The cake in this instructable is a two tier fruit cake, decorated with gorgeous bright red poppies. This is a design specific to my friends' desires, but I have attempted to expand the instructable to cover making wedding cakes in general, from the ambitious planning stages to the nervewracking final set up. This may have led me to ramble a little more than I should, but buried amongst that are the little tips &  tricks I've picked up a long the way.
Royal icing is made with sugar and egg white or meringue powder. It hardens to a firm finish that can be piped or thinned for "flood work". It hardens fast and is ideal for making detailed shapes ahead of time. It can also be piped directly onto cake tiers and works beautifully for delicate work.[1] a few things to consider when working with royal icing: You must use grease free utensils. Humidity also affects the consistency of royal icing. a well known British cake decorator uses royal icing as a medium, Joseph Lambeth developed a style by creating layered scrolls with Royal Icing.
I love all of these ideas, so much fun and so different. Can never go wrong with an M&S cake! We are planning on having this same cake for our wedding and also a Collins the caterpillar cake as that’s both of our favorite cake (reminds us of being little!!). Our idea for the cake is to have a cat bride and groom sylvanian families animals as our cake toppe (happy childhood memories)…then the rest of the cake will have flowers and ivy on with a lace boarder. We like the gaps in between the cake layers to add the flowers. It will hopefully go with our relaxed barn wedding with our DIY nature/ rustic theme. We both love animals and our first home together backs onto woods. So we would like to incorporate that into our day. I have already bought a beautiful antique pink glass cake stand ☺
Before you head to the grocery store, do your best to calculate how much of each ingredient you need. When scaling up a recipe, be sure to scale by area, not diameter of the pans. Make a list, and then buy one extra container of everything. You can always return unopened groceries, and you'll be so glad if you don't have to run out for more ingredients at the last minute.
Sadly, your cake isn't going to be preserved in a wedding cake museum for all time — or maybe not so sadly since that would be such a big waste of butter — so be sure to take lots and lots of photos. Most wedding photographers will take lots of shots of the cake, too, and you can ask the bride or groom for those later. And make sure to get one of yourself with the cake!
The type of cake and tightness of time will also affect your icing decision. While it doesn't have the best taste, and is often left on the side of the plate, sugarpaste (fondant) will keep a cake fresh under it's protective layer for a couple of days, and provides a smooth, clean surface to adorn with decorations. On the other hand buttercream or ganache, while tasting delicious, should be applied as late as possible, the night before at the earliest, which could leave you panicking over last minute problems.
Wedding cake is usually priced by the slice. The cost can differ, however it typically ranges from $3 to $30 a slice (and beyond). It is simple to be wooed by blood orange filling and a multi-flavor cake while you’re making decisions with a sugar buzz, however having a handle on your price range—and knowing what will affect it—will allow you to prioritize your choices. For example, more flavors equals more cash; the more sophisticated the flavour, the bigger the value tag; handmade sugar flowers will add dollars to every slice; and fondant icing is mostly dearer than buttercream.
The tiers should reflect the number of guests you would like to feed, as well as personal preference. This is another of the often overlooked hidden costs attached to a bigger guest list. Expect to pay more not just for your venue hire and wedding breakfast themselves, but also for larger cakes, more table centres and additional bottles of wine too.
I’ve heard SUCH great things about M&S wedding cakes, and as we’re trying to do most of our August wedding ourselves it seems the obvious option! I’ll be ordering in the next few weeks, so this would be a HUGE help. We’re going for three tiers, with lots of burlap and flowers to match the theme of the rest of the day…but it’s a military wedding, so there’ll be some little military Lego men on the top too!

Lastly, don’t forget that there will be a delivery charge to deliver your cake to the venue.  How much that fee will be, depends on the location of your venue from our bakery.  The further we have to travel, the higher your delivery cost will be.  In some cases, it’s not only the distance we have to travel, but the time it will take to make the delivery – traffic, difficult roads, lack of parking, etc.  I would say our average delivery fee is about $50-65, with locations such as Santa Barbara and Los Angeles being $100-150+.  When you consider how stressful a wedding cake delivery can be, getting the cake to the venue on time, battling the heat, the weight of the cake, and the fact that they are flat out awkward to handle, you should always opt for delivery…let the professionals do what they do!


