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How to Make a Wedding Cake

A beginner's guide to DIYing their own wedding cake


For a bride on a budget, paying $8 per slice for a wedding cake may seem completely outrageous. But what are the alternatives, particularly when you don't have any baking experts in your family? Turns out, making a wedding cake is not as difficult as one might think. This is an illustrated step-by-step guide on how to make a wedding cake.

Allow yourself some extra time and manage expectations: you (or your bridesmaids) are likely not going to be able to craft a fondant-covered confection worthy of a magazine spread. Simple, rustic decorations are more achievable. 

You should use a recipe specifically designed to be a wedding cake as it will ensure that it is sturdy enough, and that it makes the right amount of batter and icing. For this article, we used this recipe from epicurious.com. It makes three tiers of 12", 9" and 6", as well as a massive amount of icing. Best of all, it is truly delicious.

On the last page of this step-by-step is a schedule for when you will need to bake and assemble each part. When ready, first assemble all of the tools you will need:

  • All ingredients for baking and icing the wedding cake. The recipe above calls for 5 pints of raspberries but we recommend that, due to spoilage, you should purchase 6 or 7.
  • 12", 9", and 6" cake pans, each 3" tall. (available at craft stores and baking supply stores).
  • Parchment paper to line the pans
  • Large serrated knife
  • Cardboard cake boards (available at baking and craft stores) in 12", 9" and 6"
  • 10 non-flexible straws
  • Offset spatula
  • A platter to serve the wedding cake on 
  • To add decoration: a pastry bag with a round tip between size 3 and 7 for piping, and a toothpick for tracing
  • Fresh flowers for decorating. 
  • Lazy susan to use when decorating cake

Lastly, you will need to clear a large space in the refrigerator, perhaps taking out a shelf.

Once you've baked the wedding cakes, it is on to step 1 – cooling and torting the wedding cake

Please note: This recipe makes a three-tiered wedding cake, each tier containing three layers. To avoid confusion, I will refer to each of the three parts of the totally assembled cake as a tier, and to each horizontal slice of those tiers as a layer.
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