How to Make Your Own Wedding Cake

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It’s really true. You CAN make your own wedding cake! Using some fantastic tools from Wilton, I was able to make our daughter’s wedding cake. It was a beautiful success, fairly simple to complete and helped us keep this wedding under our $2000 budget. Yes, we managed a frugal and yet, wonderful wedding at less than 1/10 the national average for weddings. I’ll be sharing some of our tips in a later post. Be watching for those, and in the meantime, I hope you enjoy these snapshots of the cake I baked for our daughter and son-in-law’s wedding celebration. And be sure to save the recipe, below, to your favorites. It will become your go-to white cake. (Right click your mouse on either photo and select View Image to see the pictures full-size.) For sheet cakes, add a perfect Buttercream Icing. This one, from Wilton, is my favorite and the one I used for the sheet cakes.

lavender lace wedding cake

I baked and decorated this cake for our daughter’s wedding. You will never eat a tastier white cake recipe, EVER! lol I promise. And know one will guess it starts by adding your own custom ingredients to a white cake mix and coloring pre-made fondant to cover the layers.

top layer of wedding cake

A closeup of the top layer, fondant flowers and lace detail.

 

fondant rose

I hand-made the flowers for the top of the cake with pre-made fondant. Click this picture to go to the TUTORIAL for making the roses.

 

sheet cake

Sheet cake I made (I made 9!) for the reception from the same cake recipe. Click on this picture to go to the TUTORIAL for making the fondant flowers.

 

fondant

Close-up of the fondant flowers. I made each one by hand with some great tools from Wilton.

 

white cake

Just in case you thought I was joking about moist and dense. This is THE most delicious white cake you will EVER eat!

 

