1 each 6-inch- and 9-inch-diameter by- 2 3/4-inch-high round cake layers, each set on corresponding-size 3/16-inch-thick foam board, trimmed, split, and filled to a 3-inch height
4 twelve-inch-diameter-by-2-inch high round cake layers, 2 layers set on corresponding-size 3/16-inch thick foam boards
15 3 1/8-inch-long 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowels
15 4 1/8-inch-long 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowels
1 each 14-inch, 12-inch, and 8-inch cardboard round
1 fifteen-inch-diameter cake stand, or 15-inch-diameter cake board covered with thinned royal icing
1 twenty-inch-long 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowel, if needed
- Prepare tiers: Thinly coat all layers with buttercream to seal in crumbs. Place in refrigerator to set. Insert four 3 1/8-inch-long dowels into one of the 6-inch layers in a square 1 inch from the edge; center and place remaining 6-inch layer on top. Thinly coat entire new tier; refrigerate to set. Insert six 3 1/8-inch long dowels into one of the 9-inch layers in a circle 2 inches from the edge; center and place remaining 9-inch layer on top.
- Thinly coat entire new tier; refrigerate to set. On each foam-board-supported 12-inch-high layer, place one of the remaining 12-inch layers; fill so tier is 4 inches high. Insert nine 4 1/8-inch dowels into one 4-inch-high layer: six in a circle 3 inches from the edge, and three in a 3-inch circle within. Place remaining 4-inch-high layer on top. Thinly coat entire new tier; refrigerate to set.
- Pipe basket weave pattern: Remove one tier at a time, and coat with another thin layer of buttercream, making sure the tops have a perfectly smooth coating; return to refrigerator to set. Place 12-inch tier on a 14-inch cardboard round. Fit a 14-inch pastry bag with an Ateco number 895 basket weave tip; fill halfway with buttercream.
- Pipe basket weave with serrated side of tip facing up on vertical lines and down on horizontal lines. Beginning at back of tier, completely cover sides. Fit a 12-inch pastry bag with an Ateco number 16 star tip; fill halfway with buttercream. At top edge where basket weave ends, pipe a rope border; return to refrigerator. Place 9-inch-tier on a 12-inch cardboard round, and repeat. Place 6-inch tier on an 8 inch cardboard round, and repeat.
- Stack tiers: Place 12-inch tier on cake stand. Insert remaining six 4 1/8-inch dowels in a circle 3 inches from edge; carefully center and place 9-inch tier on top. Insert remaining five 3 1/8-inch dowels in a circle 2 1/2 inches from the edge; center and place 6-inch tier on top. If necessary, secure cake by inserting the 20-inch dowel down the center of cake.
- Decorate top of tiers and the cake stand with crystallized flowers, arranging some to trail down the sides of tiers.
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