Stacked cakes have become popular for almost every occasion. Once normally only found at weddings, you now see stacked cakes at birthday parties, graduation celebrations, and many other special occasions. Making a stacked cake is a great way to create a sophisticated and special centerpiece for any gathering. Stacked cakes can be made in many different shapes; very tall, with varying heights of tiers, or with different shapes of cakes. There is no set shape that your cake must follow, allowing you to make as unique a cake as you wish.
When stacking cakes, it is important to use proper methods and tools. Stacked cakes must be supported through every tier except the top tier. If not properly supported the cake may shift, sink, or collapse. It is better to spend a little extra time and money to properly support the cake than to have it collapse due to improper stacking.
The two most important parts of a stacked cake are the plates and supports. There are many different options for cake support systems available at cake supply stores. One isn’t necessarily better than another, it’s best to find one that you are comfortable using and stick with it. Plates can be either plastic or cardboard and you want to use the same size of plate as the cake that will be sitting on it. Dowels are used for supports and come in various styles of plastic or wood. Some can be cut with scissors while others may need a saw or pruning shears to cut. Larger cakes will need more dowels than smaller cakes. A good rule of thumb to follow is the size of cake equals the number of dowels used.
Another option for stacking cakes is to use a pillar and plate system, giving you space in between each tier. This method requires additional supplies and is not covered in this post. The steps below will show you how to stack a cake one on top of the other using plastic dowels and card board cake boards. Using other types of cake dowels and cake plates would work using this method as well.
Step 2: Use a cardboard that is the same size as the next tier and align it in the center on top the base cake. Use a knife or cake tester to make 4 small indentations around each side of the cardboard. The marks will help to guide you when placing the second tier onto the first. A Smart Marker may also be used to mark where the next tier will be placed.
Step 3: Insert a dowel into the cake until it touches the bottom board. Make a mark that is level with the icing or keep place with your finger.
Step 4: Remove the dowel and cut at the mark. Cut the rest of the dowels to the same length using the first dowel as a guide.
Step 5: Insert the dowels into the base cake. Evenly space out the dowels keeping them all inside the 4 indentations that were made earlier.
Step 6: Pipe a small amount of icing onto the base cake underneath where the second tier will be. Using a cake lifter, carefully place the second tier onto the first cake, lining it up with the indentations.
Step 7: You may choose to pipe a border around the base of each cake to hide the seam.
Before serving the cake, remove each tier using a spatula or cake server. Cut each cake individually.