A 4-tier sponge wedding cake for the daughter of one of my work colleagues.
This is first time I have made a properly stacked cake: for my Civil Partnership last year I made a 3-tier cake but put the tiers on a special stand as I thought that would be easier than dowels. But actually the use of dowels is simplicity itself.
For the wedding, a specially made flower swathe was draped over the cake but I wanted to see what it looked like assembled before transporting the separate tiers: in truth I really wanted to check the cakes would stack and retain their structure!!! I made a few flowers using chocolate sugar paste, flavoured and coloured in various ways on the cake for a splash of colour for these pictures,along with some real petals scattered around. I do love simplicity as it can be so effective.
The cake is a chocolate Victoria sponge (12″, 10″, 8″ and 6″) filled with very light vanilla and white chocolate Italian meringue buttercream, fresh raspberries and thin, crisp dark chocolate shards. The cake is coated in the vanilla and white chocolate buttercream, with flecks of vanilla seeds visible, and iced in a casual swirly manner.
I wanted to make sure each tier had enough depth of cake, so I scaled up the ingredients a little for the tiers, especially the larger tiers (as below), and baked each at 160C(fan) until each was cooked.
- 12″ cakes: 12 eggs, 685g butter, 515g self-raising flour, 170g cocoa powder, 6 tsp baking powder, 685g caster sugar.
- 10″ cakes: 9 eggs, 500g butter, 375g self-raising flour, 125g cocoa powder, 5 tsp baking powder, 500g caster sugar
- 8″ cakes: 5 eggs, 275g butter, 205g self-raising flour, 70g cocoa powder, 2.5 tsp baking powder, 275g caster sugar
- 6″ cakes: 3 eggs, 175g butter, 135g self-raising flour, 40g cocoa powder, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 175g caster sugar
(1) Make more than enough buttercream for the cake: any surplus can be frozen.
(2) Keep the iced cake refrigerated for as long as possible.
(3) Take some of the buttercream, along with a palette knife, to wherever the cake is to be assembled to cover the joins between each tier and to cover any finger prints and the like: it is very easy for the odd thumb to poke its way into the cake as it is stacked!
(4) Secateurs are brilliant for cutting dowels to size easily. Just make sure that the dowels used in a particular tier are the same size.
(5) Drive slowly when you are transporting the cakes!