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Cake dowels are needed to give support to a cake. Without them, a stacked cake can fall or the filling will ooze out the sides when the cake settles. Your dowels can be made of wood or plastic and they are easy to put in a cake. Just follow these step...

  1. Place the first tier on your cake board. You will probably need 4-5 dowels for this layer (more dowels will be needed if you cake is more than 3 tiers high) and they will be placed in a circle around the center of the cake. Take one dowel and place it in the cake. Measure the height and mark it with a marker. Remove the dowel and cut to size. Wooden dowels cut best with a hedge trimmer but a bread knife will also work. A knife is the easiest way to cut a plastic dowel. Place the cut dowel back in the cake and repeat these steps for the remaining dowel in this tier.
  2. Place the next tier on top. With each tier, you will need less dowels. The wooden dowels for this tier will need to be sharpened with a pencil sharpener so that they go through the cardboard divider. Repeat the steps above but use a hammer to drive the wooden dowel to the bottom cake board. If using plastic dowels, you will not be able to go to the bottom of the cake. You can also choose not to sharpen and hammer the wooden dowel but it will not be as stable.
  3. Keep repeating these steps until you get to the top tier. Once you are on the top tier, sharpen your wooden dowel and hammer it down the center of your cake, all the way to the bottom cake board. This is an important step because it will keep your cake from tipping over.

A few extra notes about dowels...

  • You will need fewer dowels if you are using plastic.
  • If you choose to sharpen and hammer the dowels for each of the higher tiers, make sure you place them in a way that they will not hit the dowels below them.
  • If you are still confused, check out this video tutorial on How to Stacking Cakes.

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