Need Help!! Have A Tier Stacking Question!!

Decorating By kellyg Updated 3 Mar 2010 , 11:39pm by kellyg

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kellyg Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 8:27pm
post #1 of 8

Hi! I haven't posted here much, but I have an easy question...I think!!
I'm really new at this whole cake decorating thing, I've only done 3 fondant cakes (which turned out really good)! I am doing a rather large 3 tiered cake for a baby's first birthday. I've never done 3 tiers before, only 2. I'm doing a 6" on top, 8" middle, and 10" bottom.

My question is about stacking the tiers on top of each other. HOW on earth do you get them level? LOL!! I had a little trouble with the 2 tier cake I did, so I am TERRIFIED of stacking the 3!! I am really good at decorating the cake, and molding things with fondant, just can't seem to get the darn cake level!

Any tips or advice? Should I make a slight indention in the icing/fondant for the cake tier to sit in? I level the cake itself after it's cooled down, then ice it....somehow it always seems to lean a little when I put it together!

Also, what should I use as a base to hold this heavy cake? I bought a wilton cake base, but I don't know if it will hold. I think I might have to transport the cake unassembled!

Thanks for ANY information!

7 replies
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KHalstead Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 8:43pm
post #2 of 8

It's much more important that your dowels are perfectly straight and level than it is that your cake is perfectly straight and level!

Have you looked into the SPS plates for stacking? They make the whole thing really simple.........especially when you deliver them unstacked and assemble on site!

You might also want to invest in a cake leveler.........I have both the big and small wilton ones.....the small one was pretty much useless to me, but I use the big one every time I do a cake! I think it was around $20, and I used a 50% off coupon at AC Moore

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ZoesMum Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 8:50pm
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And if you don't go for the SPS plates, then cardboard rounds between the layers will work too. Advice that worked for me was to make sure that you pick the highest spot in your cake (hopefully if it is perfectly level there won't be one, but hey, we are not all perfect and neither are our cakes!!) and then cut all your dowels the exact same lengths. The mistake I made the first time was to cut then all individually to the height where I put each dowel in...that doesn't work so well!! I have a wire cake leveler (I think it is Wilton??) that I have always had good success with...

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kellyg Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 8:56pm
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I do put the cardboard rounds between layers, but duh....I cut the dowels to match the cake!! Don't know why on earth I didn't cut them all the same size beforehand. Guess that would have been too easy for me! icon_razz.gif
I am going to invest in the bigger cake leveler. I think that might help me too. I haven't tried the SPS plates, but I will look into that! It's going to be a pain to deliver the thing unassembled, b/c I am putting little balls around the edges of the layers to hide the gap. There is SO much to learn about all of this!! I'm thinking about taking the local cake decorating class in April! I did my daughter a Yellow Submarine cake last year, and it was 2 tiers. It looked pretty cool.... despite the hard time I had getting it stacked even! LOL!


Do I cut the dowels a tad higher than the cake, or level with the cake?

Thanks again so much!!!

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monet1895 Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 9:21pm
post #5 of 8

I'm also doing my first 3 tiered cake this weekend (6" round, 8" square, 12" round). I've done several 2 tier fondant cakes, but now finally making the leap to 3. I'm also curious about the cake base? I was planning to use 1/2" foam board. The cake is only traveling a short distance, so I was planning to stack and finish before delivery, with a long dowel running through the whole height of the cake. Will this plan work, or would something else work better? TIA.

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ZoesMum Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 9:52pm
post #6 of 8

I transported a 3 tier assembled (except for the fondant/gumpaste figures), and it was just fine. I had a 1/2 inch solid cardboard base, and it was just barely enough for all the weight! With the center dowel it travelled just fine on a silicone non-skid mat in the trunk of my crossover. Not to say I didn't sweat and worry the whole way there!!

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EvMarie Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 10:15pm
post #7 of 8

Believe me - - NOT AN EXPERT ON THIS. However, I just saw something about the upside down icing method? It is supposed to be fool proof for a level frosted top. I had this trouble too with the level frosting...even with my dowels cut perfectly straight, the whole thing looked crooked here and there.

Oh - and I thought, wouldn't a light weight level from the hardware store help? I mean, a tiny plastic one. Any mark left on the top of the cake would be minimal & you're putting another cake on top anyway. Just a thought.

Oh!!! I did another cake with the hidden pillar & plate method. It was much less stress. I kept the pillars a bit taller so I could place flowers all the way around underneath each tier. Simple but pretty.

Good Luck!

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kellyg Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 11:39pm
post #8 of 8

Awesome! I had bought a 1/2 inch Wilton base , so I'm glad to hear that it might just hold the cake! The cake is a jungle/monkey theme, so I think I'll borrow my MIL's SUV, and deliver it assembled...then put the monkeys/palm trees on last. I am SO nervous about this cake!! I have NO idea how much to charge either! The cake is for an friend, and I hate to charge her a bundle...however, the materials have been expensive!


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