Do I Need A Dowel Down The Center? Need Help For Tomorrow's Delivery

Decorating By pamalbake Updated 20 Oct 2013 , 12:32pm by -K8memphis

pamalbake Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 3:49pm
post #1 of 17

I am stacking a 2 tier cake: 6" and 9" square.  They are heavy and tall with 4 layers of cake and 3 layers of filling, to be frosted in buttercream.

Do I need to put a dowel down the center of the 6"?  

Should I be ok, stacking it and delivering it, 20 min away or is that risky?

Haven't done this on a buttercream cake, or one this tall.

16 replies
-K8memphis Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 3:53pm
post #2 of 17

i would not use a center dowel for that and that's a  typical set up for me, 3 layers of filling etc. --


but some peeps would--


so it's an individual decision--

ddaigle Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 4:00pm
post #3 of 17

I always use a center dowel...that goes all the way into the drum.   But that's just how I've always stacked tiered cakes.

BrandisBaked Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 4:06pm
post #4 of 17

AI only dowel for three tiers or more.

pamalbake Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 4:39pm
post #5 of 17

Do all of you deliver them?  I have them on their cake boards.  The bottom tier is going on a 1/2" MDF board, covered and then covered in fondant. I d on't plan to cut out the fondant under the cake, but to keep the whole board covered. 

So individual decision, what do I do?

ddaigle Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 4:45pm
post #6 of 17

Doesn't matter..I always center dowel.   But if the dowel can't go into the bottom board then using a center dowel is useless.

-K8memphis Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 4:46pm
post #7 of 17


Originally Posted by pamalbake 

Do all of you deliver them?  ....


...So individual decision, what do I do?



(just being silly) no i rent the bakery out for receptions :lol:


yes i deliver(ed) mine--


--go with your gut

pamalbake Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 6:42pm
post #8 of 17

Thanks.  Well I realize I cannot now that I am using a hard board.  Do you prefer to use the bubble straws or the wooden dowels? Some say the dowels displace cake and affect the stability.  However, they have been used for years. I have only used wooden dowels but have both.

maybenot Posted 19 Oct 2013 , 3:04am
post #9 of 17

I'd use straws--stronger & more stable than skinny wooden sticks.

dukeswalker Posted 19 Oct 2013 , 3:34am
post #10 of 17

Until I switched over to SPS I used bubble straws and no center dowel - but I delivered all cakes unstacked....which I hated - which is why I now use SPS. ;)

AZCouture Posted 19 Oct 2013 , 4:51am
post #11 of 17

AStraws, no dowel here.

-K8memphis Posted 19 Oct 2013 , 12:31pm
post #12 of 17

see everyone does it different--and you could put some cardboard circles or a foam core board under the bottom cake so the center dowel can grab into that or whatever makes you feel the most comfortable and secure--tons of variables--so many choices (too many sometimes ;)

JennaGee Posted 19 Oct 2013 , 1:19pm
post #13 of 17

I did an extended tier (double barrel? double tier?) last night, when I put the bubble tea straws in the bottom tier my layers cracked and the filling oozed out of the sides and I could see that if it had been a bigger cake it would have not be structurally sound at all. It caught me off guard but it was an experiment/trial and a cake for a friend so I didn't stress too much. Oh and I have been using the bubble tea straws to stack all my cakes for well over a year now (I've stacked up to 4 tiers with bubble tea straws in the tiers, no dowel down the middle because I set up my cakes upon arrival.) I am now looking into "fat" straws that are a bit thinner, like the wooden dowels. 


So MY cake was a bit displaced but again, it's all circumstantial. 

AZCouture Posted 19 Oct 2013 , 1:51pm
post #14 of 17

AAh, that sucks. I use straws for db's and fine. Hey, a miscalculation in length, who knows. Crap happens.

-K8memphis Posted 19 Oct 2013 , 2:11pm
post #15 of 17

you could slide wood dowel or skewers into the straws when extra support is required--or for sure try the 3/4" plastic dowel --


placement is important too--the straws have to hold the weight of the cake above obviously--not knowing the size tiers but generally i'd place five in a circle then one in the middle--and not right on the outer perimeter of the cake--placed in from the edges so it can bear the weight--


and of course dowel have to be equal in length to each other not to the top surface of the cake which is a temptation with straws--stick them in and clip them off flush--nuh ugh


doweling thoughts for you ;)

pamalbake Posted 20 Oct 2013 , 1:35am
post #16 of 17

ADone! Delivered intact, used 5 - 3/8" wooden dowels, didn't drive a center one down from the top, due to my board on bottom. Added decorations on site but no problem - oh except for a blip of fondant covered board, which I thought might happen . Stacked cake on fondant board night before and had to refrigerate due to lumpen curd filling . It was sweaty and gooey in am when I took it out to stencil . Wasn't as tacky by the time I delivered . Thank you everyone for your help. Here's my cake- my 1 st buttecream tiered cake - and it was 2 squares!![ATTACHMENT=1346]image.jpg (654k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT]

-K8memphis Posted 20 Oct 2013 , 12:32pm
post #17 of 17

wow so pretty--you did a great job


and for a first cake--wonderful work!

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