How to Prepare a Cake for Stacked Construction

Written by athena hessong Google
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How to Prepare a Cake for Stacked Construction
Keep your stacked cakes stable with an internal support system. (cake image by cherie from

Keep your stacked cakes standing tall by investing in a support system for the layers. Cakes of just one or two tiers do not need additional support, but like a many-storied house, the weight of the higher layers of a tall cake will cause the lower layers to collapse. Preparing your layers will prevent this from happening. Your first stop after baking and icing your cake layers should be your local hardware store.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cake layers, baked, cooled and frosted
  • Additional frosting
  • Spatula
  • Cake boards equal in size and shape to each cake layer
  • Wooden dowel rods (½-inch diameter)
  • Pen
  • Scissors or pruning shears
  • Pencil sharpener

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  1. 1

    Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of each cake board to glue the cake in place.

  2. 2

    Arrange the cake layers on their matching cake boards so none of the cardboard shows under the cake.

  3. 3

    Insert a single dowel rod into the centre of the bottom layer until it hits the bottom of the cakeboard.

  4. 4

    Mark the spot where the top of the cake meets the dowel rod.

  5. 5

    Pull the rod from the cake and use scissors to cut the dowel to that height. Cut additional dowel rods for that layer based on the diameter of the cake: Three total rods for a 6-inch wide cake, five for an 8-inch to 10-inch cake, six for a 12-inch to 14-inch cake and eight for a 16-inch wide cake.

  6. 6

    Push the rods into the bottom layer with one in the centre and the additional rods equally spaced in an X shape across the cake.

  7. 7

    Repeat making the dowel rods and inserting them into the other layers.

  8. 8

    Stack the layers on top of each other, from largest to smallest, centring each cake.

  9. 9

    Take a dowel rod longer than the cake's total height and sharpen one end of it with a pencil sharpener.

  10. 10

    Press the long dowel through the centre of the top layer of the cake and force it through the cardboard cakeboards between the layers until you hit the bottom of the base layer.

  11. 11

    Mark where the top of the cake meets the dowel rod and pull out the rod.

  12. 12

    Cut the dowel ¼ inch lower than the mark indicating the top of the cake.

  13. 13

    Reinsert the dowel rod into the cake, pushing it all the way down to the base so that the cut top of the dowel sits below the top of the top layer.

  14. 14

    Cover the top layer with additional icing to hide the exposed tops of the dowel rods.

Tips and warnings

  • Use sandpaper or a nail file to rub any splinters off of the cut edges of the dowel rods.

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