Making my own wedding cake

(48 Posts)

I have a few questions (well loads actually blush )

I am aiming for a 10" 8" 6" round cake iced in white fondant with icing roses to decorate. A fruitcake layer iced with marzipan instead of a crumb coating of buttercream. The other layers plain sponge with jam and buttercream filling.

How many layers are required for each tier? One youtube clip had three layers in each tier, is that right? And do I bake one deep cake and cut or bake three separate ones?

Is a fruitcake layer better on the bottom or can I have it on the top? Worried it would be too heavy ontop of sponge.

Whats best for making roses? Flowerpaste?

How long in advance can I make the roses?

How many days before should I start making the cake? If anyone could give rough timings for baking/decorating etc that would be ideal!

If you have made it this far, thank you! And TIA for any advice smile

I can answer a few!
You're probably best to have the fruit layer at the bottom because it will take the weight of the others easily. Fruit cake can be made well in advance.
Sponge cake can be made in advance and frozen (I do this - it saves alot of stress).

How many layers you have depends on how deep you want the tiers. Personally, I like the look of a very deep cake, so I tend to make two 'normal' sized cakes per tier. This gives me enough cake to be able to level the layers without worrying about how much cake I lose, and then I split each cake into 2 or 3 layers. I do this by using cotton - it gives a much cleaner split and gets around the problem of breaking the wall of the cake with a knife. Sorry if you already know this - you run a knife around the edge of the cake, wrap cotton around and pull both ends. When they meet in the middle and the cake is split, just pull through one end and tra laa! evenly split layers.

You can (and should) make as many of the decs as you can in advance. Store them in a cardboard box so they're covered, but not airtight. A plastic container will cause them to sweat and ruin.

I would allow a full day baking, and at least a full day decorating, assuming all the elements have been made in advance (so assembly and finishing effectively).

Sorry if I've told you stuff you already know smile
Good luck

Thank you so much. Thats really helpful!

So you end up with upto 6 layers in each tier? Even with the fruitcake? And what does fruitcake get sandwiched with?

I have iced a few cakes now so not too worried about that bit. Just the roses to figure out aside from the baking of the thing! You tube is great and I already have the vague idea to practice with!

I wouldn't layer the fruit cake at all, just a substantial cover of marzipan and then icing (fondant). I use the next size up ingredients to make sure it's quite deep, so I use a 9" quantity for an 8" tin. I do pour copius amounts of brandy on it for a few weeks

I wouldn't necessarily use all the layers - sometimes I do, but usually I have 5 layers per tier. It depends on how much you have to trim off to make it completely level. Then I use very thin jam and buttercream, otherwise it can start to become unstable and skid about a bit when you ice it! If you make sure it's chilled after the crumb coat, it should be fine.

Also, if you go with lots of thin layers, make sure you use dowels to keep it all stable.

Bessie123 Sun 30-Dec-12 01:27:37

Can I just add as well that you will need to make the cake about 24 hours before you split it for layers to keep the crumb in good condition. If you split it too soon, the cake might get a bit crumbly and the layers won't be so good.

Good luck.

Thanks. Think I will use dowels anyway just do be safe! I was thinking the jam and buttercream would have to be thin but I was more thinking of eating it than decorating grin

Is a normal 10" springform tin deep enough for the fruitcake or would I need a deeper tin.

Sorry, I really am clueless, and a bit daunted!

Ok, so bake it and then leave it a day before I start working with it! Great tip, thanks!

nannycook Sun 30-Dec-12 07:30:49

Wannabe, its abit daunting making a wedding cake isnt, mycat gave you good advice, when is the cake for? I have one to make next june, similar to yours, and i will definitely look for some advice on here. Good luck and dont forget pics.

We are getting married in july! Yes its a mammoth task but if I plan now I will feel more confident!

Good luck with your cake too, is it for family or yourself?


I made ours but was just 2 fruitcakes (I used delia's recipe which is magnificent)

I also managed to hire cake tins which helped.

I made the fruitcakes a month in advance and fed them which took a lot of pressure off.

Good luck, it's one of the things I'm very proud of from our wedding and so glad I did it thought t'was a bit nerve wrecking smile

Thanks Liza! Im quite excited about it even thought its scary.

Im just buying the tins. Found the set I need for £25. So Im budgeting £150 for all the equipment (inc making sugar roses) and ingredients. Its still cheaper than paying someone!

I think I will practice and make the roses in May and then bake the fruitcake in June. The sponges can wait until a day or two before!

nannycook Sun 30-Dec-12 16:06:00

Wannabe, no its for one of my colleagues in work, firstly she wanted a disney castle, i told her, not a chance, i've made quite a few birthday cakes for her though.

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Sun 30-Dec-12 16:48:42

I made my own wedding cake(s). Did 3 tier fruit cake, froze top one afterwards for dd1's christeninng 2 yrs later. I put real roses on it lazy which matched my flowers. I chose fruit as I could make it, marzipan and ice it in advance so I knew it was all done. I also made a chocolate sponge cake - a train, which I froze in advance and put together and iced a day or two before. It was displayed alongside the main cake, but photos were with main cake.