5 from 1 reviews
The Best White Wedding Cake EVER!!!!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This recipe popped up in so many places around the Internet, it is not possible to cite it’s original author. The recipe I worked from can be found here, at Food.com. 276 five-star reviews seemed like a safe bet. The only change I made was to leave out the almond extract and increase the vanilla. We weren’t disappointed.
Serves: 14 cups of cake batter
Ingredients
  • 2 (18 ounce) boxes white cake mix (we used Pillsbury)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2⅔ cups water
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons pure Madagascar bourbon vanilla
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 8 large egg whites (It was a real time-saver for me to buy these already separated. Get them in a carton, near the eggs, in your grocer's dairy case.)
Instructions
  1. Whisk all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. (This makes a large amount of batter, 14 cups; so be sure the bowl you select will accommodate it.)
  2. Add the wet ingredients. (Note how full the bowl is. You really do need a large bowl.)
  3. Mix ingredients, thoroughly, and then beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Don't skip that 2 minutes. It will really "fluff up" your batter.
  4. Grease and flour baking pans. I used regular pan spray and then dusted with all purpose flour.
  5. I used the largest (14″) of the Performance Pans™ Round Pan Set, 3 in. Deep. If you're not sure how much cake batter to put in the size pan you are using, Wilton has a great resource chart, with exact measurements for wedding cake pans.
  6. I used the Decorator Preferred Bakeware Heating Core from wilton in the center of my larger cake pans. I always learn so much when visiting the Wilton website or reading one of their publications. When I was researching pans for baking the wedding cake, I learned how important the heating core is for anyone baking cakes 10″ in diameter or larger, especially since I was using 3 inch deep pans, instead of 2. It helps to insure even baking, making certain that the cake is baked all the way to the center — no crunchy outsides and gooey centers! When you see how beautifully my cake baked using these fabulous kitchen tools, you’ll be as excited as me to see how simple it is to bake perfect cakes for special occasions.
  7. Pour the batter into greased and floured pans. Note that I first placed the heat core in the center of the pan and then added the batter. I also filled the heat core to the same level as the pan, meaning the heat core was greased and floured INSIDE and OUT. I used all 14 cups of batter for this largest pan of the set. (I ended up making three batches of batter, with some left over for the sheet cakes, to create all three layers of the wedding cake.)
  8. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles and then bake the cake at 325° for the time recommended for your cake pan size. In this instance. the cake baked 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  9. I was so excited when I removed this cake from the oven! It was evenly baked and just as important, smooth on top. I don’t think I have ever made a round cake that didn’t have a slight “mound” rising in the center. I don’t know if it is the recipe or the pans and heat core or a combination of both, but now that I have the secret formula, I’m going to stick to it!
  10. The heat core slid right out, thanks to the earlier greasing and flouring. And the little cake plug released easily from inside it, though it did bake a little taller than the cake, probably due to my “eyeball it” method of filling it to the same height as the pan. I removed the heat core and then laid my pizza stone over the top of the cake pan, flipped it and then lifted the pan. Perfection! The cake didn’t stick in even one small spot. It released beautifully! I put the cake “plug” from the heat core into the hole in the center of the cake and cut it level with the cake top.
  11. For our wedding cake I used Wilton pre-made fondant and Wilton lavender gel food coloring to tint it. I just kneaded the color into the fondant until it was the color we wanted. (HINT: For a large multi-layer cake, dye all your fondant at once, so the color will match throughout the cake.)
  12. I rolled out the fondant and covered each of the three layers, smoothing the fondant to get a nice finish. I used 6 wooden dowels to hold the bottom two layers together and four to hold the top to layers. This is an important step, since the thick layers could easily slide and make the cake lop-sided.
  13. I refrigerated the cake for several hours before adding the decorations, which consisted of adding a white lace pattern over the entire surface and white fondant roses, lilies and spring flowers to the top.
  14. To create the lace effect on our cake, I actually found lace at the fabric store, with a pattern that we liked. I purchase two yards and had plenty. I cut a circle the size of the top layer and then "doughnuts" the size of the tops of the bottom two layers. Then I cut strips the widths of the sides of each layer.
  15. Starting with the bottom layer, I placed the doughnut of lace onto the top of the bottom layer. Then I iced over the top of the lace with a thin layer of Royal Icing, pressing down gently to make sure the icing went through the openings in the lace. When the entire piece of lace has been covered, with icing, carefully lift the lace off the cake. It will leave behind your gorgeous lace pattern and the icing will dry completely in only minutes, so that it won't smudge as easily as other decorations. Still handle it with caution, obviously, but it is more forgiving than other frostings, if you accidentally touch it.
  16. I repeated this process, with the tops of the middle and top layers, then moved to the sides of each layer. Once the cake had been covered in "lace". I used small amounts of Royal Icing to cement my fondant flowers into place on the cake top.
  17. And there you have it, my very first wedding cake.

 

……………………..

How Much Batter and How Long Do I Bake It?

(I got these helpful batter-to-pan measurements from the Wilton website.  This first chart is for pans that are 2 inches deep.)  If you’re confused about how much batter to use, what temperature works best for that size and how long you should bake your cake, this chart should help out.

 

 

Pan Shape Size Cups Batter1 Layer, 2 in. BakingTemperature Baking TimeMinutes
Round 6″7″8″9″10″12″

14″

16″

22-1/23-1/25-1/267-1/2

10

15

350°350°350°350°350°350°

325°

325°

25 – 3030 – 3530 – 3530 – 3535 – 4035 – 40

50 – 55

55 – 60

Sheet 7 x 119 x 1311 x 1512 x 1814 x 22″ 5-1/27111416 350°350°325°325°325° 30 – 3535 – 4035 – 4040 – 4545 – 50
Square 6″8″10″12″14″16″ 2461013-1/215-1/2 350°350°350°350°325°325° 25 – 3035 – 4035 – 4040 – 4545 – 5050 – 55

For 3-inch deep pans.

