In the last part about how to sucessfully bake a wedding cake at home we will have a look at assembling, transporting and decorationg the cake. Just to recap, these were the previous parts:
Part 1: How to calculate the size of a wedding cake
Part 2: How to plan a baking schedule
Part 3: How to convert recipes for the different sizes
For this part, let’s start with the assembling
Tip #1: Divide your fillings prior to frosting so that each layer is equally thick
My 26cm chocolate cake consisted of three thick cake layers and therefore only two layers of filling. This meant I knew I had to evenly divide the filling between these two layers. I didn’t need to coat the cake with any of it as I was going to use Swiss meringue buttercream instead so this was pretty straight forward. If you plan on using the same frosting for the filling as well as the outside of the cake, as a general rule of thumb you need at least double the amount for the outside tan for one layer. So if I were to use my filling also for the outside, I would have divided it by four.
My 18cm carrot cake had four cake layers and thus I had three layers of filling, which I divided by three before applying. I did use the cream cheese frosting, which I made like the Ermine buttercream, so has a flour base as I wanted to be extra sure that it would be stable. I use it also for the frosting of the carrot cupcakes. The regular cream cheese filling I usually use for the carrot cake is a bt too thin as it only consists of whipped cream mixed with cream cheese. I was too scared that my cake would not be stable enough and was happy to report that it worked out perfectly well, even in the middle of summer in Spain. I even had enough frosting to apply a very thin outer layer on the cake before I generously frosted it with the Swiss meringue buttercream.
The cake on the left after the crumb coat, the cake on the right is placed in this ring to become extra straight
Part three of my series on how to bake a wedding cake at home is about the recipes and amounts. Before I give these for each cake separately below, I will first give the full list of ingredients, which will help you when you buy them. I would strongly recommend getting more ingredients than you need, just in case something goes wrong. I hadn’t planned to bake three chocolate cake layers. Somehow they were thinner than expected, so I felt I shouldn’t cut them in half and decided to make three thicker layers instead. I was very happy I had enough ingredients at hand. As you can see on below picture, I ended up with three thicker layers of cake and two layers of filling instead of the planned four cake layers.
In this series I will explain how you can prepare a wedding cake at home. In the first part I already explained how I knew how big the wedding cake was going to be and how I decided on diameter, height, etc. The below blog post is going to explain how I planned the baking part and which utensils are essential when you bake a wedding cake at home. Let’s do a small recap before I dig into the details of planning and scheduling everything:
Top tier: 18cm/ 7 inches diameter, 15-18 pieces, height about 12cm/ 5 inches (not including decoration), recipe: American carrot cake
Bottom tier: 26cm/ 10 inches diameter, 40-45 pieces, height about 13.5cm/ 5 inches (not including decoration), recipe: chocolate caramel cake (Whisky was replaced with coffee)
Outside: Swiss Meringue Buttercream with 1 kilo (!) of butter and 12 egg whites. There was some left, but I think this was a good calculation. Obviously you will need less if you are going for the semi-naked look. But since I wanted this to look like a ruffled bridal dress, I needed a thicker coat. You can’t see the orange/brown color from the carrot cake or the brown color from the bottom tier.
Total: About 55-63 pieces
Tip # 1: Make a trial run (or several)
As I was going to bake this wedding cake in another country, I needed to be extra sure that everything was going according to plan. Since I needed to get used to the oven, I made a trial run and also tested the ingredients (which often have a slightly different texture in another country). I did a mini carrot cake a few days beforehand and was pleased with the oven. It did take longer than mine in Germany, but it was doing its job and that was the main thing. Obviously, I had tested a lot of recipes beforehand and made a lot of trial runs back at home in Germany. For that reason you do find quite a lot of layer cakes on the blog recently. You need to feel comfortable when you make a wedding cake so practicing is key. Practice every part of it, not only trying different flavors, but also how to stack it, how to decorate, etc. It doesn’t matter if the wedding isn’t going to take place for months, feel free to start early so you are really prepared well. You should feel comfortable with all parts and have tried them at some point or another.
Probably most readers are going to say that I am crazy. Because when I made my first wedding cake, I did this in another country (Spain) with different ingredients, and another oven. I guess I simply have to accept that because it is the truth. I guess I am crazy. But I decided to start a new series, which is all about how to make a wedding cake at home with a regular oven. I will start this series with some fundamental questions, which you should have an answer to before you even start thinking about baking that cake. Let’s get going.
#1 How many guests are attending?
#2 When is the wedding cake going to be served?
These two questions are fundamental to how large your cake is going to be. So please be sure to have a proper answer before you calculate anything. Let me try to walk you through this. So let’s assume that you are going to serve the cake right after the ceremony. People will most likely be pretty hungry. In this instance, it is easy to calculate. You should have at least the amount of pieces as you have people attending. So if 50 people attend, you should have 50 pieces of cake. Believe me, many people don’t manage to eat properly before the ceremony and will be happy to have some cake if served early on. Of course it does make a difference if you offer further cakes, desserts, etc. alongside the wedding cake. But as stated, if served right after the ceremony, people will eat more than if served at another time.
Cake of 20cm in diameter, height about 12.5cm, recipe Strawberry Stracciatella Cake
Ok, so this elderflower and lemon wedding cake is completely spur-of-the moment and unlike me. I am usually not that girly type of girl, sorry, you know, like pink, sprinkles, princess, etc. But somehow when I watched Meghan and Harry getting married, I was touched. And I felt like making their weddding cake, a very small version of course. Especially since elderflowers are finally blossoming here in the north of Germany. We seem to always be lagging behind, whereas in London apparently they are in full blossom, they are only starting here. So I decided to make my own elderflower syrup and give this wedding cake a go.
Mind you, this is my very first three-tier cake and no, it is not the original recipe, I deviate in many aspects. It is simply a wedding cake inspired by Meghan’s and Harry’s wedding cake and since the top tier actually was baked in a muffin tin, you can probably imagine it to only feed about 12 people or so. The bottom cake is a 24cm (9inch) cake tin, the top is only a cupcake. A mini version, yet a celebration of these flavors nonetheless. Elderflower and lemon, sweet versus tart, white and yellow happily married in this symphony of spring.