How to Assemble a Square Wedding Cake

Written by julie elefante
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How to Assemble a Square Wedding Cake
. (nuiiko/iStock/Getty Images)

Wedding cakes are usually easily recognised by their many tiers. These cake tiers are either stacked dramatically on columns or each simply stacked, one on top of the other. Although these assemblies might seem to defy gravity, they're actually well-supported with just some wood dowels. Stacking square cakes may seem challenging because you may not know where to line up your cake supports. Tiered cakes balanced precariously on columns may seem especially daunting. However, with the correct equipment and an attention to detail, even the beginner cake decorator can assemble a square wedding cake.

How to Assemble a Square Wedding Cake
Your tier plate will help you determine where to plant your supports.

Decide how you want to orient each tier----with the cakes' sides parallel or angled.

Gently rest your tier plates atop each cake layer. Orient the plate at the angle on which you've decided. Apply just enough pressure to the cake plates to mark the buttercream or fondant covering the cake; the column plugs at the bottom of the tier plates will leave marks in each cake.

Measure your column supports, which will ensure that the cake's lower tiers will not collapse under the upper tiers' weight. Some columns will come with supports that you push into the cake layer that they are sitting on. If there are no supports, use dowels. Push each dowel or support down into the cake, using the marks made by the tier plate, then pull them out. Mark the top of the frosting line with a pencil. You must measure each support or dowel separately in case the cake isn't the same height all the way around.

Clean off each dowel or support, then cut them at the pencil mark with a handsaw or other cutting tool.

Push the cut column supports into their corresponding spots on each cake tier that will be supporting another tier.

Connect the columns to the tier plates.

Assemble the cake from the first tier up. Line up the columns of the first set of columns with the column supports and set the columns in place. Then place the appropriate cake on the tier plate. Continue until you've placed all the cakes.

How to Assemble a Square Wedding Cake
Decide on whether to angle your cake tiers or place all the cakes' sides parallel with each other.

Decide how you want to orient each tier----with the cakes' sides parallel or angled.

Use a toothpick to mark support points on each cake that will be supporting another cake on top of it. Each supported cake should have four support points----one for each corner. Each point will be about one inch in from a corner of the cake being supported. You can use a piece of parchment or waxed paper that's the same size of the cake board that will be supported as a template; lay the paper on the supporting cake so you can see where the supported cake's corners will fall.

Measure your dowel supports, which will ensure that the cake's lower tiers will not collapse under the upper tiers' weight. Push each dowel or support down into the supporting cake, into the marks you made to show support points, then pull the dowels out. Mark the top of the frosting line with a pencil. You must measure each support or dowel separately in case the cake isn't the same height all the way around.

Clean the frosting off each dowel or support, then cut them at the pencil mark with a handsaw or other cutting tool.

Push the cut column supports into their corresponding spots on each cake tier that will be supporting another tier.

Assemble the cake from the bottom up, stacking the cakes carefully to make sure each tier is resting on its respective dowel supports.

Tip

If your cakes are covered in butter cream and you want to stack your cakes instead of use columns, you can sprinkle icing sugar on supporting cakes where an upper cake will be resting to help prevent the upper cake's cake board from removing frosting from the supporting cake. Assemble stacked cakes where they will be presented and served because moving a stacked cake will be difficult. You can add stability to stacked cakes with a support dowel. Measure the height of all the cakes once they are stacked, or estimate their total height once they will be stacked. Sharpen one end of a dowel that will be just as tall as, or just a bit shorter, than the total stack. Once the cake is stacked, push the dowel down through the entire stack, using the dowel's sharp end to help break through each cake tier's cake board. You can also find the centres of each cake board before placing the cakes on them and make the hole for the support dowel in advance.

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