How to Fill & Layer a Cake

For a classic round or rectangular cake, you may want to put two leveled cakes together, joined with your favorite filling. This adds height and drama to your design. It's easy to do!
Skill Level: None

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Step 1

After leveling and torting your cake, it’s time to put all the layers together. Before beginning, here are some points to consider:

Preparing Layers: When assembling layers, the baked bottom of the cake should be at the top. This side of the cake will already be perfectly level and will have little to no exposed crumbs.

Transferring: If using a turntable to assemble and decorate a cake, a Cake Circle is a must for support when transferring to a cake stand or plate. To attach the bottom of a cake to a Cake Circle, use a few generous dots of icing.

Serving: If you are not using a Cake Circle, you won’t be able to move your cake after it’s iced. Consider assembling and icing the cake layers directly on a cake stand or serving plate.

Step 2
Step 2

Filling a Cake: Adding filling between layers holds the layers together, giving your cake flavor as well as height.

Using a decorating bag filled with icing and fitted with tip 12, pipe a line of icing just inside the outer edge of the layer. This will create a dam that will prevent the filling from seeping out.

Buttercream is a classic filling choice, but you might also consider trying one of our other favorites to add extra flavor to your cake.

  • Chocolate Filling
  • Strawberry Cream Filling
  • Raspberry Filling
  • Apricot Filling
  • Cream Cheese Filling
Step 3
Step 3

Fill Center: After piping the dam, add your filling and spread using an Angled Spatula.


  • Rather than using your arm to move the bag, a turntable will allow you to keep your hand and pressure stable as the cake moves.
  • Piping a dam is especially necessary for “wet” fillings like pudding, pastry cream, jellies, preserves and compotes. If using buttercream as your filling, piping a dam is optional.
  • Fresh fruit can be used in between layers, but the juice of the fruit tends to seep out. If using, serve immediately after assembling.
  • Whatever filling you use, be sure to level it with the top of the dam to create an even layer between cakes.
Step 4

Place Next Layer: Place the next layer on top, making sure it is level. The weight of the layer will cause the circle of icing to expand just right. Place the top layer, leveled side down, so the top of the cake is perfectly smooth and level.

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How to Assemble and Layer a Cake
Watch: How to Assemble and Layer a Cake

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