Nazarine Posted 3 Mar 2012 , 3:20am
post #1 of

Tomorrow I have to transport a cake that is 3 tiers - bottom is a 12 inch cake dummy so no worries there. Middle tier is a 10 inch and top tier is an 8 inch. There is a little mickey mouse ears thing on top of that but I wouldn't really call it a tier (it's enough cake for a slice or 2). I'm comfortable with the dowels in each tier. My husband is driving so I can have eyes on the cake at all times but I'm still nervous. I think it needs a center dowel and I even thought ahead to put holes through the centers of all the cake boards. Now I'm hesitating. There is something freaky about standing there and driving a spike through all your work. LOL! Are there any tips or things I should be aware of? Or is the center dowel overkill all together?

18 replies
ddaigle Posted 3 Mar 2012 , 3:29am
post #2 of

I always travel with a center dowel. My cake is also always cold right out of the frig. Have traveled with 4 tiers...never an incident. Others use different methods. Center dowel is my method.

msthang1224 Posted 3 Mar 2012 , 3:33am
post #3 of

Hi,

I always put a center dowel through my cakes even if they are just 2 tiers, but that's bc I'm a worrywart, lol. If you feel like it needs it, do it! Bc, you don't want anything to shift during transport but, ITS UP TO YOU overall icon_smile.gif I was afraid when I put my first center dowel into my cake but, after you do it the first time, its a piece of cake. Just be sure that yr dowel is well centered and take yr time driving and banging it into yr cake. All should be fine. JMO

docofthedead Posted 3 Mar 2012 , 6:48am
post #4 of

Thanks for this post!
I have never used a center dowel, but will be using one soon. Maybe someone can explain to me how you drive the dowel through the stacks. Do you sharpen it like a pencil then just hammer it all the way through? Do you poke holes in the cardboard cake boards and hope you can get the dowel through them? I would think that hammering a sharpened dowel through several cakes would do a lot of damage!
I would love somebody to give me some pointers!
Thanks!!
usaribbon.gif

auntginn Posted 3 Mar 2012 , 7:15am
post #5 of

I wouldn't think of trying to deliver a tierred cake with the middle dowel anymore. Once you use this method you will love it. @ docofthedead, Its very simple, assemble your cakes and yes drive a sharpened dowel down the middle. This method will hold everything in place.

I have often had to transport a cake by myself and I have no worries. Just keep my eyes on the road and when I get to my destination the cake is fine.

docofthedead Posted 3 Mar 2012 , 7:18am
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by auntginn

I wouldn't think of trying to deliver a tierred cake with the middle dowel anymore. Once you use this method you will love it. @ docofthedead, Its very simple, assemble your cakes and yes drive a sharpened dowel down the middle. This method will hold everything in place.

I have often had to transport a cake by myself and I have no worries. Just keep my eyes on the road and when I get to my destination the cake is fine.




icon_smile.gif So you just sharpen the dowel and hammer it through? That simple?!?! Thank you!! I am crossing my fingers I do it right!

auntginn Posted 3 Mar 2012 , 6:52pm
post #7 of

@ docofthedead... yvw. Good Luck don't forget to post a pic. You will love it and its so.. simple.

MKinPA Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 5:06am
post #8 of

I bought some of the very long metal skewers that you use to grill shish kabobs, they have a sharp point on the end and I first insert that through the cake from top to bottom through all of the cake boards. It makes it much easier to push the sharpened dowel through the entire cakes and cake boards.
I also use this method when transporting my stacked cakes. I use my very large cooking racks that have 1/2 inch legs on them and use my long skewers that have a sharp point on one end and a curved hook on the other. sit the cake on the cooling rack and drive the skewer through all tiers and cake boards and let the end come out the bottom of the cake board and poke through the grid of the rack. It gives the cake a little more stability for the ride to the venue. It's not a perfect solution to transporting a stacked cake but it's working for me.

naemsmommy Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 5:01pm
post #9 of

