1St Time Center Dowel, So Scared

Decorating By luckyblueeye Updated 1 Jul 2012 , 9:31pm by luckyblueeye

luckyblueeye Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 5:44pm
post #1 of 8

I have a 3 tier cake that needs to travel for an hour in 95F heat. I usually just use bubble tea straws since my cakes are for neighbors and friends and stay close by. This time the cake is a bit taller and I won't be in the car. I'm going to put 5 1/4" wood dowels into the 9" bottom tier that has an 8" tier on top of it. Then I was going to put 3 dowels into the 8" tier that has a giant cupcake on top of it.
I made a sturdy wasc cake with stiff bc dam and not too much filling, then ganached the outside. It's a fondant cake.
What gets me scared, is pushing a wood dowel through all of that, especially through the chocolate layer that is around the bottom half of the cupcake. I melted a hole in it just in case...and will make sure it's in room temp before trying to put the dowel through.
How do you cut your dowels...I mean what do you use for it? Some kind of yard clipper? Do you measure your center dowel to be 1-2" below the top of the cake and then just push it with another dowel so it's out of sight and secured to the bottom cakeboard?
Any help would be appreciated icon_smile.gif

7 replies
Joni1962 Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 6:35pm
post #2 of 8

Hello, I sharpen my dowels with a pencil sharpener only used for dowels. If I want the point even thinner I may take a sharp kitchen knife and shave s few slivers off of that. I measure the cake and make sure the dowel is at least 1/2 inch shorter than the entire cake. My cakes are usually sitting on a 1/2 foam board as the base. Each layer is on a cake board. Straws are the supports-bubble tea-are the best. Dowels can slip-straws fill up with the cake and are more stable. I take the wooden dowel and a hammer and may step on a step stool to do this. Next, hammer the dowel in. The final insertion will need you to place another dowel-short-on top of this to drive all the way thru. You can hear when it reaches the foam board. You use the shorter dowel as a "nail-set" if you know what that is. Hope I've been clear and that it helps. Joni

luckyblueeye Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 7:28pm
post #3 of 8

Thanks Joni! What do you cut the wood dowels with? When I use the bubble tea straws, I just use kitchen scissors...but how do you get an accurate cut on a dowel?

kakeladi Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 7:35pm
post #4 of 8

I have a slightly different approachicon_smile.gif Since that center dowel is mainly to help stablize cake tiers in transport I make the center dowel about 1" *longer* than the cake is tall so it sticks out the top. When at venue one just needs to grab it, twist while pulling it up to remove it. This makes getting at the tiers much easier for serving.
Hopefully you have the entire cake on a large base board/drum to help stableize the small size. When tiers are so small and close in size it will be top-heavy so that base needs to be big - in this case I suggest using nothing smaller than 12" - even better would be 13 or 14".

luckyblueeye Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 7:44pm
post #5 of 8

Thanks cakelady! I have a 1/2" thick 13" foamboard ready for this cake. Your method of leaving the center dowel showing sounds great! That makes so much sense not leaving it in the cake...but in this case, a friend is picking it up and I would like the cake to look as good as possible at pick-up.
I'll search my wine glass for some bravery and will give it a go. Thanks icon_smile.gif

luckyblueeye Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 7:45pm
post #6 of 8

Sorry...I totally messed up your name...thanks kakeladi icon_smile.gif

Joni1962 Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 8:19pm
post #7 of 8

I use wire cutters to cut the dowel. Just mark your cut and start cutting with the wire cutters while twisting the dowel. It will come off. Joni

luckyblueeye Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 9:31pm
post #8 of 8

Perfect!! Hubby has wire cutters for sure...that's what I'll do then. Thanks Joni!

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