I had the honour of being asked to make the cake for the wedding of two of my close friends Lottie and Alex in September 2017, and I felt incredibly proud that I managed to pull it off.
Granted, I do enjoy baking and have a fairly good base knowledge (check out my baked.by.kyle instragram)… but I wouldn’t have a clue where to start with creating a traditional style wedding cake with all the fancy icing. These “naked” wedding cakes are all the rage at the moment, arguably look better than the old fashioned style and you can definitely give it a go yourself if you follow my simple guide – trust me, if I can do it, so can you!
Style: Naked Sponge cake with 4 tiers.
Serves: easily 100
Time to make: 1 day + couple of hours on the wedding day to decorate.
Cost: under £100 (if you beg and borrow equipment)
We already know we’re making a naked wedding cake, but there are a few variables you’ll need to confirm with the bride and groom before hand:
– Make a sketch. I like visual things, so drawing the cake helped me to see each tier and the overall look.
– Flavour of Tiers. (I did tiers like this: 2 x Raspberry/Vanilla, 1 x Blueberry/Lemon & 1 x Rhubard/Vanilla) – all using the same buttercream as a base.
– Decorations. ask the florist for some extra flowers so the cake fits in with the wedding theme and it makes it all that bit easier. The cake topper I used was a playmobile bride and groom which added a quirky/playful spin on what was otherwise quite an elegant cake. Beg, borrow and steal something to use as a cake stand. The venue provided a wooden board, a slate or simple glass cake stand will do.
– Diary Dates. Block the day before the wedding to make the cake. Remember you’ll also need an hour or so on the day to construct and decorate.
– Make a shopping list (see below). At least 2 weeks before so you can take time to order online if necessary, or borrow from friends to keep the money down.
– Before The Day. Confirm with the bride and groom, what time can you get in to set the cake up. Who do you need to speak to? Where is the cake going to be situated? What equipment will you need to transport the cake to the venue? Are you planning on getting someone to assist you?
2) GO SHOPPING
Here’s your shopping list, go buy it a week before, some things you’ll need to order online for delivery.
|Equipment||Ingredients (this includes extra for spillage)|
|Cake Tins (12, 10. 8 & 6 inch)||42 free range eggs|
|Very large Mixing bowl||2.5kg caster sugar|
|Electric whisk (e.g. £5 at Asda)||2.5 kg self raising flour|
|1.5mm Cake boards (to go between the tiers)||20 tsp baking powder|
|Poly Dowel cake supports (thick white ones)||2.5kg stork baking spread/butter (left at room temp.)|
|Garden seceteurs (yes, you read that correctly)|
|Weight scales||For Filling:|
|Sieve||3kg icing sugar|
|Greaseproof paper||1.5kg butter|
|Cooling racks||vanilla essence|
|Cake topper||quality jams of the relevant flavour (1 jar per layer)|
|2 large underbed storage boxes (or similar)||raspberries|
3) The night before “The Big Bake”
Get everything lined out on your dining table ready for the morning(trust me, you’ll thank me for this tip). There are so many ingredients to deal with you need to be able to see everything you’ve got and to be prepared:
– Line your 4 tins the night before, and cut out an extra set of greaseproof linings ready for your second batch.
– Keep your butter out overnight – it needs to be soft.
4) The Big Bake
Set off as early in the day as you can. As you need to bake 8 cakes in total, two of each size, you’re going to have to do it in smaller batches. Follow these simple steps and you won’t go wrong:
450g caster sugar
450g self raising flour
2tsp baking powder
- Preheat your oven to Fan180c
- Whisk the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs. Whisk. Sieve the flour and baking powder in. Whisk until you have a nice thick batter.
- Pour the batter two thirds of the way up the largest 12inch tin and get it in the oven for 45 minutes. Pour remaining batter into the 10inch tin, again two thirds of the way up. If there isn’t enough batter to fill it two thirds, make the next batch of batter as per step 2) and top it up.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3, three times until all 4 sizes of cakes tins have been filled two thirds of the way up and are in the oven (or waiting for a space).
- Check the cakes are done by sticking a knife in, it should come out clean.
- Get on the cooling rack.
- Re-line your tin using the extra template you cut out last night.
- Make another batch of batter (step 2), but this time only fill the cake tins up ONE THIRD of the way.
- You should end up with eight cakes on your cooling rack, two of each size, with a thicker and thinner one of each.
- FULLY cool your cakes (probably most of the afternoon)
5) Creating the Tiers
Make your buttercream
- Likely you’ll have to do this in batches, and it can get a bit messy, but just follow the recipe:
- 500g icing sugar, 250g soft butter and whisk until smooth. Whisk in a few drops of vanilla and a tsp of milk.
For each tier: (starting with 12inch)
- Take the deeper (two thirds full) cake.
- Using bread knife, carefully remove the top dome of the cake, so it has a flat top and a flat bottom.
- Using break knife, slice half way through the cake all the way round so you have two equally thin pieces of cake.
- Take the second shallower cake and cut it’s top off so that you have a second cake “bottom”
- Place one of the bottoms onto a foil cake board (make sure the cake boards are SMALLER than the cake e.g use a 10inch board on a 12inch cake. You can cut them with scissors.
- Spread the flavour of jam you want onto the cake.
- Then spread some of the buttercream on top of the jam, approx. 2cm thick.
- Carefully lift and place the “middle” cake piece on top and repeat steps 6 & 7. Take the second cake “bottom” and turn it upside down onto the cake.
- Press firmly to level the cake.
- Place into storage box.
- Repeat for each tier, 10inch, 8inch, 6inch.
You will end up with four cakes with flat tops and bottoms and equal heights, like this:
Prepare for the big day, but sealing your four cakes into some storage boxes using cling film etc.
6) Construct on the Big Day
You can then build the cake up to be four tiers:
- Start with the bottom tier. Position it on the cake board. The venue provided us with this nice wooden log.
2. Stick a poly dowel into the cake. Using your finger/pen mark how tall the cake is.
3. Using the secateurs, cut the dowels all to the same size.
4. Push the short cut dowel pieces into the cake, remembering to remain within the width of the next tier.
5. Lift the next cake (including it’s board) on top and make sure it’s central.
6. Repeat 2 to 5 until all tiers are on.
7) Dress to Impress
Now it’s time to decorate the cake.
Your florist should have provided flowers, if not then dismantle a bridesmaids bouquet (just like I did…whoops).
Place the flowers strategically around the outside, however you see fit. Use the flowers stalks to poke and hold into the cake.
Remember to put your topper on:
Using the piping bag, secure some raspberries/blueberries/fruit around the outside of the cake to fill in gaps and add detail.
Finally, dust with icing sugar:
Wasn’t so hard was it? Let me know how you get on! Lottie and Alex seemed to really like theirs….