Help! How The #!@& Do You Dowel A Ball Cake? (With Pic)

Decorating By emarcomd Updated 4 Nov 2015 , 8:55pm by emarcomd

emarcomd Posted 4 Nov 2015 , 3:48pm
post #1 of 10

I'm making a soccer ball cake for my niece & nephews.  I'm using the 6' wilton ball pan.   

I'm using this durable cake recipe:

It'll be covered in fondant, filled w/ ganache and I'm *not* putting a cake underneath it -- straight onto the cake board (side question: is that a bad idea?  If so, maybe I can put a rice krispy "holder" under it?)

But I think I'm going to need to used dowels because I have to drive the thing 3.5 hours.  Here's my question:

Since the damn thing is round, how do I put more than one dowel in it?  I can put one in the center, but if I use others, won't I see them?

I made this (crappy) mock-up.... the black dotted line is the cardboard, the brown things are the dowels, and the red arrows point to where I think you'd see the dowels.


Now, I know I can torte the bottom, but I don't want to have to take off too much.

Does anyone have suggestions?   I wouldn't think that one dowel in the middle would do much to help, would it?

*Last edited by emarcomd on 4 Nov 2015 , 3:48pm
9 replies
Jeff_Arnett Posted 4 Nov 2015 , 3:59pm
post #2 of 10

After I went back and carefully reread your post, I see where your concern is.

I'd do this:

1.  Make a base board by gluing a 4-5 inch long sharpened dowel into the center of a 1/2 inch round of

    foamcore or 3-4 cardboard rounds stacked and glued together.

2.  Fill as you have illustrated with a board between the halves with a hole in center.

3.  Cover you cake in fondant, then slide it down over the center dowel in you base and complete the 


*Last edited by Jeff_Arnett on 4 Nov 2015 , 4:14pm
cakedout Posted 4 Nov 2015 , 4:11pm
post #3 of 10

So like Jeff said - I don't think you need to dowel it like it was a tiered cake....but instead, insert those dowels the ENTIRE way through the ball cake so that both top and bottom half will be stabelized during transport.  Put the cake on a thicker cake drum, sharpen the ends of the dowels a bit so that they push into the cake board.   It'll be good and secure.

Those other dowels can be hidden by tufts of 'grass' - - or put them in at an angle to they aren't seen.

emarcomd Posted 4 Nov 2015 , 4:16pm
post #4 of 10

Thanks Jeff-

I was thinking of doweling just because of the 3.5 hour drive.  If you ever saw me drive, you'd  be nervous about cake too.

But glad to hear your advice.  I guess I'll skip it.

Can I ask you another question?   I'm worried about it "sweating" or something.    I'm planning on covering it in fondant, but I've always had trouble with fondant.

I'm wondering when I should chill the cake.   This was my plan...

1.) bake cake.  let cool for a long time.

2.) fill and crumb coat. -- I was planning on using ganache because I thought it'd be nice and sturdy.  Plus I love to eat all the ganache.

3.) chill

4.)  should I let it get to room temperature or go ahead and cover it with fondant while it's still cold?

5.) after I cover it in fondant, should it go back in the fridge or keep it at room temperature?

6.) If i do put it in the fridge after putting the fondant on, should I put cool packs in the transport box (plastic) as I drive?

You can probably tell I"m a noobie.

emarcomd Posted 4 Nov 2015 , 4:18pm
post #5 of 10

That's a great idea!.... (ummmmmmm, but what's a cake drum?  Is that just a thicker board?)

And would you mind reading the questions I asked Jeff about chilling and defrosting?

emarcomd Posted 4 Nov 2015 , 4:19pm
post #6 of 10


I posted this question in the decorating forum, but no one answered it.

I've seen the charts that let you know how big to roll out your fondant for different sized SQUARE cakes, but can't find any such chart for how big to roll out for round cakes.

Is it different?

Thank you so much for your answers!  I'm kinda nervous about this!

Jeff_Arnett Posted 4 Nov 2015 , 4:41pm
post #7 of 10

Well, since you are covering a round cake, you'll need enough to wrap the circumference of the cake.  Since it's a 6 inch ball cake, the circumference is pi x the diameter, for 6 x 3.14 = 18.84 inches.  To be safe you'll need some extra, so roll a couple inches larger.

Jeff_Arnett Posted 4 Nov 2015 , 4:42pm
post #8 of 10

Drums are those premade foil-covered heavy duty 1/2 inch thick boards you can buy.

Jeff_Arnett Posted 4 Nov 2015 , 5:30pm
post #9 of 10

I'd bake, cool and wrap in plastic.

Chill so the cake is firm.

Fill and stack and ganache.


Cover the cake in fondant while the ganache is firm or you might get into a mess.

Here's it gets little more decisive....I refrigerate all my cakes...some people refrigerate fondant, some don't...also depends on the kind you use.  I've heard a number of people remark that marshmallow fondant doesn't do well in the fridge.  I guess that will have to be your call.

As for me, it would be chilled, placed in a heavy duty box and driven to the the time you get there it should have warmed slowly up to serving temperature.

emarcomd Posted 4 Nov 2015 , 8:55pm
post #10 of 10

Jeff_Arnett, you are my HERO!!!

Thank you so much for all the answers!!!!

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