How to Build a Tiered Cake

Updated April 17, 2017

Tiered cakes are ideal for celebrations involving a large number of people like weddings, anniversaries or milestone birthdays. Due to their size, tiered cakes require inbuilt support to prevent the layers from coming apart or from collapsing in on itself. Building a professional-looking tiered cake is not as difficult as it seems.

Place the largest cake on the cake drum. Ensure it is strong enough to support the combined weight of all the cakes. Place the largest cake board on top of the cake. Make sure it is centred. Make a slight impression on the cake by pressing down on the cake board or use the utility knife to trace the outline in the frosting. Remove the cake board.

Take a dowel and insert it within the outline left by the cake board. Mark the dowel with a pencil where it emerges from the cake. Pull the dowel out and cut it with the utility knife on the cutting board. Use the cut dowel as a measuring guide and cut the required amount of dowels to the same length, (for large cake use six dowels, for smaller cakes four dowels will suffice.) Insert the dowels evenly within the outline. Use a metal spatula to place the second largest cake onto the cake.

Repeat the same process for each additional tier added.

Measure a dowel against the total height of the cake and cut it an inch shorter. Sharpen one end of a dowel and insert it all the way through the middle of the top tier to the base. Use a hammer to tap it down lightly if the cake has more than two tiers.

Use the extra icing to smooth out the edges and cover up the space between each tier. Ensure the hole on the top of the cake is filled in. Decorate the cake as desired.


Chilling each tier in the fridge before use hardens the frosting and reduces accidental smears.


Don't transport a tiered cake, rather construct it at the venue. The cake may come apart during the car ride.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden or plastic dowel rods (1/2 an inch in diameter)
  • Cake drum
  • Cake boards
  • Cutting board
  • Pencil
  • Utility knife
  • Metal spatula
  • Frosted cakes of various diameters
  • Extra icing
  • Hammer
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Joshua Eicker has been writing since 2007. His work has been published on the travel Web site Notes from the Edge of the Earth. Eicker obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Australia.