I have a question about the center dowel, if you have a tall cake, where do you get a long enough center dowel? The longest I've been able to find is 12" icon_sad.gif

auntginn Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 7:28pm

@ naemsmommy, you can find dowels at any hardware store. Also Joann's & Michaels stores carries dowels that are 3ft long. Cut it to the size you need, sharpen one end and insert it into your cake.

sberryp Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 7:52pm

Always dowel. I now put 2 dowels in the cake if I am not the person transporting. I once had a 2 tier cake slide and mess up the whole cake.

jgifford Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 10:16pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by msthang1224

Hi,

I always put a center dowel through my cakes even if they are just 2 tiers, but that's bc I'm a worrywart, lol. If you feel like it needs it, do it! Bc, you don't want anything to shift during transport but, ITS UP TO YOU overall icon_smile.gif I was afraid when I put my first center dowel into my cake but, after you do it the first time, its a piece of cake. Just be sure that yr dowel is well centered and take yr time driving and banging it into yr cake. All should be fine. JMO




This is really scary. icon_surprised.gif lol I've never used a center dowel and never had any problems *knock on wood*. The thought of hammering anything near a cake doesn't put good pictures in my head.

leah_s Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 10:31pm

And I NEVER use a center dowel. I still firmly believe it's false security. If your cake is really going sideways, the dowel will stay implanted into the bottom board and tear through the cake. There have been plenty of stories on here over the years of that scenario.

SPS for me!

naemsmommy Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 10:32pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

And I NEVER use a center dowel. I still firmly believe it's false security. If your cake is really going sideways, the dowel will stay implanted into the bottom board and tear through the cake. There have been plenty of stories on here over the years of that scenario.

SPS for me!




What does SPS mean?

pmarks0 Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 10:38pm

The first time I center doweled a cake, I nearly destroyed it. LOL. I had the wrong cake board under the top tier. It wasn't one of the wilton cardboard cake circles, but one of the boards that I got at the local bulk store that is more solid, but quite thin and totally not penetrable by a pointy piece of wood. Before I completely destroyed it, I stopped and covered up the hole and just was careful delivering it. Luckily it was only a 2 tier and for my cousin. I definitely learned from that.

So, as long as you're using cardboard cake circles you'll have no issue. If you need longer than 12", then go to Home Depot or Lowes or someplace and you can get them 3 feet long. They also have varying thicknesses which is good if you've got a larger cake. I generally get a 1/4" thick dowel, and make sure it's not warped!

Use a standard pencil sharpener and sharpen the end. Then center it, and carefully hammer it in. You'll know you've reached your bottom board, which should be a drum board or something similar, as it will stop. I use drum boards, so the top of my dowel will go into that board as well.

Good luck.

Tyler4250 Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 3:39am

I use a bubble tea straw for my center dowel on smaller cakes. This is what I would do for a two tier cake: I place bottom tier on board, then stick a whole bubble tea straw in the middle of the cake. Then I put in my support straws that will hold up the stacked tier (cut to height of bottom cake). For the top tier, I cut a hole in the middle of the board that the bubble tea straw fits tightly through. Then I "impale" my top tier onto the bubble tea that is now my center dowel. Hope this makes sense.

For my bigger cakes I do something similar except I start with a plywood cake board with a dowel attached to it. Then I start "threading" each cake tier onto it (with support for each tier of course).

This is what works for me, but I know everyone has their own tried and true methods.

vgcea Posted 28 Oct 2012 , 8:25pm

For those who hammer a dowel through fondant covered cakes, what method do you use to cover the hole to get a nice finish when there will be no topper/flowers to hide the holes left by the dowel rod? Thanks.

auntginn Posted 29 Oct 2012 , 12:05am

Come up thru the bottom so you don't puncture the fondant.

vgcea Posted 29 Oct 2012 , 1:02am

Thanks auntginn. I had started a thread on a related topic ( http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=750436&highlight= ) and was trying to find out how those who go from the top disguise the hole. So far I think I'm going to go with the method you mentioned.

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