Creating your wedding cake

Creating your wedding cake

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(15 ratings)

By

Magazine subscription – 3 issues for £3

Cooking time

Several hours depending on ability

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 104

Jane Hornby's wedding cake is our simplest ever. And each tier is flavoured differently, so there's something for everyone...

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition

kcalories
-
protein
-
carbs
-
fat
-
saturates
-
fibre
-
sugar
-
salt
-

Ingredients

The cakes

  • 1 x top tier, see 'Goes well with'
  • 1 x middle tier, see 'Goes well with'
  • 1 x bottom tier, see 'Goes well with'

For the marzipan

  • half a 454g jar apricot jam, you'll use the rest later
  • 500g pack natural marzipan

For the buttercream

  • 500g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1kg icing sugar, sifted
  • jar good-quality lemon curd
  • 142ml carton double cream
  • 200g bar plain chocolate (70% cocoa), broken into pieces

For the icing

  • FRUIT CAKE - 500g/1lb2oz white ready-to-roll icing, cream food colouring paste
  • LEMON CAKE - 1kg/2lb4oz white ready-to-roll icing, dusty pink food-colouring paste
  • CHOCOLATE CAKE - 1.7kg/3lb 10oz white ready-to-roll icing, ivory food-colouring paste
  • FOR THE BOARD - 800g/1lb12oz white ready-to-roll icing, ivory food-colouring paste

For stacking the cakes

  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • dowelling rods

Special equipment you will need

  • 15cm, 23cm and 30cm deep-round cake tin
  • plenty greaseproof paper
  • thick 35cm diameter silver cake drum (base)
  • thin 15cm, 23cm and 30cm diameter silver cake board
  • long serrated knife
  • palette knife
  • cream, ivory and pink food colouring pastes
  • long roll ing pin
  • 6 standard plastic dowelling rods
  • strong kitchen scissors
  • 1m ivory ribbon, 15mm wide
  • medium artist's paintbrush
  • cooling rack
  • string for measuring
  • 20cm, 25cm, 33cm cake boxes with lids (if transporting the cake)

Buy Ingredients

Buy the ingredients for this recipe now via:

Want to know how this works? Read all about it here.

