Hope this is the right place to post....
I want to make this cake in December for my daughter's 5th birthday, I've taken Wilton's course 1 at michaels and will be doing the second one starting next week. But I won't get to the third one until next year (scheduling issues)
So my question is, I'm comfortable with everything except the stacking issue. How do I do it? What do I need? Can someone please explain this so that it doesn't turn out horrible. I looked in the articles and found one about using dowels...but still kinda confused. Do I use anything between the cakes? Help please!
Also do I take it in pieces to the site and assemble there? What would you recommend?
Thanks everyone! You all are so knowledgeable.
Here is a picture of the cake I want to make (I found it in the gallery, it seems quite popular)
between each tier is generally a layer or two of cardboard. There are dowels under the cardboard to keep the upper layers from crushing the lower layers.
there are great photos and instructions on the Wilton.com site
This particular cake looks like a 6,8 and 10 inch. Starting from the bottom Use a minimum of a 12 inch board for your base cake. Go ahead and ice that cake. You can use wooden dowels, plastic tube dowels, or hidden columns. Take a 8inch board and gently lay it centered on the top of your iced 10 in cake, you can lightly trace around it or just mark it enough so that you know where the 8 in will sit. Remove that 8 in board. Within that circle you will put your support rods or dowels in. Start with one and push into the cake all the way down to the board. Mark that dowell so that it is even with the top of your iced cake. You will now have to cut that dowell because more then likely it will be too tall. Depending on what support you use will determine what to use to cut them. Everyone uses different gadgets./when the first one is cut you can then cut the rest the same length without having to put each one in the cake and measure. Once they are cut you are ready to put all of them down in your cake. For this cake I would use at least 4-6 wooden dowels, 4 tube dowels or 4 Hidden columns. Your base tier is ready for the next tier. Ice your 8 inch cake on the same size board(8in). Go ahead and take a 6 in board and do the same thing you did with the previous, lay on top of the 8 in cake and measure where your 6 in will go. You will dowell this the same way. Remember not to put your supports in the center of the cake. Now you have 2 tiers done. You will then ice your 6 in on a 6in board. YOur cake is now ready to assemble. I always put a little fresh icing in the center so when you put the cake on top it will serve like a glue. Pick up the 8 inch and carefully put it on top of the 10 inch, use your marks to know where to put it. Then do the same with the 6 in on top of the 8 in. For extra stability, especially if you are transporting you can take a long wooden dowell that is long enough to go through all the cakes put it in the 6 inch in the center and push down til you reach the board then tap lightly with a hammer so it will go through that board, keep tapping until the rod gets to your bottom board. Your done. I hope this helps.
Okay, so I made a 10",8", and 6" cake for my daughter and I didn't use any dowels or rods or anything. I didn't seem to have any problems with it, but then I read on CC where you are supposed to use some kind of support. I just used one cardboard circle underneath each layer. I even transported it this way! I'm sure there are those of you out there that are horrified at my actions!!!! Am I just lucky that it didn't fall apart? Are the dowels just for extra support or are they really really needed?
Yes you are lucky it didn't fall apart or shift. I would not do a stacked cake without dowels. I did my first with not enough dowels and it kind of tilted. Not a pretty site. Now I put 5 or 6 in each layer.
Wow coolmom, you got really lucky that your cake made it okay without dowels. You really do need to use dowels for support. Dowels in each layer (except for the top of course) are needed to ensure that the layers do not crush each other. Also, dowels help the cake from sliding around, especially if there is filling between the layers. I am assuming that your cake was more of a lighter cake than a dense one? Or you are just a really lucky person!
Dowels are a good way to go but not necessary on some tier cakes depends on weight of each cake, I have done quite a few cakes without hidden supports like 10" maderia/8" chocolate/6" victoria sponge all was beneath was thin cake board as for heavier cakes like rich fruit dowels are a must.
The laws with stacked cakes are use supports to safeguard collapse precautions are no biggy in cost or time.
My cake was a strawberry cake for the 10" and 6" and a silver white cake for the 8". You can see it in my pics (the pink one). I do feel lucky though...I think I'm going to go get some dowels!!
Zonamom I am so glad you asked this question for I too am working on a three tiered cake this weekend and need dowel advice. My question to you ladies is...When you tap in the last dowel through all Tiers....How does it go through the cardboard rounds or do you before hand put a whole through the middle of the board? Also, Would you assemble at the facility or would you transport it? I'm working on a 3 tier 12in 9 in 6in with all fondant decorations and i'm debating whether I should put the whole cake together at the party site. I would rather do at home where I have all my supplies in case of any additions or corrections to the cake. The party site is about 20 minutes from my house.
They say if you sharpen you center dowel it will go through easily. I have never put a center dowel in I have assembled on site and just took everything but the kitchen sink with me in case something happened.
I have a quick question ... how do you all cut your dowels to the right size. I always have such a hard time. I've tried a box cutter, knives, scissors, a little mini saw ... what do you all use?
I use gardening shears. the women at the cake supply store reccomended them to me and they work great.