Do you want to know how to stack a cake? Before I started a baking blog, I ran a small in house bakery. I stacked many, many cakes for my customers and it may not be as hard as you think. As long as you have a support system within the cake (dowels and cardboard rounds), you can stack your own cake and be confident it will stay standing!

Steps to Stack a Cake

Gather your supplies

Start by gathering your supplies. You will need your finished cake tiers, I recommend 2 or 3. Each cake will need to be on a cardboard round the same size as the tier, so that it can hide between each cake layer. Yes, you leave the cardboard on, it is a part of the support system to hold up the heavy cake. You will need 4-6 dowels for each cake layer, except the top tier, and a large center dowel. I also like to have scissors, a pencil sharpener and some extra frosting near by.

supplies to stack a 3 tier cake

Trace your dowel circle

First take your largest cake tier and trace a circle to guide your dowel placement, don’t use a pencil for obvious reasons, I use a small pairing knife. I like to use another cardboard round the same size as the cake I’m going to place on top of that cake, that way I can make sure the dowels are perfectly under the cake tier.

tracing a circle on a cake

Push the dowels in the cake

Place 4-6 dowels along the edge of the traced circle. You can use plastic cake dowel or large smoothie straws also do the trick. The straws are easier to cut, so I opt for the straws.

placing dowels into a cake tier

Place the cake tier on top

Once the dowels or straws are fully pushed in, cut off the excess. It is okay that the dowel sticks out a teeny tiny bit, the cardboard from the cake tier above should rest on top of the dowels, that is what supports the cake weight.

Now that the dowels are in, lather on a bit of frosting between the dowels (the glue), and place the smaller cake tier on top of the larger cake tier.

Putting frosting between cake tier layers

Place center dowel

Repeat those steps for as many tiers as you have, all of the tiers besides the top, should have dowels. Once your cake is fully stacked, you should add a center dowel. This center dowel will add support to the cake and keep all of the tiers stable and locked in place. I like to use a skinny wooden dowel, and use a pencil sharpener to make one end come to a point. The point will puncture through all of the cake and cardboard rounds to the bottom of the cake.

Placing a center dowel in a stacked cake

Fill dowel hole

Now that your center dowel is placed, you should fill in the hole with a bit of extra frosting. I like to use a piping bag and just squirt it into the hole.

Filling the cake holes with frosting

Fill in the tier gaps

Now I use that same piping back to fill the tiny gaps lining the bottom of each cake tier. This will give your cake a seamless finished look.

Filling the cake gaps with frosting

Admire your work

You are done! Sit back and admire your work! You should stack your cake the day you plan to serve it, unless you have enough room in your fridge to store the stacked cake. Cake should only sit at room temperature for a few hours at most. It is made of a lot of butter and will surly melt if not in a cool environment!

Finished stacked 3 tier cake