Two-tier cakes are the perfect dessert for small weddings, showers, or birthdays. However, just because these smaller confections are more petite than their massive counterparts, it doesn't mean you have to overlook details that can make them one of a kind.
Depending on your creative desire, two-tier cakes span the realm of simple to modern, classic to over-the-top. Some elegant embellishments of sugar flowers in your chosen color scheme can add that extra special touch to any event. Or, jazz it up a bit with bright and fun sprinkles and edibles.
Sometimes, less is more. Not every event calls for an over-the-top cake, which is why a two-tiered cake is a perfect choice. A baker or cake artist can assist you with the ideal design, but if you are looking to make your own two-tiered cake at home, we have the perfect recipe, complete with cake decor to finish the look. Big or small, it all comes together in the details.
STACKED CAKE RECIPE
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Three 15.25-ounce boxes of traditional yellow cake mixes
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 9 large eggs
- 6 sticks unsalted butter - room temperature
- 6 pounds confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla powder
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 drops pink food coloring gel
You will also need three six-inch cake pans, three nine-inch cake pans, six-inch cardboard round, four long cake dowels, an edible pen, a bag with a 2D tip, and one long sharpened cake dowel.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottoms and sides of three six-inch cake pans and three nine-inch cake pans with cooking spray.
For the six-inch cakes, place one box cake mix, one cup water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and three eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Raise the speed to medium for two minutes. Divide the batter among the six-inch pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 30 minutes). Cool on a wire rack.
For the nine-inch cakes, place the remaining two boxes of cake mix, two cups water, 2/3 cup vegetable oil, and six eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 30 seconds, increasing the speed to medium for two minutes. Divide the batter among the prepared nine-inch pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (35 to 40 minutes). Cool on a wire rack.
For the buttercream, beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the confectioners' sugar and milk one tablespoon simultaneously, alternating between the two until no lumps remain. Add the vanilla and salt into the mix until incorporated. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a 2D tip.
Place one nine-inch cake layer on the ten-inch cardboard round and place it on a rotating cake stand. Using an offset spatula to spread into an even layer, pipe 1 to 1 1/2 cups buttercream on top. Place a second nine-inch cake layer on top of the buttercream and pipe another 1 1/2 cups buttercream on top. Spread into an even layer, then top with the last nine-inch cake layer.
To apply a crumb coat, pipe about two cups of buttercream on the top and sides of the cake and use an offset spatula or bench scraper to make it smooth. Remove excess buttercream and scrape it into a bowl. Transfer cake to the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes. Repeat the process with the six-inch cakes.
Remove the cakes from the refrigerator. Press a six-inch cardboard round in the center of the nine-inch cake to make an outline. Remove the cardboard. Push one cake dowel into the cake within the outline you just made.
Make a line with an edible pen where the top of the cake hits the dowel. Remove the dowel and cut at the line. Use the cut dowel as a model to cut three more. Push the four dowels evenly into the cake within the outline.
Lightly place the six-inch cake on top of the dowels. Thread a long dowel through both cakes and cover the top of the wooden dowel with frosting. Using a small round tip, pipe more buttercream in the gap between the cakes or smooth with a spatula.