Celebrations

Say ‘I Do’ To This DIY Wedding Cake Recipe

Here in the Plated Test Kitchen, we love a challenge. So when Chef Grace’s sister suggested she bake the cake for her 100 plus-person wedding, the answer was an enthusiastic Yes! While this particular wedding cake posted some logistical challenges (including that the wedding was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming), Chef Grace rose to the occasion with a gluten-free, coconut and almond flour, chocolate and vanilla four-tiered cake (that’s a mouthful, no pun intended). The end result was a beautiful, delicious cake that was made with a whole lotta heart (and even more butter). And testing it in the Plated office was a plus for everyone. If you’re feeling adventurous, follow Chef Grace’s recipes to bake and craft a four-tier wedding cake.

Base Recipe: Vanilla Cake

(Yields about 24 cupcakes, or two 8-inch round cakes)

Ingredients:
12 eggs
1 cup butter
6 tablespoons milk
1⅓ cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup coconut flour
½ cup almond flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Parchment paper (if making 8-inch round cakes)

Instructions:
1. Set eggs, butter, and milk aside to come to room temperature for about 2 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter muffin tins or cake pans. If using cake pans, line buttered pans with a circle of parchment paper in the bottom, then butter parchment, if using muffin tins, line with muffin liners.

3. In a large bowl, combine sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt, eggs, and butter. Using a hand mixer, beat at high speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and beat at medium speed until smooth.

4. In a separate large bowl, stir together coconut flour, almond flour, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to bowl with wet ingredients, ½ cup at a time, and beat at medium speed until combined.

5. If making cupcakes, divide batter evenly among cups in muffin tin, filling about ¾ of the way up sides of cups. If making 8-inch round cakes, divide batter evenly between pans.

6. If making cupcakes, bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. If making cakes, bake for 22-25 minutes.

7. Allow to cool completely, about 1 hour, before frosting with buttercream.

Base Recipe: Chocolate Cake

(Yields about 24 cupcakes, or two 8-inch round cakes)

Ingredients:
12 eggs
1½ cups butter
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
1 cup coconut flour

Instructions:
1. Set eggs and butter aside to come to room temperature for about 2 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter muffin tins or cake pans—if using cake pans, line buttered pans with a circle of parchment paper in the bottom, then butter parchment.

3. In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract, eggs, and butter. Using a hand mixer, beat at high speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and beat at medium speed until smooth.

4. In a separate large bowl, stir together coconut flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to bowl with wet ingredients, ½ cup at a time, and beat at medium speed until combined.

5. If making cupcakes, divide batter evenly among cups in muffin tin, filling about ¾ of the way up sides of cups. If making 8-inch round cakes, divide batter evenly between pans.

6. If making cupcakes, bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. If making cakes, bake for 22-25 minutes.

7. Allow to cool completely, about 1 hour, before frosting with buttercream.

Base Recipe: Buttercream

Ingredients:
2 cups butter
4–5 cups powdered sugar
½ cup–¾ cup cocoa powder (optional—for chocolate buttercream, if desired)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:
1. Set butter aside to soften at room temperature for about 2 hours.

2. Whip softened butter in a stand mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes.

3. With mixer on low speed, to bowl with butter, gradually add powdered sugar, cocoa powder (if making chocolate buttercream), and vanilla extract. Then, beat at high speed until fluffy and fully combined, 4-5 minutes.

4. Store buttercream at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap, until ready to use.

Making A Wedding Cake

(Serves 110)

Grace’s wedding cake recipe involves four tiers, with each tier sandwiching a chocolate cake layer between two vanilla layers (that’s 12 layers total—yes, you read that right!). Between each layer, she frosts with chocolate buttercream, while the outside of the cake is frosted with vanilla buttercream.

To recreate it on your own:

For the top and bottom vanilla layers, multiply the vanilla cake base recipe by 4, then divide evenly among two 12-inch prepared cake pans and two 6-inch prepared cake pans. Bake the 12-inch cakes for 30-35 minutes, and the 6-inch cakes for 20-25 minutes.

