Tutorial Tuesday: How to Stack a Tiered Cake

People ask me all the time what they need to do to ensure the integrity of their tiered cakes. I’ll show you how I do it.

First I cover my cakes with fondant. This is a bit more tricky with buttercream covered cakes… but I do most of my cakes in fondant.

The bottom cake is given a support system. Honestly, drinking straws work awesome. I find the center of my cake and come out a couple of inches in each direction and insert a straw. Be careful not to put the supports out further than the next cake with overlap.

Pull the straws up a tiny bit and cut each one so that once you push it back into the cake, it’s level with the cake and rests on the bottom of the cake board. The concept here is that the next cake’s weight will be supported completely by these straws and it won’t crush this cake.

photo photo

Now, sometimes when I do a tiered cake, I’ll add a center support to keep the cake from falling over or sliding around, coming off center etc.

I usually use a wooden skewer in this case. Be sure that your skewer is cut to the correct height, you don’t want it tearing through the top of your top tier. That would be bad!
This cake is going to be a three tier.

This next part is very important… you have to have a board under your other cake as well. The board distributes the weight across the supports. I usually cut a piece of foam core board into a circle slightly smaller than the cake is and cover it in foil. Also important… if you’re using a center support… POKE A HOLE INTO THE CENTER OF THIS BOARD BEFORE YOU PUT THE CAKE ON IT. (See how serious I am? I resorted to capslock…)
If not, you won’t be able to properly do this.

Yeah, that cake looks a little wonky. Don’t worry about that bottom, that’s what boarders are for ;)


I added a third tier on top of this, putting supports in this second tier the same way as on the bottom. Once you get the cake on, it might look a little rough from the handling, but you just need to wiggle things around a little and smooth things down a little and hey, decorating cakes is all about covering up imperfections with awesome little things you create.

Here’s a photo of it with the top tier on.

Happy stacking!

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Eva
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 20:12:04

    Cool! I’ve heard of drinking straws being used before, but I never really got it. It’s good to see it in action. Thanks!


  2. lena
    Jul 01, 2011 @ 01:18:02

    great post! very detail. thanks for sharing :-)


  3. Sarah
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 15:36:16

    The only question I have is: What happens when you cut the cake? How do you take the stuff out?


    • gemcitytiffany
      Jul 07, 2011 @ 16:08:56

      Great question! I usually tell people to unstack the cake before cutting. This is usually pretty easily done by sliding a cake serving spatula or a knife between the tiers which should lift easily, as there is a board between them. Then you can simply pull out the straws, which you’ll be able to see. Since there’s none in the top tier, it’s good to go straight off. The bottom tiers, you can see the straws, I just pull them out with fingernails or the prong of a fork. If you have a dowel rod in the center, just be sure to lift them straight up to unstack! :)


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  6. comparateur de mutuelle
    Apr 11, 2013 @ 11:37:53

    J’ai apprécié visiter votre site qui est très instructif, Je dois dire que je ne regrette en rien de m’être abonné à votre weblog. Bravo !


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