What is a double-barrel cake?
That is a rather odd name for a cake type, don’t you think, but there is such a thing. A double-barrel cake is generally a two-tiered cake with both tiers being the same width as opposed to the bottom tier being wider than the top tier. For an explanation of a cake layer and a cake tier, read the blog post entitled Cake Layers vs. Cake Tiers.
When the tiers are the same width, it looks like one cake as in the example on the left. In fact, it can be one tall looking cake, depending on the height of the layers. Each layer is 2 – 3 inches tall and the overall height of the cake is around 8-12 inches. The tiers can be 2 layers each, 3 layers each, or the bottom tier can be 3 layers and the top tier made of 2 layers. Generally, a cardboard cake circle separates the 2 tiers.
Wooden dowels or straws are inserted in the bottom tier to support the weight of the top tier, and I always run a wooden dowel in the center of the cake all the way through the cake base for added support and stability. The center dowel comes in handy when traveling with the cake as it prevents it from shifting.
As with all multi-tiered cakes, each cake tier can have its own cake and frosting flavor, however, the exterior will be frosted in one flavor. In fact, the exterior can be frosted with all buttercream or covered with fondant. These impressive cakes can be very dramatic and decorated in so many beautiful and wonderful ways! Additionally, they can be baked in a variety of shapes: round, square, or octagonal.
When you cut a double-barrel cake, you cut down to the board that separates the tiers and once the top tier has been served, remove the cardboard to cut the second tier.
In the example below, the silhouette of the bride and groom is placed on the double-barrel portion of this multi-tiered wedding cake.....