Method

  1. COVER THE FRUIT CAKE WITH THE MARZIPAN: How to do it: Boil the apricot jam with 2 tbsp water and sieve into a bowl. Brush the 15cm cake board with a little of the apricot jam. Cut off the rounded top of the cake and turn upside-down onto the board. Measure across the top and sides of the cake with string, cut to length and set the string aside. Brush the cake all over with a thin layer of apricot jam.
  2. Dust the work surface with icing sugar and roll the marzipan into a circle big enough to cover the cake top and sides, using the cut string as a guide. Lift over the cake and smooth with your hands. Trim the marzipan to the base of the cake (so you can’t see the board) and leave to dry for one day if time. If not, the cake can be iced straight away.
  3. FILL & COVER THE CHOCOLATE & LEMON CAKES WITH BUTTERCREAM: Adding good-quality lemon curd or silky chocolate ganache transforms simplebuttercream into an indulgent filling.
  4. How you do it: First make the buttercream. Beat the butter until creamy, then gradually beat in the sifted icing sugar. Weigh 600g/1lb 5oz of the mix and stir 5 tbsp of the lemon curd into it.
  5. In a small pan, bring the cream just to the boil, then pour over the chocolate. Leave to stand for 2 mins, then stir until smooth. Once cool but still liquid, fold into the remaining basic buttercream.
  6. Once each cake is completely cool, level off the top using a long serrated knife. Spread a little of the corresponding buttercream over the matching thin cake board. Turn cake upside down onto the board and brush all over with a thin layer of the sieved apricot jam – this helps to prevent stray crumbs getting into the buttercream.
  7. Cut into three layers horizontally - don’t worry if you cut the layers unevenly as it won’t affect the finished cake. If it’s a hot day or warm in your kitchen, refrigerate the cakes for a while – it will firm them up and make cutting and lifting much easier. Lift off each layer as you cut it, and set it aside so that when you re-stack the layers they are in the right order.
  8. If you’ve made the buttercream in advance and it has hardened slightly, warm in the microwave on Defrost for 10 secs and beat well. Using a palette knife, spread approx 1/4 of the buttercream over the first layer of the cake. For the lemon cake, swirl another tbsp or so of lemon curd over the icing. Stack the remaining layers this way, spreading all of the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake, smoothing it down to meet the cardboard cake base. Smooth all over with your palette knife and set aside. The cakes are now ready for covering with ready-to-roll icing. Filled with buttercream and iced, the cakes will keep for up to 3 days.
  9. COVER ALL THE CAKES WITH READY-TO-ROLL ICING: The next stage is to subtly colour the different tiers with the ivory, dusky pink and cream colouring pastes.
  10. How to do it: For the marzipanned fruit cake only, first lightly brush with cooled, boiled water to help the icing stick. For all the cakes, dust the work surface with icing sugar and knead the icing until pliable. Add a few specks of the food colouring with a toothpick or the end of a skewer – be very sparing as a little goes a long way. Work the colour in until you have an evenly coloured, smooth paste. Add more and knead again if you want the colour to be more intense.
  11. Lightly dust the work surface again and roll the icing into a circle large enough to cover the sides and top of the cake, with a little excess. Use string to measure as before. Lift the icing over the cake, using your rolling pin to help you.
  12. Smooth the icing around the cake with your hands, then trim off the excess with a sharp knife. Leave overnight to dry. Once iced, keep for 3 days.
  13. Once you’ve iced the cakes, cover the 35cm base. Lightly brush with cooled, boiled water and cover with ivory-coloured icing. Trim and leave overnight to dry.
  14. STACK THE CAKES: Dowels give stability and strength to tiered cakes. By measuring and cutting the dowels to the same length, you’re providing an even platform for the next cake to sit on, even if your cake is a bit wonky. For this cake, the tiers are stacked like steps, just off centre.
  15. How you do it: In a large bowl, gradually beat icing sugar into the egg white until thick and smooth. Cover with cling film until ready to use.
  16. Starting with the chocolate cake, insert three dowelling rods in a triangle, slightly offset to one side and no wider than the base of the lemon cake that’s going to sit on top. With a permanent pen, lightly mark where the top of the icing comes to on the dowel.
  17. Carefully pull out the dowels and line up on the work surface. Using a ruler, re-mark each rod to the highest point. Score the dowels with scissors around the new marks and snap the plastic cleanly.
  18. Re-insert the rods in their original holes, rounded end down. Cut the thin ivory ribbon to fit around the thick base board, securing at the back with glue or double-sided tape. To stack the cakes, spoon a little royal icing over each of the dowel holes. Carefully lift the chocolate cake onto the covered board, then stack cakes on top of one another, positioning each cake and gently lowering one side of it onto the base or cake below. Slide your palette knife under it at this point and gently lower the cake down. Slide the knife out at the last minute. (If you’re moving the cake to the venue, put the cakes into their boxes and take the icing with you.)
  19. THE TIME PLAN: UP TO A MONTH AHEAD: 1. Make the fruit cake and cover with marzipan. 2. Make the chocolate and lemon cakes if freezing – they will freeze for up to 1 month (although they are best made fresh if you can).
  20. UP TO 4 DAYS AHEAD: 1. Make the chocolate and lemon cakes if making fresh – keep well rapped in baking parchment and cling film in a cool place. 2. Make the chocolate and lemon buttercream and keep in the fridge. 3. Make the chocolate and lemon cakes if making fresh – keep well wrapped in baking parchment and cling film in a cool place. 4. Make the chocolate and lemon buttercream and keep in the fridge.
  21. UP TO 3 DAYS AHEAD: 1. Fill and cover the chocolate and lemon cakes with buttercream and cover all of the cakes and the board with icing. 2. Insert the dowelling rods.
  22. UP TO 2 DAYS AHEAD: 1. Frost the rose petals.
  23. ON THE DAY: 1. Stack the cakes and decorate with petals once the cakes are in place.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2006

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments

Show comments
cheerpud's picture

Hi Nicki

If you're just doing the chocolate layer you don't need step 4, that's for the lemon layer. You just need step 5 where you add the chocolate and cream mix into the buttercream. You also only need 900g of buttercream (300g butter and 600g icing sugar) as 600g of the 1.5kg stated in the main recipe is for the lemon cake. When you cover the cake, it's probably still a good idea to brush boiled, seived apricot jam over the cake before your buttercream to minimize crumbs. Once you've put your buttercream over the cake you can put your icing on.

Hope this helps!

sharonanne's picture

I had seen this cake when it was in the magazine and loved the idea of having 3 different flavours. I got married in December 2010 and despite the stress of the big day I managed to make this cake. It was gorgeous - loved every tier and got brilliant comments from all the guests.

nicki_83's picture

Hi,

I'm making just the chocolate cake in a couple of weeks for my brother in laws wedding as its only a very small wedding and wondered if I need to do stage 4 with the lemon curd? Does anyone know if i'm just making the chocolate cake do I just buttercream then cover in icing?

Thanks in advance

Nicki

cheerpud's picture

Hi nicola G (or anyone else who can help!). I realise that your comment was left some time ago but I noticed you made Mich Turner's carrot cake recipe. I am planning on using this recipe (as its fantastic!) to make a wedding cake and was wondering how many servings you got from yours? Thanks!

natalie1985's picture

Im planning on making this for my wedding next june but could anyone tell me how i should store the choc and lemon cake? step 8 says that they will keep for up to 3 days once filled and iced which is ideal, but shouldn't buttercream filled cakes be stored in the fridge to keep the buttercream from going off? (i'm not planning on using actual cream for a ganache because of this). However, am i right in saying that the cake/icing can become wet if stored in this way?? help please!

gilberd's picture

I love this recipe but how soon can I ice the fruit cake in advance? I want to have the cake for my wedding and hope to be able to get ahead and ice the fruit cake.
Any ideas?

