How to Assemble a Tiered 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.
How to calculate the right number of servings
Having enough cake to go around. The last thing you want to worry about at the wedding is whether there will be enough cake for everyone. Here’s how to calculate the right number of servings:
Plan on standard-sized cake servings. (2-in. wedges). Most guests are full by the time cake is served. If your guests are notoriously sweettoothed, you may want to plan for extra servings.
Add a few extra servings for leeway in cutting. Our 6-inch layer yields about 6 servings, the 8-inch 14, the 10-inch 22, and the 12-inch 28. Our 4-tier cake serves 70, making it perfect for a wedding with 60 guests. For a more intimate wedding of 30 to 35 people, make a 3-tier cake with 6-, 8-, and 10-inch layers.
Serve larger parties with more cakes, not more tiers. For a big wedding, frost and decorate additional 12-inch layers; refrigerate rather than displaying with the tiered cake, then cut out of sight of guests and serve with the tiered cake. The servings will look identical to those from the tiered cake.
Skip saving the top tier. This delicate cake does not hold up well in the freezer for a year. Instead, serve the entire cake at your wedding, then bake a new cake to celebrate your anniversary.
Full article: How to make a wedding cake