A wonderful thing about cake is that it actually improves with time in the freezer. Let your cake cool completely before wrapping it in three layers of plastic wrap. Store in the freezer for up to one month. When you're ready to fill and frost, you're going to have nice, study blocks of frozen cake to work with. It's much easier to trim, fill, and frost your cake while it's frozen. And it doesn't take that long to defrost, so you don't need to worry about the cake still being frozen when people take a bite. The few hours it takes you to fill, frost, and decorate will be sufficient.
Flower paste or gumpaste is a pliable dough usually made from egg whites, unflavored gelatine, and powdered sugar. There are an array of methods and ingredients around the world on how to make flower paste or gumpaste. The purpose of this dough is to create flowers and decorations for a cake. Due to the use of gum as one of the ingredients; it can be rolled very thin.[citation needed]

While I'd love to go into  the many options of cake decorating, right now I don't have the time, so just a brief mention of royal icing. This is made using icing sugar and egg whites, or from a pre bought mix, and is a pipeable icing that dries very hard. It can be coloured before piping, or painted after, and is great for adding detail such as beads and borders to cake. While I used none on the poppy cake, a sprinkling of piped pearls or a bead border around the top edge can be great for covering up flaws and cracks in the icing, while enhancing the overall look of the cake.


The modern wedding cake as we know it now would originate at the 1882 wedding of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany; his wedding cake was the first to actually be completely edible.[14] Pillars between cake tiers did not begin to appear until about 20 years later. The pillars were very poorly made from broomsticks covered in icing. The tiers represented prosperity and were a status symbol because only wealthy families could afford to include them in the cake.[3] Prince Leopold's wedding cake was created in separate layers with very dense icing. When the icing would harden the tiers could be stacked, a groundbreaking innovation for wedding cakes at the time. Modern wedding cakes still use this method, with an added form of support with dowels imbedded in the cake to help carry the load especially of larger cakes.[citation needed]
Flowers can come three ways; sugar, silk or fresh. Silk flowers are artificial, and can be bought from many cake or florist stores. They are very easy to work with, and to reuse, but can look quite fake. Fresh flowers add an instant wow, and can be perfectly matched to the rest of the wedding flowers. However certain types of flowers, such as lillies, are poisonous and cannot be used on cakes. Sugar flowers are handmade from flowerpaste, a very pliable sugarpaste that dries hard and brittle. This can be manipulated and coloured, and if made by a good sugar artist the flowers are indistinguishable from real ones until you take a close look.
Melt a little marmalade in the microwave or on the stove, until it runny. Brush this over the cake, it will stick the marzipan to the cake. I find the easiest way to get the layer of marzipan draped over the cake safely is to first drape it over a rolling pin, and then roll it over the surface of the cake. Dust it with some icing sugar or cornflour first to stop it sticking.
Take a 30 gauge wire, dip it in edible glue, and carefully insert this into the raised ridge. Gently pinch the edges of the petal to give them a little realistic frill. If you have a petal veiner, lay the petal in the venier and press down firmly. This will give the petal veins and contours to make it more realistic, This can also be acheived with some patience and a thin modellling tool.

I love all of these ideas, so much fun and so different. Can never go wrong with an M&S cake! We are planning on having this same cake for our wedding and also a Collins the caterpillar cake as that’s both of our favorite cake (reminds us of being little!!). Our idea for the cake is to have a cat bride and groom sylvanian families animals as our cake toppe (happy childhood memories)…then the rest of the cake will have flowers and ivy on with a lace boarder. We like the gaps in between the cake layers to add the flowers. It will hopefully go with our relaxed barn wedding with our DIY nature/ rustic theme. We both love animals and our first home together backs onto woods. So we would like to incorporate that into our day. I have already bought a beautiful antique pink glass cake stand ☺
Wedding celebration cakes have a panache for looking good yet need to additionally be mouth watering in preference for all visitors dripping at the mouth waiting for a slice of the activity
Once dry you can attach the petals to the stem using florists tape. Tear off a length of the tape. Position the two petals just below the seedhead, and wrap the tape tightly around the three wires. It can be tricky to get started, since the petals get in the way, but once the tape has looped around and begun to stick to itselff you can push it up the stem a little bit to the base of the petals. Cover the length of the three wires in tape, wrapping it around tightly.
You might not get tons of tiers, intricate patterns or realistic-looking sugar flowers, but if you love your local bakery, ask if they'd be willing to make your wedding cake. Because they're not a wedding-specific bakery, you may have more limited design choices—but the savings can be big. Otherwise, ask your caterer if they include cakes in their packages. Sometimes if you order your cake from your caterer, the overall cost will be lower. Some caterers even require you to use them, and if you don't, they'll charge a fee for bringing in another baker. So do a little cost comparison to snag the best deal.
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