Do you know how to balance a tiered cake?  Oh, don’t worry; you don’t need to learn how to juggle!  In fact, “Cake Balancing” is easier and just as much fun as flying a kite on a summer day.  However, if you don’t know how to “cake balance” your tiered cake can look (gasp!)“katywhompis!”  

Katywhompis: [cat·ee·whom·puz] -adjective   
1.  unbalanced 2. lacking esthetic beauty
Trust me on this ~ you do not want that.   So, I figured out a simple hands-on method of “seeing” a tiered cake before it is made.  This method will immediately allow you to see if your tiered cake is balanced and proportionally beautiful!
Recently when I “saw” the tiered, gluten-free, wedding cake I was going to bake (using my “Cake Balancing Method”) I actually changed the size of the cake pans I was going to use!  I hope this method works well for you also, because  I want you to have the most beautiful tiered cake in the world (and beyond!)  Let’s get started…
 Did You Know That…
  • A piped frosting, silk or fresh flower border can make a tiered cake look unbalanced!  What?! Why is that?   

 A border ADDS WIDTH to each cake tier. 

  • Well then, how can I be sure that my tiered cake will look beautiful? 

If you are like me; it’s not enough to see on paper the design and sizes of the cake pans.  I want to touch, feel and see my future tiered cake!  Here’s how I figured out how to get a perfectly-balanced, tiered cake every time:

My Tiered Cake “Stacking Method” 

1.  Stack the empty cake pans on top of each other just as if you are putting together a “real tiered cake.”

2.  If you are having a frosting border, place a piece of cut rope around the bottom of each tier.  The rope should be the approximate size of the frosting border you plan on using.

3.  Place the cake topper on top of the pans. If you don’t have the exact topper, just put something the approximate-size on top.  If you’re not using a topper – you’re done!

4.  Okay, now… Move away from your “cake.” Close your eyes for a minute.  Now open your eyes and look at your “cake” with fresh eyes.  

5.  Ask yourself three questions:  Does the cake look well balanced? Is the design simple, yet elegant? Do you love the look?

  • If your answer is YES to all three questions; then CELEBRATE!  May I recommend flying a kite?  You deserve some FUN!
  •  If your answer is NO, then start stacking some different size pans!  And aren’t you glad you did this?  This little “stacking method” just saved you from tiered cake disaster!

Balanced Tiered Cake Questions

Question:  What if I have the perfectly balanced cake, but it doesn’t yield enough servings?  
Answer:  If you love everything about your perfectly balanced cake, then simply have an extra gluten-free cake on the side.  The extra cake does not need to be fancy and you can keep it hidden if you desire.  Of course, you can display the extra cake next the main cake;  it’s entirely up to you.

Question:  It might be my imagination; but my cake looks a little top-heavy to me…
Answer:  It’s not your imagination!  I’ve found that the smaller size of the top tier can indeed make a tiered cake look top-heavy. If your top tier is top-heavy ~ make the top tier shorter.  Making the top tier shorter will bring the entire cake into balance.   

  • Lynn’s Note:  Be sure to notice if your top cake tier looks “top-heavy” when you do the “Stacking Method.”  

Here’s how to fix a top-heavy top tier:  

1.  On a two layer cake, simply cut one of the layers in halfIf your cake is delicate (and gluten-free cakes can be especially delicate), it’s easiest to cut it in half, if the cake is frozen.  Set aside one layer and eat the extra  cake (you wanted to try some cake anyway, right?)

2.  Frost the bottom layer, add the reserved half-layer of cake  Now, crumb coat the entire thing.  (A “crumb coat” is a thin layer of frosting to “settle down” the crumbs.) Ice the entire cake and decorate it as you wish.   

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