My support of choice is wooden dowels in various sizes depending upon the size and weight of the cake. For small, two tier cakes, I've used large straws successfully and for large, three tier (or larger) cakes I've used PVC pipe as a central support (going all the way through the cake, top to bottom anchored to the cake board). Straws are easier to cut, but dowels and PVC are stronger, so it really depends upon the design of the cake. Hope this helps.
My preference is wooden dowels too. The size and number dependant on the size and weight of your cake. I also like to put all cakes on a cake card or thin board before placing it on the dowels.
I always use the large straws and of the course the thin cake board. Never use the central dowel but I do transport my cakes cold.
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