My tips would be to find the easiest cake and do as much as you can in advance. Definitely put the fruit cake on the bottom. Maybe make maderia rather than sponge cake, especially for the middle layer as it will support more weight.

CunningPlan Sun 30-Dec-12 16:53:44

If its going to be that complicated and cost that much, have you considered Marks and Spencer? We had one later of fruit and two of sponge and it was lovely. I made sugar flowers to decorate the plain iced cakes with and it looked fantastic.

Might save the stress of making the cake and decorating it as well?

A disney castle shock dont blame you for saying no!

Madeira would be better wouldnt it! Would it be ok with jam and buttercream in the middle (DP insists on jam!)?

I thought about using real flowers but think I would rather make them in advance. Hmm.

What are the disadvantages of real flowers? Were there any?

I priced M+S ages ago and it was £200.

My mum is helping me with the baking so it wont be too stressful (I hope).

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Sun 30-Dec-12 17:20:29

I put buttercream in/on/ around - not for my wedding cake but for the dc. I can't see a problem with adding jam. Roses technically are edible, so it wasn't a problem - did a small round display on the top with oasis in, did that the night before, then ?3 flowers in each corner (square cakes). Obviously you probably wouldn't want to eat them, but you probably wouldn't want to eat sugar paste flowers. Sugar roses are fairly easy, or you can use flower paste, and can be made a while in advance, but I was making it on my own, plus also did my own flowers/invites/order of service etc, so went for easy route.

nannycook Sun 30-Dec-12 18:01:10

Wannabe, i usually use madiera for my cakes, i've got a cake to make next fri, she wants a white van, her boyfriend drives an Amex van, and she wants a figure of him standing by the van, arrrgh!!!

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Sun 30-Dec-12 18:12:39

Oh also maderia cake lasts longer, although you may want to bake and freeze anyway, you could get it out a few days before you could a sponge, to finish off the icing.

Madeira is definitely the way to go, and using jam and buttercream is fine. Madeira is firmer and will stay fresh for longer too, but I would still recommend baking and freezing and doing as bunnie says.
Your fruit cake will taster better if it matures, so I would make it in April/May for July, and feed it every 10 days or so. The alcohol will evaporate over time and you'll just be left with the taste and a lovely moist cake.

Will freezing madeira dry it out on defrosting?

I am making my invitations and orders of service too. Im going to be really busy.

Nannycook, I went onto your profile to see if you had any cake pics up and oh my goodness, your cakes are amazing! I can only dream of being that good. Mine will probably look a hash!

nannycook Sun 30-Dec-12 21:45:12

Oh thank you wannabe, but compared to alot on here the'yre very average, each one i think i'm getting better and everyone has to start somewhere.

nannycook Sun 30-Dec-12 22:12:27

wannabe, just uploaded my latest cake, this is my favourite one, spent ages on it tho as really am not a professional. i've haven't frozen a madeira before so i cant help you with that i'm afraid.

You should be a professional honestly! Its stunning.


thebluenailbrush Mon 31-Dec-12 18:07:28

the main issue with real flowers are what they have been sprayed with. It may not bother most people- it doesn't bother me that a rose i buy in the florist has almost certainly been sprayed with chemicals and is then resting on some icing as i don't ever eat sugar paste , also i don't eat organically anyway so see it as irrelevant as i probably consume chemicals routinely- however that is something to consider . Also you need to keep them fresh- so that is a consideration- i.e a display that can use an oasis or use flowers that don't wilt that easily- some are hardier than others. Lilies are dreadful for wilting. Silk flowers are another route.

good luck, it will be terrifically satisfying and is doable. I'm another self taught baker who has done a few wedding cakes for close friends and family. Just do as much as possible in advance and plan ahead- just what you're doing!

Thanks theblue.

I made DD1 a princess castle cake for her birthday last year, a peppa pig one the year before and a JLS cake with stars coming out the top for my cousin.

They all looked pretty amateurish but not too bad really. The more practice the better I will get. The design I want for this cake is very simple and really only needs the roses to look good. As I can do them in advance I can take my time and perfect them.

I looked into buying some pre made ones but they were all too small!

nannycook Mon 31-Dec-12 18:49:21

Go for it Wannabe.

GlaikitFizzHogmany Mon 31-Dec-12 19:09:27

Marzipan is good for making roses and you can get white marzipan you can colour. I find it easier to work with than flower paste.

My local education centre do 4 week long blocks of cake decorating courses. Maybe see if there are any near you for some practical support.

Also you tube is your friend.

The you tube tutorials are great. We are trying to keep costs down and the local cake decorating courses are £100 plus the travel to get there each week so I would rather not. Though I know I would love it!

I will have a go with the marzipan then aswell as the flower paste and see what works best!

