How to Make a Simple, Homemade Wedding Cake

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Making a wedding cake at home is a lot simpler than you might imagine. Find out how to make a simple, homemade wedding cake with help from a published cook book author in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Sweet Delights
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Hi, I'm Dede Wilson. I'm the author of two wedding cake books, both The Wedding Cake Book, and Wedding Cakes You Can Make. I'm here to show you how to make a simple at home wedding cake, and believe it or not, you can do this at home. There are a few things that are really important when it comes to decorating a wedding cake. Now first of all, the cake has to taste delicious, and we'll get to that in a moment, but in terms of making it look beautiful because I think that's one of the first things we think about when we think about a wedding cake, there are some tools that you're gonna need. Now first of all, wedding cakes are usually constructed out of multiple tiers. And what I have here is some pans for a really good reason. This allows you by playing and stacking with pans in your kitchen to give you an idea of the dimensions of what your cake might be. We have a 6-inch, a 9-inch and a 12-inch pan. And this, this arrangement of these three different sizes, two layers of each, once all is said and done, will feed about 75 people. And if you're an avid home baker and you're thinking about making a wedding cake at home, a 75 person wedding cake is about as much as I would suggest to try first time around. So the 6, 9 and 12 inch dimensions is gonna do you very well. So you've got your pans figure out, again, you'll need two 6's two 9's two 12's, those are ready to go, and then I wanna show you a few other things that you really need. You're gonna need cardboard rounds in the same sizes as your pan. So we have a 6, 9 and 12 inch cardboard round. These are purchased cake decorating stores and craft stores, and you do want to purchase them as opposed to cutting out rounds out of random cardboard because the smoothness of the edges of the pre-cut rounds, this is gonna help you make a smooth side to your cake. The other thing that you need to decorate beautiful cakes is a turn table. Now this is a pretty heavy duty turn table, see how smoothly it rotates and it has a heavy cast iron bottom. If you decorate a lot of cakes at home, even just birthday cakes, I would suggest investing in one of these. If in lieu of this, if you have a lazy Susan, that would help as well. So I have my 6-inch tier, I have my 9-inch tier, and my 12-inch tier. Now these two I've already put the frosting on the outside, and you can see that they're not completely smooth, and I did that on purpose, because if we're making a simple homemade wedding cake, the last thing we wanna worry about is, you know, whether it looks absolutely perfect and smooth, because frankly, cakes can look beautiful in a variety of ways. In terms of the actual cakes that you bake, you can bake whatever cake that you like. Of course, all of these recipes can be found in my books, and you can find some of the recipes at DedeWilson.com, but what I did for our purposes is I did a yellow cake, and that's because a lot of wedding cakes you're gonna want a white exterior, and it's gonna be easier to frost a light colored cake with white frosting than if you had a dark chocolate cake inside. You'd have to work the frosting a little more. I like to use an Italian meringue butter cream on my wedding cakes, and that recipe is on my website, DedeWilson.com. I already have it made here, I'm just gonna give it a quick spin. We just want it nice and smooth. So I like to start by putting a pretty good amount of the butter cream on top. Now this, this cake is on the cardboard round, and when I get to the sides of the cake, you're gonna see how that cardboard round helps us. The butter cream starts falling over to the sides. We're gonna use that butter cream for the sides. The turn table, the cardboard and the spatula are gonna work together. So you're gonna take some butter cream, you're gonna put it down so that you're feeling that cardboard around, and because that cardboard round is nice and smooth and round, it's gonna help you keep a nice shape to the outside of your decorated cake. Obviously this would stand true for any cake that you're decorating, even if it's just a 9-inch layer cake for a birthday party or a bake sale. Let's get the top looking a little smooth. I'm gonna end up decorating this with some edible flours, some rose pedals and roses to be exact, but let's say you have a cake topper or something that you're gonna want to put on top. You wanna get the top looking kind of smooth, and then bring yourself down to the same height and spin the cake around, and this is gonna help you tell whether it's level. I like to know that a cake was made by hand, so if you see some of those spatula marks, as far as I'm concerned I like that even better. So now I'm gonna use a small offset spatula, and I'm just gonna make some of those pretty swirls on the side. I'm just giving it some texture. This is made of two layers of cake, and together this makes a tier. So we have our 6-inch tier, our 9-inch tier our 12-inch tier. Now, these are quarter-inch dowels that I've actually already sunk into this 12-inch tier. They're gonna help support the next tier on that cardboard round. It's a quarter-inch dowel that you buy at any hardware store. The way you cut it to fit is just sink it into the cake, all the way down, and see, you can see where the frosting, you can see where the top is, so you know where to cut, and so we can just put it right back in and it will be flush with the top of the cake. You want the dowels to be towards the center of the cake because they're going to be supporting a smaller tier, the 9-inch tier. The first thing I'm gonna do is take a little bit of our soft butter cream, and I'm just gonna put a little bit of soft butter cream here to act as a glue. It's really to help the 9-inch cake adhere. So I have my 9-inch cake on a cardboard round, this not only allows me to hold it, but it's what's going to go over the dowels and help start building this cake. We're ready to put the 6-inch on top of the 9-inch. Two dowels will be fine for this last tier. So a little bit of our frosting glue on this tier as well. Put that one in place. I have it on the turntable because this way I can turn it around, I can see whether they're, the tiers are centered, which they are, but what I can also check is see there's gonna be a few little places where we just want to patch up the butter cream. We're gonna put flours on this cake. Fresh flowers are obviously a really good choice for a simple homemade wedding cake because all you have to do is get the flowers. You don't have to make the decorations. You want to make sure you use edible flowers, and if possibly, you also want to make sure that they're not sprayed. I'm just gonna go with fresh roses. So I just look for the prettiest roses, and start putting them on the cake. I would decorate it once you get it in place at the reception hall, or wherever you are. Don't decorate it earlier than that. Usually it's like the front of the cake, it will be displayed on a table and they'll be a way that it's facing all of the guests, so think about that as you're putting the pedals on. If you're an avid home baker, there are few things as satisfying as making a wedding cake for yourself or a loved one, and with this simple homemade wedding cake, believe me, you will not only get a creative thrill, but your guests will be wowed. You can find recipes for this cake and others in my book, wedding cakes you can make, and also at Bakepedia.com, the baker's resource.

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