Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked November 18th 2015

Stacking and dowellind Double Barrel Cakes

Please can you assist me with the following as I am a little bit confused!

On a 2 Tiered Double Barrel Cake (2 x 8" and 2 x10"):
1 For the 2 x 10" cakes do you dowel the bottom tier cake, then put 9" cakeboard
and then place the next 10" cake on top?

2 Do the dowels for the bottom cake have to be 1" taller in height than the actual
cake itself so when the next 10" cake is placed on top of the cakeboard it will be
easier to separate the two cakes?

2a OR do the dowels for the bottom cake have to be the same height as the bottom
cake itself, because both of the 10" cakes will be wrapped under on sugarpaste?

2b OR do you place both 10" cakes immediately on top of each other without any
cakeboards and dowel these using longer dowels?

2c Then will these dowels have to be cut 1" taller in height so the next 8" tier can sit
on top?

3 Do you have to put Greaseproof paper between the Tiered Cakes, i.e. 10" and

3a Do you have to put Greaseproof paper between the Double Barrel Cakes?

3b If so, does the ganache go under the greaseproof paper and then on top of the
paper so that both cakes stick?

3c What is the purpose of this?

4 When you cut the Double Barrel Cake the knife will stop when it touches the
cakeboard, then what happens to the rest of sugarpaste that is covering the
bottom of the cake?

Thank you.


Hello Sky Cakes

Paul has a complete tutorial all aspects of double barrel cakes. See the tutorial here:
For more knowledge on stacking cake please have a look the chocolate wrap cake tutorials or any tutorial which covers multi tier stacking. The basics are all the same. In the case of double barrel cakes the tiers are the same size but the technique of dowelling and stacking remains the same.

When dowelling, mark and cut each dowel individually to the depth of the cake and insert. Some dowels will appear slightly proud from the surface of the cake. This is fine, it just indicates that the cake is very slightly uneven in some places and the dowel will compensate for that. Leave it as it is. No dowels should be deliberately taller than the cake.
Cover the dowels and the top of the cake with a little ganache to act as glue to stick down the cake card for the next tier. The dowels take the weight of the next tier which should be on it's own card. This prevenst the tiers collasping into one another.
It's up to you if you want to place a circle of parchment top and bottom between the cake card. Some people do it because they feel it helps to release the tier above more easily and prevent damaging the cake below. It really isn't necessary.
When the cake is sliced, the knife will come to rest on the card. At this point slice the joining sugarpaste at the card to separate the cakes. There's no mess, it's a clean sharp cut.
To release and separate the tiers completely, slide a hot knife in between card and cake, give a gentle upward twist of the wrist to break the seal.

Hope some of the above helps clarify the points you have raised. Paul's tutorials are very clear and will help clear any confusion.
If there is any thing else please post again.