Kattcasablanca Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 4:23pm
post #1 of

ACan I make a wedding cake without dowel rods? I want to make a 4 tier cake (plain vanilla sponge) - stacked directly on top of each other, but I don't want to use dowel rods. Can I just use cake boards directly underneath each tier? What would happen to the cake if I only used the cake boards and no rods?

Many thanks!!

29 replies
ddaigle Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 4:35pm
post #2 of

No, no, no, no....never ever.   Each tier will crush the one below it.   You must use dowel rods or some type of support system.. Always.  

AZCouture Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 4:47pm
post #3 of

Why don't you want to?

momg9 Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 4:48pm
post #4 of

Why don't you want to use dowel rods?
 

JSKConfections Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 5:00pm
post #5 of

You need a support system! don't try it you'll have a diaster!  Why don't you want to use them? icon_confused.gif

leah_s Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 5:10pm
post #6 of

You dont' have to specifically use dowels, but yes, you do have to use some sort ofd support system.  Otherwise you'll have a big pile of squashed cake.

Kattcasablanca Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 7:04pm
post #7 of

AWell, I've never made a wedding cake before - so to me it seems odd to stick in inedible things into a cake. I know that's normal - it just doesn't make sense to me. How can you cut it and separate it if there are rods throughout?

AZCouture Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 7:09pm
post #8 of

Have you ever made a cake at all? I would think at some point you would have noticed how heavy cakes are? Surely you don't think they can just daintily rest upon each other do you? Not being a smart ass, but this is quite perplexing.

Kattcasablanca Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 7:42pm
post #9 of

AWell yes, I have made cakes before. I've just never made a wedding cake. I've made tall cakes with 4 layers and I've never had a problem; so I can't understand why a tiered cake would be different. I'm just looking for some insight, not to be spoken down to.

AZCouture Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 7:48pm

No one's talking down to you. So you mean you have made a four tier cake before with no supports? Like this? http://images.pinkcakebox.com/cake400.jpg

AZCouture Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 7:51pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattcasablanca View Post

 I've made tall cakes with 4 layers and I've never had a problem; so I can't understand why a tiered cake would be different.

Ok, so a single cake with four layers on it's own is ok. But putting three more tiers, or 12 (TWELVE) more layers on top, with all the icing and decorations and what not, yes, you need to use supports, or you'll be owing a full refund to the bride and explaining why her cake fell apart. Good luck. 

Kattcasablanca Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 7:54pm

AWhat I mean is, I have made a cake that has four layers where each layer is the same size and just stuck with buttercream (probably not as tall as that). I've never made anything as tall as that so it may well be that I need a support system but this is what I need help with. I don't know what support systems I can use, and I don't understand how the cake can be cut and assembled (on the day, for example) if I also need to insert rods. I've been making cakes for years, but have never made a wedding cake or anything that required a support system.

didi5 Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 7:55pm

Definitely need a support system if the cakes are to be stacked on top of one another.  If the dowels used are food safe, I wouldn't worry about it. I am not sure if Wilton still makes them but they had the Floating Tiers cake stand that you wouldn't need to dowel but it is a different look.  

Kattcasablanca Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 7:59pm

AThanks didi5. So if I want to make a 4 tiered cake where each tier is placed directly on top of the other, what support system options do I have? Or are dowel rods the only option I have? So dowel rods go through each tier separately, or do they go through the entire cake from top to bottom?

Rosie93095 Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 8:02pm

Try SPS- you can buy the whole system online at Oasis

darkchocolate Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 8:03pm

http://www.wilton.com/cakes/tiered-cakes/     See if this link gives you some ideas.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 8:07pm

The dowels are usually pulled out by whoever is cutting the cake, they are food safe, even they aren't edible. No different than the cake boards, really.

A quick google, youtube or cakecentral search will get you all sorts of tutorials on how to properly dowel.

Not supporting the cake will result in the cakes sinking into each other, which will lead to cakes falling apart. The role a cake board will play in supporting a cake, is resting on the dowels and taking the weight of the cake. Without dowels, there is really no reason for the cake board.

darkchocolate Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 8:07pm

Hopefully this link will help as well.  Do you have time to order the SPS system?

 

http://media.cakecentral.com/files/sps_104.pdf

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 8:11pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattcasablanca View Post

Thanks didi5. So if I want to make a 4 tiered cake where each tier is placed directly on top of the other, what support system options do I have? Or are dowel rods the only option I have? So dowel rods go through each tier separately, or do they go through the entire cake from top to bottom?

