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.
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Add the wet ingredients. (Note how full the bowl is. You really do need a large bowl.)
- 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.
- Grease and flour baking pans. I used regular pan spray and then dusted with all purpose flour.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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|
|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)|
|Sheet||9 x 13″||11 1/2||325°||70-75|
|11 x 15″||16||325°||80-85|
|12 x 18″||20||325°||85-90|