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Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

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asked December 11th 2012

Dowelling a handbag cake

Hi..I have been asked to make a large square handbag cake for a friend. I will stack a 10″ square cake . Will it need to be dowelled?

Thanks

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Hi..I have been asked to make a large square handbag cake for a friend. I will stack a 10″ square cake . Will it need to be dowelled?

Thanks

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Hi Gucci906

I made the handbag cake in tutorial from a 10″ cake and didn’t use dowels. You’d need dowels and boards if you were using multiple cakes (which would be weighty) rather than carving from just one. I used plenty of ganache and let it set on the counter. If your cake is going to be very tall then it might be worth dowelling in the most vulnerable areas and one through the middle to ensure stability, particularly if you are making several layers from the one cake.

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Thanks for the info

At which stage would you recommend using dowels? I could probably get 3 layers height from a 10″ cake

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Forgot to mention all the same width to

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I would do it at the crumb coat stage before you start the main coating of ganache or butter cream. It’s not the same as when we use boards so you wouldn’t want the dowels for upper board support, just for internal support. Don’t forget to tell the recipient that it has dowels (hehe, I know you already know, just nudging you) x

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Sorry..I meant stage as in..when would you consider using dowels? When a cake is more than 3 layers?

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I think I would drive one long dowel through the middle of all the layers and one each about 2″ in from the corners. Corners are vulnerable so wouldn’t dowel too close to them. I think if you had something which towered it would be wiser to have an extra board and use dowels as in the wedding cake tutorials. You’re using just one 10″ cake so I reckon that is enough to keep three layers stable. The hand bag I made tappered but as I’ve said, I didn’t dowel and it was absolutely fine. Once it had ganache and fondant over it it was very sturdy. If you were to have say six layers, I would definitely have another separating board. I made my hubby a set of life size drums which had several layers and I did use boards on Paul’s advice. Just as well I did, they were massively heavy.

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