Doweling a Cake - Cake Decorating Tutorial
One of the most common questions you get asked by newbies is - Why do I need to dowel a cake? Do I need to dowel a cake? And I always have a simple answer! Yes!!
It is best to be safe than sorry. Right? Can you imagine going thru all the trouble of making and stacking a cake only to be embarrassed at the event that the cake fell over or sunk into each other?
So why do we dowel a cake? To add stability to cakes. So that the weight of the bottom tier will be able to support the top tier.
When you stack a cake you are not essentially placing a cake on top of a cake you are actually placing the cake on top of those dowels or straws. So it's not the bottom tier that's actually baring the weight of the top cake. It is the dowels that are bearing the weight of the cake. Which again means you need to make sure you use dowels you can trust.
Types of Dowels used in Cakes (Save/Pin)
- Wooden dowels - make sure you buy the firm wooden dowels as some dowels sold at craft shops are too delicate and will not hold under multiple tiers.
- Plastic Dowel - These are the most popular in the UK and can be easily found in most cake shops.
- Bubble Straws - These are thicker than the usual straws and usually are easier and cheaper to buy. Most often it's best to use a few extra of these just because they are more flexible than the firm wooden straws.
- PVC plastic straws - these are the thick water PVC pipes that are usually used in cakes that have more structure. These are considered acceptable because they are used for water.
Tip Thursday - How to Dowel a Cake
and I hope this gives you a good idea on why and how many dowels you need for each cake.
How do you Dowel Cakes?
As explained above -no matter which dowels you use. The process and precautions are the same.
- Use the first Dowel as a Guide to cut the other dowels - that way you can ensure your cake is not slanted even if your bottom tier is not straight.
- Always chill your cakes first. Dowels go in straight better if the cake is chilled.
- Once you finish dowelling the cake make sure the top surface is clean so the crumbs won't' stain your cake.
- Never forget your Center dowel in tall cakes. It helps to make sure the cake is all centered and do not move while being transported.
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