All you Need to Know About Tall Cakes or Extended Height Cakes
Tall cakes or extended height cakes are the recent trends. They have the ability to make the overall design of the cake taller, lean and elegant. These are not difficult to make. And yet, a few precautions are worth paying attention to, such as cake boards, doweling, and stacking. Also, in this post, I explain the differences between tall cakes, extended height cakes, and double barrel cakes.
What is the difference between tall cakes and double barrel cakes?
A tall cake is usually just a cake whose height has been extended. Usually by adding one more layer. So instead of a two-layer cake, you now have a three-layer cake. While a double barrel cake is two or three cakes stacked one on top of the other. It can be about 8 to 10 inches tall. So simply speaking, a tall cake is an extended height cake, while a double barrel is an extended tier cake.
Let's use the cake below as an example:
- The top tier is a standard cake - 4 inches tall.
- The middle is a double barrel cake - about 10 inches tall.
- The bottom is a tall cake - about 6 inches tall.
- Most cakes are usually 2 layers of cake with a cake board on the bottom.
- The layers can each be 2 inches or 3 inches tall.
- So there can be two layers making a 4 to 6 inches tall cake. These do not need any additional support as long as they are on a good cake circle/board.
This Burgundy Stenciled cake is four tiers of a standard height cake. All of them are 2 x 2 layer cakes with three layers of filling.
- It is a 6-inch tall cake with three layers of cake each 2 inches tall.
- Usually, you can stack the three layers on a single cake board/circle as shown below.
- Such a 6-inch tall cake does not necessarily need any support dowel inside the cake. They can still hold their weight as long as they have a good cake board below. One that does not flex!!
This African Safari Cake is a good example of standard vs tall cakes or extended height cake.
- The top two layers are standard cakes - 2 x 2 layers with three fillings = 5-inch tall cake.
- The bottom tier, however, is 2 x 3 layers with four filling = 6 inches tall (sometimes almost 7-inch tall cake).
- This is again a 6-inch tall cake with three layers of cake. BUT
- If you split each layer into more layers you will need to dowel and add another cake circle in between. Why?
- So the bottom cake layers do not buckle under the weight of the top layers.
- The more layers you add the more your structure becomes week hence the more support you need.
- Also, more layers mean more movement. Hence even a center dowel is sometimes necessary so the layers stay stacked evenly.
This would be the inside of your double-barrel cake - can you imagine adding more layers in this without any support? Nah, it would buckle with the weight, and move around with the frosting.
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Servings sizes for tall cakes vs double barrel cakes
- Tall Cakes - Well, it's just one extra layer so it really only makes your cake taller. So each serving is a taller slice of cake not necessarily more servings.
Of course, you could serve half a slice if it was a family event. And yet, in general, you would want to give your guests a good slice that starts from top to bottom. It's more aesthetically pleasing. So, bottom line, it does not add extra servings.
However, financially it does add extra cake. Hence, I personally have different prices for my standard cakes vs tall cakes.
- In case of a Double Barrel - yes! It's two full cakes with a cake board in between so it can be separated and served as two cakes. So you do have extra servings and you price it as two cakes into one double barrel cake.
This is my recent Tip Thursday on tall cakes or extended height cakes
I tried to create a little diagram so it helps you understand. In the next post, I will be talking about Double Barrel cakes. I hope you find that useful as well.