Dowel Through The Centre?

Decorating By zespri Updated 10 Dec 2010 , 1:03am by mommynana

zespri Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 12:34am
post #1 of 32

When doing a tiered cake, do you put a dowel through the centre of all the cakes, or do you just place each cake on top of the other?

I am looking at the boards I bought yesterday, and I would have to get my husband to drill them, they're very solid!!

If I don't put a long dowel through all the cakes, how do they stay in place while you're transporting the cake?

(yes, doing my first tiered cake is scary!)

31 replies
mrswendel Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 12:38am
post #2 of 32

I always centre dowel my tiered cakes. Sharpen the end of a wooden dowel and hammer it down through the boards. (I usually use foamcore for my cake boards and have no problem hammering through.)

pattycakesnj Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 12:44am
post #3 of 32

ditto what mrswendal said, I always hammer a dowel thru all tiers and down into the cake board base

zespri Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 12:51am
post #4 of 32

I don't think foamcore are available here. Yesterday I went to the biggest cake supplies store we have, and they didn't have them. They only have a thin particle board (wood). There is no way a dowel would get through those bad boys.

pattycakesnj Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 12:58am
post #5 of 32

foamcore is usually sold at craft type stores, do you have any of those?

zespri Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 1:00am
post #6 of 32

Yes, we have a craft store! I will check it out. Is it cardboard with foam in the middle? How thick is it?

Evoir Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 1:02am
post #7 of 32

zespri - it comes in various thicknesses, but if NZ is like Oz, its bloody expensive to buy in art supply/craft shops.

I only use cake cardboards (silver on top, white on bottom) between my tiers.

zespri Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 1:12am
post #8 of 32

That's what I've bought, silver on top, white on the bottom, hard as nails. So you don't dowel through the centre? And have no problems with transportation?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir

zespri - it comes in various thicknesses, but if NZ is like Oz, its bloody expensive to buy in art supply/craft shops.

I only use cake cardboards (silver on top, white on bottom) between my tiers.


pattycakesnj Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 1:13am
post #9 of 32

It is not cardboard, it is foam like stuff between paper and comes in 2 thicknesses. I use the thin ones between tiers and the thicker ones for the cake base.

Kaylani Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 1:17am
post #10 of 32

Particle board would be kind of heavy between layers, wouldn't it? How many layers is it going to be?

We definitely use cardboard runds or foam core & use a enter dowel if it is 3 tiers or more. icon_smile.gif

The first tiered cake is definitely brave!! thumbs_up.gif You can do it! Have Fun! icon_biggrin.gif

Evoir Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 1:29am
post #11 of 32

zespri - no, I mean the silver CARDBOARD rounds...they are not particle board, or plywood. The other silver boards cake shops have are the MDF boards which are covered in cake foil and usually are white underneath. I am talking about the tough cardboard rounds (or squares) that come in all sizes and are much cheaper than cake boards.

You can hammer a centre dowel through the cardboard ones.

FWIW - I do not centre dowel any of my cakes that are three tiers or less. And I frequently deliver cakes over 75kms away in the vineyards along the crappy vineyard country roads. I like to have my husband drive while I hold the cake though icon_smile.gif

zespri Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 1:38am
post #12 of 32

damn, I know what you mean now, I bought the wrong kind! That was a waste of money :-|

Glad to hear you just stack yours without centre dowels, as I suspect that's what I'm going to be doing! I will have to try and find someone to drive me, I'm freaked out the tiers will just slip off the side.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir

zespri - no, I mean the silver CARDBOARD rounds...they are not particle board, or plywood. The other silver boards cake shops have are the MDF boards which are covered in cake foil and usually are white underneath. I am talking about the tough cardboard rounds (or squares) that come in all sizes and are much cheaper than cake boards.

You can hammer a centre dowel through the cardboard ones.

FWIW - I do not centre dowel any of my cakes that are three tiers or less. And I frequently deliver cakes over 75kms away in the vineyards along the crappy vineyard country roads. I like to have my husband drive while I hold the cake though icon_smile.gif


KateLS Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 1:42am
post #13 of 32

And just in case, you may already know, but make sure to have multiple dowels/support in each tier so the tiers don't push into one another. =)

Good luck!

kakeladi Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 1:52am
post #14 of 32

You will be surprised that tiers will NOT slip aparticon_smile.gif Usually we try to have the cake completely fininshed at least the night before delivery so the icing (border) has time to 'set-up/harden'. That and the weight of each tier is what holds them together. As long as you don't drive like you are on a race track (hehehe) there should not be a problem.

Evoir Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 10:52am
post #15 of 32

Exactly!

As a rule zespri (I always think of kiwi fruits when I see your name btw!), you need one dowel for every 2 inches of cake. For example, under a 6 inch tier use three dowels, under an eight use 4, 5 under a 10 inch and so on.

zespri Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 7:35pm
post #16 of 32

That is so interesting, it's the first time I've heard that, thanks!

Yes, the name came about when I was living in L.A. I would go to the supermarket and peel off the zespri stickers from the kiwifruit as it would remind me of home, so I took on the name. Of course when I got home it was a bit odd, but I already had so many logins etc that I just stuck with it. Time for a new name, I just haven't thought of one yet!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir

Exactly!

