with the icing or with the cake? I've seen some videos on stacking cakes but I'm not certain if folks are cutting the dowels to the height of the cake or to the height of the frosting/fondant covering it.
To the total height. If you go below, it could bulge from the weight.
Press in your dowel and mark at the top of the frosting. Remove the dowel and cut with a pair of pruning sheers. I have a pair just for cutting dowels works great.
Thanks Unlimited and Sweettreat101. I'm going to attempt my first stacked cake in a couple of days
If you cut your dowel to the size of the cake and not the frosting height and they are to short your top layer will put pressure on the bottom layers which can cause bulging and blow outs.