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Help with an ambitious wedding cake (1 Viewer)

ButterflyZo

New Member
Hi everyone,

My cousin is getting married in September and I offered to make the wedding cake. I have experience in making novelty cakes, but only informally. This cake is something entirely different!

They would like a three tier cake with smooth white icing, vanilla sponge for the bottom and top layers and lemon in the middle. I've attached a picture of the cake I'm attempting to recreate.

I have considered madeira for the vanilla layers as an alternative to normal sponge as it's denser, but that's about as far as I've got!

I've never worked with royal icing before but obviously it has its advantages, so if anyone can give me tips about working with it, whether it would cover madeira and lemon sponge well, how long I'd need to practise with it, what equipment etc. Is there an alternative? Also would marzipan work with lemon (somehow I think it would be weird) and if it doesn't is there something else I can use?

I'm also coming back from holiday the day before, so I don't have much time to do anything immediately before the event. With that being the case, is it feasible to make the sponges and then freeze them?

I'm a novice with multi-tiered cakes so am open to any tips!

Thanks xx
 

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Joan

Well-Known Member
Hello ButterflyZo welcome to the forum. I'm sorry I can't help you but if you wait for a short time Angie will be able to help you and answer all your queries.

Enjoy looking around the site you might find some tips that will be useful to you and once again welcome to the site. :D
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Hi everyone,

My cousin is getting married in September and I offered to make the wedding cake. I have experience in making novelty cakes, but only informally. This cake is something entirely different!

They would like a three tier cake with smooth white icing, vanilla sponge for the bottom and top layers and lemon in the middle. I've attached a picture of the cake I'm attempting to recreate.

I have considered madeira for the vanilla layers as an alternative to normal sponge as it's denser, but that's about as far as I've got!

I've never worked with royal icing before but obviously it has its advantages, so if anyone can give me tips about working with it, whether it would cover madeira and lemon sponge well, how long I'd need to practise with it, what equipment etc. Is there an alternative? Also would marzipan work with lemon (somehow I think it would be weird) and if it doesn't is there something else I can use?

I'm also coming back from holiday the day before, so I don't have much time to do anything immediately before the event. With that being the case, is it feasible to make the sponges and then freeze them?

I'm a novice with multi-tiered cakes so am open to any tips!

Thanks xx
Hi ButterflyZo and welcome. :D

Firstly I agree Madeira (or possibly a pound cake, it's pretty much the same thing) is a fabulous sturdy cake and great for stacking. I use Madeira all the time when making more than one tier. You could also do all three tiers Madeira and flavour the lemon one with lemon zest or juice and fill it with a lemon curd filling perhaps?

Royal icing is very old school and was used to make and cover wedding cakes in the past, it sets very hard and has to be built up in layers and left to harden each time, so you wouldn't have to time to do all this a day before a wedding.

The cake picture itself actually looks like white icing as in sugarpaste which is used to cover cake nowadays. This will given you a smooth finish but it won't set 'rock hard' like royal icing does. You mentioned you have made cakes before but I'm not sure if you have covered them using rolled out icing or sugarpaste before? I use Renshaws regal icing or decor icing or as it's now known fondant icing. :rolleyes: It's all the same thing just different names for it!

When you say marzipan with lemon are you using this as a covering?

In answer to your question yes sponges can be made in advanced and frozen.

The pattern on the tier could be made by using stencils and royal icing and food dye but that is all I would use the royal icing for. Either that or you could pipe the pattern using a very small nozzle I would probably look at piping nozzles no 1 or 2.

No 1 Piping nozzle.PNG

On a tiered cake you will also need to insert dowels to help hold up the structure and you will need to have a very thin cake board on each of your top two layers. I use large straws as dowels for stacking as they are easy to cut to size and distribute weight evenly.

01 Stacking Dowels.jpg 1 Stacking Dowels.jpg 2B Stacking Dowels.jpg 3 Stacking Dowels.jpg

I'm popping out now but if you need anything further I'll be around later.

Hope this helps.


Angie x
 
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ButterflyZo

New Member
Hi Angie

Thank you for such an extensive answer! This has answered all my questions and generated a few more!

