How to Make a Tall Cake

I adore a good tall cake. It just seems to be magnificent and majestic. Is it possible to make a cake appear stately? Anyway, I love tall cakes, but there are a few tactics and suggestions to know before you create one. You might end up with a catastrophe if you don’t do it right, so I thought I’d put together my tips and techniques for making a tall cake (or, as some call it, a double barrel cake).

There are several methods to build a tall cake, but the most important thing to remember is that you must have a support system in place.

I wanted to provide you a lot of information in this article. I’ve included some images of how I put this cake together, but you can also watch the video at the bottom of this page to see it in action.

Oh, and if you want to see ALL of my advice on how to stack tiered cake (with varied sized tiers), go here.

There are affiliate links in this post. I earn money as an Amazon Associate by making qualifying purchases.

Supplies Needed to Make a Tall Cake:

  • Cake tiers (Anywhere from 4 to 6 levels will be discussed later.) I made six circular cake layers. Here’s my go-to cake recipe: Recipe for Vanilla Bean Cake
  • Cake Leveler
  • Cake Base (about 1 inch bigger than your cake tiers) I like using foam boards.)
  • Cake Rounds(The same size as your cake layers)
  • White candy melts(For attaching the cake boards)
  • Cake Turn Table
  • Vanilla Bean Buttercream Recipe (You can find my buttercream recipe here: Vanilla Bean Buttercream Recipe)
  • Icing Spatulas
  • Mini Level
  • Wax Paper
  • Icing Smoother (a tall one is required) Here are several possibilities: Tall Metal Icing Smoother, Tall Plastic Icing Smoother
  • Dowels are used to build the cake layers. Poly Dowels are my favorite. Click here for a link to the official poly dowels: Poly-Dowels Here are several more plastic cuttable dowel alternatives.
  • Center wooden dowel (the dowel that runs through the cake and into the cake foundation. This is just a tall wooden dowel, which you can usually get at any craft shop.)
  • Sharpener for pencils (for honing the central dowel)
  • (To label the dowels with an edible marker) For me, the Americolor brand seems to last a long time.
  • Knife (for trimming the cake)
  • If using a metal smoother, use hot water to smooth the buttercream.
  • Rose Gumpaste is optional. Here’s my guide on doing so: Making a Large Gumpaste Rose

Options for Making a Tall Cake:

The most essential thing to remember when building a tall cake is that it must have support. Inside doweling is what I mean by support.

If you want to put extra cake layers on top of a cake that is higher than three layers, it must be supported. Four layers can sometimes be tolerated, although I haven’t tried it.

The reason for this is that the cake becomes overly heavy. It may just collapse on itself, the weight of the cake could generate buttercream ridges, or the cake layers could slip on you.

A tall cake is just a two-tiered cake. The top and bottom layers are just the same size. So, if you’re being paid to bake a tall cake, be sure you bill appropriately. It’s not actually one cake, but rather two in one.

Now, let’s look at some tall cake options:

First Option for Making a Tall Cake:

The first option is to make the bottom tier out of three layers of cake and the top tier out of three layers of cake. A somewhat smaller cake board will be required between the stages, as well as dowels for support in the bottom tier.

Second Option for Making a Tall Cake:

The second alternative is to make the bottom tier out of two layers of cake and the top tier out of two layers of cake. In between the cake layers, place the somewhat smaller cake board and the dowels in the bottom tier. This choice will result in a shorter cake than the first.

Third Option for Making a Tall Cake:

This is the option I choose. With a cake board in the middle and dowels in the bottom tier, I utilized three cake layers on the bottom tier and two on the top tier. I chose this choice since four tiers of cake didn’t seem tall enough for me, and six layers of cake seemed to be much too tall for a 6-inch round cake.

So now you have some choices to consider. Let’s get started on making the cake.

Making the Tall Cake:

Remember, if you’d rather watch the video than read all the instructions, simply scroll down towards the bottom of the article to find it.

First, ensure that your cake layers are leveled. You absolutely want them to be as level as possible to avoid any mishaps or movement later on.

