Do I Really Need To Use Dowel Rods?

Decorating By hodurj Updated 26 Oct 2010 , 5:19am by Apti

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hodurj Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 3:03pm
post #1 of 10

I'm planning on making my daughter's 1st Birthday cake, I've never "stacked" cakes before, so I need some advice. I'm planning on stacking a 6 inch round cake on top of a 10 in round, do I need to use dowel rods if i'm just stacking 1 cake on top of another? I don't want a disaster, so I'm doing my research in advance! icon_smile.gif Thanks!

9 replies
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icer101 Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 3:16pm
post #2 of 10

if you are just using one layer of each size. no you do not need dowel rods. 2 layers make a tier. then you would need dowel rods to stack. if you are using 1, 6" LAYER on top of 1, 10" LAYER. NO DOWELS. hth

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metria Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 3:17pm
post #3 of 10

instead of wooden dowels, you can use wide drinking straws (the kind for bubble tea or milkshakes). much easier to cut! i highly recommend having some sort of support for what you're doing.

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DianeLM Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 3:25pm
post #4 of 10

If you're not planning to transport the cake, you could use just regular drinking straws or bamboo skewers for support.

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leah_s Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 3:33pm
post #5 of 10

You need support for every 4 vertical inches.

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ycknits Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 3:39pm
post #6 of 10

You'll learn that supporting each and every layer is well worth the effort! All cakes settle - even after weighting during the assembly process. The vertical supports ensure that each and every layer stays level - an absolutely critical element in the final appearance of the cake.

A six inch layer is fairly light. So I'd use either 3 dowel rods or three bubble straws, PLUS a dowel down through the middle of both layers if you're going to transport.

I learned a good method for measuring length of supports the other day. Insert a metal hem marker (from notions dept of your local sewing store)into your cake to measure the depth of the layer. You can slide the little marker down to just level with the top of the layer and then use this measurement to cut your dowels or straws. It works great!

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cheatize Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 3:16am
post #7 of 10

My hem marker would leave a slash in the cake. Wouldn't that give the dowel room to move/slideways?

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redpanda Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 4:30am
post #8 of 10

I use a dowel, with one of my son's (unused!) orthodontic rubber bands on it. I just slide the band down to be even with the top of the cake. I stick this dowel into the cake in all of the places I will be inserting dowels, to determine whether the cake is perfectly level. I cut the dowels to the same length for all, regardless, but I like to make my dowels equal with the tallest part of the cake, so that the upper tier isn't resting on the lower anywhere.

NOTE: It has never been a difference of more than about 1/8", between the tallest and shortest measurement.

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icer101 Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 5:11am
post #9 of 10

hodurj, are you stacking a 6" layer on top of a 10" layer or a 6"tier on top of a 10-" tier. i must have read it wrong. yes, if you are stacking tiers on top of tiers ,you need to dowel. But not a 6"layer on top of a 10"layer. i,m reading your question wrong or some of the others are reading it wrong. please straighten me out. tia

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Apti Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 5:19am
post #10 of 10

hodurj, Welcome to CC!

Here's a link to a fabulous video that will answer most of your questions. These videos are excellent, you will probably wish to view all of them. Good luck on your 1st stacked cake!

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