Stack A Double Barrel Cake?

Decorating By mommyb Updated 19 Jan 2015 , 6:13am by asascakes

mommyb Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 6:39pm
post #1 of 26

A friend is wanting a tall cake for her daughter's birthday (about 8" tall). I've been looking into making a double barrel cake as the way to do it but am not sure the correct way to go about this. This is my plan and please tell me if I'm going to make some fatal errors!

 

The last time I made a 2-layer 8" cake, it measured 3" tall after filling and frosting. So...if I make 5 layers this should get me to the 8" heighth. I was planning on putting three layers together layering BC inbetween each. Put dowels in that bottom level. Then put the next two layers on a cake board and put that on the bottom cake.

 

I have some questions....

 

Should I use a 6" or 8" cake board for the top cake?

 

Can I put 3 layers together like that for the bottom cake or will it fall apart? Is 2 layers the max?

 

Do I need to dowel the whole thing and if so, how do I dowel through the cake board?

 

Thanks!

25 replies
lorieleann Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 10:44pm
post #2 of 26

I have done a few double barrels and i think they are a great look. I think your plan is on the right track, but I would suggest having the top and the bottom cake be the same height--just for serving east. If you can get each 'cake' to be 4" be it with torting and filling, two 2" cakes to get 4"-4.5".  That would be FOUR 2" high layers each cut in half for 4 layers of cake and three layers of filling on each cake.  This will give you nice size pieces for serving.  You can do it the way you suggested, but that will be a 5-5.5" high piece of cake which would probably require a salad or dinner plate for serving, and having half the guests with a big piece and the other with a small piece. 

 

Put the top cake on an 8" board and my choice is to use hollow dowel straws or bubble tea straws into the bottom cake to support it.  To make sure that I don't get any push or movement when icing on the turntable, I like to use two center dowels.  To go through the board, sharpen the wood dowels with a clean pencil sharpener. When you get to the board, use a small hammer to tap through, then again hammer it into the cake drum (you will need a cake drum to support the weight of the two tiers of cake).  

 

make sure the cake is well chilled while working with it.  I would suggest using a piping bag of buttercream to really fill in the holes and dams on the sides, then smooth it for a crumb coat.  Chill it again and then do a final thick coat that will be thick enough to cover where the board is.  A tall bench scraper will be super helpful in getting a smooth side. 

mommyb Posted 27 Jun 2013 , 10:49am
post #3 of 26

Thank you so much! I'm nervous about this one, but hopefully it goes okay. I will take your suggestion to make the cakes the same size. Thanks for the tip about the dowel too (and drum!). I had no clue how I was going to get it through the cardboard. Luckily, I won't have to have super smooth sides because she wants "ruffles" on the cake. :)

 

I've always used wooden dowels. What are dowel straws and how do they compare?

lorieleann Posted 27 Jun 2013 , 10:16pm
post #4 of 26

I prefer the bigger and thicker 'bubble tea' straws (Target actually has some in their party isle right now) for smaller cakes because they do not displace cake, are easier to cut, and people seem to have less incidence of them slipping to the side and failing. The hollow poly dowels are pretty much the same thing, but made with reinforcement ribs. I think that Global Sugar Art sells them, and there is a wilton version.  I now buy big boxes of the bubble tea straws on Amazon--it is the most economical.  I have had a side break in a cake from being displaced by dowels (when you push them in, the cake has to go somewhere!), so i really appreciate that the straw fills with the cake when inserted.   When i stack a big cake though, i use the SPS system for at least the base.  That just feels like the most reliable way to go for me.  

okstout4 Posted 28 Jun 2013 , 5:13pm
post #5 of 26

I was looking thru this forum for answers to questions and found a bit of info here about using dowel rods for which I was looking for.  Now, ive got a question about the term "double barrel". Ive never heard of such a term.  Although, Im not a professional, I have made cakes for many years now.  Is this term the same as a "stacked" or "tier" cake?  I doing my son's 6th birthday cake and Im doing three tiers...6", 8" and 10" (two layers of each tier), would that you get you a height of 8"?  Im just really confused here.  Maybe there's something new I just never heard of.  LOL

AZCouture Posted 28 Jun 2013 , 5:32pm
post #6 of 26

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/yuma_couture_cakes/8315684156/" title="Weddings Yuma AZ by Yuma Couture Cakes, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8497/8315684156_93351f1f78_b.jpg" width="781" height="1024" alt="Weddings Yuma AZ"></a>

 

This has a DB, and half tall tiers as well. LOVE making these! You can see what it means just by comparing the sizes to each other.

AZCouture Posted 28 Jun 2013 , 5:41pm
post #7 of 26

DB is really not an appropriate term, but I think it's just stuck with people now.

howsweet Posted 28 Jun 2013 , 6:48pm
post #8 of 26

AZ, that's a lovely cake. Would you be willing to share your process for how you make sure there's no hint of a line around where the two tiers meet? I've only done about 3 of them and have to admit it's a little stressful for me.
 

AZCouture Posted 28 Jun 2013 , 7:28pm
post #9 of 26

AThanks! You'll want the board that is supporting the top half of your DB to be smaller than the one underneath the bottom half.

