Squishing Cake With Center Dowel?!

Decorating By CharliesMom09 Updated 27 Apr 2016 , 12:05am by CharliesMom09

CharliesMom09 Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 2:36am
post #1 of 15

How do you insert a center dowel through multiple tiers without squishing the bottom tier? I'm a home hobby baker, making & transporting my first (free) two-tiered, buttercream-covered cake this weekend. To transport it stacked, it sounds like I should add a sharpened center dowel through the whole cake. I just practiced on some extra cake. While gently twisting the dowel through the top tier's cake board, the bottom tier was squishing. This temporary squishing would mess up the nice smooth buttercream on the sides of the bottom tier. Help! Thanks in advance!

14 replies
ypierce82 Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 2:47am
post #2 of 15

With a 2 tier, I don't use a center dowel. I just make sure that my cake is chilled before transporting to avoid any sliding issues.

CharliesMom09 Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 3:07am
post #3 of 15

I'm paranoid, as I live on top of a mountain and have to take the cake down into the valley via a pothole-ridden road. I don't think I'd be able to fit the cake in our 'fridge to chill it, so I'm operating on the assumption of a room-temp cake.

-K8memphis Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 3:44am
post #4 of 15

oh you definitely need to get it cold -- getting it cold is more important/effective than the center dowell -- start re-arranging the fridge -- take out the shelf -- a two tier cake is very doable in most fridges

CharliesMom09 Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 4:06am
post #5 of 15

Really? Oh, boy! I should've planned this week's grocery shopping & family meals around storing this cake!

So is it ok to put a fully decorated cake (buttercream covered w/ fondant decorations on sides & top) in fridge uncovered if there's nothing smelly in fridge? Might fit cake, but the box is another matter. 

From the time we leave our house to the time the cake is eaten will be around 1.5 hours. Outside temp forecasted to be 60 F. Would a 2-tier refrigerated cake be room temp by then? Would hate to serve cold cake. Would also hate to arrive with slip 'n slide cake!

Thank you thank you thank you!

-K8memphis Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 11:21am
post #6 of 15

you should be fine on the time & the cake warming up in order to serve -- besides just a few minutes on the serving plate would level out the temp --

 putting cakes in the fridge is another skill set -- probably you will be fine -- but get it sealed in the box asap when you take it out to deliver to slow the warm up -- if you get condensation don't touch it -- it should evaparorate on its own --

but for going forward -- testing your fridge and your set up is a good idea because each fridge has its own level of humidity blablablabla

and yes on the not buying many groceries when you're doing a cake etc. -- i was always amazed at how much room i could squish out of my fridge -- might wanna whip out the ice chest to hold random jars of jelly, pickles and bottles of ketchup etc.

but i mean do you have someone to go with you who could hold the cake and keep it level? since you don't know for sure how this will do in the fridge that might be a better idea -- but you have time to test this out in the fridge  too since you're not delivering till the weekend --

best to you

PS -- i always thought someone should make a delivery stand that would gently pivot with elevation -- going up & down hills, steep driveways & mountains and keep your cake level -- gonna pop that out any minute now -- hahaha

ropalma Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 1:13pm
post #7 of 15

I never put my cakes in the fridge.  I take them room temperature.  I do though put some piping gel on top of the cakeat the center where I am going to place the second cake.  That piping gel makes the perfect glue to the cake board and I have never had an issue with my cakes sliding off.  Most of my deliveries are one hour away.

CharliesMom09 Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 1:44pm
post #8 of 15

K8memphis... After a few min on the serving plate?! Hahahaha! This is for a 7-year-old's b-day party. ; )  I wouldn't even be so concerned over looks if it weren't for the moms.

Thank you all so much for the feedback. I'd intended to take a practice cake for a drive this week, but a sick preschooler has put me way behind. I'm comforted to hear I don't *need* that center dowel if other measures are taken. 

-K8memphis Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 1:45pm
post #9 of 15

i have a friend in Colorado who delivers up & down craggy jaggedy places and she went through cakes falling apart just from the rides -- so no you don't have to refrigerate but it adds an invisible cohesiveness to any cake set up that can't be mimicked except if someone makes that cake delivery leveler thing to keep cakes adjusting to stay level at all times --

plus you need to test to be sure your cakes bounce back to out of the oven softness after being chilled -- cakes baked with butter usually do not fully relax back to the same softness -- so there's that too

-K8memphis Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 1:46pm
post #10 of 15

but sharpen the tip for easy insertion without tearing up the board

CharliesMom09 Posted 21 Apr 2016 , 1:47pm
post #11 of 15

Ugh! Bottom tier chocolate is oil, but top tier white is butter. I do have extra white already baked I can test in the fridge today. Thanks for warning.

remnant3333 Posted 22 Apr 2016 , 4:36pm
post #12 of 15

 I just moved to Tennessee Kentucky border about one month ago and I absolutely love it here. We are actually up on a mountain. There is always a breeze here according to the neighbors and you don't have to use the A/C much. So far I love it here. 

No cake for me since my hubby and I are now on a diet. Let us know how your cake does. Hopefully it will be fine!!!

CharliesMom09 Posted 26 Apr 2016 , 1:48pm
post #13 of 15

Update: I figured out the center dowel. 1st try, my hubby had sharpened it w/ pocket knife. It seemed sharp, but bottom cake squished. Fri. I assembled a half-size practice cake. I bought a $0.50 pencil sharpener and used it to sharpen a dowel, and it went through the cakes & middle board beautifully! No cake squishing. I took my practice stacked cake on a mountain drive down the roughest road near us, hilly, windy, and a mile+ of it dirt/gravel. It survived!! It gave me confidence going into Sat.


Onto Sat and the real cake... ended up not having time to refrigerate it. : (  Rushed out door, not realizing the sharpened, measured, cut center dowel was still lying on the kitchen counter... top tier slid off the bottom tier in the box. : (  I was mortified & heart broken. Repaired it best I could, didn't look great, but it was there. Everyone was really wonderful about it. Helps that it was free, they know I'm not professional, and they're used to grocery store cakes. But still.  : (  Some of the parents snuck back and scraped up the smushy bits from inside the box, so at least I can believe them when they raved about the taste. : )   Side note, my 6-year-old son thought it was so cool that the cake fell. : )


Thank you all for your words of advice. I'm glad to have tackled my first stacked cake. Now I'm anxious to tackle my first successful stacked cake. : )


remnant3333: Congrats on the move & enjoy the beauty of your new community! (We don't have a/c, not needed much, but sure would be nice!!)

-K8memphis Posted 26 Apr 2016 , 6:43pm
post #14 of 15

but you did great -- surviving and it being a success -- maybe a little bruised -- you did great!

handling an issue like this and coming out on top is way more valuable than an issue free delivery -- you've got all the right tools for next time and you did better than great this time --

way to go  clap.png

CharliesMom09 Posted 27 Apr 2016 , 12:05am
post #15 of 15

Thank you, K8memphis.  : )

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