Make Your Own Wedding Cake? Yes, You Can!
Making a wedding cake is easier than you think! It’s a budget friendly option, and you can easily add your own special touches. Follow this step-by-step guide to creating your own personalized cake for pennies!
If you can bake a cake, then you can make this easy 3-tier wedding cake. It is for a small, intimate wedding for 50 or under guests. It is so easy, that you can bake the cake layers and the frosting ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze them separately to decorate later; or even better, the entire cake can be made and frosted, and then the whole cake can be frozen! If the cake is frozen, it can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator, then decorated as desired with flowers or any other creative idea you may have.
What is great about this cake is that you don’t need to have fancy decorating skills. All I did was frost the cake and then decorated with inexpensive flowers, ribbon, and, for a different look, I used sea shells from a craft store to make a cake for a beach wedding, and used graham cracker crumbs as “sand” around the cake. You will just need a good mixer and make space in your refrigerator and/or freezer. I just took out 2 upper shelves in my refrigerator and it fit right in.
Even a small wedding cake can cost hundreds of dollars, but below is the breakdown for the cost of this cake. It might even cost less if you already have some of the ingredients or other items on hand.Ingredients: Cake flour – $3.29 Butter – $3.89 Eggs – $2.39 Light Corn Syrup – $4.09 Confectioners Sugar – $1.69 Lemon extract – $5.89 Vanilla extract – $4.29 Tools: 10″ Cake Pan – $9.99 8″ Cake Pan – $8.99 6″ Cake Pan – $7.99 Wax Paper – $1.69 Cake plate/stand – $9.99 Decorations: Shells or Flowers – $6.99 Ribbon – $0.99
According to The Bridal Association of America, the average cost of a wedding cake is $543. That’s a saving of $470!
EASY LEMON WEDDING CAKE WITH BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
For the Cake:
4 cups sifted cake flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter one 10-inch, round layer cake pan, one 8-inch, round layer cake pan, and one 6-inch, round layer cake pan. Line each pan with waxed paper cut to fit bottom of pans; set aside.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl; set aside.
3. In large bowl of electric mixer, beat butter until very light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Add sugar, about a 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in extracts. Beat for 5 minutes.
5. Add flour in five parts alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling them each about 1/2 full. (note: if your oven will not hold all 3 pans at once, cover and refrigerate remaining batter while other layers are baking) The small layer will take around 30 minutes to bake, with the other layers about 5-7 minutes longer. The cakes are done when the top springs back when you touch it lightly with your finger, or a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. When cakes are done, place on cooling racks for 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto another rack, carefully peel off the waxed paper, and cool completely before frosting.
For the Buttercream Frosting:
1-1/2 to 2 pounds confectioner’s sugar
10 egg yolks
1 cup light corn syrup
1-1/2 pounds (6 sticks) butter, softened
1. Sift confectioner’s sugar into a bowl and set aside.
2. In large bowl of electric mixer, beat the egg yolks at high speed until a very pale lemony yellow. This takes at least 5 minutes.
3. Pour corn syrup into a small, heavy saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to a full boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let stand until boiling stops.
4. With mixer at high speed, gradually add syrup to egg yolks in a thin, steady stream, pouring it into the side of bowl and not onto the beaters. Continue beating until the outside of the bowl is cool to the touch.
5. Add butter, a few tablespoons at a time, and beat until smooth and creamy.
6. Spoon in the confectioner’s sugar about a 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, adding only enough sugar to bring mixture to a smooth spreading consistency. (I find I usually use the whole 2 pounds).
Note: Frosting can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or it can be frozen in a tightly sealed container for up to 6 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, and stir again before using.
To Assemble, Frost, and Decorate the Cake for the Wedding:
1. Cut two waxed paper circles, using 8 and 6-inch pans for guides; then cut out two cardboard circles of the same sizes. (you can also find precut circles at craft stores).
2. If cake layers were frozen, defrost in refrigerator. If layers are not level on top, then carefully slice off top layer until level.
3. Spread a small amount of buttercream frosting in the center of a large cake plate or decorative cake stand. Place the 10-inch layer in the center over the frosting and press it down lightly to hold in place.
4. Heap a large amount of frosting between the center and edge of layer, then push it over the edges and around sides of cake in a flowing, continuous motion. Add more frosting to center of cake and smooth it out to cover completely. (Using a large amount of frosting prevents crust from separating from cake so crumbs don’t get in frosting. Excess frosting can be easily removed).
5. Using a hot knife (dip it in very hot water and shake off all excess water) smooth sides and top of frosted layer.
6. Place 8-inch waxed paper circle in center of frosted 10-inch layer. Spread a small amount of frosting on 8-inch cardboard circle. Press 8-inch cake layer on cardboard. Place on top of waxed paper on the 10-inch layer. Frost top and sides generously of this layer. Repeat with remaining waxed paper and cardboard and 6-inch layer.
6. To smooth out frosting all over cake, hold blade of hot knife against sides of cake; move it around sides in a flowing, continuous motion, stopping as necessary to remove excess frosting from knife and redip it in hot water to reheat. Smooth top each of each layer by placing knife blade at top edge of cake horizontally and moving it up toward center of cake. Smooth top with hot knife by moving it across cake. Do not worry if it is not perfect, because decoration such as fresh flowers and ribbon can cover any imperfect spots.
7. Clean the edges of plate or stand with a warm, damp paper towel.
8. Complete the cake decoration however you wish. You could use the same fresh flowers as the bridal bouquet, or even have a small duplicate of the bridal bouquet itself for the top of the cake. Use your imagination on how you would like to decorate it. See my photo how I decorated for a beach wedding. The cake can also be a birthday or anniversary cake.
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