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Make-A-Cake Series: Filling and Stacking a Cake

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I have had a few of you (thank you!) ask how add filling to a cake
and how to stack a two-tiered cake.
Here is a example of a basic two-tier cake.

But first we want to add filling to this cake…..I am such a sucker for cake with filling! Yum!
Supplies for filling a cake.
1. Two layers of cake the same size
2. Filling — jam, jelly, lemon curd, whatever filling you would like. 
3. Buttercream in a piping bag.

Level your first layer and turn it upside down onto your cake plate.

Cut off the end of your piping bag to make a hole.

Edge the cake by piping it with buttercream.
The reason I do this is to keep the filling from seeping out the sides when you stack the cake.

I used raspberry jam for this cake.
I placed the jam into a bowl and then whisk it until it is a smooth consistency.

Evenly spoon your filling into the middle of the cake.

Level your second layer of cake, turn it over, and place it on top of your filling layer.

Now you have filling in the middle of your cake.

At this point ice the cake and cover it with fondant.
After you have both of your layers covered with fondant we can move onto stacking the two layers.

Supplies for stacking two cakes.
These steps are important to add support to the cake. If there is not support to hold the second layer it will sink into the first.

1. Two (or more) fondant covered cakes
2. Wooden dowels — you can get them in the cake deco section of a craft store.
3. Utility scissors — or another way to cut the dowels.
4. Buttercream

This is a back step but it’s important.
When you are stacking the second layer of your cake (the smaller layer– in this case, the green layer), use a cake plate that is smaller than the cake and covered with foil.

This plate will be what is held up by the dowels.

Now go back to the larger cake. Measure the dowels to the height of the cake.
Cut 9 dowels to the height of the layer.

This is for a 10 inch cake, adjust accordingly for bigger or smaller cakes.

Insert the dowels into the cake. Stay close to the middle where the smaller cake will sit.

Add some buttercream on top of the area with the dowels.
This will keep the layers from sliding when you move the cake.

Carefully place your second layer on top of the first, making sure it’s even and centered.

**Repeat these steps if you have another layer.

Now you can add a border and decorate the rest of you cake.
If you would like to see how I decorated the rest of the this cake, click here.

I hope this information will help you make a beautiful two layer cake!
Happy Decorating!

Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. susan says:

    Thanks a lot for the detailed information. God will bless you.

  2. Nancy says:

    I want to do a 3 layer cake but I will be using whip cream , how do I stack the same way?

  3. Anonymous says:

    How about staking using whip cream???

  4. Melissa says:

    When I do filled cakes, after 3 days the filling has soaked into the bottom layer. How do I prevent this?

  5. Renee says:

    Hi I am making a vanilla cake for a friend leopard print she is wanting it filled with wipped cream and strawberry jam, I will be using fondant to cover it, I have heard so many stories of whipped cream and jam making fondant run and change color Is this true ?!? And also I don’t like to refrigerate my fondant how long would the cream hold not in fridge :( please help thank you

  6. Brittany Farabee says:

    Do you sharpen the dowel so it will go threw the cardboard layers in between the layers? And do you wrap the cardboard for the top layers in foil also?
    Thanks for writing this? I have been looking for clarification on stacking cakes with out much luck!

  7. Rhonda says:

    I noticed you said put the smaller layer on a plate that is smaller than the layer and cover the plate with foil. Why the foil? Would it be possible to just use a cardboard plate like Wilton’s?

    Thanks so much for your help.

  8. Anee says:

    When making a wedding cake you mentioned to put a dowel down the center of the cake to stabilize it. How am I supposed to do that if I have plates between the tiers? Btw, I can’t imagine how much work this must take! You do an amazing job!!

  9. Babara Grisham says:

    Thank you. Exactly the information I needed for stacking and fondant covering cakes. Information I couldn’t find on the Wilton site. You presented the information so clearly and the pictures were so helpful.

  10. Stacy says:

    FINALLY a step by step instruction with pictures!! Thank you so much for putting this information up. I have been looking for someone to help me with this for so long! Maybe now I can make the big cakes I want to learn to do!! =)

  11. Caitlyn says:

    why have the board between the tiers?

  12. Brittany says:

    Holly- You guessed right. Three batches of fondant should be enough. I understand you confusion. I am still always guessing how much fondant I will need. I always think that one batch will cover a 8 inch cake. So you will have extra from you 6 inch cake that you can use for your 12 inch. Cover your biggest cake first and work down.
    Good luck I hope this helps!

  13. Holly Hudspeth says:

    Brittany, I am enjoying and learning so much from your site. Thank you for doing this. I am confused as to how much fondant I need to go on each size cake. The charts I have seen use measurements, but no on has said how much the homemade fondant from one bag of Marshmallows weights. I am making a 6, 8 and 12 in inch wedding cake and bought three bags of marshmallows and powedersd sugar. Will this be enough?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Your cakes are awesome! I have learned alot from you! I do have a question though!If you use box cake mix how do you know how much to put in your pan? Like if I was doing a 10 inch round cake and 8 inch round cake how would i figure out the right amount? Thanks so much!

