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How to stack and dowel a cake

Friday, May 8

A cake for a wedding or other big occasion needs wow factor and a stacked or tiered cake always looks impressive. Follow this simple guide by Claire Fitzsimons to create a securely stacked cake.

Any shape of cake can be stacked, and more tiers can be added in the same way depending on the number of servings you’ll need. The cakes pictured have diameters of 15cm and 23cm (6” and 9”) and the cake board measures 30.5cm (12”). As a general rule, each tier should be at least 5cm (2”) smaller than the cake below it.

You will need

  • Cakes, on boards and covered with sugarpaste or the covering of your choice
  • SK Instant Mix Royal Icing
  • Cake boards: one spare for each tier above the base one, the same diameter as that tier
  • Food-grade plastic dowel rods (also known as cake dowels): 4 for each supporting tier
  • Scribing tool (optional)
  • Ribbon (optional)
How to Stack and Dowel a Cake - guide from www.cakesandsugarcraft.comHow to Stack and Dowel a Cake - guide from www.cakesandsugarcraft.comHow to Stack and Dowel a Cake - guide from www.cakesandsugarcraft.comHow to Stack and Dowel a Cake - guide from www.cakesandsugarcraft.comHow to Stack and Dowel a Cake - guide from www.cakesandsugarcraft.comHow to Stack and Dowel a Cake - guide from www.cakesandsugarcraft.com

Stacking and dowelling the cake

  1. Place a spare cake board, the same size as the next tier up, in the middle of the base cake. Press down to make a slight impression in the icing. You may also want to mark around the edge with a scribing tool. This will act as a guide to positioning the tier as well as showing the area where the dowels will go.
  2. Push four dowels into the cake, evenly spaced within the marked circle. Score each dowel at the height it reaches the top of the cake.
  3. Pull out the dowels, line them up and mark them all level with the highest mark. Cut around the marks using a sharp knife. The dowels can also be scored all the way around and then snapped. Push the four dowels, cut side up, back into the cake, spacing them evenly within the marked circle.
  4. Smooth a little royal icing over the tops of the dowels and within the marked circle.
  5. Place the next cake on top of the dowelled one, using the marked circle as a guide. Dowel the cake if there will be another tier on top (there’s no need to dowel the top tier).
  6. Attach ribbon around the base of the cakes, securing at the back with royal icing, or pipe around them with royal icing to hide the join. The cake is now ready to decorate.

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