For the marzipan I meant as a layer underneath the icing, but it's not strictly necessary. I was just wondering if it was usually done. I think the idea of a lemon Madeira cake is excellent! I can't believe I didn't think of it.

Is sugar paste a common ingredient to buy in supermarkets or do you need to go to specialist cake shops? How do you apply it to the cake? Does it require several coats?

In terms of thin bases, can you use something like cereal box cardboard? It's great you can use straws - no more buying dowels specially!

Thanks

Zoë
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
You're most welcome Zoe. :D

You can use marzipan as a coating layer or base covering for the cake but if you do not wish to do this you can always double layer the cake with icing. That way you have a lovely finish and you get the same icing taste rather than the marzipan almond taste.

Madeira all round then hey, lol, at least that way all the cakes are the same and they will all be sturdy in structure. :D

Sugarpaste, rolled out icing, decor icing etc can all be purchased from supermarkets, cake stores or even Amazon, the only difference is quality. As you are making a wedding cake I would opt for a cake store bought icing like Renshaws or Sattina however, you can purchase white icing from ASDA, Tesco etc and this will cover the cake the same as cake store bought icing would. I will dig out some pics and post a few for you so you know what to look for.

These are some of the variety of rolled out icing/sugarpaste/fondants etc. They will all cover a cake but they have different names depending on the brand.

Renshaws Decor Icing  (1)-001.jpg Tesco Icing Fondant (1)-001.jpgIcing Types.JPG

You may wish to practice covering a tier with supermarket bought icing and then when you do the real thing use the cake shop bought variety. To be honest though choose what works best for you.

You will need to roll the icing out onto a lightly dusted surface using either cornflour or icing sugar. (I use icing sugar but use what suits you). Make sure when you are rolling it out you rotate it around each time you roll it so it doesn't stick to your work surface. You are aiming to get the icing to about the thickness of a pound coin. To work out how much icing you would need to cover a tier then please see my tip on : How much icing/fondant do I need to cover my cake.

Once your have baked your cakes and filled and covered them with either, jam or buttercream etc you would then lay the icing over the top of the buttercream or jam as this acts as an adhesive to stick the cake and the icing together. You would then use your hands to smooth the icing around the cake and then use a cake smoother to finish and smooth it. You can cut any excess icing off using a clean knife or pizza cutter wheel.

I generally use one covering to cover my cakes but if you are unhappy with the finish add another layer of icing.

If you do use two layers of icing make sure that when you stick icing to icing you use a little water to glue it together, you can do this by lightly covering the first layer of icing in water using a pastry brush. You would dip the pastry brush into a little water and very sparingly coat the icing layer, then you would add the next layer of icing the same as you did the first, smooth the icing around the cake again cut off the excess and smooth it with the cake smoother. This should now give you a lovely smooth finish.

Please note that icing does dry out so ensure that anything you are not using gets wrapped up tightly in clingfilm and a zip bag until needed.

As for thin boards, I wouldn't use cereal box card as you cannot clean it before putting a cake on to it and I don't think it will be sturdy enough to take the weight of a cake. What I would do is use very thin cake boards that are the same size as each of your tiers that way when you cover them with icing (sugarpaste) you can cover straight over the board.

Here is a tip: How to clean cake boards.

1 Thin cake boards.jpg
2 Thin cake boards.jpg 3 Thin Cake Boards.jpg

You will also need to stick each tier to the cake board like so: How to prevent your cake from moving when covering. You would also have to stick each tier to the next using the same process, although you would be better using royal icing for that part to ensure that it sets properly.

For the wedding cake I would use wide straws as dowels.

I think I've just about covered everything but if you need anything further just let me know.
 
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ButterflyZo

New Member
IMG_9359.jpg This has taken far too long to reply, but I just wanted to say thank you so much for your help with the cake. I've attached a photo of how it turned out! My cousin was thrilled.
 
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Joan

Well-Known Member
Well done Zoe it looks fantastic, I can see why your cousin was thrilled you did a brilliant job. :smiley:
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Ooh Zoe that is absolutely beautiful, well done you! :) I bet your cousin was absolutely thrilled with it, you did a wonderful job and I love how elegant it is.

You're most welcome on the help, but you did all the hard work! Well done you! :clapping:
 

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