking just stack the cake board tier on top of the doweled tier. Repeat for the next level. If you are having to travel with the tiers then it's best to dowel before you deliver but stack at the final spot where the cake will be presented. I put all of my tiers on cake boards and for cakes that have a 10 inch or larger bottom tier I use SPS for stability. There is a sticky here by Leah S that explains the SPS system and how to use it.
You absolutely do need cake boards and dowels between each tier. I made the mistake of doweling a cake but didn't use boards. The cake leaned a little, luckily it didn't fall over. The weight of the tiers will settle more and more on those dowels if there is no board for support. If you have time, order Sugarshack's Stacking DVD. It's an excellent resource.
I know some have already answered but YES to both questions. If not you're going to have serious problems and your cake will collapase. Trust what everyone has said. I will not work w/o supports and cake boards
Also I'd like to add that I NEVER use dowels. I use straws. Much easier to cut and sturdier really than dowels.
Thanks. I heard somewhere that some people use macdonalds straws. Do they really work?
Yes they work. The ones that I use actually look like the McDonald's straws. I order from thru a friend that owns a resturant.