andmcallister's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

absolutely amazing. i got married abroad and had a small bbq for firends and family when i return. i arrived back to the uk on the wed and the party was on the saturday and i managed to make the cake and ice it all myself on the thurs eve and fri morning. so really not difficult even with jetlag!
the final result was amazing! i did not make the fruit cake but used a slightly smaller tin for each layer and put chocolate cake on the top aswell.
it's the most delicious cake i've ever eaten - i don't know which is better the lemon or choc!

ells_devon's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I made the chocolate and lemon cakes along with a traditional fruitcake for my daughter's wedding last Saturday. I made a 10 inch lemon and 8 inch choc to sit on top of a 12 inch fruitcake. It was perfect. I have never received so many compliments and was even asked to make the wedding cake for a guest whose wedding is next year. The chocolate cake was amazing.. rich and chocolatey and both sponges cut beautifully. It was my first wedding cake and the instructions and recipes were easy to follow and adjust. I baked it on the previous Wednesday, iced it on the Thursday and it was perfect for the Saturday.
Excellent recipe which I'm sure will be used again.

ells_devon's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I made the chocolate and lemon cakes along with a traditional fruitcake for my daughter's wedding last Saturday. I made a 10 inch lemon and 8 inch choc to sit on top of a 12 inch fruitcake. It was perfect. I have never received so many compliments and was even asked to make the wedding cake for a guest whose wedding is next year. The chocolate cake was amazing.. rich and chocolatey and both sponges cut beautifully. It was my first wedding cake and the instructions and recipes were easy to follow and adjust. I baked it on the previous Wednesday, iced it on the Thursday and it was perfect for the Saturday.
Excellent recipe which I'm sure will be used again.

ells_devon's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I made the chocolate and lemon cakes along with a traditional fruitcake for my daughter's wedding last Saturday. I made a 10 inch lemon and 8 inch choc to sit on top of a 12 inch fruitcake. It was perfect. I have never received so many compliments and was even asked to make the wedding cake for a guest whose wedding is next year. The chocolate cake was amazing.. rich and chocolatey and both sponges cut beautifully. It was my first wedding cake and the instructions and recipes were easy to follow and adjust. I baked it on the previous Wednesday, iced it on the Thursday and it was perfect for the Saturday.
Excellent recipe which I'm sure will be used again.

carmel-cole's picture

I am making this cake for a friends wedding, we are just doing chocolate and lemon which will be served as dessert.

I have a few questions hopefully someone will be able to help me!

Once i have covered the cakes with buttercream should i put them in the fridge to set before covering with the roll out icing?

Once the cakes are iced, should they be stored in the fridge or wrapped in baking paper and in a cool place?

Has anyone transported the cakes over a long distance? we are taking them from Sunderland to Suffolk! i was wondering if they should be in a cool box?

Hope you can help and ill let you know how the final product turns out!!

robcal's picture

Janet - No, when you've mixed the buttercream, weigh 600g out and add the lemon curd to it. The remainder of the buttercream will be used on the chocolate cake.

My turn! Can I fill the sponge and then ice it on a Wednesday in readiness for a Sunday? Would I be able to put the cakes in the fridge to keep it fresh, or is it best to leave the icing until later?

janet3457's picture

With the chocolate buttercream do you still put the lemon curd in it as well?

ellysetchell's picture

I'm baking my sister's wedding cake and the choc and lemon recipes look promising. However, she doesn't want royal icing/marzipan. Anyone got any experience with using buttercream all over? How long will it keep? What's the best way to keep it fresh? Latest I can 'ice' is the morning of the day before...Help!

kathrynl's picture

I was wanting to know how to frost the rose petals too - I found some full instructions for frosted rose petals - search for 'Jubilee Cake'. Though it looks as though the petals in this picture were just painted and sugared on one side for a more delicate look. I'm going to try it!
Sue - the recipes are down the side marked 'Goes well with....'

suerichards-10's picture

I am trying to find a recipe for this size of chocolate cake and adapt it to chocolate orange. This chocolate cake is what I am looking for but I can't find the recipe! I can see how to ice it all but where is the recipe for the cake. Help

mrsbarwocle's picture

How do I frost the rose petals ?

mayseymoo's picture

Am making the choc cake for a friends wedding reception on Saturday and have just taken it out of the oven and its huge! Have no idea how Im going to get it out of the tin!! Smells devine though!

kathygill's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Buscha - I always weigh my eggs and then match the butter, sugar and flour to the same weight. I always recieve fab compliments for my sponge, not sure if it's due to this but it's worth a go. :)

kathygill's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Margarete - I'm currently in the process of making this cake using square tins, the lemon tier is in the oven as I write this! I have used the same quantities and used 5,8 & 11 inch tins. So far they have turned out perfectly, they come out out 3-4 inches deep.

These cakes are great, tho I have made a vanilla sponge for the top tier rather than fruit cake. The Choc tier looks and smells great and the lemon one is smelling good too!

Pages

Questions

Tips