How to stack a tiered cake!


So as most have you have probably already seen all over Instagram, during the summer I (Zahra) made my first ever 4 tiered wedding cake! For someone that has never made such a big wedding cake before I was absolutely terrified! To all my fellow cake bakers who are scared to take that first step this blog post is for you 🙂

The bottom tier of the wedding cake  consisted of  a fluffy chocolate sponge cake filled with a smooth chocolate buttercream and the top three tiers were all vanilla sponges sandwiched together with strawberry jam and vanilla buttercream. As to the sizes of the cakes I did a 6″, 8″, 10″ and a 12″.

A few weeks in advance I watched over 50 tutorials on youtube and Instagram on how to stack a tiered cake (I will link some useful tutorials below which helped A LOT!!).

@ivyandstonecakedesign – tutorials on Instagram

@sugarbase_ – tutorials on Instagram

Firstly it is important that you have the following materials that will ensure your cake is sturdy and will not topple over:

  • Wooden or plastic dowel rods (I used wooden dowels)
  • A sturdy base for the cake to sit on
  • A 6″, 8″, 10″, 12″ cardboard cake boards (I bought mine from Amazon which were actually by wilton)
  • A long thick wooden rod to go straight through the middle

Estimate where the cake on top will go by placing the cake pan on top and trace around with a toothpick or knife. This will help you when placing the dowels in.

Before measuring out the dowels and placing them in the cakes, it is important to make sure each layer of cake is level. I levelled each layer with a serrated knife or you can do this with a cake leveller whichever works best for you.

I placed 8 wooden dowels in the 12″, 7 dowels in the 10″ and 6 dowels in the 8″ which were all measured equally levelled with the height of each cake.  Place each cake on a cardboard cake circle that is the same size as the cake.  Before stacking the cakes on top of each other, cover them with buttercream or fondant and place in the fridge to chill (I let them chill overnight).

Once each tier has been set in the fridge, use a cake lifter to lift each cake to place on top of each other. Once stacked, finish decorating the cake as you wish. Finally to secure all the cakes together and make sure they won’t slide off, take a big wooden dowel, tad bit shorter than the cake. Sharpen one end of the dowel and with a help of a hammer, carefully drive it in all the layers until it reaches the cake drum. Cover the hole made on top with buttercream.

Or you can glue the dowel rod through the middle before stacking the cakes as shown in ivyandstonecakedesigns tutorial. Placing a dowel rod through the middle ensures that the cake will not move during transport etc.


Stunning flowers provided by Lkverdant which made the cake come to life – I showed her the picture my customer had shown me and asked for the exact same flowers and the exact same flowers is what I got! It was a pleasure to work with her can’t recommend her enough 🙂

Tips when dealing with fresh flowers on cake:

  • Make sure you tape the ends of the flowers – food safety
  • Apply a little buttercream when placing them on the cake

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