How to Make a Wedding Cake

A beginner's guide to DIYing their own wedding cake

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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 fondant-covered cake recipe. 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