Cake - Bakery

How to Stack a Cake

Cakes for weddings, which are often stacked, are created by putting a number of cakes of varying heights directly on top of one another in succession.

Cakes that stack, are columnar, or are tiered have the potential to be visually magnificent; yet, in order for them to reach their full potential, meticulous design and precise execution are required.

If the base of a multi-tiered cake isn’t strong enough, the layers will topple over, the decorations will be ruined, and the cake might even fall apart completely.

Tips on How to Stack a Cake

Maintaining Stack

Stacks of cakes require support to prevent them from falling over, sliding, or even collapsing. This is especially crucial for tall cakes. 

One way to guarantee the cake’s steadiness is to use separate cake boards and dowels in each layer. 

This makes it less of a hassle to transfer the cake from the kitchen to the party hall, as the layers may be kept apart during transit and assembled there to avoid any embarrassment.

In order to avoid cracking, the cake layers should be stacked while the icing is still soft. Alternatively, you can ice the tiers and wait at least two days before stacking.

Cake Boards

When building a cake with multiple tiers, using cake boards not only helps to maintain the structure but also makes it much simpler to position each tier in the correct location as the cake is assembled.

If you don’t want the cake board to show through the cake layer, you can either get cake boards that are the same size, or you can cut down larger ones. In addition, the board’s material should be sturdy and not readily crease or break.

If the combined height of the two cakes does not exceed six inches, then they can be placed on the same board. Two layers is the maximum you should ever try to stack at once. 

Lightly resting the next cake board on top of the previous cake layer will create an outline for your cake before you set the layer(s) onto the board.

Making Use of the Dowels

If you utilize dowels in the construction of the cake stand, you should not have too much trouble constructing a stable base for the cake. Wood or plastic dowels can be used, with the choice depending on considerations like cost, availability, and aesthetic preference. 

Plastic dowels are typically wider than their wooden counterparts, allowing for fewer to be used in a given project.

Dowels, whether made of wood or plastic, should be washed and dried before being inserted into the cake. Cutting all of the dowels for each cake tier before inserting any is also a good idea. 

Dowels should be inserted into the largest cake tier, starting with the one in the center. Then, you need to set up some more dowels below the second-largest tier, a bit inside the circumference where the next tier would sit.

Assemble the Stacking

After gathering all the supplies, including cake layers, you may start creating your tiered cake. You’ll succeed if you take your time, follow the instructions, and remember the tips.

  • A plywood base or a heavier cake board of the same diameter as the cake may support the bottom layer, depending on the design. Then you “glue” the bottom tier to the cake board with icing!
  • Apply frosting or icing thinly and evenly.
  • Use a hardware shop level to level the cake top.
  • Install foundation dowels.
  • Create a tiny outline in the bottom layer’s icing or fondant with the cake board. Make use of the cake board as a template for the placement of the dowels.
  • Carefully place one dowel into the layer (within the circle) and work your way down in a straight line to the cake board. A knife score at the cake’s peak removes the dowel.
  • Measure the dowel you just cut to the right length to estimate the remaining dowels in that tier.
  • Each tier of the cake should have uniformly spaced dowels about an inch inward from the cake board perimeter. Vertically weight the dowels until they meet the cake board.
  • Repeat with a palette knife to center the remaining layers (except the top one) without harming the icing. Only the top layer is disjunctive.
  • The last cake layer should be frosted and attached to a similar-sized cake board.
  • After assembly, a long wooden dowel with a pointed end can be threaded between the top tier and the other levels to increase stability. The dowel must pierce each cake board and lodge its end in the foundation board. This signifies no movement. If your dowels are not long enough to travel through the cake, you can repeat the technique with the upper two or three tiers. The bottom two layers are most crucial to stabilize.


Can I stack a cake the day before?

Put a crumb coat—a thin layer of frosting—on the cake after all the tiers are stacked to seal in the crumbs and smooth the surface for the final decoration. You can chill the tiered cake overnight for an occasion the next day.

How many layers of cake can you stack?

The board’s material should also be robust and bend-resistant. Two 6-inch cakes can fit on a board. Avoid stacking more than 2 layers.

Should you chill cakes before stacking?

Warm cake is softer and breaks easier. However, cooling the cake firms it up for icing, stacking, and transferring.

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