Making a wedding cake for the first time can be pretty daunting, especially when it comes to assembling it.
Worse still, if you aren’t able to use certain ingredients for dietary issues (like avoiding raw egg in royal icing) then you may wonder what the alternative is.
Even more difficult is having to stack it before it gets taken to the venue (cue terror, panic etc…).
The good news is that a few pictures and choice words should set you on a path to wedding cake glory.
Trust me (I’ve done this many times!).
You will need:
Ready-iced & dowelled cakes (I’ve used 3 in this tutorial – 6″, 8″ & 10″ round 3 layer cakes).
An iced cake drum (I’ve used a 12″ round cake drum).
A set of bowls that are about 3 inches smaller than each of your cakes.
A strong box that your cake base (drum) will fit into exactly – with this cake I’d use a 12″ x 12″ x 12″ box. N.B. Don’t use a cake box – they’re too flimsy for travelling. A sturdy thick brown single or double wall cardboard box is best and you can easily find these online (like here).
How to cover a cake in fondant
If you’re wondering how you prepare the cakes themselves then watch my video here on how to do this.
If you’re vegan or you need to avoid egg, especially raw egg, then using royal icing to stick the cakes together isn’t an option.
Instead, I’ve used a type of glucose syrup that’s squeezable and therefore really easy to apply.
This is available in most supermarkets in the home baking section.
The reason you need a set of bowls
Place all cakes on a smaller baseThe bowls are there to make your life a lot easier. If you touch the side of a fondant cake then you’re likely to put a dent in it (and your pride).
To avoid doing this, it’s best to handle the cake from underneath whenever possible.
So just pop each cake on a slightly smaller base (like an upturned bowl) and you’ll be able to get your fingers in underneath.
How to stack the cakes
Squeeze circles of glucose syrup onto the cake drum (base) making sure they’re at least 2 inches smaller than your cake.
Pick up the biggest cake from underneath.
Try to put the cake on top without touching the sides.
Adjust the cake so it’s exactly in the centre of the cake base.
Check the cake is secure.
Get the next cake ready to go on top of the base cake. Put glucose syrup on (as before).
Pick up the 2nd cake to put on top.
Centre the cake carefully.
Adjust the cake so it’s firmly attached.
Add glucose syrup to the top of the cake.
Pick up the top tier to put on top.
Make sure the cake will be put in the centre.
Adjust the top tier carefully.
Admire your stacked cake – it’s now ready for its final decorations 🙂
To finish off the cake, a simple idea is to add a ribbon around each cake and the base. Use a wider bow on top and don’t forget your cake stand!
3 tier with navy ribbon
Transporting the cake
Open up the side of your cake box and slide your cake in carefully, making sure the box flaps aren’t dangling down (potentially about to scrape your cake and ruin all your hard work). Seal up the box with sellotape and write on the outside of the box THIS WAY UP and OPEN HERE so that it’s obvious when you get to the wedding venue how to get the cake out safely.
Finally, don’t forget to drive extra carefully to the venue. Many wedding venues have enormous speed bumps (most annoying) or pot holes (even more annoying) so now’s not the time to put your foot down, even if you’re late.
Got a question about stacking a wedding cake? Do ask below!