Stacking four tiers on a cake involves some significant preparation and a steady hand. The cake will be supported by cardboard cutouts that sit beneath each layer, along with plastic and wooden dowels. Dowels are small rods that are poked through the cake; they will be placed in a circle around the centre of every layer. It is crucial that you cut the cardboard and the dowels evenly so your creation will be adequately supported and the dessert has a neat appearance when you're finished decorating it.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Six sheets corrugated cardboard
- 18 12-inch long plastic dowel rods
- Serrated knife
- 1 18-inch long wooden dowel rod
Place the largest square tier on a sheet of corrugated cardboard.
Lightly trace with a pencil the perimeter of the tier on the cardboard, then remove the tier.
Cut out the square you traced onto the cardboard with scissors.
Place the square on another sheet of corrugated cardboard and trace the shape with the pencil. Do the same with a third piece of corrugated cardboard.
Cut both squares out with the scissors.
Stack the three squares on top of one another and place the largest cake tier on top of them. Because this layer is the cake's foundation, it's the only one that will have three cardboard cutouts beneath it.
Repeat Step 1 through Step 3 for the other three tiers and place each tier on its respective cardboard cutout.
Poke a 12-inch plastic dowel rod through the largest cake tier, about 1 inch from the cake's centre, until you reach the bottom.
Mark with a pencil on the dowel rod to indicate the height of the tier, and remove the dowel by pulling it straight upwards so you don't crack the cake.
Cut the dowel rod with a serrated knife on the pencil line.
Cut another five dowel rods so their length matches the first dowel. The easiest way to measure them is to line the dowels next to one another and mark the cutting spot with a pencil.
Repeat Step 1 through Step 4 for the second and third tier. You will cut 18 dowel rods in total.
Reinsert the dowel rod in the first hole you poked in the largest tier.
Insert the other five dowels in an even circle around the centre of the cake.
Repeat Step 1 and Step 2 for the second and third tiers.
Place the second tier exactly in the centre of the base tier.
Stack the third tier on top of the second one the same way.
Repeat Step 2 with the top tier.
Sharpen the edge of an 18-inch wooden dowel rod with the serrated knife to form a point.
Poke the dowel, point-side down, through the centre of the top tier, and firmly push it through the other cake layers and cardboard supports all the way to the bottom of the base tier.
Mark where the top tier meets the dowel rod with a pencil and withdraw the dowel straight upwards.
Cut the dowel on the pencil mark with the serrated knife.
Slide the wooden dowel back into the centre of the cake, point-side down.
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