Cover your huge foam core cake foundation with fanci foil or your preferred way of covering a cake board. If you want to see additional possibilities and all of my cake board recommendations, go here: Cake Board Suggestions

Place the cake base on your turntable and fill the center with melted white candy melts. This will assist you in attaching the bottom cake board so it does not shift.

You should now add a cake board to the cake foundation. Make sure the cake board is the same size as the cake layers. In this case, I used 6 inch cake layers and a 6 inch cake board. Allow it to settle for a few minutes to ensure that it is strong and stable. You may even chill it for a few minutes if you like.

I prefer to go ahead and apply a little amount of melted candy melts on that board so the bottom layer of cake is properly adhered to it. Some folks like buttercream for this, but it hasn’t worked well for me.

Then go ahead and add the first cake layer.

Add buttercream and more cake layers until the bottom tier is the desired height. (Remember, no more than three layers.)

Place a second cake board on top and use your level to ensure that the bottom layer is largely level. If it isn’t, just press down on the board to level it out.

Take the cake board off the top and add some buttercream after it’s fairly level.

Insert one of the plastic dowels into the cake layer and mark the top with an edible marker. You are free to use wooden dowels if you choose. Bubble tea straws might also be used. Just make sure they’re substantial plastic straws, not the fragile kind. Regular straws will not suffice.

Once the dowel has been marked, twist it while taking it out of the cake. You’ll need to cut the additional dowels to the same length. Rather of cutting the dowels while they’re inside the bottom cake layer, I cut them all the same height and then insert them to have a more level cake.

I used 4 dowels for the 6 inch round cake.

Place the dowels in the lowest layer. However, leave the exact center spot vacant since you will need to add a central dowel later.

Now you’ll need to get a cake board the same size as your cake layers, but you’ll need to cut it down a touch, maybe a half inch around it.

This board should be a little smaller so it doesn’t stand out when you ice the whole thing.

Simply place your trimmed cake board on top of the bottom layer.

Check it now with your small level. Make modifications as necessary.

Melt some white candy melts so that the next layer of cake clings to the board. Some folks like buttercream for this, but I prefer candy melts since they are more sturdy.

Simply stack your cake layers to the desired height. (Remember, no more than three.) Because the cake was growing too tall, I simply put two layers to the top tier.

Check the cake for levelness and make any necessary adjustments.

Now you must measure the height of your cake in order to cut the center dowel. Include the height of your foam core cake foundation since the dowel must go all the way through it (not just through the cake).

Yes, I realize I’m being extremely scientific by measuring with my hand.

It’s also OK if the center dowel is somewhat shorter than the cake; you simply don’t want it to be higher than the cake.

Now, cut the dowel in half and sharpen one end. Then just wash it away.

Simply push (or hammer) it through the whole cake (including the center board) and down into the cake foundation. Drill all the way to the bottom of the cake base.

Hammer it all the way through with the cut-off dowel piece.

Yes, I am using a meat mallet.I couldn’t locate my hammer. Isn’t it true that it works?

Okay, now I like to refrigerate the cake for a few minutes so it will be solid when I trim it. Simply place the cake in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.

After it has cooled for a few minutes, place a cake board on top of your cake to determine how much you will need to cut. You don’t want any cake showing through when you smooth the buttercream afterward.

Simply utilize the bottom and top of the cake board, as well as your buttercream smoother, to determine which areas of the cake will need trimming. When you see the video, this may make more sense.

Just trim around the cake now. You’ll be smoothing your buttercream using the top and bottom cake boards as guides, so any cake that sticks out beyond them or anywhere near there will need to be cut down.

You may not need to cut as much as I did.I like to cut a lot off since I enjoy a lot of buttercream and don’t want to risk any of the cake showing through. Technically, a bigger cake board might be used, however because I was creating 6 round cakes, 7 cake boards are difficult to come by in my neighborhood. Trimming, on the other hand, is effective.

After trimming, spread buttercream on top and smooth it out.

Take another cake board (the same size as the cake layers you cooked and the same size as your bottom cake board) and line it with wax paper.

I simply traced the cake board onto wax paper and cut out the circle. With a touch of buttercream, adhere the circle of wax paper to the cake board. (This top piece will serve as your frosting guide.) This will make getting a crisp icing edge much easier.

