New To Cake Decorating, With A Couple Of Questions...

Decorating By sessac81 Updated 12 May 2010 , 3:22pm by jhay

sessac81 Posted 12 May 2010 , 4:03am
post #1 of 12

Hi, guys and gals icon_smile.gif. I am new to cake decorating and I've got a couple of questions. I hope the questions don't sound too stupid icon_redface.gif

First, why do stacked cakes have to have dowels in them? Do the stacked layers have to have a cardboard piece under them? If so, how does one cut the cake?

I had another question, but I can't think of it right now... icon_redface.gif

This is my first post, BTW icon_smile.gif. I have been reading over the forums, and you all are a very talented group of decoraters!

Thanks in advance for your help!

Vanessa

11 replies
erikamj Posted 12 May 2010 , 4:12am
post #2 of 12

Dont worry there are no stupid questions. We were all new at one time or another.
The dowels are used to give the lower cakes more support so they dont get crushed under the weight of the higher tiers. Depending on the cake I will put a cake board under each layer. For cutting you can either separate the layers and then cut or just cut them all stacked starting from the top tier.

mamawrobin Posted 12 May 2010 , 4:20am
post #3 of 12

Welcome to cc first of all. icon_smile.gif To answer your question the dowels (supports) and cakeboards are to support your cakes. Cake doesn't support cake. It will collaspse on you. Yes you need to put the cardboard (cakeboard) under each tier or the dowels (supports) would rip thru your cake.

Each layer doens't have a cakeboard (cardboard) under it, but each TIER does. If you have a two tiered cake the first tier, say 10 inches, should be on the base cakeboard. Then there will be the next tier of say 8 inches on it's own cakeboard of course the 10 inch will have dowels in to support the weight of the 8 inch cake. To cut the cake I just remove the 8 inch cake (it's on it's own cakeboard) and sit it aside. Then you cut the cake. Do you get the picture? icon_lol.gif I'm not very good at explaining things so I hope you get what I'm trying to say.

mamawrobin Posted 12 May 2010 , 4:22am
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by erikamj

Dont worry there are no stupid questions. We were all new at one time or another.
The dowels are used to give the lower cakes more support so they dont get crushed under the weight of the higher tiers. Depending on the cake I will put a cake board under each layer. For cutting you can either separate the layers and then cut or just cut them all stacked starting from the top tier.




Do you put a cakeboard under each layer? icon_confused.gif or each tier?

sessac81 Posted 12 May 2010 , 4:36am
post #5 of 12

Thanks, Ladies icon_smile.gif

I wasn't aware that a cake could collapse icon_surprised.gif

ladyk333 Posted 12 May 2010 , 4:53am
post #6 of 12

Mamarobin, I think she means she puts a cake board under each tier, not each layer. I could be wrong, but that makes the most sense!

Support, support, support, that's what I've learned. Also, that it is much easier to use bubble tea straws as "dowels" rather than the wooden or plastic dowels that you can buy. Just go to a Chinese market and buy 50 of them for $1.50 or so. Very economical and you can cut them with your kitchen scissors rather than the more difficult ones. Because of the large size of the straws, they distribute the weight properly, and they are food safe.

Good luck!

mamawrobin Posted 12 May 2010 , 5:00am
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyk333

Mamarobin, I think she means she puts a cake board under each tier, not each layer. I could be wrong, but that makes the most sense!

Support, support, support, that's what I've learned. Also, that it is much easier to use bubble tea straws as "dowels" rather than the wooden or plastic dowels that you can buy. Just go to a Chinese market and buy 50 of them for $1.50 or so. Very economical and you can cut them with your kitchen scissors rather than the more difficult ones. Because of the large size of the straws, they distribute the weight properly, and they are food safe.

Good luck!




icon_lol.gif ladyk..that's what I was thinking.
I also agree with the straws. I never use dowels. I use the straws. They are actually more stable as they fill up with cake as where the dowels displace cake. Plus they are so much easier to cut.

To the op...oh yes...cake can collapase and will without supports.

sessac81 Posted 12 May 2010 , 12:25pm
post #8 of 12

What is a bubble tea straw? You gals are boggling my brain icon_smile.gif

mamawrobin Posted 12 May 2010 , 1:22pm
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessac81

What is a bubble tea straw? You gals are boggling my brain icon_smile.gif




Really it's just a wide straw. You can get bubble tea straws at most Chinese places I'm told. I however cannot get them in my area so I just use extra wide drinking straws that I order thru a friend that owns a resturant. They look much like the McDonald's straws (the ones that I use) but may be just a little wider. I haven't used dowels since I started using the straws. Sooooo much easier thumbs_up.gif

jhay Posted 12 May 2010 , 1:41pm
post #10 of 12

Do you use straws for your really big cakes? I have a 3 tier, 3 layer per tier, cake coming up...do you find that they hold up well under a lot of weight? I'd love to try them!

mamawrobin Posted 12 May 2010 , 2:53pm
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhay

Do you use straws for your really big cakes? I have a 3 tier, 3 layer per tier, cake coming up...do you find that they hold up well under a lot of weight? I'd love to try them!




I've used them in all of my cakes. I used them for a cake that I made for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. It was 3 tier, 3 layer per tier and it held just fine. I believe that they are actually more stable than dowels because they fill up with cake as where the dowel pushes the cake out of the way.

If I'm traveling very far with a large cake I'd use SPS simply for the peace of mind. But all of the cakes in my photos have straws for the supports.

jhay Posted 12 May 2010 , 3:22pm
post #12 of 12

Sweet! Might give them a whirl.

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