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Tiered cakes

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Hi there, bear with me i am just new to the forum and also new to making cakes. I am mum to 5 kids, and decided i would love to make cakes for the family, but its easier said than done lol.

How do  you stick say for instance a 4 layered tiered cake together? What do you use to keep them all in place?


Thank you

post #2 of 35
I have found using the really fat straws works easier than dowels. Not sure what there called. Boba straws I think. Insert them into each tier cutting them just slightly lower than icing. Then place next tier on top with a generous amount of buttercream, so it stays in place. Repeat for each tier you stack, except last one. Lol I always make a marking of the cake that is going on top by using the tin, then insert straws. I always use about 9 straws placed evenly around. Hope that helps, it works for me anyway.
post #3 of 35
Hi I use fat drinking straws inserted into each tier, around 9. Cut them level to the cake then buttercream to hold the tier in place. I find them personally better than dowels. Easier to work with. Hope this helps
post #4 of 35

I would say first of all that the hard work will be worth it when you see the look on your kids faces but be realistic about what you can achieve. Don't burden yourself with over ambitious cakes which have you tearing your hair out at 2am.

I always use dowels to support upper layers.


Good luck!


Visit my blog, Crumbtales or have a look at my gallery of amazing cakes at amandamacleod


Visit my blog, Crumbtales or have a look at my gallery of amazing cakes at amandamacleod

post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, just watched a tutorial on you tube from here, this is going to sound silly, but why are straws inserted, they are hidden in the cake glued on with icing, then you put next tier on, so the 2 tiers are only held onto each other by the icing, so whats the purpose of straws? icon_confused.gif told you it sounded silly lol xxx

post #6 of 35
I use boba straws I think there called, instead of dowels, but that is just my preference from using them both. They are used as supports so that the tiers don't sink into each other with the weight.
post #7 of 35

I'm glad you are watching youtube videos - you will learn so much from them.  They are priceless in terms of information.  You might also go to the Wilton website and look at some of their tutorials - they are also very informative.


The straws are placed in the cake to actually support the tier that sits on top of it. That way the cake on top doesn't smash the cake on the bottom. Cake weighs alot - if there is nothing to support the upper tiers, they will squish everything below them.

post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 

Ahhhhhhhh i see icon_smile.gif thank you, makes sense. Yes there is so many tutorials to go through, glad i found cake central, its full of tips and ideas. I am looking for recipes, i have made a dartboard cake before, and also made a madeira cake been told its the best mix for covering, but all the cakes on here, are huge, do you have to make 2 10" cakes and cut them both in half for 1 tier? They all look huge cakes, i am tying to find a good easy cake to make for my mum in laws anniversary, and looking here i think i may need to make loads of cakes first lol.

post #9 of 35
I make 2 10 inch cakes, in 3 inch deep tins, buttercream them together, then I crumb coat the tier in buttercream, let that dry off slightly. Then coat again in a thick layer of buttercream and smooth it. Then I fondant. But again that's just how I make my cakes.
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 

Thanks Nina, will take a note of the sizes and get some tins. Just about to do the school run, what is crumb coat?? 

Thank you xxx

post #11 of 35
It seals all the crumbs, so that you can get a smother finish to the cake, I learnt all this from you tube as well. Type in crumb coating a cake, and it will brings loads of videos up on it. Xx
post #12 of 35

The dowels and straws do absolutely no good without placing each cake on a cardboard.  That is what supports the tier of cake.  Picture the cardboard like a table top and the dowels/straws like the table legs, with each tier of cake sitting on the table.  So the weight of the cakes are on the cardboard/dowels, not the cake below it.  A crumb coat is a thin layer of icing that seals in the cake crumbs.  Let that sit a little then add the rest of the icing.  There are a ton of cake recipes, as well as icing recipes, no one recipe is best.  You really need to just try some, or use a mix, and find your favorite.  The best way to search for these topics on this forum is to use google.  Type in.......tiered cakes cake central.......and you will have many, many appropriate threads show up.  If you go to youtube there are a lot of videos showing different cake and decorating techniques.  My favorites, seriouscakes and tonedna1 are  great and both have videos showing how to use a crumb coat and stack tiered cakes.   Wilton also has a lot of information on their website.

post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 

Thats fab Denneteb, thank you, thats a good way to use google  never even thought of that, ok off to cook kids dinner and then i shall be glued to you tube and cake central lol. Glad it was pointed out about cardboard under each tier.

Thanks again be back soon xxx

post #14 of 35

This chart will help you with serving numbers/cake sizes.  This is the American standard, not sure if it is standard where you are.     It also has helpful info on how much batter and icing is needed for each size.  Do some homework before you go all crazy buying cake stuff, it is easy to get carried away and end up with things you don't actually need or use.  Gradually work up in difficulty, start with one tier, then do a two tier,etc.  Starting right into a 4 tier could be really overwhelming and potentially disastrous.  Some people slice each 2 or 3 inch layer of cake in half then do the same with the next cake making one tier.  So that would have 4 one inch layers of cake and 3 layers of icing.  Lots of people just put the 2 inch layer then icing then the other 2 inch layer so you have 2 cakes and one icing layer for the tier.  No right or wrong way, just which you prefer. 

post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 

Ok thank you, i am in the UK. so will i need to find a UK timetable? Will start with 1 layer and play with that, before i try big cakes, and use a madeira mix? Thank you again.


Chris xxx

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