I've been asked to make a cake that looks like a conga drum for a friend. I want to be sure that it is structurally secure. I was thinking of baking 2" deep cakes, 2 of each, 10", 9", and 8". I thought I would put each cake on the same size cake round (the 10" on a 10" round, etc), securing each layer with dowels, and then putting a dowel down the center directly into a cake drum. The graduating sizes should limit the amount of carving. Do you think I should go smaller on the size of cake boards with each layer to allow more room for carving? Also, should I do a 6" as well? The cake needs to feed 40 so I thought I could do away with the 6" plus i'm afraid it won't be able to hold the weight of the other cakes. I will fill with swiss meringue buttercream and frost with decorators buttercream. The other thought is do I put the fondant over the top of the cake or apply it to the sides and then the top? Help, i've never done anything like this and I want it to turn out right!