AZCouture Posted 28 Jun 2013 , 7:31pm
post #10 of 26

ASo let's say it's a 10" db, the board under the whole thing would be a 10, but the board.in the middle would be a 9.

howsweet Posted 28 Jun 2013 , 9:08pm
post #11 of 26

Thanks so very, very much!! That's exactly the vital key I didn't have. :)
 

AZCouture Posted 28 Jun 2013 , 11:37pm
post #12 of 26

Oh yep, if I didn't do that, I'd sever the fondant right thru the middle. Also, I use a stainless steel ruler to smooth the icing with too. Need something tall that won't shift around on you.

howsweet Posted 29 Jun 2013 , 12:50am
post #13 of 26

That's a good tip, too - I've been doing it the hard, and less perfect, way.
 

okstout4 Posted 29 Jun 2013 , 4:36am
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/yuma_couture_cakes/8315684156/" title="Weddings Yuma AZ by Yuma Couture Cakes, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8497/8315684156_93351f1f78_b.jpg" width="781" height="1024" alt="Weddings Yuma AZ"></a>

 

This has a DB, and half tall tiers as well. LOVE making these! You can see what it means just by comparing the sizes to each other.


Ok.  Now I've got it.  I have actually never seen a cake constructed like this.  Ive seen some tall cakes (maybe db w/three layers and not four or something), but nothing quite like the different sizes that are going on here.  Well, that is certainly different, unique and pretty as well.  Now I know and not so confused anymore.  Thank you!

AZCouture Posted 29 Jun 2013 , 4:59am
post #15 of 26

Sure! So just for reference, and if I recall correctly, the top tier was a 4" normal height, then a 6", about 2" tall, then I believe it was a 9" DB (so two tiers of 9" cakes disguised as one large tier), then an 11" cake that was a bout 2" tall. Whew!

JWinslow Posted 29 Jun 2013 , 5:11am
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Oh yep, if I didn't do that, I'd sever the fondant right thru the middle. Also, I use a stainless steel ruler to smooth the icing with too. Need something tall that won't shift around on you.


I always learn something from you :)  Thanks

okstout4 Posted 29 Jun 2013 , 5:18am
post #17 of 26

AWell I personally think that I wouldn't be able to do this. Looks a bit intimidating! Lol. Thanks also for the info about using a smaller board. I didn't think of that and wouldn't have realized fondant wouldn't have worked over that area. I also think I was taught this trick years ago, bit I've never used it. So in saying that would it be wise to use a smaller board under an 8" cake going on top of a 10" cake or in this case would it matter? Maybe this is how I learned it.

AZCouture Posted 29 Jun 2013 , 5:21am
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWinslow 


I always learn something from you :)  Thanks

Well thank you!

AZCouture Posted 29 Jun 2013 , 5:23am
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by okstout4 

So in saying that would it be wise to use a smaller board under an 8" cake going on top of a 10" cake or in this case would it matter? Maybe this is how I learned it.

Well that wouldn't be a DB though? Do you just mean a normal 8" tier stacked on a normal 10" tier?

okstout4 Posted 29 Jun 2013 , 5:27am
post #20 of 26

AYep that's what I mean. I'm not doing a fb.

AZCouture Posted 29 Jun 2013 , 5:31am
post #21 of 26

Well in that case, it's just business as usual. 

RubinaD Posted 16 Feb 2014 , 12:34am
post #22 of 26

I am looking into making a double barrel cake soon, and was wondering if you need to place a cake board in the middle of the entire cake (2 in, bc, 2in, bc, cake board, bc, 2 in, bc, 2 in, dirty ice) I think that is right. then how are all those cakes you in the searches cut vertically without any board shown? I think I am a little confused on this one. do they just use a lot of dowels?

Claire138 Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 7:14pm
post #23 of 26

AZ, I just came across this and am thrilled as I need to make a DB cake. I'm doing a 12in at 4in height and then a DB 9in so it will be 8in in height or is this too much? should I go with 6in in height? also, I'm not sure I understand the part about the smaller board? Thanks.

AZCouture Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 10:37pm
post #24 of 26

AThe smaller board is so that you don't bump into it when icing the cake, nor sever the fondant when you smooth it out. A six inch tall cake isn't a db, that's just a taller tier

Claire138 Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 6:04am
post #25 of 26

Got it! Thanks AZ, client actually has changed her mind and wants a 9in bottom tier at 4in and a DB top tier at 8in - is that still considered just a taller cake or DB? 

asascakes Posted 19 Jan 2015 , 6:13am
post #26 of 26

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

Weddings Yuma AZ

This has a DB, and half tall tiers as well. LOVE making these! You can see what it means just by comparing the sizes to each other.

Hi everyone! AZ, what a beautiful cake! I am thinking of trying a double barrel and if all goes well I may do one for a cake I'm designing for a cake competition this spring. My question is, any tips/advice for covering a DB with fondant. I will most likely be doing it for the 6" tier and my cakes usually come out to about 4" high.

TIA -Asa

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