Forum: Cakes & Cake Decorating

Center doweling a cake

So the largest cake I have done was 4 tiers but I put it together on site. I have done many others usually 2 tiers that I either travel with it stacked with dowels on the bottom tier or I put it together on site. Im having a hard time wrapping my head around the center dowel and would like some clarification…do you put the center dowel through the entire cake? Or every tier except the top? Wouldnt it leave a huge hole if you put it through the top tier down the cake? And do you have to have the holes pre cut on the boards underneath each tier or just get a sharpened dowel that would go through it?

Tags: support center dowel dowel structure

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4 Replies

Radhika ...

I’m attaching a link to Modern buttercream. It’s a free tutorial by Craftsy. The guy shows how to pierce your many tiered cakes through, with a dowel that is sharpened.
I’ve never made anything so elaborate, but I’ve used his idea about bubble straws. Hope that helps.

Fun Fiesta Cakes ...

If you are doing a tall cake, I would put the dowel through all the tiers. It will leave a small hole on top, which you can cover with a little piece of fondant, or in most cases with a topper. I always tell my clients that in order to make the cake sturdy, this is necessary.

Diane ...

Yes, you hammer a sharpened dowel all the way through the cakes and boards all the way down through the base cake board. For extra security, i make my base cake board at least 1-inch thick. Most of the time, I achieve this by gluing a smaller board to the underside of the main board. It actually serves two purposes – extra holding power for the center dowel AND space to get your fingers under the cake!

Some people like to use a dowel that sticks up a few inches through the top of the cake so it can be removed once it’s at it’s destination. I never do it that way. The top of my center dowel is an inch or two below the top of the top tier.

As funfetti said, you can cover the hole with icing or decoration, or whatever. However, if the top of the cake needs to be pristine, you can cut a hole in the top tier’s board just big enough for the dowel to slide through easily(before putting the cake on it). Stack all but the top tier, hammer in your dowel, then thread your top tier over the dowel. Make sure you use enough icing glue under the top tier since the board will not fit snugly around the dowel.

Hope this helps!