Cake Dowels

Do you know how to use cake dowels to support your tiered cakes? I will show you how and why you need them!

A dowel rod is a wooden rod that is used to support tiers of cakes from collapsing. They are necessary if you are going to have a cake more than one tier. They provide stability and help create amazing tiered cakes.

Dowel rods are sold in hobby stores and cake decorating stores. They are not expensive. In the picture above you can see several dowel rods, a pencil for marking the depth of the dowel rod in the cake, and some clippers to trim the dowel rods.

Some suggest using a saw to cut the rods to the length that you want them, but that seems too messy for me. I like using the clippers to just cut the rod and be done with it. The cut needs to be clean so that the rod sits level on the cake board to support the next tier.

Simply, mark the outline of where the next tier is going to be placed.

placement of next tier

I used the cake pan to mark where the next tier would be placed. Then, before I pressed down a bit on the pan to leave the mark, I used my ruler to check to see if the cake pan was centered. The next tier does not have to be centered unless you want it that way. You could have it off-center for a different affect.

After I had the place marked on the cake where the next tier would go, I placed a dowel rod inside the markings and marked the depth on the dowel rod.

Next, I cut the dowel rod and used it to measure the rest of dowel rods needed. I then cut them, as well.

measuring dowel rod

After all the measuring and cutting, I placed the dowel rods into the bottom tier within the circle I had marked. They need to be just below the frosting. If they are above the frosting the next tier will be slightly above the bottom tier and will not be stable.

I use the end of a rod that I had cut and pushed on the top of the dowel rods in the cake to make sure they are secure.

The larger the cake, the more dowel rods you will need to use. After the cake has all the dowel rods you need to use to support the upper tier, you can place the next tier on without worrying about it crushing the lower tier!

pushing rod into cake

cake with dowel rods

Cake dowels come in the wooden rods like the ones pictured above, but they also come in different forms. I keep an assortment of them available so that I always have just the right dowel to use.

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