Stacking a tiered cake with cake dowels is a crucial step in creating a stable, tiered cake. If cakes are placed directly on top of each other without dowels/cake boards, your cake will sink into the bottom tiers and collapse altogether. It is recommended to use a cake board between each tier for added support and stability.

Cake dowels are long, thin rods made of food-safe material such as plastic or wood, which are inserted into the tiers of the cake to provide support for the tiers above. They can be cut to size with scissors or a mini saw/serrated knife.

  1. Before you begin, make sure each cake is on a cake board to stop it sinking into the dowels. This can be a thin cake card the same size as the cake so it remains 'hidden' when the cake is stacked.
  2. To stack a cake with cake dowels, start by measuring and cutting the dowels to the correct height for each tier. We recommend 1 dowel for every 2” of cake. Eg. 12” cake = 6 dowels.
  3. Insert your dowels into your cake, mark the point where it meets the top of the cake and then pull it out and cut it to size. Cut all dowels to the same height.
  4. Place the dowels in a circle slightly smaller than the outline of the next tier. Push the dowels down slightly to see if they are straight before pushing them all the way down to the cake board. You can use a spirit level at this point to check if the dowels are all the same height so the cake doesn't slope.
  5. Carefully stack a cake on top, making sure it is centered and stable. You can use Royal Icing/Ganache/Sugar cement as a 'glue' between the tiers if you're travelling with a stacked cake, just make sure you just add a small amount so it doesn't leak out between tiers!
  6. Repeat this process for each tier of the cake.

All of our Sponge Cakes and Fruit Cakes are suitable for stacking, during warmer months the cakes may feel soft but your cake dowels will hold the weight of the cake above so the cake should never be bearing any weight from above.

You can see a video tutorial of this process using plastic dowels online here.