For the middle vanilla layers, multiply the vanilla cake base recipe by 4, then divide among two 10-inch prepared cake pans and two 8-inch prepared cake pans. Bake the 10-inch cakes for 30-35 minutes, and the 8-inch cakes for 22-25 minutes.

For the top and bottom chocolate layers, multiply the chocolate cake base recipe by 3, then divide between one 12-inch prepared cake pan and one 6-inch prepared cake pan (leave a little extra to fill in the middle to fill out the middle layers). Bake the 12-inch cake for 30-35 minutes, and the 6-inch cake for 20-25 minutes.

For the middle chocolate layers, multiply the chocolate cake base recipe by 2, then divide between one 10-inch prepared cake pan and one 8-inch prepared cake pan. Add the remaining batter from the top and bottom layers as needed. Bake the 10-inch cake for 30-35 minutes, and the 8-inch cake for 22-25 minutes.

For the vanilla buttercream, multiply the base recipe by 5.

For the chocolate buttercream, multiply the base recipe by 3.

For assembling the cake, you’ll need:
Bench scraper
Offset spatula
Cardboard cake rounds
Spinning cake stand
Large cake spatula, to easily transfer tiers (optional)
Plastic cake dowels
Scissors

Instructions:
1. Working 1 at a time, use a serrated knife to gently cut off the dome of each cake layer (slice horizontally around the cake, rotating as needed, to make a level cut). Using scissors, cut cardboard cake rounds into 4 circles (1 for each tier), making sure each circle is slightly smaller than the cake itself.

2. Place one 12-inch layer of vanilla cake on a cardboard cake board, then transfer to spinning cake stand. Using an offset spatula, spread over a ¾-inch layer of chocolate buttercream, leaving a ¼-inch border (this ensures that the chocolate buttercream doesn’t bleed into the vanilla buttercream on the outside of the cake). Check the cake at eye-level to make sure the buttercream is level; then, top with 12-inch chocolate cake layer, cut-side down. Spread over a ¾-inch layer of chocolate buttercream and check at eye-level to make sure the second layer of buttercream is level. Top with remaining 12-inch layer of vanilla cake, cut-side down, then chill for 30 minutes to set frosting. Repeat with the remaining cake tiers.

3. Once each tier has chilled 30 minutes, spread a very thin layer of vanilla buttercream over the outside of each layer. Using a bench scraper, smooth the buttercream into a clean, straight layer around the sides of the cake. This layer seals any crumbs into the cake and fills any small holes that will prevent the cake from looking smooth. Chill again for 15 minutes.

4. Working 1 tier at a time, place each layer on spinning cake stand, then add vanilla buttercream to the top and sides of each cake. Using a bench scraper and rotating the cake, smooth the buttercream so that the layers in between are visible but still coated in buttercream. Check the cake at eye-level to make sure it is level, topping with more vanilla buttercream as needed. Then, measure the height of each tier and cut plastic cake dowels to match (you’ll need 4 per tier). Insert dowels straight-down into each tier, forming a square around the center of each cake (imagine the dowels as corners of the square with 3-4 inches between them, depending on the diameter of the tier). Chill in refrigerator to set buttercream, 15 minutes more.

5. When you’re ready to assemble, working from the largest tier to the smallest, spread a thin layer of vanilla buttercream over plastic dowels (to help the tiers adhere to each other). Place tiers on top of each other, using additional vanilla buttercream as needed to fill in gaps between the tiers and conceal any visible cardboard. If you notice you’re cake doesn’t look level as you add tiers, use the buttercream to correct this by spreading additional layers on top of each tier.

6. Once the entire cake is assembled, use the bench scraper to smooth the sides and tops of each tier. At this point, you can add fresh flowers in clusters to each tier of the cake. If you’d like to pipe any additional decorations, chill the cake for an hour before frosting the cake as desired.

Recipe contributed by Plated Recipe Development Manager Grace Pescatello.

Love experimenting in the kitchen? Try Plated!

Get 25% off your first four weeks of Plated!
x

On the List?

Subscribe to Plated's Newsletter

Thanks for signing up!

There was an error signing you up.
Please check that your email is valid. Try again