How to Make a Double Barrel Cake

Is it just me or do these cakes look intimidating to you??  Seriously they are so tall!!!  But they can be sooo beautiful!  This cake was particularly challenging for many reasons but the focus of this tutorial will be on creating the double barrel itself.


* Two four-layer cakes of the same diameter and height.  This will yield a cake between 8"-9" tall once filled.

* Ganche to go outside of the cake and under the fondant.  I hear you can use Swiss Meringue buttercream, however, due to this very buttery cream I would worry that it would have to stay refrigerated. Now I am always one to use American buttercream, HOWEVER I am just too scared to do so with a double barrel!:)  Structurally it would not be as stout and my Engineering-self just won't let me do it!

* Two matching-diameter cake circles.  Cut one circle to about a 1/2" less in diameter than the other.

* Fondant which you can use many kinds but like always we use Cake Couture fondant available here

* A concrete smoothing tool.  This you can find at any hardware store.  Just make sure it is at least 9" (and these are actually usually about a foot) and that the metal piece has a nice thin edge.

* Lazy Susan or rotating cake stand

* Skewers (optional) to ensure your double barrell stays put.

* Shortening or water.  This is to allow sticking for the fondant on the ganache.

* Dowel or straw tier supports (I like to use the very wide straws)


1.  Place your cakes on top of their cake circles.  The smaller circle will be the circle that goes between both cakes.  Fill your bottom cake and top off with buttercream, filling, or ganache.  Place your dowel or straw supports in your first cake.  Place your second cake (and smaller cake circle) on top and finish filling accordingly. Using a cake knife trim any buldging cake edges (see pic!).

2.  Next, using a regular decorating spatula apply ganache around entire cake.  Using the concrete smoother tool smooth entire side of cake.  Reapply ganache if and when needed.  **Ganache Note:  I was worried about making ganache with regular cream (and not heavy whipping cream)... but it turned out great so no worries if that is the case for you!

3.  Next apply shortening (or brush on water) to allow fondant to stick to ganache.  I personally prefer shortening because if I make a mistake it is easier to 'redo' it when you don't use water:)

4.  Roll out your fondant and apply along the outside of the cake (don't go top down because it will be A LOT harder to have it come together nice.  This is always tough to get a pic of due to quick use of your hands when covering!:-P  Here is a good pic from a good YouTube video.  For the YouTube video click here.  Cut a straight edge along the side so that the fondant seams together nicely.  Also, gather the excess fondant on top with your hands smoothing in from the edges.  **This of course works best if your double barrel has something on top of it to hide all of this!

5.  Trim all excess fondant, smooth, and let set 3 to 6 hours to allow the fondant to firm.

The double barrel is done!  Finish off any other parts of the cake and you are ready to start decorating!!  For this particular cake the top cake was 4", the double barrel a 6", and the bottom was a 9".  All three tiers I covered in ganache in order to get a consistent look.

Once all cakes are set then of course it's time to start the fun part!!

For this cake the reindeer decor was made by adding gum tragacanth to Cake Couture fondant.  The round piece was cut out and a reindeer was cut out of it using a paper template.  This round piece was left to dry on a 6" double barrel styrofoam cake to obtain a good shape.  Then it was applied to the cake with a thick coat of shortening.  The branches around round piece were made by mixing Cake Couture fondant with Cake Couture gumpaste and applying with sugar glue.  The branches were painted on with a brush and a white coloring.  The little flowers were cut from fondant and have little yellow pearl centers.

Thanks for visiting us and happy cake making!


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