As a rule zespri (I always think of kiwi fruits when I see your name btw!), you need one dowel for every 2 inches of cake. For example, under a 6 inch tier use three dowels, under an eight use 4, 5 under a 10 inch and so on.


strathmore Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 10:13pm
post #17 of 32

Hi Zespri. If you go to the $2 shop or similar type shop they often have in the craft section a packet of 2 foamcoare boards at $2. You can get an 8inch round or square by cutting with a sharp craft knife - sissors make a mess of them - and use those if you want more support. I used one under my bed cake in my photos I did the other day. The spare bits can be used for bits and pieces/templates etc. Also Bunnings had some foamcore boards that you can cut up - can't remember the price tho....

tonedna Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 10:33pm
post #18 of 32

You need to sharpen the dowel and place it sideways to the center so it doesnt hit the other dowels.



Edna icon_smile.gif

zespri Posted 22 Nov 2010 , 8:47am
post #19 of 32

I went to bunnings today, and got some...woohoo! So glad you mentioned it, thank you!

Edna, I had actually bookmarked that one to watch anyway, I just hadn't got around to doing it yet icon_smile.gif



Quote:
Originally Posted by strathmore

Hi Zespri. If you go to the $2 shop or similar type shop they often have in the craft section a packet of 2 foamcoare boards at $2. You can get an 8inch round or square by cutting with a sharp craft knife - sissors make a mess of them - and use those if you want more support. I used one under my bed cake in my photos I did the other day. The spare bits can be used for bits and pieces/templates etc. Also Bunnings had some foamcore boards that you can cut up - can't remember the price tho....


Evoir Posted 22 Nov 2010 , 11:31am
post #20 of 32

How much was it at Bunnings? It costs a LOT at the craft shops!!

Edna - good tip!

dreamacres Posted 22 Nov 2010 , 1:06pm
post #21 of 32

I save the scraps after cutting the foamcore boards into the shapes I want. I then use the scraps to make feet on my bottom boards so I can pick it up easier. I will cover edges with ribbon. Much cheaper then buying the furniture chair leg things.

zespri Posted 22 Nov 2010 , 9:42pm
post #22 of 32

Evoir, it was NZ$6.33ea for a reasonable sized piece, which I reckon would do me a 12" round, a 9" round, and a few 6" rounds.

dreamacres - that's a great idea! Thanks for the tip icon_smile.gif

The one thing I'm wondering is how you hide the board when stacking. They are thicker than the cardboard rounds, so can't you see them underneath the cake?

strathmore Posted 23 Nov 2010 , 3:16am
post #23 of 32

when I do the foamcore I ice a slightly shorter cake and do the board a bit bigger so its iced on top of it so it gets absorbed into the height and put a ribbon round or icing border, or ice over the edges and cut off as normal but its tricky to pick up. Ihope that makes sense !!

zespri Posted 23 Nov 2010 , 6:24am
post #24 of 32

I think I've got it...

If it's tricky to pick up, how do you do it? I've been thinking that I'll do everything with a piece of baking paper underneath it, so when I'm ready to pick it up I cand use the paper to slide it towards the edge and onto my hand. That's the best I've been able to come up with, got anything better?

strathmore Posted 24 Nov 2010 , 6:34pm
post #25 of 32

I slide my thin spatula under it enough to get my fingers under and lift, also sometimes put it on an upturned plate with that no slip stuff under the cake then I can the whole thing on a board. Its a matter of juggling till you find the best way - if we all had space to leave things without any fingers getting to them it would be a lot easier !!! Indydebi has a tutorial somewhere about how to stack a cake find that on here somewhere and you will see what to do.

zespri Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 9:41am
post #26 of 32

One last question, do you cut the board the same size as the bottom of your cake tin? Ok, another question, do you cover the board with coverseal or anything like that? I'm wondering if the polystyrene flakes off into the icing.

carmijok Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 8:14pm
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by zespri

One last question, do you cut the board the same size as the bottom of your cake tin? Ok, another question, do you cover the board with coverseal or anything like that? I'm wondering if the polystyrene flakes off into the icing.




I cut the bottom board about 2" larger than my cake and then cut the tiers the same size as the cake...maybe a 1/4" larger as the icing will take up space.

I always use white freezer paper to wrap my boards. All of them. It's shiny on one side and very easy to wipe off any excess icing on the bottom tier board. Don't think I would use bare polystyrene , especially if you've cut it. I have been known to use just regular thin cardboard covered with freezer paper between tiers. You can use the sharpened dowel with this... and i've done it before...but I really prefer to pre-cut holes and slide the tiers down on top of the center dowel that's already been put in the first tier. make sure you have plenty of dowels to support the weight of your tiers.

I've watched several tutorials on Youtube (including Edna's) and it's extremely helpful. Do that before you attempt anything. good luck! thumbs_up.gif

zespri Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 8:58pm
post #28 of 32

For anyone interested, I ended up getting two 12", two 9" and two 6" out of one board.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir

How much was it at Bunnings? It costs a LOT at the craft shops!!

Edna - good tip!


zespri Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 9:00pm
post #29 of 32

I have one more question about this dowelling business. I have used my foam core boards, and I've covered them with self adhesive plastic. Now I'm imaginging hammering a dowel through the centre and it makes my heart pound. What if the dowel hits the plastic and can't get through, and my hammering causes the cakes to collapse?

Has anyone used plastaic covered foam core before?

Is there a secret to the hammering?

mommynana Posted 10 Dec 2010 , 12:28am
post #30 of 32

i dont no if this is the right way toddo this but i twist the dowels in and i had no problem with it

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