Festive One-Tier Wedding Cake with a World Map

Let me introduce you to this festive single-tier (wedding) cake adorned with a world map crafted from buttercream—a true masterpiece! In this reel you may get an impression. You may think of this as an impressionistic painting, with the cake serving as my canvas. Like an artist, I dabbed at the cake; however, instead of using oil paints, my tool was buttercream. Yes, I designed it freehand using buttercream. Initially, I delicately carved out the outlines of the world map onto the cake’s side using a toothpick, and then I filled them with white buttercream. The most fun part was when I deftly “spackled” the cake with colored buttercream, much like applying layers to a canvas. The lower image shows this technique.

Initially, I was thinking of using a “stencil,” but I ultimately abandoned the idea due to the fact that the cake’s proportions might not align well. The crucial point is that the cake’s size should adapt to the stencil, rather than the reverse. My cake had a diameter of 26cm and was about 14cm in height. The cake was designed to accommodate 25 guests. In this post, I will elaborate on how I created this world map cake. My focus will be more on detailing how I crafted the map using buttercream, rather than providing an exhaustive recipe description.

Now, let’s go through the process step by step. First, I needed to bake the cake. To achieve this, I used my favorite recipe for chocolate raspberry cake, increasing the quantities by 1.5, as I aimed for a cake with 26cm in diameter. An essential factor here is the cake’s height, which needs to be sufficient for depicting the world map. In terms of height, mine measured around 14cm. In contrast to the recipe, I also prepared a Swiss meringue buttercream (based on 6 egg whites) and reserved the raspberry cream solely for the filling. The rationale behind this alteration was to ensure the cake’s stability, a quality that the buttercream significantly enhances. Additionally, I intended to use buttercream for the world map, making it logical to incorporate buttercream from the very beginning to prevent any exposure of the chocolate cake or raspberry cream. However, I prefer fresh and light cakes to heavy ones with a lot of buttercream. As a result, I only piped an outer rim of buttercream, but filled it with my cherished raspberry cream, containing a high amount of raspberries and replacing some of the butter with cream cheese.

The pictures are proof that the base of this cake was indeed the raspberry chocolate cake. The outer rim shows how I piped a ring with Swiss meringue buttercream for stabilization.

First I frosted the cake with a thin layer of white buttercream. After having chilled, I coated the cake with a layer of blue buttercream to represent the oceans.

First, I began by using a toothpick to carve the world map into the blue buttercream, then I filled it with white buttercream. You can see quite well that I wasn’t satisfied with “Italy” . So I simply moved around the cream. This is entirely feasible due to the fact that the top layer of colored buttercream conceals quite a bit, ensuring that none of this is visible later on.

From above images above, it’s evident that I initially coated the cake with white buttercream. Then I applied a thin layer of blue buttercream (representing the oceans), and onto this, I carved out the world map’s outlines using a toothpick. I utilized a printed image as a reference for this, ensuring that the chosen image doesn’t depict the world in overly intricate detail. Very small islands can’t be replicated effectively with a spatula, so it’s better to use a world map that emphasizes continents as a whole, rather than intricate details (compare, for instance, this image vs. this more detailed image).

Later on, I filled in the carved out outlines with white buttercream and refined them as necessary. Buttercream can be manipulated easily; I employed a toothpick to move it slightly and to bring out additional details. I found Europe and the far eastern part of Asia to be challenging. As a suggestion, I’d recommend starting with regions like Australia and South America until you feel more confident to tackle more difficult continents.

This may be a different cake, but you can see how I actually mixed the colors. This is best done on a baking mat, just pick a bit of each color with the palette knife and blend these two together. Yes, it is just like “real” painting!

For me, without a doubt, the most enjoyable part was applying the green and blue buttcream using a spatula or palette knife (see the left image). A few more tips about this process can be found here. It’s best to approach this like an impressionist painter—apply colored buttercream onto the world map in a pointillistic manner, mimicking ocean waves, for instance. The beauty of buttercream compared to real paint on canvas? You can simply scrape it off and start over. Psychologically speaking, I find this extremely helpful. Not satisfied? Just scrape it off and start again. I really appreciate that!

I was asked to keep the countries green (no brown for mountains) and the oceans blue, and I adhered to that. I used some white buttercream to represent “foamy crests” of waves in the ocean, adding a touch of dynamism. If it were up to me, I would have placed a cake topper on it or created items like “suitcases,” “airplanes,” or a “passport” out of shortcrust pastry. However, the preference was for simplicity. As a result, I piped on a few dots on top in the end, so the cake didn’t look too bare (see the below image).

Shortly before delivery, I piped on some dots. This pictures showcases the oceans even better.

Festive Wedding Cake with World Map

Serves: 25 people
Prep Time: 5 hr Cooking Time: 50min Total Time: 6 hr

This festive wedding cake is similar to an impressionist painting, the world map is painted with buttercream.




First prepare the cake and the buttercream. Divert from the original recipe in the sense that you will pipe an outer ring with the buttercream for stabilization. Only fill the middle with raspberry cream (see pictures). Frost the cake with a thin layer of white buttercream. Chill at least for half an hour or overnight. It is imperative that the cake has fully chilled before you continue. Now frost the cake with a think layer of blue buttercream. I would recommend only tinting half of the buttercream you have left blue, just in case. Chill again for about 30 minutes.


Using a long toothpick or scewer, crave out the world map. I did this free style, using the printed picture of the world map as my guide (see link above). Once done, use white buttercream as the base layer to fill the map completely. If you are not happy, don't worry, you can move buttercream, make more details with the toothpick and also use the toothpick to apply tiny details. This is the best about painting with buttercream. You can simply scratch off and start anew. You will see for example that I was not too happy with "Italy" and simple moved it a little, so relax and enjoy. The white buttercream layer doesn't have to be perfect, I did it first to get a better feeling for it and because I wanted the world to stand out more and create more dimension. If you are comfortable, you can immediately apply colored buttercream to represent the world.


Now color small parts of your buttercream green and blue, be sure to keep some white buttercream just in case. I used small bowls (see picture). The easiest is to use a baking mat to mix colors (see the picture with the different cake). Use the palette knife to apply to the cake. I used a rather impressionistic technique with rather big dots, you can also keep all countries black (white or gold would probably also work) and be more acurate than I was. You may want to indicate mountains using brown buttercream, etc. In the last picture you will see that I gave the oceans more dimension by creating foam crests, use different shades of blue for different depths of water. Just have fun and let your creativity run wild!


Be sure to chill the cake before transportation. This is necessary so that your world map stays intact. For further details how to transport a cake, check this blog article .


Feel free to make additional elements using fondant or sugar cookies, I can imagine a passport, plane, or suitcase. A cake topper (plane) would probably also look nice.

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  • Reply
    zorra vom kochtopf
    Tuesday September 12th, 2023 at 01:14 PM

    Wow Jenny! Ich bin spachlos! Das ist wirklich ein Meisterwerkt und damit hast du die Latte ziemlich hoch gesetzt. 🙂

    • Reply
      Tuesday September 12th, 2023 at 02:01 PM

      Es war mir eine Freude!

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