Should I Dowel?

Baking By CassiaM Updated 21 Feb 2019 , 9:14pm by kakeladi

CassiaM Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
CassiaM Posted 21 Feb 2019 , 5:33am
post #1 of 9

Hello everyone,

sorry for all the questions lately! You guys are so helpful and I’m trying to avoid any unnecessary cake disasters...

im making a 2 tier birthday cake for Saturday. Bottom tier will be chocolate with cherry pie filling as the filling, covered in fondant (10”) top will be a basic vanilla with BC filling (8”). I’ll be assembling on site and the cake will literally be stacked for a maximum of 2 hours or so before it’s served.  Should I dowel the bottom tier or no? I bought “smoothie” straws for this, but now I’m not sure if it’s necessary to use them. I’ve never doweled before because I’ve never felt the need. my cakes usually aren’t going far (if they’re going anywhere at all), and I’ve never done anything larger than 2 tier. I worry about one of the dowels hitting a cherry or making some other sort of disaster if I shouldn’t even bother with it. 

Opinions please?

thanks!!

8 replies
kakeladi Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
kakeladi Posted 21 Feb 2019 , 2:23pm
post #2 of 9

This is a great opportunity for you to learn to work with dowels   You are over thinking this     No worry about those cherries

CassiaM Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
CassiaM Posted 21 Feb 2019 , 2:35pm
post #3 of 9

I overthink everything, lol.

and you’re right, it’s a good learning opportunity. 

Thanks!

SandraSmiley Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
SandraSmiley Posted 21 Feb 2019 , 3:15pm
post #4 of 9

Yes you should dowel it.  The best way to cut your straws to insure your second tier is level is to insert one straw, mark it so that it comes just below the surface of the crumbcoat (I usually dowel before adding fondant), remove it and cut to the proper length, then use it as a guide to measure the other straws so they are all the exact same length.  If some of your straws are sticking up a little bit, it means your cake is not perfectly level - which is OK.  You can fill in the lower area with a bit more buttercream.  Once you add the second tier, if there is a little space showing between the two tiers, either use some sort of fondant trim or a ribbon to finish, or (my favorite) squirt a tiny bead of buttercream in the crack and smooth it with your finger, like caulking around a bathtub.

kakeladi Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
kakeladi Posted 21 Feb 2019 , 5:59pm
post #5 of 9

Sandra went into great detail that I should have   Yes follow her guidance 

-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 21 Feb 2019 , 7:07pm
post #6 of 9

I'm glad you mentioned that dowel possibly hitting a cherry -- it could also happen when you are slicing the cake -- I would cut them all in half at least -- I know it's a sticky thankless task but I would do it -- when I do a fresh strawberry filling I always cut them small with a very sharp knife so that they do not weep from the clean sharp cuts and so the cake slices make nice compact perfect equal servings -- if it's a family cake or just a black forest -- it's more expected -- no worries --  but when someone is paying or hoping for a pro cake to serve right -- I would def take that precaution myself -- 

-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 21 Feb 2019 , 7:19pm
post #7 of 9

i'm glad you mentioned it because that was one little niggling doubt I had about using the pie filling in the first place that I didn't fully process until you mentioned the dowel -- don't forget the almond extract in the there 

blush

CassiaM Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
CassiaM Posted 21 Feb 2019 , 9:03pm
post #8 of 9

Thanks ladies! I totally overthink every aspect of cake making, but I hate to be kicking myself if something goes awry that could've easily been prevented..

I will follow those directions for dowelling, thanks Sandra! I have watched many a YouTube videos on how to dowel, it seems like everyone does it differently. 

I will go ahead and cut the cherries too, thank you for the suggestion! I don't mind spending a little extra time and effort to make sure it's done right and as professionally as possible. It's for my sister's surprise 40th birthday, and I'm not being paid or anything for this but I take pride in making cakes (even though it's just a hobby), and I really enjoy seeing my best work on display!

kakeladi Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
kakeladi Posted 21 Feb 2019 , 9:14pm
post #9 of 9

.......... It's for my sister's surprise 40th birthday, and I'm not being paid or anything for this but I take pride in making cakes (even though it's just a hobby), .........

That's a great attitute to have :)    I have used pie filling many times and never cut the cherries nor had any problems but if you want to take the time to cut them go ahead.   If/When I make another cake I might do that   HAHA

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%