  15. Brittany says:

    Megan– Hi! it;s good to hear from you! You don't have to do anything to preserve the cake. I have had a few cakes sit that long and the fondant did get stiffer but never hard. And that cake was after 4 days out on the kitchen counter.
    The cake is air tight because of the fondant and I think the cake keeps the fondant from drying out.
    Good Luck, let me know how it turns out!

  16. Megan Robinson says:

    I have a question I am decorating a cake tomorrow and it won't be served at a wedding for 2 days….how do I preserve it? I am delivering it the day before the wedding and I need it to be stacked so it won't fit in a cake saver. If I leave it out will the fondant and fondant decorations on it look dry or get hard?

  17. Brittany says:

    Beth- I used Americolors "Sky blue" you can get it from cake suppliers or amazon. I used quite a bit to get it to a rich color.
    Good Luck on you cake!

  18. beth says:

    Brittany – Thanks for all your tips. We are using your recipe and suggestions for a wedding cake next month. One question I have for you is that I think the blue on cake in this post is the exact color I need. Do you remember how you got to that bright color? Thanks.

  19. Kendra says:

    I love this series! Thank you for taking the time to do this. It is fun and inspiring… My first fondant cake attempt is in the works :) Just a few questions… what buttercream recipe do you use? And – how do you know when to use fondant and when to use gum paste when decorating? Is there a way to make your own gum paste – or do you have to buy that? THANKS!!

  20. Marisa says:

    This is SO helpful! Thank you!

  21. jojoebi says:

    Thank you for all your tips Brittany. The cake turned out well, the kids LOVED it, luckily it was a castle so I didn't have to worry too much about getting it all smooth. I have blogged about it here

  22. עינת says:

    tip (if i may), when you need to transport the cake, you need yo make it more stable during the ride, i always add a long dowl to add supprt from the top (through all the stacked cakes ) if you do so dont forget you nees to make a hole in the middle of the cake plates.

    i love your blog, its very inspiring!

  23. Brittany says:

    jojoebi- I make my fondant before just to save time when I am decorating. If you make it in advance just store it in a plastic bag with all the air squeezed out.
    The fondant keeps the cake sealed air tight so you don't need to cover it. Although if it gets really hot in your home you might want to keep a fan on it to keep the fondant from melting.
    I am glad you are finding the information useful and good luck!

  24. jojoebi says:

    I am loving this series and it is just at the right time. It is my sons birthday party on Sunday, I have the cakes half made, will do the other half tonight to freeze and plan decorating it on Saturday. I have a couple of questions…
    should I make the MM fondant just before I need to use it or is it better to make it in advance, if so, how should I store it?
    and, once I have finished the cake how should I store it? I don't have a tupperware type of box big enough, I am in Japan and the weather is hot and humid, any advice would be much appreciated.

  25. Mama Thompson says:

    The tip about piping buttercream around the outside of the cake before putting in the filling is wonderful…I tried to fill a cake once and it as a big freaking leaking mess….never did it again…now I will try:)

  26. Jen @ says:

    Wow – great tutorial!! Looks so good!


  27. Brittany says:

    2 giggle boxes- you need a board between each tier. I hope that is makes sense, let me know if it does not. :)

  28. 2 Giggle Boxes says:

    Ok, so to clarify, I need a board in between each layer?

  29. 2 Giggle Boxes says:

    Thank you Brittany! Just the info I need!

  30. Brittany says:

    Natelyn- The 9 posts were for a 10inch cake. It will vary more or less with your cake size.
    Thanks for reading!

  31. Natelyn says:

    Does it take 9 posts for every layer you add? or does it matter how many by the size of the cake?

  32. SheltonMade says:

    Extra helpful! I havent tried yet but I do plan to!

  33. Mom's Place says:

    Thanks!!!!! My sister does cakes, and I want to learn! This was very helpful!

  34. Brittany says:

    Sara- Getting your buttercream layer smooth and just practice will get the fondant smooth. For me it just took some time. Good Luck!

    Emily-I have had the problem in the past too! If i didn't level my cakes all the way I had the bulging and if I put in too much filling. I also, have done a extra circle of buttercream and that seamed to help. I hope that helps!

  35. Emily says:

    whenever i try and fill a cake (even if I use stiff buttercream icing to hold the filling) I can see the filling part when I cover it in fondant. It always is bulging. Do you have any tips for this? It doesn't look like you have that problem! :) That cake turned out so cute!

    1. karen says:

      instead of icing use rolled fondant

  36. Amy says:

    Thank you! I was just wondering how two do this the other day, now I know how!

  37. Sara says:

    Thanks Brittany! I'm making a wedding cake for my friend in August (just a simple two tiered cake with real flower accents) and this information will really help me!! Any tips for getting the fondant so smooth?

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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