How to stack a tiered cake – Preparing, Doweling & Stacking your cakes

I’m so excited to share my new video tutorial with you. This video is a techniques tutorial that I have been wanting to make for a while, and I’m going to show you how I prepare, dowel and stack my tiered cakes. So whether you’re about to embark on your first stacked cake or maybe you just want to see how I stack my cakes, I hope you will find this tutorial useful.

In this tutorial I stack a 5, 7 and a 9 inch cake, but this technique can be used on any cake from a 2 tier and upwards. Now before you start stacking a cake it’s important to know that the cakes are not just placed directly on top of each other, we need to create an internal structure which is going to support the weight. You may think that you’ve created the lightest, most fluffiest sponge cake, but if we add all the ingredients, the filling, the fondant and the decorations together the cakes are actually quite heavy. In this cake the 5 inch tier weighed 1.6kg, the 7 inch cake weighed 3kg and the 9 inch weighed 4.5kg. Meaning the 9 inch cake that was on the bottom has 4.6kg of weight above it. And this is why we add dowels and cake boards.

Creating the internal cake structure for a tiered cake

When thinking about creating an internal structure I always think about it as if I’m creating a table that sits inside your cakes taking the weight of the cake you place ontop. So the dowels are the table legs and you add a cake board ontop as the table top. Without the board the dowels will just go straight up through the cake above. Like any table if your table legs (the dowels) are wonkey or not the same height your table is going to be wobbly, so it’s important to make sure everything is level and straight as we go.

How can I stop by tired cake collapsing

I often see images online of people’s cakes that have collapsed or moved and even though they may have dowels and cake boards added, if these are not strong enough, if they are placed in the wrong place, cut wrong or placed at an angle this is going to cause weakness in the cake. When stacking a cake you need the weight to be pushing down directly onto your dowels so none of the cake is taking any of the weight.

stacking a tiered cake

Another thing to remember is your cakes usually always need to be moved, from the place where you create them. So even though the cake may be fully supported in the place you’re putting it together, it’s most likely you will need to move the cake or even transport it, so it’s our responsibility as cake makers to make sure the cake can withstand the journey and arrive in one piece, especially if you’re not the one delivering it.

In this tutorial I look at different types of dowels available and use 2 different versions in the cake for you to see the difference. I look at the cake boards to use as a base and between your cakes and what I like to use to glue my cake together. I also look at adding a center dowel. I have never added a center dowel to my stacked fondant cakes as I have always found the glue to be strong enough to hold them, but if you think the cake may need more support when being transported or if you are creating a buttercream cake then this is definitely something you should add to your cake.

Transporting your stacked cake

Also if you are transporting a large cake, maybe a 4 or 5 tier cake think about the possibility of taking it in smaller pieces and finishing stacking it once you arrive at the venue. This is something I have always done if I can. Anything above a three tier, just for piece of mind. Especially if delivering to a wedding venue as in the UK these tend to be down bumpy country lanes in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know about you, but it’s not until you have to deliver a cake you realise how many holes there are in the road, lol.

how to stack and dowel a tiered cake

I really hope this tutorial will be useful to you if you’re creating a stacked birthday cake or even embarking on your first wedding cake. Let me know in the comments below if you have found this useful or maybe you have your own little tips and tricks for stacking your cakes.

Tools I used

I have put a list below showing all the tools that I used throughout this video or if you would like to see all my favourite cake decorating tools just click here:

The Sugar Paste (White):
Colour Splash (light pink):
Wooden Dowels:
Eezee Dowels:
Poly Dowels:
PME Easy Cut Dowels:
Class Cutting Board:
Turn Table:
Rolling Pin:
Plastic Smoothers:
Squires Kitchen Belissimo Flexi Smoothers:
Royal Icing (ready made):
Small Spirit level (similar):
Small Hacksaw:

~ Please note that some of links above may be affiliate links. If you click the link and purchase any item through that link, I will receive a small commission from the website but this does NOT add any additional costs to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog x ~

Plus why not save this tutorial for later and pin it to Pinterest

how to stack a tiered wedding cake

Thank you for reading!

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Hi, I’m Lynsey and welcome to Cakes by Lynz. I LOVE everything cake! Here you will find all my latest cake decorating video tutorials from my YouTube channel, reviews and general cake ramblings!

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