DIY wedding guide

Fun and budget-friendly ideas for DIY favors, invitations, flowers—and yes, cake, too

How to assemble a tiered wedding cake

Follow these steps to make a four-tiered cake that serves 60 to 70

How to make a wedding cake

Plastic drinking straws (or 1⁄4-in. wooden dowels) support the layers.

Photo: Erika McConnell

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How to make a wedding cake
How to make a wedding cake
How to make a wedding cake

Full article:  How to make a wedding cake

Here's how to assemble a 4-tiered cake that serves 60 to 70:

To assemble the cake, you’ll need one baked, cooled orange sponge cake layer in each size, as well as three batches of Grand Marnier whipped cream and one batch of Grand Marnier–marmalade filling.

1. Split each layer of orange sponge cake (on cardboard round) in half horizontally: With a long serrated knife, cut around cake layer (1 in. deep) to make a guide, then cut all the way through cake, steadying top lightly with your hand. Lift top off cake and set cut side up on a work surface. Leave bottom half on cardboard round.

2. Spread both cut sides of each cake layer with Grand Marnier-marmalade filling (1⁄4 c. per side for 6-in. layer, 1⁄3 c. per side for 8-in. layer, 1⁄2 c. per side for 10-in. layer, and 2⁄3 c. per side for 12-in. layer). Spread Grand Marnier whipped cream over marmalade on each bottom layer (1⁄2 c. cream for 6-in. layer, 3⁄4 c. for 8-in. layer, 1 c. for 10-in. layer, 1½ c. for 12-in. layer, using 1 qt. total). Sandwich each with matching top layer, marmalade side down.

3. Frost each cake layer with a thin first layer of Grand Marnier whipped cream, using 2 quarts total. Chill until cream is firm, about 1 hour; cover separately and chill up to 1 day.

4. Remove layers from refrigerator and frost with a second layer of cream, using 2 quarts total. Chill until ready to assemble and serve.

5. Set 12-inch layer (on cardboard round) on a large flat plate or board. Hold the next smallest cake pan centered above surface of cake layer; touch it down very gently to make a faint guide in the cream. 

At even intervals about 2 inches in from the circular guide, push four plastic drinking straws (or 1⁄4-in. wooden dowels) down through cake layer to bottom. Mark straws with a pencil about 1⁄8 inch above surface of cream, then pull out from cake slightly. Cut off at pencil mark, parallel to cake surface, using scissors (or pruning shears, for dowels); reinsert in cake.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap slightly smaller than the next layer on top of supports. Repeat to insert supports into 10- and 8-inch layers.

6. Gently stack layers (on cardboard rounds) on top of each other. Spoon more Grand Marnier whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a 1⁄4-inch plain tip.

7. Pipe adjoining dots around base of each layer to hide cardboard. Decorate with orange blossoms, other fresh flowers, or piped cream as desired.

8. To serve, lift off each layer; remove plastic wrap and supports. Cut top layer into wedges. For larger layers, cut a circle 2 inches in from side of layer. Slice outside ring into 2-inch wedges. Cut another circle, 2 inches in from edge; slice cake into 2-inch wedges. Cut remaining small central round into wedges.

Per 2-in. wedge: 362 cal., 55% (198 cal.) from fat; 4.5 g protein; 22 g fat (13 g sat.); 37 g carbo (0.2 g fiber); 120 mg sodium; 155 mg chol.

Next: How to calculate the right number of servings


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