dowel or not dowel?

Decorating By TheItalianBaker Updated 23 Sep 2013 , 11:04pm by maybenot

TheItalianBaker Posted 23 Sep 2013 , 4:58pm
post #1 of 7



Hi! Yesterday a couple emailed me this pic asking if I can make this cake. I was wondering if I need to insert a dowel through the cake and the styrofoam supports. Maybe royan icing between the tiers will be enough?


thank you



6 replies
arlenej Posted 23 Sep 2013 , 7:14pm
post #2 of 7

Most definitely you'll need to dowel ALL the tiers so that they don't sink into each other AND yes for extra support, please run a dowel through the entire thing. I suggest you stack all your separator plates together and drill a hole through them all at the same time, this way you've got 'guide holes'.

leah_s Posted 23 Sep 2013 , 7:54pm
post #3 of 7

AYou're seriously asking if you need to provide support for a FIVE tier cake?

maybenot Posted 23 Sep 2013 , 8:07pm
post #4 of 7

No, he's asking if he needs to run a full spike thru the whole thing and if he can attach each cake to the styro lifts using some royal icing............


So, no, you don't need to run a full length dowel thru it.  These types of cakes are best stacked on site.  I wouldn't transport it already assembled and I wouldn't allow a client to transport it/stack it, either.


Dowel each tier, as usual, to accommodate the styro lift and cake above it.  Sit the lift on top of those dowels and then the cake onto the lift. 


Yes, some royal on top of the lift will adhere the tier [on its own board] very nicely.  Sticky fondant [just some rolled fondant mixed with water] is my go-to if I don't have any royal on hand.

Dayti Posted 23 Sep 2013 , 8:33pm
post #6 of 7

I would put each styro tier on it's own thin cardboard base - glue it with RI or sticky fondant - to stop it being pierced by the dowels in the tier underneath each one. If your styro separators start sinking into the tier below, you will likely have a wreck on your hands.


You can run a centre dowel through the whole thing if you want, if it makes you feel more confident. I would stack on site if I could. You can hammer a dowel through the whole thing (take a step stool!), or build your cake onto the centre dowel already fixed into place on your base board. If you do this, you will have to make holes in the centre of each of your boards and your styro pieces to feed them onto the dowel. 

maybenot Posted 23 Sep 2013 , 11:04pm
post #7 of 7

Well, if you want to stack in advance on a central pole and need to put holes in the styro, I'd find the center points and drive a sharpened dowel thru it [making sure that I didn't do anything to enlarge the hole too much because I'd want a nice fit when I stacked.  I think this is the least mess free method, as a drill bit will throw stryo all over the place.  Same can be done with the cake boards.

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