For a 3-tier cake, approx. 13″ high, you will need to bake two 6″ cakes, two 8″ cakes and two 10″ cakes. Each cake will be one layer. Each tier will consist of 2 layers with icing between them.
You will need to make the following Vanilla Sponge Wedding Cake Recipe 5 times. I did it in 2 double batches and 1 single batch, because the single batch is enough for two 6″ cakes and one double batch is enough for one 8″ and one 10″ cake, each approx. 2″ high.
You can make these cakes WELL in advance if you are short on time. They freeze really well, provided you wrap them in cling film AND foil before freezing them. Also make sure they are nice and cool before freezing. If you do decide to freeze them, you will need to let them defrost at room temperature for at least 12 hours before icing them.
If you are not intending to freeze them, bake the cakes no earlier than the evening of the third day before the wedding. So if the wedding is on Saturday, bake the cakes Wednesday evening and let them cool overnight before icing them.
By this time you should already have made your Gum Paste Roses and bought all your Equiptment/Ingredients.
Handy hint: If you live in the UK, TK Maxx is an awesome resource for good quality cake pans at reduced prices. Thank you for reminding me of that, Lee-Anne. You saved me a good few pounds!
Baking the Cakes
How much batter to use per 2″ high cake/layer
|6″||2 3/4 cups of batter|
|8″||4 cups of batter|
|10″||7 cups of batter|
A single batch yields 5.5 cups of batter (1.1 kg)
A [Double batch] yields 11 cups of batter (2.2 kg)
- 275 g sugar [550 g]
- 275 g butter [550 g]
- 275 g self-raising flour [550 g]
- 5 eggs 
- 2 tsp baking powder (10 ml) [4 tsp/20 ml]
- 2 tsp vanilla (10 ml) [4 tsp/20 ml]
- 2-3 tbsp milk (30-45 ml) [4-6 tbsp/60 – 90 ml]
In a mixer (or by hand if you must – but you’re arms are going to drop off):
- Cream butter and sugar.
- Add eggs and flour in turn; so egg, flour, egg, flour…
- Stop mixer and add baking powder, vanilla and milk (just enough to make it nice and sloppy).
- Turn mixer back on and mix until combined.
- Bake at 180° as specified by cake size below:
Please remember that all ovens are not created equal, so test the cakes for readiness. The cakes are ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean or when the top springs back slightly when prodded.
Let the cakes cool for a good few hours or overnight (wrap them in clingfilm if you are going to leave them to cool overnight).
Lemon Cake Variation
My top tier was a Lemon Cake as requested. I simply substituted 2 tbsp of the milk with freshly squeezed lemon juice and added in the zest of 2 lemons to my single batch.
For the icing I substituted a quarter of a cup of butter with lemon curd.
So to clarify:
Make a double batch of the Vanilla Sponge Recipe above and divide it between the 8″ and 10″ pans. See above for quantity of batter to use in each pan. Bake. While the 8 2 and 10 2 cakes are baking, make a single batch and divide the mixture equally between your two 6″ pans. Bake. While THEY are baking, make another double batch and bake the last 8″ and 10″ cakes. This way you will have time for the first 8″ and 10″ cakes (and pans) to cool if you only have one of each pan.
Another hint: If you do not want your cakes to dome, make a shallow well in the center of the batter before baking. Do this by pushing the batter out to the side of the pan so that the batter is higher at the sides than in the middle.
I will be covering Icing Recipe and Technique next, so keep an eye out for Part 4 of the Wedding Cake Recipe Series.
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