Hi! I'm planning on making our son a birthday cake this following weekend. I'm going to do a winnie the pooh bear theme (his fav!). I got a beehive cake pan to make a beehive cake that will be sitting on top of a two-layered sheet cake. I'm very concerned that the beehive will weigh down the sheet cakes, and think I will need to use dowels to make sure there is no disaster. I have never used cake dowels, and I would really appreciate some advice as to how to use them, where to get them, really everything as I've never done this before. A big question would be should I use dowels just under the beehive or for the rest of the sheet cake as well? How far apart do I space them? And do I need a large dowel to run down through the beehive & the sheet cakes as well as shorter dowels that go under the beehive for support? Please help!!! Thanks!
You need supports under your beehive only. I never use wooden dowels. I use drinking straws like the ones at McDonalds. I can't find bubble tea straws in my area so I use wide drinking straws. Wooden dowels push cake out of the way and redistribute your cake also making it less stable. Straws fill up with cake making it more secure in my opinion. All of the tiered cakes in my gallery are supported using drinking straws. If I'm supporting a 6 inch cake I usually use 5 straws. One in the center and the other 4 at 12-3-6-9 like a clock. I've never had a cake to shift or collapase on me even with transporting them.
The rule of thumb is anything over 4 inches should have dowels in it. I use wooden dowels on very large cakes and bubble tea straws on smaller ones. The beehive cake would sit on its own cake board, cut to size, so you don't see it. The dowels would go in the sheet cake under the beehive, I never use more than 5, even for my largest tiers. Put 1 dowel in at the highest point in the sheet cake, mark where to cut, pull it out and cut it and then cut all the dowels the same size. This way if the sheet cake is not perfectly level, the beehive will still sit level because it is supported by the dowels, not the sheet cake.
Thanks ladies for the advice I appreciate it!