My daughter has requested a three tier cake for her birthday, with chocolate, vanilla and caramel cakes. Can you suggest a sponge recipe which will be able to stand the weight of the three tiers? Thanks.
Unfortunately if you are stacking cakes of any sort then it is best to use a dowelling system to help support the weight of the layers, particularly if they are sponge cakes. Plastic dowels can be bought from cake decorating suppliers and cut to the requred length. Each tier should also be placed on a thin cake board, the same diameter as the cake. Every tier except for the top layer should have some dowels inserted to bear the weight of the cakes above (bearing in mind that the lower tiers need to support more weight). We would not recommend using any of Nigella's sponge recipes for a tiered cake without the extra supports. Alternatively there are some tiered cake stands that you may want to investigate as an alternative to actually stacking the cakes.
For a chocolate cake recipe Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake is always very popular. Maple syrup and golden caster sugar in the Autumnal Birthday Cake give a lovely caramelly flavour and Nigella's Birthday Custard Sponge is a bright alternative to a standard vanilla sponge cake. Each of these recipes makes a 20-12cm (8-inch) two layer cake.