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Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

1
asked November 24th 2012

Stacking a house/chalet cake

hi, i am a bit of a beginner and have been mainly making sculpted cakes out of 1 10″ or 12″ square cake. Next week i am making my first “big” cake for 90-100 people. I have been asked to do a chalet for a real estate agency and i’m not sure how to stack the cakes. I thought i would make 4 10″ and then cut and paste with ganache to make the chalet 30cm in width and 4 cakes (3″) in height including the roof and 20cm in depth. Although it is not exactly a tiered cake because the cakes are all the same size and just stacked to create the house, do i have to use dowels and cake cards for support and how should i go about it?
I would really appreciate any ideas.
many thanks
Kate

1

hi, i am a bit of a beginner and have been mainly making sculpted cakes out of 1 10″ or 12″ square cake. Next week i am making my first “big” cake for 90-100 people. I have been asked to do a chalet for a real estate agency and i’m not sure how to stack the cakes. I thought i would make 4 10″ and then cut and paste with ganache to make the chalet 30cm in width and 4 cakes (3″) in height including the roof and 20cm in depth. Although it is not exactly a tiered cake because the cakes are all the same size and just stacked to create the house, do i have to use dowels and cake cards for support and how should i go about it?
I would really appreciate any ideas.
many thanks
Kate

2

Hi Kate,

That sounds like a lovely cake!

The weight of those cakes stacked will start to compress the bottom layers. If I was making a cake like that, I would have a 10 inch board under each cake, and dowels in between all the layers, just as if I was stacking cakes of different sizes. The boards will be hidden when you ganache and ice the cake.

It will gave the cake stability and also some extra height. An added bonus is that the cake will be easier to cut – you can loosen the cake boards with a knife and take the cakes off one at a time to cut into portions.

Hope that helps!

JC x

1

Hi Kate, I recently used straws instead of dowels as the top tier was a dummy and wasn’t that heavy. I used seven, one in the middle and six spaced around. It’s exactly the same technique as using dowels. They seemed pretty strong (just normal plastic drinking straws) but not sure I would brave it with a real cake! The cake travelled for an hour though and held up fine!

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Hi Kate

Since you’re making the cake for a real estate company I would start by getting pictures of the type of chalets they build. Paul’s VW car tutorial shows how to measure distances between two points so that would be useful when you’re spacing things like windows and doors. A picture cut up into the individual elements would also serve as a template for carving out each section. As suggested by JC, each section would have to be supported with boards and dowels other wise the weight of the upper sections will collapse. Big project, good luck with it.

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thanks for your advice, i was pretty sure i would have to do some dowelling!!! Now i just have to find the dowell’s in France- not an easy task!
I made the VW a couple of weeks ago so i know what you mean by the measuring.
thanks again

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Hi Kate

I thought this might help with your search for dowels in France http://www.france-forum-frenchentree.com/viewtopic.php?t=105527. x

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this sounds amazin u should post a picture when u are done!

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yes certainly will try, not sure how you post a photo! i was wondering if you can use drinking straws instead of dowels? anyone have any experience? i read something about it on the net but how exactly a,d how many?

0

Hi Kate

Straws ( straight, not the bendy type ) are used by lots of people. If you decide to use them just be aware that they have to be driven completely vertically with no side stresses because they will bend. My friend in the America uses them all the time for supporting upper tiers only. Apparently it is necessary to use more straws than dowels. I have never used them so can not give you first hand experience, however, my friend is an experienced decorator of many years.