Each layer gets it's own set of dowels, which must be cut exactly the same size as each other. Then the next tier, on it's board, rests on those. So if they are uneven, the cake will tilt.

The whole point of doweling is that the cakes underneath are in no way supporting the weight of the ones on top, otherwise you'll end up with a big mess.

 

There are different doweling systems, such as wiltons or SPS, but they all involve putting some sort of 'rod' into each layer for the next tier's cake board to rest on.

Kattcasablanca Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 8:15pm

AThanks guys!! Thankfully I'm not actually making the cake for anyone - as I've never done this before I thought I'd just give a simple wedding cake a try to see if its something I can branch into. I like the look of the SPS and I'd definitely have time to order that so I may give that a go! Any other tips or things I should know (where a wedding cake is drastically different to making a normal cake?)

Thanks guys - I know this is probably all common sense to you but I appreciate you helping out a novice like myself.

darkchocolate Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 8:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattcasablanca View Post

Thanks guys!! Thankfully I'm not actually making the cake for anyone - as I've never done this before I thought I'd just give a simple wedding cake a try to see if its something I can branch into. I like the look of the SPS and I'd definitely have time to order that so I may give that a go! Any other tips or things I should know (where a wedding cake is drastically different to making a normal cake?)

Thanks guys - I know this is probably all common sense to you but I appreciate you helping out a novice like myself.

One great thing about the SPS is that you can reuse it.  I think this will be the best option since you are wanting to practice.  I found that Oasis Cake and Candy Supply had great prices.

maybenot Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 9:25pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkchocolate View Post

http://www.wilton.com/cakes/tiered-cakes/     See if this link gives you some ideas.


Look at this link ^^.  It says it all.

 

As for cutting the cake, it should be disassembled, dowels removed, and then each tier cut individually.

LizzieAylett Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 9:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by maybenot View Post


Look at this link ^^.  It says it all.

 

As for cutting the cake, it should be disassembled, dowels removed, and then each tier cut individually.


I read that as disemdowelled, and thought that that was a fun new word.  Then I read it again...

Kattcasablanca Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 9:41pm

ADoes anyone have any suggestions for support systems in the UK? It appears you can't buy the SPS system over here...

maybenot Posted 22 Jul 2013 , 9:59pm

Cake boards and a type of support post is a time tested method of cake support.  "Systems" are based on those same things.

 

You can use bubble tea straws [or regular drinking straws, for that matter] for the supports and by doubling up on standard cake boards, you can get a pretty stable, sturdy cake.

didi5 Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 1:50am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattcasablanca View Post

Thanks didi5. So if I want to make a 4 tiered cake where each tier is placed directly on top of the other, what support system options do I have? Or are dowel rods the only option I have? So dowel rods go through each tier separately, or do they go through the entire cake from top to bottom?

I explained here on this page how to make a tiered cake http://www.make-fabulous-cakes.com/tiered-cakes.html Yes you would need dowels for each tier that will have a cake on top of it.  And then, there is also the optional but highly recommended dowel thru all the layers.  I say optional because I have worked in a bakery that did not do the dowel thru all the layers thing even for cakes up to 5 tiers!  They never had problems.  I do it for the peace of mind :)  

 

Yes, there are other cake support systems like the http://www.cakestackers.com/cake-supports.html and the http://www.stressfreecakes.com/public/cake-supports-work.  I have never tried them though so can't give any opinions about them.  It is more an investment though for these type of systems and you will have to be on top of getting them back complete.  Just something to think about.  

 

Hope this helps! 

cakefat Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 3:17am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattcasablanca View Post

What I mean is, I have made a cake that has four layers where each layer is the same size and just stuck with buttercream (probably not as tall as that). I've never made anything as tall as that so it may well be that I need a support system but this is what I need help with. I don't know what support systems I can use, and I don't understand how the cake can be cut and assembled (on the day, for example) if I also need to insert rods. I've been making cakes for years, but have never made a wedding cake or anything that required a support system.

 

I think you should go ahead and try to do it without dowels. Please post photos when you're done!

vgcea Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 10:02am

A

Original message sent by cakefat

I think you should go ahead and try to do it without dowels. Please post photos when you're done!

:twisted:

leah_s Posted 23 Jul 2013 , 2:25pm

Yeah, no on the "go ahead and try it."

 

And let's not confuse layers with tiers.  A four layer cake needs no support.  A four tier cake definitely needs support.

 

Try SPS - you'll love it.  See my signature line below.

AZCouture Posted 17 Aug 2013 , 2:42am

ASooooo, how'd it go?

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