I am making a stacked wedding cake this weekend (my first). I read that you should put a long dowel rod all the way through all layers. It says to sharpen the end of the rod so it will go through the cake board, but I'm thinking you would have to put quite a bit of pressure on the rod to get it through. I'm afraid it will damage the cake.
Does anyone have any advice?
Make sure the point on the end of the rod is very sharp - then gently hammer it all the way through! (be careful that you don't hit the cake with the hammer!) It works perfectly, and it does not damage the cake. I have done it many times.
When I put a dowel rod through the center of a stacked cake, I very gently hammer it in with a rubber mallet. It usually goes through the cardboard circles rather easily, and leaves only a hole the size of your dowel rod in the top of the cake. When you get very close to the cake with your mallet, use another small dowel rod to finish placing your dowel to make sure there is no damage to the cake's top!
Ok, I will try it. Do you just put one through the center? Have you ever used the Wilton plastic for the center? I guess it might be too big. I am assembling the cake at the reception site, so I guess I put it through the icing too.
I too am terrified to hammer the rod thru so here is an alternative method for the chickens (me!!). This is SquirrellyCakes method of stacking. Put the long dowel rod in the bottom tier and lower each tier down onto the cake below. You will need to pre-cut a hole the size of the dowel in the cake boards.
Good luck on your cake!
Just read your last response-if you are assembling at the site you won't need the center dowel unless it's a cake that would require extra stability. If it's a traditional stacked cake you won't need it!
I'm glad I'm not the only chicken out there! I had considered putting a hole in the center of the boards, but guess I won't have to. Thanks! I don't know how I'd get by without this forum.
I was scared too, the first time at had to put the center dowel in a cake! It was really easy though!
Squirrelly's method sounds like it would be easy too! Just use what you are comfortable with. (I agree with dodibug...if you assemble on site, you may not need it, unless it needs the extra stability.)
IF you do decide to put the center dowel down through the cake a pencil sharpener works really well to get the point nice and sharp. I just have one that I got for 1.00 at walmart.
I'd have to agree with Jen... bake and freeze. That's what I always do. I hate to wait until the day before in case something comes up, and this way I'm able to bake them in advance, wrap them really well in Suran wrap, and then freeze. It works wonders! I highly recommend this method. If you do this, you will be free to decorate Thurs or Fri!