I would like to use a cake dummy for a cake to make it look larger. Let's say I want to do a 4 tiered cake 12,10,8,6 - can I use the bottom tier as a dummy or should it be towards the top?
Dummies, if treated properly, are very good at bearing weight. I used a 2" dummy as a separator for the wedding cake in my gallery, and it held the other three tiers very nicely. I put a cakeboard on either side of the dummy, so the dowels wouldn't punch through the styrofoam and lose support.
If I were to make this cake with one of the tiers as a dummy, I would consider making the top or second tier down as a dummy. I would be afraid of the cake becoming top-heavy.
I've done this on several wedding cakes when the brides wanted dramatic heighth for their cakes, but didn't need that much actual cake. In both cases I used 4" high cake dummies topped with 2 layers of cake for each of the tiers. Worked out just for both cakes.
I am no expert, but I believe you can do either way. It just depends on how many servings you need. HTH
I have used dummies for all the different sections of a cake. I had one that was a 10 then a 6 inch dummy, an 8 then a 4 inch dummy then a 6 inch top. Looked wonderful and gave the impression of a huge cake. I have used dummies for the bottoms for the tops and for the middles and they work just fine in all positions. The only thing to remember is that if you are going to use a center dowel you will want to predrill the hole thru the dummy then stack your layers over the center dowel. Also, remember to dowel the cake under the dummy if you will be placing another real layer on top of the dummy. It helps to hold the weight for the lower tiers. For instance, if you were going to do a 12 inch real cake then a 10 inch dummy then a 8 inch real cake you would want to dowel the 12 inch real cake just like you would if the 8 inch was going to sit right on top of it.
Wow, thanks everyone! Very helpful info!
I will be using a 10' dummy for one of the layers in an upcoming cake. The layers on top of the dummy will be 8' and 6'. Do I need to put dowels in the 10' dummy or will it support the weight of the other two layers? I have never used a dummy before and any tips would be appreciated. Do I need to do anything to the dummy before I frost it? I will be using cream cheese frosting.
it will support the weight of the other 2 cakes justfine but you'll want to dowel the 8" cake like normal of course!
KHalstead thank you for your quick response! Do I need to do anything to the dummy to make it ready to frost or just frost the way it is, plain styrofoam?