Can You Explain

Decorating By PandaMin77 Updated 2 Oct 2011 , 2:01am by PandaMin77

PandaMin77 Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 7:28pm
post #1 of 13

Ok I've watched tutorials but I am still not sure the difference between and when to use dowels vs stacking vs tiers. can somebody explain the concepts and when to use these ? thanks

12 replies
TinkerCakes Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 7:51pm
post #2 of 13

Not sure what you mean about vs? Some people use dowels...to stack..the tiers. If you are stacking tiers you must use some kind of support system, I used bubble tea straws with my last cake and really liked them. I plan on getting the SPS system if I decide to do more cakes, you may want to look into that as well.
http://designmeacake.com/ has a great video on stacking cakes and what to use....

Hope that helps....

VaBelle Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 7:52pm
post #3 of 13

Typical each "tier" has two "layers" with buttercream or a filling in between each layer. Some taller tiers have more layers and sometimes people cut many small layers with filling in between each, like you often get in restaurants. When you have a multi-tiered cake (2 or more tiers), you need to "dowel" your cake. Dowels are typically wooden dowels, but Wilton has some nice plastic ones and many people use bubble tea straws for lighter, smaller cakes. HTH

CWR41 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 3:09am
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PandaMin77

can somebody explain the concepts and when to use these ?




Whichever support system you use, the concept is to prevent the weight of the above tiers from smashing the cakes below.

You use a support system for every 4" of cake height.

carmijok Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 3:26am
post #5 of 13

I will sometimes single dowel a layer cake if I feel the filling could be an issue and cause sliding...particularly if there is a delivery involved.

auzzi Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 6:21am
post #6 of 13

All cakes that have two or more tiers use a system of supports that stop the weight of the upper tiers squashing the cake[s] on the bottom.

Simplistically speaking:

A stacked cake is one that lays the cakes, one on top of the other, without any gaps between.

A tiered cake is one that lays the cakes, one on top of the other, with a gap between each cake.

Regardless of the presentation that you choose,
1. each cake is on a "plate", board or cardboard
2. there are supporting rods inserted vertically into the cake below [dowels, straws, etc]
3. the board of the cake above rests on the supporting rods, which means that no weight is placed on the cake below.

When cakes are stacked, the supporting rods are cut off level with the top of the cake: the cake above then "appears" to be sitting on the cake below.

When cakes are tiered, the supporting rods are cut off at a distance above the top of the cake. The supporting rods are then "covered" with plastic columns, royal icing etc. The Upper cake is obviously sitting on supports: but the structure still "appears" to be sitting on the cake below.

This is a commercial presentation of a stacked then tiered cake: the supporting rods are actually fixtures that attach to the separator plate above. The supportings rods, being clear acrylic, are "nice" enough not to need covering.
http://030531f.netsolhost.com/WordPress/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/wedding-cake-cross-section1.jpg

This is the more usual stacking construction: dowels in the cake and cake boards under each cake.
http://www.countrykitchensa.com/wedding/weddingcakes/const_stack.jpg

Claire138 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 6:31am
post #7 of 13

Bubble straws are the way to go! I've recently started using them and love them, they are easy and cheap and do the job perfectly so, if (like me) you are on a shoe string budget you should look into them. You can buy them on amazon.

Unlimited Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 7:01am
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by auzzi

A tiered cake is one that lays the cakes, one on top of the other, with a gap between each cake.

When cakes are tiered, the supporting rods are cut off at a distance above the top of the cake. The supporting rods are then "covered" with plastic columns, royal icing etc. The Upper cake is obviously sitting on supports: but the structure still "appears" to be sitting on the cake below.




The construction of a tiered cake can be either stacked or separated, not stacked or tiered. Tiers are more than one layer cake.

warchild Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 7:20am
post #9 of 13

Instructions on stacking, using dowels etc from Wilton.

http://www.wilton.com/cakes/tiered-cakes/

warchild Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 7:26am
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire138

Bubble straws are the way to go! I've recently started using them and love them, they are easy and cheap and do the job perfectly so, if (like me) you are on a shoe string budget you should look into them. You can buy them on amazon.




Agreed.. Bubble tea straws do the job just fine. I've never liked using wooden dowels as once you cut them to size, there's always the chance of slivers.

PandaMin77 Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 12:45am
post #11 of 13

SO cake never touches cake? there is always a type of cardboard between the two cakes? thanks

CWR41 Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 1:23am
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PandaMin77

SO cake never touches cake? there is always a type of cardboard between the two cakes? thanks




Each tier is on its own board.

PandaMin77 Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 2:01am
post #13 of 13

how do you frost it and such if the cardboard is the same exact size?

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