Bettys Cake Decorating Guide

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  Home :: techniques & tips :: Using Cake Dowels and Pillars

Using Cake Dowels and Pillars

Tiered cakes often add a wow factor and are commonly used for special events such as a wedding. In order to offer adequate support, cake dowels or pillars are used. Both offer quite different results and can be used in classic and contemporary designs.

Dowels

Dowels are wooden or plastic pegs used for stacked or pillared cakes. They make sure that t cake layers will not sink into each other.

Ingredients and equipment

Two or more different sized iced cakes (two to four inches difference in size)
Dowel rods (like White Plastic Cake Dowels)
Thin cake boards the same size as the stacked cake layers
Pen/marker
Garden cutters or sharp knife to cut dowels.

How to use dowels for stacked cakes

Take a thin cake board that is the same size as the cake you will be stacking and place it in the middle of the bottom cake, making a slight impression to guide you.

Take one of your dowels and push it into the middle of the circle on the bottom cake, making sure the dowel goes all the way through and touches the bottom cake board.

With a pen or marker, mark the dowel where it reaches the top of the cake. Pull the dowel out and cut at the mark with garden cutters or a sharp knife.

As a general rule for bottom tiers (10 inches or more) you will require 4-6 dowels. Take further doweling rods and cut to the same size as the dowel you have previously measured.

Place the dowels in the bottom layer of the cake, making sure to spread them evenly. Place the next layer of cake on top of the bottom layer.

Your cake should now be supported. Repeat the process (using less dowels) if you have more than two cake tiers.

How to stack a cake using pillars

Pillars come in variety of shapes, sizes, colours and styles to compliment your cake design. They are often slipped over wooden or plastic dowels to support tiers.

Ingredients and equipment

Two or more different sized iced cakes (two to four inches difference in size)
Dowel rods (like White Plastic Cake Dowels)
Pillars to compliment your cake designs (like Roman Cake Pillars)
Pen/marker
Cake boards the same size as the middle cake tiers (or paper and scissors)
Ruler
Garden cutters or sharp knife to cut dowels

How to stack a cake using pillars

Make a paper template or use a cake board the same size of the middle cake tier. Measure and mark on the template/board even spacing for 2-4 pillars (depending on how many you are using).

Put template/board on the bottom layer of the cake and put a small mark into the cake where the pillars will be.

Push a wooden or plastic dowel through one of the marks on the cake until it hits the cake board and place a pillar through the dowel.

Mark the dowel where it shows over the top of the pillar. Remove the pillar and dowel and cut the dowel where it has just been marked.

Measure your remaining dowels and cut to the same size. Push the cut dowels into the 2/4 marked dents on the cake and then put the pillars over the dowels. Repeat the process for all the middle layers. This will provide your cake with stability and a beautiful look.