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Center dowel tips

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Tomorrow I have to transport a cake that is 3 tiers - bottom is a 12 inch cake dummy so no worries there. Middle tier is a 10 inch and top tier is an 8 inch. There is a little mickey mouse ears thing on top of that but I wouldn't really call it a tier (it's enough cake for a slice or 2). I'm comfortable with the dowels in each tier. My husband is driving so I can have eyes on the cake at all times but I'm still nervous. I think it needs a center dowel and I even thought ahead to put holes through the centers of all the cake boards. Now I'm hesitating. There is something freaky about standing there and driving a spike through all your work. LOL! Are there any tips or things I should be aware of? Or is the center dowel overkill all together?

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post #2 of 19
I always travel with a center dowel. My cake is also always cold right out of the frig. Have traveled with 4 tiers...never an incident. Others use different methods. Center dowel is my method.
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Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

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post #3 of 19
Hi,

I always put a center dowel through my cakes even if they are just 2 tiers, but that's bc I'm a worrywart, lol. If you feel like it needs it, do it! Bc, you don't want anything to shift during transport but, ITS UP TO YOU overall icon_smile.gif I was afraid when I put my first center dowel into my cake but, after you do it the first time, its a piece of cake. Just be sure that yr dowel is well centered and take yr time driving and banging it into yr cake. All should be fine. JMO
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post #4 of 19
Thanks for this post!
I have never used a center dowel, but will be using one soon. Maybe someone can explain to me how you drive the dowel through the stacks. Do you sharpen it like a pencil then just hammer it all the way through? Do you poke holes in the cardboard cake boards and hope you can get the dowel through them? I would think that hammering a sharpened dowel through several cakes would do a lot of damage!
I would love somebody to give me some pointers!
Thanks!!
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post #5 of 19
I wouldn't think of trying to deliver a tierred cake with the middle dowel anymore. Once you use this method you will love it. @ docofthedead, Its very simple, assemble your cakes and yes drive a sharpened dowel down the middle. This method will hold everything in place.

I have often had to transport a cake by myself and I have no worries. Just keep my eyes on the road and when I get to my destination the cake is fine.
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Virginia 323.253.8213
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post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by auntginn

I wouldn't think of trying to deliver a tierred cake with the middle dowel anymore. Once you use this method you will love it. @ docofthedead, Its very simple, assemble your cakes and yes drive a sharpened dowel down the middle. This method will hold everything in place.

I have often had to transport a cake by myself and I have no worries. Just keep my eyes on the road and when I get to my destination the cake is fine.



icon_smile.gif So you just sharpen the dowel and hammer it through? That simple?!?! Thank you!! I am crossing my fingers I do it right!
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post #7 of 19
@ docofthedead... yvw. Good Luck don't forget to post a pic. You will love it and its so.. simple.
Virginia 323.253.8213
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He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
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Virginia 323.253.8213
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He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
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post #8 of 19
I bought some of the very long metal skewers that you use to grill shish kabobs, they have a sharp point on the end and I first insert that through the cake from top to bottom through all of the cake boards. It makes it much easier to push the sharpened dowel through the entire cakes and cake boards.
I also use this method when transporting my stacked cakes. I use my very large cooking racks that have 1/2 inch legs on them and use my long skewers that have a sharp point on one end and a curved hook on the other. sit the cake on the cooling rack and drive the skewer through all tiers and cake boards and let the end come out the bottom of the cake board and poke through the grid of the rack. It gives the cake a little more stability for the ride to the venue. It's not a perfect solution to transporting a stacked cake but it's working for me.
post #9 of 19
I have a question about the center dowel, if you have a tall cake, where do you get a long enough center dowel? The longest I've been able to find is 12" icon_sad.gif
post #10 of 19
@ naemsmommy, you can find dowels at any hardware store. Also Joann's & Michaels stores carries dowels that are 3ft long. Cut it to the size you need, sharpen one end and insert it into your cake.
Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
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Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
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post #11 of 19
Always dowel. I now put 2 dowels in the cake if I am not the person transporting. I once had a 2 tier cake slide and mess up the whole cake.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by msthang1224

Hi,

I always put a center dowel through my cakes even if they are just 2 tiers, but that's bc I'm a worrywart, lol. If you feel like it needs it, do it! Bc, you don't want anything to shift during transport but, ITS UP TO YOU overall icon_smile.gif I was afraid when I put my first center dowel into my cake but, after you do it the first time, its a piece of cake. Just be sure that yr dowel is well centered and take yr time driving and banging it into yr cake. All should be fine. JMO



This is really scary. icon_surprised.gif lol I've never used a center dowel and never had any problems *knock on wood*. The thought of hammering anything near a cake doesn't put good pictures in my head.
post #13 of 19
And I NEVER use a center dowel. I still firmly believe it's false security. If your cake is really going sideways, the dowel will stay implanted into the bottom board and tear through the cake. There have been plenty of stories on here over the years of that scenario.

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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

And I NEVER use a center dowel. I still firmly believe it's false security. If your cake is really going sideways, the dowel will stay implanted into the bottom board and tear through the cake. There have been plenty of stories on here over the years of that scenario.

SPS for me!



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post #15 of 19
The first time I center doweled a cake, I nearly destroyed it. LOL. I had the wrong cake board under the top tier. It wasn't one of the wilton cardboard cake circles, but one of the boards that I got at the local bulk store that is more solid, but quite thin and totally not penetrable by a pointy piece of wood. Before I completely destroyed it, I stopped and covered up the hole and just was careful delivering it. Luckily it was only a 2 tier and for my cousin. I definitely learned from that.

So, as long as you're using cardboard cake circles you'll have no issue. If you need longer than 12", then go to Home Depot or Lowes or someplace and you can get them 3 feet long. They also have varying thicknesses which is good if you've got a larger cake. I generally get a 1/4" thick dowel, and make sure it's not warped!

Use a standard pencil sharpener and sharpen the end. Then center it, and carefully hammer it in. You'll know you've reached your bottom board, which should be a drum board or something similar, as it will stop. I use drum boards, so the top of my dowel will go into that board as well.

Good luck.
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