Pan Shape Size Cups Batter Baking Temperature Baking Time (Minutes)
Round 6″ 3 350° 35-40
8″ 5 350° 55-60
10″ 8 325° 65-75
12″ 10 1/2 325° 60-65
14″ 15 325° 75-85
16″ 18 325° 75-85
Square 8″ 6 1/2 350° 60-65
10″ 9 325° 65-75
12″ 14 325° 65-75
14″ 19 325° 65-75
Sheet 9 x 13″ 11 1/2 325° 70-75
11 x 15″ 16 325° 80-85
12 x 18″ 20 325° 85-90

my first wedding cake

I love the way it turned out and more than that, my daughter loved it! That was my “icing on the cake” moment!

 

 

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Comments

  1. Carla Kelly says

    WoW!!! Fantastic job! I may have to do the same for my daughter in a couple of months.
    I was wondering that if I print it out does the pictures print too? I’d really prefer just the text, not the pictures, although they are lovely too. I don’t have much colored ink and would hate to waste black ink, because that’s how my husband has the printer set up now.
    Could you please let me know. I really do need this recipe.
    Thanks so much.
    An avid reader.

      • Carla Kelly says

        Oh, that is great! Thanks for getting back to me so soon. You are a life saver. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t read your email about this. Lately time has just been flying and the date keeps getting closer. At least we won’t be doing the whole wedding thing, just a reception when they get back from Mauii. Thanks so much.

  2. Maria Calderon says

    I wanted to know if you might know the measurements for 14′ by 3′ high vanilla lace cake batter I so need to find out I can figure it out by my self please help me1

    • says

      Maria, this recipe makes 14-15 cups of batter and it completely fills my 14″ x 3″ round cake pan. Wilton also recommends 15 cups of batter for a 14″ x 3″ round pan. Hope that helps.

  3. Amanda Rose says

    This is beautiful!! I am a bride and on a mission to keep with our budget (though not quite as budget as your daughter’s…AMAZING!!!) and I love to bake, so I thought maybe I could make my own wedding cake, and after just a bit of research I see it isn’t too terribly difficult!

    My question is: How much in advance did you make the cake? Was it the day before? Did you have to complete the finishing touches the day of? I would like to use fondant as well, but want to make sure that it stays well enough until the big day! Also, were the dowels the only thing holding the layers in place? You didn’t have to use any buttercream “glue” at all?

    I am looking forward to testing this out within the next week or so!! Thanks for the tips!!

    • says

      Thank you, Amanda. I was actually up until 2 am the night before my daughter’s wedding finishing the decoration of the cake. I had pre-baked and frozen the layers, and pre-made the fondant flowers, the week before (which worked perfectly), but did all the fondant and “lace” icing work, the night before the wedding.

  4. ann says

    What a gorgeous cake! Thanks so much for documenting and sharing everything. Our little grandson is going to be baptized on Sunday, and I think I’m going to give the sheetcake a try! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Jen says

    This wedding cake that you made is a work of art. Truly. The recipe makes my heart flutter. Thank you for sharing it.

  6. Acashia says

    Hi, I am making my very first wedding cake as well, For my sister in law’s wedding. It is a 3 tired cake,. I was wondering how you moved your cake. did you use a cake box? I have been looking for a very large cake box. like a 22x22x15. lol very hard. Not sure how I will transport my cake.

    • says

      Acashia, I actually moved it on the stand you see it sitting on. We put it flat on the floor in the back of my van and I rode back there with it, fussing all the way for my husband to take the corners slowly. :)

    • says

      Hi Acashia! Each layer is stacked on the previous one. I covered each layer in fondant. After the bottom two layers were covered with fondant, I tapped wooden dowels in a circle formation, near the center of the layer, to give extra support for the layer that would be stacked on it. These were cut off level with the top of the layer. The top layer, didn’t have the support dowels, However it had three long dowels through its center that went through all three layers of the cake, to keep them solidly in place and keep them from sliding. You can find cake dowels, wooden or plastic, in most places that sell decorating supplies. I used a small amount of royal icing to help “glue” in between the layers, as they were stacked, too.