Pop it onto the top of the cake.

Use your small level to level the top, and make sure the sides are level as well.

You may now re-chill your cake for another 10-15 minutes to firm it up. (Don’t put it in the fridge for too long or it may dry out.)

Okay, now that the cake has cooled slightly, it’s time to apply the buttercream. Begin by incorporating everything with a big icing spatula.

Once everything is combined, begin smoothing it with your buttercream smoother.

Fill up any gaps with extra buttercream and smooth again. This procedure may need to be repeated a few times.

To get the watercolor effect, apply additional white buttercream on top and pink buttercream on the bottom.

Smooth around it with your buttercream smoother.

Once you’ve gotten it as smooth as you want. Put it in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes to stiffen up the buttercream.

Now, put your smaller icing spatula in hot water, dry it, and insert it around the bottom of the cardboard circular on top of the cake. You’ll need to do this in little steps, heating and drying your spatula as you go. You’ll want to gradually loosen the top cake board.

Once it’s loose enough, just take it off, being careful to remove the wax paper as well.

You must now smooth the top. You have two options for doing this. You may use the Viva paper towel approach if you used a buttercream that contains shortening (a crusting buttercream). Simply place the paper towel over the top and carefully smooth it out with your fingers.

You may utilize the heated spatula approach if your buttercream is prepared from butter. Simply wet your icing spatula, then dry it off before smoothing it over the top of your cake.

Just be careful not to go out to the edge of the cake with either way, or your sharp edge will be ruined.

Now just make sure to clean off your cake base.

You may now add the cake topper of your choosing or some gorgeous gumpaste flowers. I just added one of my enormous gumpaste flowers. That instruction is available here: Making a Large Gumpaste Rose

To cut this cake, divide it into two levels. Simply start with the top layer, then remove the cake board and cut and serve the bottom tier.

That’s all there is to it! You’ve now created an outstanding tall cake!

Video for Making a Tall Cake:

Just let me know if you have any queries. You are always welcome to leave a remark below.

Dont forget to pin it below!


How many layers is a tall cake?

A tall cake is just a two-tiered cake. The top and bottom layers are just the same size.

Do taller cakes take longer to bake?

Cakes baked in bigger pans bake quicker (approximately. 9 minutes per ounce of batter in a 10-inch pan), whereas cakes baked in smaller pans take longer (up to two minutes per ounce in a 6-inch pan).

What size cake tin to use for a tall cake?

In terms of size, I’m using a modest (15 cm=6 inch) diameter but tall (7 cm=3 inch) cake pan, which is enough to construct a tall sponge cake for a two or three-layered cake and is more than enough for a family.

How is a tall cake different from a regular cake?

A tall cake is often a cake whose height has been increased. Typically, by adding another layer. So now you have a three-layer cake instead of a two-layer cake. A double barrel cake is made up of two or three cakes piled on top of each other.

What size cake do I need for 50 people?

If you intend on preparing or purchasing a tiered cake, keep in mind that a single 12-inch cake will generate around 25 servings, while 50 people would typically need three 10-inch cakes.

How do you keep a tall cake stable?

If you’re stacking a cake higher than three layers, I recommend using dowels or straws to assist hold the cake while you ice the edges. If your cake is still unsteady after filling it, freeze it for 10 to 15 minutes BEFORE applying the crumb coat.

Why do my cakes not rise very high?

To enable the cake to rise before the structure hardens, the oven temperature must be adjusted correctly. If the oven temperature is too high, the cake will set too quickly before the air bubbles have formed. If the oven isn’t hot enough, the cake will rise too much and then collapse in the middle before it’s done.

How do you cut a tall cake easily?

Important moments
Submerge it in boiling water. Run it under hot water at 0:35.
divide the cake in half. Cut the cake in half at 0:46.
We re-immersed our knife in the water. 1:09, we re-immersed our knife in water.
Wrap each of our cake pieces. Wrap our individual cake pieces at 2:53.
Set them aside in the freezer. Wrap up the individual cake pieces at 3:05. 3:35.

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