How Firework Cakes & Multi-Shots Work

Firework Cakes & Multi-Shots are, in short, a bunch of small tubes chained together. A typical collection of shot tubes.

How Firework Cakes & Multi-Shots Work

Fusing chained together within the lifting charge. Each tube propels a preloaded aerial shell what holds the effect, into the air.

A diagram showing a typical 25 shot cake from the side.

Inside Firework Cakes & Multi-Shots diagram
Inside diagram of a Firework Cakes & Multi-Shots

In most cases, Cakes have different effects, generally, some cakes can contain the same effect throughout it’s defined shot count.

Furthermore, the tube bores can typical very in size from 9 mm to 3 cm – 30 mm. In larger professional display finales, they can reach up to 100 mm.

Generally, the bigger the bore size the most powerful effects it produces. It is not on the basis of how many shots it has.

If a cake is 25 shots, it will have 25 tubes, same with a 150 shot cake it will have 150 tubes. Furthermore, they can range from around 16 to 600 shots or much more.

Moreover, the bigger the shot count, the smaller the tubes used.

Another point, interval between shots can be tailored with fast or slow-burning fuse, with ranges from a fraction of a second to longer delays.

Fan Cakes

Fanned cakes work in a similar way to vertical cakes, Although, the tubes are angled, Seen in the diagram.

Inside diagram of a Fan Firework Cakes & Multi-Shots
Inside diagram of a Fan Firework Cakes & Multi-Shots

A more notable pattern by fan cakes is the z shape. This is a chasing sequence from left to right and back again. A good finale for an end show.

Cakes are a very popular firework since they appeared in the pyrotechnics world. Mostly all fireworks stash are accompanied by cakes and barrages and are widely used in all displays for Bonfire night to weddings.

Firework Cakes & Multi-Shots CE Regulation

In the UK, from the 4th July 2017, All fireworks including cakes will have to be CE marked. This means any Cakes & Multi-Shots purchased, will have the CE mark on their information.

Furthermore, Any cake with a powder weight 500g or less will be placed into Category, 2 This is an 8m firing distance. Anything over 500g to a max of 1000g will be a category, 3 at 25m firing distance.

On that note, fireworks classed as 1.4g will also depend on the size of the tube and flash powder it contains.

Safely Setup Cakes & Multi-Shots

Generally, there are plenty of ways to set up cakes safely. Such as using cake racks. This guide will explain an easier basic way of securing your firework.

In brief, you will need the following tool to complete this setup.

  • Short wooden stake
  • Club hammer
  • Duct tape
  • Your Firework


To begin, find a suitable level surface in your chosen firing area, making sure you follow the cakes safety distance. Such a No obstruction either side and above.

Depending on the size of your cake, Place 1 wooden stake, audience-facing next to your firework. Using the club hammer, to bang in the stake carefully until it is firm and secure.

If you are securing a fan cake. Make you only secure the facing of the fireworks and not the sides.

Now the stake is secured next to the firework, use the duct tape, and secure it further, around the firework its self and the stake. Roughly, 2 to 4 round should make sure it cannot topple over.


In short, you need to be certain water cannot get to the tubes from above or underneath the cake.

To do this, if the area you are firing from is very wet, it might be worth placing a thin board underneath the cake. Still making sure it is secured safely.

This should stop water getting to the underneath of the firework, another point, you can wrap the entire cake in a plastic bag using tape to seal it.

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