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Question about stacking a 4 tier cake

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am making a stacked 4 tier cake for the first time. I have only stacked 2 tiers before. Anyway, I will be using regular wooden dowels and boxed cake mix. I have always used boxed cake mixes without any problems. My husband says this kind of cake is too light and airy. Will box mixes be okay for stacking a 4 tier? Will the wooden dowels be enough support? Also, do you put anything in between the tiers to keep the icing from sticking to the card board above it? I did not put anything in between on any of my other cakes and as far as I know there were no problems. Any advice will be appreciated.
post #2 of 11
Here's a little tip I wish I'd had for my first 4 tier - If anything big is going to be attached to one side of the cake, like some large roses for example, I wouldn't use simple doweling and staking. My cake leaned ever so slightly, but it was barely noticeable at the venue. However in pics, it stick out like a sore thumb. It's one of the 2 pics in my gallery.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I just talked to a lady who gave me some great advice - my tiers are 6, 8, 10 and 12, and she said to use hidden pillars in the 12 inch bottom tier for added stability.
post #4 of 11
I use boxed cake mix as well. I always use thick plastic dowels on the bottom tier (sometimes 2nd from bottom) and normal wooden dowels for the rest of the tiers. Never had a problem with it!
post #5 of 11
I usually use wooden dowels and did so on my last four tier. But next time I will spend the money on the SPS system.
Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim, swim.
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Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim, swim.
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post #6 of 11
Hon, youir DH is totally wrong! icon_sad.gif Take a look at my gallery and you will see many, many wedding cakes up to some 7 tiers tall *ALL* made with box mix - well my *original* WASC cake recipe icon_smile.gif http://cakecentral.com/recipe/the-original-wasc-cake-recipe
With proper support even whipped cream &/or Jello can be stacked icon_smile.gif
Personally I don't like tiers that close in size....to me it will look like a tall, skinny tower icon_sad.gif But I know many are doing it out there....I guess I'm just old-fashioned icon_smile.gif
Do NOT try to deliver that cake completely assemblen! Do the 'put together' at the venue for sure.
post #7 of 11
I only use wooden dowels to support the top tier. My only cake collapse occurred with wooden dowels, and yes there were enough, and yes I cut them straight; it's just that my cake was heavy and had 3 layers of filling, and the dowels were pulled askew on the very short drive to the venue. Use Wilton hollow plastic dowels or SPS, you will not regret it.

kakeladi is completely correct, it doesn't matter what kind of cake you're stacking if the structure is sound.
post #8 of 11
A hollow cylinder---a bubble tea straw, a drinking straw, a Wilton hollow plastic dowel, or a Wilton hidden pillar---is much more stable AND stronger than a skinny wooden stick.

Hollow cylinders (straws) don't displace cake like wooden dowels. You only need half as many to support a tier. They are easier to cut. They don't easily slip sideways in moist or greasy environments.

All it takes is 1 wooden dowel to slip just a bit past vertical (from l to /) and it can lead to big trouble. Because a hollow cylinder has more than one point of contact (not this: .
but this: o ), it's much harder for it to go slanted.

I only use wooden dowels as central full length spikes.

Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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post #9 of 11
I use bubble tea straws in each tier for support. Then I hammer 2 wooden dowels offset from the center. One dowel will allow the tiers to "spin" which I don't want. I stack at home what I can carry then stack the rest at the venue. Never had a problem.
"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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post #10 of 11
Box cake mix is fine.

You NEED to make sure the dowels in the bottom tiers are in the right place to support the cakes above. Use the cake circle/plate for each tier to mark where it will cover and stick your dowels in inside of that. Bottom tier can even use 2 rings of dowels.

Make sure you cut dowels perfectly square and all exactly the same height. Get that male out of the kitchen off to the workshop with his mitre box.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much, everyone, for the great advice! I feel much more confident now. I will definitely be using the hollow plastic dowels instead of the wooden dowels. Well, I might use the wooden dowels just to support the top tier, but that's all. Thanks again!
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