GlaikitFizzHogmany Mon 31-Dec-12 19:27:07

Oh the one I did which covered basic flowers was £18 for 4 weeks. We had to provide our own stuff, but it was the skills I wanted to learn.

I could write out the instructions to make a rosé of you like. I could even try my hand and videoing it and uploading to you tube if you like.

nannycook Mon 31-Dec-12 19:38:56

Wannabe its a pity you didnt go to the NEC in Birmingham in Nov, now that you wouldav loved, there were lits of exhibitions showing people how to do simple things, roses etc, and the competition cakes were out of this world, made me think i'd never make another cake in my life. Theres one in London next April with Paul Hollywood, definitely worth going.

Thats so kind of you, instructions would be great!

I watched a great you tube video with an american lady. She was making a large rose so she used a foam bud (as she said it gets heavy very quickly when making big roses) to start it. It all seemed easy to follow except the first petal onto the bud. She said something about putting it on differently. But I cant see what shes doing.

Does that make sense to you? Written instructions on how to put the petals onto the rose would be really helpful. I think making the petals (with a cutter and ball tool) seems ok!

Im in NI nannycook. Its a pity because that sounds really good! Some of the professional cakes I have been looking at are truely shocking. Some very talented people!

GlaikitFizzHogmany Mon 31-Dec-12 19:53:20

I don't use a bud or a cutter, or a ball tool! I'll get out some marzipan later and make one up so I write them up right! Y aren't in any rush are you! July is ages away!

Wannabe - just to quickly answer your question about freezing madeira, it won't dry out. Make sure it is completely cool before you wrap it (I wrap twice in clingfilm, then again in foil) so there's no condensation, then when you take it out, unwrap all but the last layer of clingfilm and let it defrost slowly.
Sometimes I split the cake and put a layer of greaseproof paper between the layers before I freeze, but you don't have to. I don't level it though, I do that after it's defrosted just in case.
Make sure you post pics after it's done, it sounds like you're very organised!smile

I did a course in sugar flowers at a local college , was good fun , and I learnt enough to make lovely cakes for family and friends ,

My tip is to go to a local sugarcraft shop , and ask advice from the lady who runs it !

They have all the cutters , cel pads , tools etc . My local small shop owner is very helpful .

nannycook you're just down the road from me ! Your cakes are lovely . Well done .


That is the look I am going for but none of the premade roses look as big as those.

You will all probably tell me they are real roses or something grin but they look like flowerpaste ones to me!

Thanks Mycat! Im taking notes from all the advice on this thread!

No rush Glaikit, wont be buying materials for another few weeks yet. smile

Theres only one cake decorating shop near me but this website is cheaper so will get it all from them in one go!

nannycook Mon 31-Dec-12 20:39:23

Do i, where are you then?

nannycook Mon 31-Dec-12 20:39:58

And thank you for the compliments.

Hi Nanny I'm near Carmarthen .
Similar in age too , but have 2DC in school

Also , wannabe
Do you have TK Maxx near you ? The one near me often has nice cutters and cake boards in , always worth a rummage

pantaloons Mon 31-Dec-12 22:20:39

I had silk flowers on my cake wannabe, I had 3 tiers of cake stacked directly on top of each other and wired a rope of lillies and gold roses with a bit of greenery and sort of draped it artfully(ish) round. It looked really pretty and made life a lot easier. Although having said that it is quite therapeutic tuning out and making a few roses at a time of a night time!

Oh I never thought of TK maxx! Will have to have a look the next time Im near!

That sounds really pretty pantaloons I am going to look for some silk roses and see how they look/compare price.

Thing is, I really want to master sugar roses grin

pantaloons Mon 31-Dec-12 22:33:56

If you do decide to price up silk flowers have a look at SIA, I find them to be the nicest looking and amazingly realistic aswell.

nannycook Tue 01-Jan-13 07:46:13

Do I, not to far away? My dd attended the hospital lthere on her 3mth placement. Yep, TKMaxx is worth a look too got a few good piceces there mysef just the other day.

Wannabe, have a go yourself you'll never know what you can do unless you try. Practise makes perfect dont forget.

JRsandCoffee Wed 02-Jan-13 06:49:30

Loads of good advice! Don't think anyone has mentioned yet, apologies if so! There are two sorts of Rose cutter, individual petal ones and ones which cut to give all the petals attached to a middle bit and you create all the petals at the same time rather than adding them individually. The single petal route gives more flexibility and you can obviously create a much frillier Rose as you can add more layers. The all I'm one ones are easier and quicker after a few practice runs, still look good but just less complexity. Also when using flower paste don't be tempted to cut all the petals at once if doing single petal as it dries quickly and will go stiff, do a few or even one at a time. Also don't be tempted to use icing sugar to stop sticking to boards etc, if necessary use a tiny dusting of cornflour.
Good guide to wedding cake making on the good food website, I only ever split the tiers twice at most, find it a pain to eat otherwise!
Good luck!

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