Tower Cake- First Time Carving. Advice, Please!

Decorating By ashelton Updated 24 Jul 2015 , 12:26am by carolinecakes

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ashelton Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 12:06am
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Hi there! I am planning on attempting to make this cake as a surprise/congratulatory cake for my husband. I've never carved cake, and I've only made/decorated cakes less than 5 times (typically stick to cupcakes, pies, etc).

I have my cakes wrapped in saran wrap and in the freezer as I read to do in several other threads. So I guess my question is- what is next? I have 6 t-in rounds for the tower, two 8-in rounds for the top part, and one 9x13 sheet to cut in half and stack for the bottom/side parts. I anticipate it being about a foot-foot and a half tall. Do I need dowels? What about cardboard in between layers? Do I put frosting on either side of the cardboard or does it directly touch the cake? I've only worked with fondant a handful of times to make cupcake toppers- never to cover a cake. Should I use fondant or frosting? Would frosting fall off on the parts that jut out?

Any other tips of how you would personally approach this would be so appreciated. I'm so new at this...I figure if it collapses or looks horrible he can eat it out of a big bowl with a spoon. :) I appreciate answers to any (or all!) of my questions!46502160.um0133.jpg

5 replies
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carolinecakes Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 6:13pm
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As long as you have a good support for your cake it will not collapse. Is your tower cylinder shape or square like your pic. I ask because you mentioned you made rounds??? Are you carving the round cakes to make them square?

Cake Support

Screw a wooden dowel into a masonite cake drum, the dowel should be the height of the tower.

Cut a hole in the center of each cake board you will be using, cut ahead of time, making sure the holes line up on all the cake boards. This way you have a nice straight tower.

Place some buttercream on a cake board and place a layer of cake on it some buttercream on that layer and add another layer of cake, crumb coat, insert bubble straws into each tier for added support. Cut your bubble straws to the height of the each tier making sure you do not put any straws in the middle, remember your dowel will  be going there. Gently lower this, making sure the hole in the cake board is going over the dowel you secured to your cake drum. Continue this until you have the height of tower. You can do 2 layers or 3 layers of cake for each tier, your choice. I would crumb coat all my tiers, keeping each cold while I work on the other. Cake is carved best when it is cold.

For the pieces jutting out at the side of the tower, near the top, I would make those out of rice krispies treats covered in fondant.I would make these ahead of time. Attach these with skewers and edible glue.

(Sorry forgot to say the first thing I do is to sketch the cake, the actual size i am making, that way you can model the pieces you need out of RKT the correct size you need. Enlarging the picture to the size you want also works if you prefer not to draw. It really helps to get everything in proper proportions.) 

 After you build the tower I would cover in ganache/ buttercream, let that set and cover the tower in fondant. Measure the height of your cake roll out the fondant 2-3 inches larger and wrap the tower. Where you join the seams will be the back of your cake, moisten with a little water to help it stick. Smooth your fondant, attach the RKT  pieces. hth

I am a hobby baker, if anything is not clear please let me know. The Patron Bottle in my gallery is made this way, as you will see I am still perfecting my skills. These pics show what I have tried to explain, its a bottle but that would work for a tower cake. 



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carolinecakes Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 6:25pm
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Please ignore those links, not sure what happened there......

Edit button would be helpful!!

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carolinecakes Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 6:26pm
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Please ignore those links, not sure what happened there......

Edit button would be helpful!!

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ashelton Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 9:17pm
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Thank you SO much for such detailed instructions! 
Yes, the tower will be carved to a square out of 6-in rounds. I don't own any square cake pans and am trying to keep costs down (teacher over the summer = no pay check) for the whole project. I might take the square boards that I've cut and stack them to trace/cut the cakes before stacking...that will probably be much much easier. 

I've never attempted to do anything with rice krispie you think it would be secure with skewers only? Maybe a little frosting as well? I don't have edible glue and they won't be that big. 

I sincerely appreciate your help. I will be making the cake early next week and will be sure you to let you know how it goes! 

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carolinecakes Posted 24 Jul 2015 , 12:26am
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I'm on a budget too, completely understand. Do you have a sheet cake pan? That would be better to make your square tower, there would be less cake wasting and easier to get those straight edges. That's what I use to make square cakes and yes use the square cake board as your template. I use serrated knives to carve, for the square cake I use a long knife, so you can make one clean cut, gently moving your knife in a sawing motion.

Here's a recipe for edible glue using fondant: ( Nilda Holden's)

  • Sugarpaste/fondant in white
  • Boiled water
  1. Crumble a small amount of sugarpaste/fondant into a small heatproof bowl or ramekin dish.


2. Pour a couple of drops of boiling water onto the sugarpaste.

3. Begin mixing the water into the sugarpaste with a spoon. The sugarpaste should begin to combine with the water and start to become liquified.


4. Add more water if needed.  Keep mixing until the sugarpaste & water are all combined and you have a glue like consistency.

5. And there you have it – your very own edible glue.


You can also use royal icing or candy melts as your glue. The fondant pieces will hold just with a little water but I like to use the edible glue/ royal icing/ candy melts because they dry solid. Think of it as insurance. Remember you are covering the RKT pieces with fondant. I would be concerned about the pieces slipping if I used the frosting to attach.

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