how to stack three tier cake

Do you need to support bottom two cakes with sticks or straws? I have seen them do this on TV.

From the editor:

When stacking a cake to three tiers high, you should support the bottom two tiers or you risk the cake collapsing under it's own weight. This support is especially important of you're planning on transporting the cake to it's final location.

Here's how you do it:

To prepare the cake tiers - fill and crumb coat the three tiers and place on separate cardboard cake circles. Refrigerate overnight to allow the filling and crumb coat to firm up. Top coast in the morning and refrigerate for an hour. Now you're ready to stack.

1. Place the first tier on a cake board and secure with buttercream. Use a cake pan that's the same size as the next tier and place it upside down, centered on the bottom tier. Draw around the pan with a toothpick. Remove the pan and push in seven cake dowels or drinking straws (use the thick kind you find in slushies), spaced evenly around the circle.

2. Pipe a small amount of buttercream in the center of the dowels and place the next tier on top. Wiggle to sucure and make sure the tier is centered.

3. Repeat steps 2-3, using five dowels and place the final tier on top.

4. Insert a long cake dowel through the center of the cake from top to bottom. Mark the dowel then pull it out of the cake. Cut to size and re-insert the dowel, making sure to push it all the way through the cake and board (if it's cardboard or foam), to secure the cake. You may need a mallet to do this. Just tap gently.

Now you're ready to add the final decorations!


Michelle (editor)

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Jan 19, 2011
Dowels for 4th teir
by: May

I am making a 4 teir cake for my daughters 1st birthday, I want the top teir to be her personal cake. If I use dowels in the first two teirs to support the 3 teirs. Do I need to put dowels in the 3rd teir to support the samll top (6in)? Also would I wait until the 4th layer is on the cake to insert the long dowel in the middle or is it okay not have the dowel go through the top cake?

One last thing, can I make the top teir smailler (shorter) than the other teirs since it will only be for a baby?

Thank you, and I love your site.

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