Assemble, stack, and support a tiered cake!
Assemble and stacking multiple tiers of any cake doesn’t need to be hard. If you stick to a few pointers and rules, it’s very easily done!
- Well chilled cakes are key! One of my very best tips for cake is to chill it well! I use butter in my cake batters. The reasons for this are taste, texture, and stability. Cold butter is solid, so after my cakes are baked and slightly cooled, I wrap each one twice with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This will help tremendously when torting (cutting a cake horizontally creating layers), filling, and stacking. Cakes are definitely best to eat at room temperature, but when torting and stacking, you want it cold!
- Work with one tier at a time! Each cake tier must also be prepared on it’s own cake board that is the size of the cake. Also, make sure you’re keeping everything level. You can buy a level (or even use an app on your phone) to easily make sure you’re lining everything up and creating level tiers. I prepare my tiers from the bottom tier, up. It’s important to do it this way and I’ll explain why. You want stability throughout your process. When you prepare the bottom tier, (tort, fill, and place your straws or dowels) you place it back into the fridge. This keeps it cold, and will stiffen your buttercream up to add to the stability. Move to the next tier, and continue the process.
- Each tier that will be supporting a tier (or more) needs supports! My rule of thumb here is: if you’re only making a 2 tier cake, boba (or fat) tea straws work well for me. If the cake is 3 or more tiers, I use wooden dowels instead of the straws. Now you may want to know how many straws or dowels you should be placing in each tier. I have a very simple answer for you. Whatever size your cake is, use half of that in supports. So lets say your tiers are 12″, 10″, 8″, & 6″ rounds. You will use 6 wooden dowels in the 12″ cake, 5 wooden dowels in the 10″ cake, and 4 wooden dowels in the 8″ cake. The 6″ wouldn’t need any since it’s the top tier. I also cut the straws or dowels slightly (a few centimeters) shorter than the tier of the cake. This will help immensely with eliminating gaps between your layers!
- A center dowel is never a bad idea! I use a center dowel 99% of the time. I’ve even used a straw down the center of single tier cakes at times. Piece of mind is important to me! For my large, multi-tiered (3 or more tiers) I’ll actually use a larger wooden dowel that is secured (screwed into) to my wooden cake board. When doing cakes this way, you have to lower the cakes onto the dowel instead of the other way around. But, as I said, stability and piece of mind are definitely key here!
I hope this helps and if you have any questions feel free to ask them! Below is a video of a 2 tiered semi-naked wedding cake I had to assemble. It will help you see the process. This is the All-Butter American Buttercream I use for my cakes!