So it finally happened... I was hammering my center dowel through my nearly finished 3 tiered cake.... went through first board... phew..... second board gave some trouble... kept hammering.... and finally break though. Then I look.... once level cake is now leaning and bottom tier is bulging on one side.
Quickly - I slid off top tier, pulled out the center dowel, lifted up the next tier and my stomach did a flip - board totally buckled, huge crater in bottom tier. ACK!
My fixed - after I centered myself - fill space with more cake and buttercream, add a couplemore bubble tea straws to compensate - add new board, some RI and cross fingers. Middle tier is back the bottom - looking good but now I have some repair work to do. Waiting to add that top tier. And yes - now I'm terrified to try to add the center dowel again!
Should I skip the center dowel now that the bottom tier is compromised??? I really don't want this cake to collapse on me and don't think I can stomach another attempt.
This cake has to travel with client in car for 50 minutes in the morning
Was your dowel sharpened? What did you use for a cake board?
Yep, dowel was sharpened but when looked at it after I puller it out the point was flattened and curved to the side. I used thin silver boards to separate tiers.
I'm now seriously considering predrilling holes in all my boards or maybe switch to foam core.... just watch Successful Stacking .... looks like that would work much better.
Anyone else use 1/2" foamcore between tiers? What do you cover them with to make them food safe?
The dowel should be very sharp, yes...but actually it sounds like you may not have had enough straws. How many straws do you use, and for how large a tier? The straws should support the cardboard while you hammer the dowel.
I use a center straw (it has never affected my ability to hammer in a dowel) as well as plenty of straws around the circle of the next tier. I think, if you decided to not put in any center straws, the board was able to buckle. If you use a center straw (or maybe three, in a central triangle) then the board will not be able to buckle.
Hmm... I didn't use any straws in the center, just around the circle. I used 7-8 straws to support a 7" tier. The board itself got dented too, so I'm assuming the dowel wasn't sharp enough when it hit the second board, didn't break through the board,,, started dulling and sliding sideways.
Does anyone take out the dowel and resharpen after it goes through the first board??? My husband suggested that idea for next time.
If you had had center supports to keep the board steady, the dowel would have stayed sharp. It probably dulled because it took more work to get through a board with no supports in the middle, to hold it steady.
I use foamcore and LOVE it! . I always had trouble with just the cake circles. To make it food safe, I put a cake circle on top and put waxed paper under. So my cake is actually sitting on the cake circle and the wax paper is under it so it's not touching the tier under it. I am always super confident with my cakes now. And have actually stacked up to 2 days before an event and cake was fine. I do use a middle dowel for anything over 2 tiers. An added benefit to foamcore is that it also adds a little height to your tiers, which, IMO looks better.
Uh-oh.............leah_s is gonna scold you for not using SPS, no center dowel required!