  7. says

    Hi Glenda,
    Gorgeous cake! I am wondering how many days ahead of the wedding I can bake the cakes and how do I store them? If I freeze them, how long should they thaw before frosting them? And after frosting the day before, can they sit out at room temp over night (given they have sour cream in the mix)? I am planning on adding fondant ruffles for decoration. So many questions! Doing this for my son’s wedding so I’m a little nervous that it turns out well…thanks a million for your input!

    • says

      Hi Ruth,

      I actually baked the layers several weeks ahead and froze them. They thawed over a morning, the day before the wedding, and then I was able to cover them in fondant and decorate, etc. I cleared out my fridge, removed a shelf and stored the completed cake in the refrigerator overnight and then took it to the church, the next morning. I don’t think the sour cream will make a difference, since it’s already been baked, but just from a freshness point of view, I opted for the fridge. Congratulations! What a great gift for your son and future daughter-in-law!

  8. Shannon says

    This recipe is amazing! I sifted all dry ingredients and also used almond instead of vanilla. Best wedding cake ever. Everyone ask me for the recipe after my daughters wedding. I was wondering if you had used this recipe before and used chocolate cake instead of white for a chocolate cake?

    • says

      Thank you, Shannon! I’m so tickled it worked well for you. Yes, I have used both chocolate, and strawberry, with fantastic success. I am thinking of doing one with lemon mix and then make lemon curd filling for between the layers, this summer, too.

  9. Linda says

    Hi. I don’t suppose you’d know how I could incorporate these ingredients for just a sheet cake do you? I mean I don’t want to waste all the extra.

    • says

      Emily, I had each piece cut to size and when I wrapped around the sides of a layer, I overlapped the ends and held it with a blop of royal icing. Royal icing dries so quickly that once you get it smoothed over the lace, it will only be a minute or two before it’s dry and you can remove the lace. The icing held it in place while it dried.

  10. Betz says

    I recently helped my friend make her wedding cake. Neither of us had attempted anything like this before. She chose your recipe for the cake batter and it was delicious! Question: what kind of hands-free mixer do you use that looks like a spider? Is it also strong enough to use when making frosting? The lavender lace cake was so beautiful and elegant. Well done!

    • says

      No Diane, I don’t think so. The buttercream is too soft. When you lift the lace it would pull off the design you made and your butter cream. If you don’t like regular fondant, but want to try the lace method, I would recommend tracking down a marshmallow fondant. I have heard it has much better flavor and then you would have the decorating options you are looking for. Let me know if you try it. So glad you stopped by!

  11. Dianne says

    Thanks for your reply. I will definitely let you know if I give this a try. I make wedding cakes occasionally but haven’t been brave enough to try to cover them with fondant. Yours was absolutely beautiful.

    • says

      Thanks, Dianne! You’re very kind. I need to tackle a new cake decorating project. I haven’t done one in awhile. I admire someone, so much, who has the talent to do them often!

  12. Dianne says

    Be sure to let me know if you do. I’m sure it will be awesome! I’m still amazed at your lace technique. Makes me want to take more classes!

  13. Shannon says

    Ok so I am about to try this with chocolate cake and was wondering if I should use coffee extract or add actual coffee? Cocoa? I want to make it alittle more chocolate flavor. Also should I still use egg whites or whole eggs? Any suggestions? That have worked? Thanks

    • says

      Hi Shannon! When I made chocolate with this recipe, I just used a chocolate cake mix, instead of vanilla. If you want more intense chocolate I would suggest a dark chocolate mix. You could also add a Tablespoon of espresso powder in with the dry ingredients. King Arthur Flour http://www.kingarthurflour.com makes an excellent high quality espresso powder that does a beautiful job of intensifying chocolate flavor without tasting like coffee. I think egg whites is still the way to go, even if you do chocolate. That has always worked out great for us. I’m so excited for you! Let me know how it comes out. I would love to see pictures!

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