Small But Tall Cake Stability

Decorating By JPepper Updated 28 Oct 2012 , 2:09am by Marianna46

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JPepper Posted 26 Oct 2012 , 2:38pm
post #1 of 8

Hi there icon_biggrin.gif

I have a request to make a small Cat in the Hat cake.....just the hat only. My customer would like it to be a four inch cake so it will be 'small and tall'! I am not too sure yet how tall I will be making it....I'll determine that when I'm making it but it will definitely be more than 2 or 3 layers so I am wondering if I should be putting a dowel down the middle for stability? Or are there any other suggestions for a method I can use to ensure it doesnt topple over? I will be covering it in buttercream, not fondant.

Thanks so much in advance icon_smile.gif

7 replies
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wildflowercakes Posted 26 Oct 2012 , 3:03pm
post #2 of 8

you'll need a cake board between tiers (any two layers stacked) and dowel each tier, plus one down the middle.

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DeliciousDesserts Posted 26 Oct 2012 , 3:18pm
post #3 of 8

I would seriously recommend doing a 6" instead of a 4". I will be much easier. I did a prescription bottle cake that was 6" round & 8 layers tall. I used a dowels & placed cake board between bottom 4 & top 2 layers.

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JPepper Posted 26 Oct 2012 , 3:43pm
post #4 of 8

Thanks Wildflowercakes for your quick reply icon_smile.gif I've never had to secure a cake before so I'm really new to this part of baking/decorating. I think I understand most of your email except for the dowel down the would I put a dowel down the middle when there is a cake board between tiers? Would I cut a hole in the middle of the cake board first? Also, any suggestions on what to use for dowels? I have read a few posts of people suggesting the use of drinking straws, which might actually be sufficient for this project considering the cake will be pretty small.

Thanks so much icon_smile.gif

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forjenns Posted 26 Oct 2012 , 3:58pm
post #5 of 8

I saw a video on Craftsy by Joshua John Russell and he takes a pencil sharpener to his wooden dowel to make a sharp point that will go through the board.

I do use straws most of the time but occasionally I need top to bottom support if it is a taller cake and then is the time for the wooden dowel.

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JPepper Posted 26 Oct 2012 , 4:08pm
post #6 of 8

DeliciousDesserts, I did suggest the 6 inch initially as that is the smallest cake pan that I have, however, my customer is insistent on a 4 inch as she wants it just as an individual cake for the birthday boy and then she is ordering cupcakes for the rest. A 6 inch would definitely be easier because I dont have a 4 inch pan and because I dont get requests for 4 inch cakes I dont want to go and buy one which means I am thinking I am going to have to make a large sheet cake and cut out 4 inch circles.....I sure hope it works out! LOL!

forjenns, that's a good point that a straw probably won't be long enough for the dowel down the centre and what a great idea to sharpen the end first of the wooden dowels!

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heartsnsync Posted 28 Oct 2012 , 1:36am
post #7 of 8

I had to make a wedding cake yesterday that had a 4" wide 5" tall top tier. It was a bit more difficult to ice as there was not a lot of substance to the cake versus the maneuvering of putting the butter cream on. It took a bit of finessing and some time in the refrigerator to get it right. If you were going to make the hat taller the 5" like I did but have it only 4" wide you would need to make sure to use sturdy cake, not a lot of filling, and use a board half way through for stability and doweling it would be a good idea, too. Maybe screw a dowel through a support board and slide the cakes on over that. HTH

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Marianna46 Posted 28 Oct 2012 , 2:09am
post #8 of 8

These suggestions are right on the mark. I use a wooden center dowel, which I sharpen with a pencil sharpener for the center dowel. Just hammer it in with a rubber mallet from top to bottom. It goes through cake circles with no problem (even thicker ones) and will come to rest nicely in your cake base. I use bubble tea straws (or even regular straws in a pinch) inside my tiers, but these aren't really so much for stability as for taking the weight of the tiers resting on top of them - although I guess they help stabilize a little, as well. Best of luck with your cake. I'm sure it will be amazing.

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