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Topic: 2 layer cake questions?
meredith1851 06/21/2009 12:45 AM
I am pretty new to cake decorating and want to try a simple two layer round cake. Do I need those dowel things for a 2 layer or should I be ok? Also, If using a cake mix, is there a way to "doctor" it up slightly so it isn't too moist? I don't want the top layer to smush the bottom layer. Thanks!
Jeanne G 06/21/2009 1:17 AM
Meredith1851, let's talk about the difference between a layer and a tier, and see which one you mean.

A two-tier cake is two separate cakes, often different sizes, and often stacked one on the other (sometimes with pillars inbetween). Anyone looking at it can tell it is two tiers.

A two-layer cake is a single cake, internally divided horizontally, with some kind of filling between the two parts. Looking at it from the outside you can't really tell whether it is 2 layers or 3 or maybe just one tall layer. You can count the layers after a slice is removed.

A tier often consists of two layers, but it can also be a single layer, or more than 2 layers. Each tier is treated as a separate cake for serving -- you cut down through all the layers, but not down into the tier below.

Layer cakes do not have dowels in the lower layer to support the upper layer.

Tiers have dowels in the lower tiers to support the upper tiers. The dowels go through all the layers in the tier.

So, if you are making a two LAYER cake, you will not use dowels.

If you are making a two TIER cake, you will need dowels in the lower cake. The upper cake will be on its own cakeboard, which rests on the dowels.

Cake mixes make fine layer cakes. They do not smush the bottom layer. It is not necessary to make them less moist.

Tiers do not smush the tiers below them because the dowels prevent them from putting their weight on the lower cake. Cake mixes are fine for tiers, too.

I hope this helps and didn't just add to the confusion!
bunnywoman 06/21/2009 9:54 AM
Excellent Jeanne!!!!!
meredith1851 06/21/2009 2:19 PM
Thank you SO much. This helps a lot. It is a tiered cake I was thinking about so I will be sure to use dowels. Thanks again!
vthorse 06/21/2009 7:03 PM
Please post your cake's pic!