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How do I accurately measure then cut the dowels for a layered stacked cake? Do you recommend wood or plastic? I have also read that straws can be used instead of the wood or plastic dowel?

Maureen Hernandez - from Miami, FL

If your cake tiers are level, then you only need to measure a single dowel rod, cut it, and then use it as the guide to cut the rest of your dowel rods down to size. For larger cakes with multiple tiers, I like to use larger plastic dowel rods in the larger base layers. I cut them wiht a serrated knife.  For smaller tiered cakes, I will use wood or bamboo dowel rods, which I cut with strong kitchen shears. I don't recommend using straws in place of actual dowel rods. Straws are flimsy and unreliable, and after you spend all that time constructing and decorating a tiered cake, you'll want the assurance that your dowels are strong enough to support it.

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The Public Television cake decorating show providing easy projects for special celebrations. Not intended to replace instructional classes.