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Building The Cake: Combination Pillar & Stacked Construction


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Use any combination of dowel rods, boards, separator plates and pillars. You may also use push-in pillars, which eliminate the need for dowel rods and a plate or board to support the pillars. Photo by all4cake
FOR PILLARS WITH DOWEL RODS: The key to success is inserting dowel rods accurately at every level for support.
1. Mark all tiers for dowel rod placement using a separator plate (for pillar tiers) or a cake circle (for stacked tiers) the same size as the tier above. Insert dowel rods.

2. Position tiers that will be on pillars on matching separator plates. (Note: separator plates connected by pillars must always be the same size in diameter).

3. Starting at the bottom level, stack tiers.

4. Position the separator plate (feet up) that will support the tier on pillars.

5. Position pillars over feet.

6. Carefully position the plated tier on the pillars.

Push-In Pillars

Ice cakes on cake circles. To mark where pillars will go on highest stacked tier, center the separator plate for tier above (projections down) and gently press onto the tier. Lift plate off. Position stacked tiers, insert push-in pillars on highest stacked tier and position plated top tier on pillars.

Comments (21)

Are your cake layers on cake boards before they are placed on the separator plates. If so, what are your cake boards covered with?
I have the same question as below. As well, can the cake board be a little smaller than the size of the cake? The problem I have right now with the wedding cake I am making is that the edge of the cake board is interferring with my design.
I buy the thin cake boards the same size as the cake you are baking. These can be bought at the shops where you buy your drum boards. If you are baking a 8ins cake you use a 8ins thin board. By the time you have iced the cake with crumb coating and then final coat of butter icing, your fondant coating should hide all the board and you should be able to pipe you borders etc or ribbon with out any interferance from the board.
Thanks for sharing this! So can I just check, is the cake that sits on top of the pillars on a thin cake board and then placed on the separator plate? Is there anything stopping that slipping to the side ? Sorry for all the q's I'm using planning to use thise for the first time. Lyndsey xx
Does anyone have any tips for stacking a four teir tradtional (Christmas cake) wedding cake? Meluba
I just use a cake board under each tier. just cut each one the size of the cake or a tad smaller.You wont see the board in the end. Iput buttercream between the cake and cake board, never had a problem with slipping or sliding. just place each tier on top of doll rods with some frosting in between. good luck with your cake:)
This may be a dumb question, but, is the push in pillar covered by the fondant or b/c?
does the cake board get soggy if you're making the cake a couple of days before the wedding?
How do you stack a crooked cake using the global ball set? Like making a regular cake 8" and 6" and then lifting the 6" off of the 8" on one side to make it look crooked and using a ball to do it?
Dear heart of oklahoma~yes the cake board will get soggy, and what I do is cover the cakeboard with plastic wrap and tape it onto the board with masking tape. Before setting the cake on the cake board, spread some buttercreme frosting and then sprinkle a little shedded coconut on the plastic covered board, first. For larger cake layers, I will double the cake board for added strength, and cover it the same way. For the very bottom layer, I use a masonite cake board, and cover it with decorative foil since it will be showing.
I was taught to use foamcore boards you can purchase it at a Arts and Craft Stores or Business Depot.
If we use the seprator plate on the 2nd tier and then put the pillars on that seperator, the seperator plate shows, It isn't covered with icing? Do we just put our deocration on top of the seperator plate?
Me encató el trabajo ,se ve súper simple y queda muy lindo
ok so if your working with say a 10/8/6 cake your going to stack them ontop of each other so how many inches do you place the dowels supports is it 2 inches in on the 10inch cake or is it 2 and half inches away from middle as i read that somewere please explain more clearly thx
I don't mean to sound stupid but i understand that the dowels are to be cut even with the top of each layer stacked but what keeps the cake from sinking then? Is it just the fact that the next layer of cake board is sitting atop those dowels? So it really doesn't matter where the dowels are placed as long as they're within that next size being stacked right?
If I am stacking a 3 or 4 tier cake, I put my dowels about 2 inches apart around the edge and through the center so the next tier will be supported by the dowels and will not directly sitting on the cake. The more tiers I have the more support I use in the base. Also, you can use the plastic dowels before stacking.l
How do youdo a cake like this that is going to travel? I know you would put the top layer on last, but will the first two keep and not slip?
I am going to be making a stacked baby belly cake for a friends baby shower. The bottom will be a 10in, tier 2 a 6 in, then the baby belly cake. I know how to stack the two bottom square cakes, but how do I do the baby belly? Dow rods and cake board?
I just did a 4 tier wedding cake covered in buttercream. it was 12, 10, 8, 6. Very little decoration, just ribbon around cake and silver initials on top. Each layer had thick cardboard rods, but in stacking, everything was straight until I put the 6 inch on top, and it was slightly off. I took it off, added a bit more icing, and it was better. I just delivered, set up and left. According to the customer, the cake toppled 2 hrs later. Since I was not there, I have no way of knowing how it happened. The customer is now demanding a refund. My questions are one, what do I do about this customer, and two, how do I better handle my layers being more even.
Cake Central › Tutorials › Building The Cake: Combination Pillar & Stacked Construction