How to Bake a Wedding Cake

Learning how to bake a wedding cake is a big job. Follow basic instructions from Wilton - a well known expert on everything cakes!

You can learn how to apply fancy icing, but no amount of skilled decorating can disguise an uneven tier or rough icing. Certain elements of the preparation, such as the baking process, is essential for a beautiful cake.

Follow the Recipe Directions

Using a quality boxed mix is perfectly fine. Many good bakers start with Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker mixes. But follow the baking directions to a "T"! Now is no time for experimentation. Follow recipe directions for recommended batter amounts and specific baking instructions the pan size you choose.

Take a temperature reading with a thermometer in your oven to be sure the heating degrees are at the correct setting. If not, adjust accordingly.

Prepare the Baking Pans

Prepare the pan by generously greasing the inside with solid vegetable shortening using a pastry brush or paper towel. For the best results, do not use butter, margarine or liquid vegetable oil.Spread the shortening so that any indentations are covered.

Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of flour inside the pan and shake so that the flour covers all greased surfaces. Turn the pan upside down and tap lightly to removed excess flour. If any uncovered spots remain, touch up with shortening and flour.

If you want to do it the easy way, Wilton Cakes offers Bake Easy™ Non-Stick Spray and Cake Release. Both products go on easy and release your cakes with a smooth, low crumb finish to icing!

After baking the specified time, remove it from the oven and let it cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife between the cake and side of pan. Unmold from pan by placing a cooling rack against the cake and turn both cooling rack and pan over. Life pan off carefully. Cool at least ONE HOUR before icing. Brush off loose Crumbs.

Leveling the Cake with a Knife

The next step is important when you learn how to bake a wedding cake. After the cake has cooled at least one hour, level the top. this can be done in two ways.

Using a serrated knife. Place the cake on a cake board, then place the board on a Wilton Trim 'nTurn Decorating Turntable

While slowly rotating the stand, move the knife back and forth across the top of the cake in a sawing motion to remove the crown (the raised part of the cake when it bakes.) Try to keep the knife level as you cut.

Leveling Using a Wilton Cake Leveler

After you bake a wedding cake, you will need to level the top by removing the crown of the cake. The easiest way is to use a Wilton Cake Leveler. You position the ends of the cutting wire into the notches at the desired height.

They come in two sizes, one for regular cakes and the other for larger cakes. Pretty neat? Learning how to bake a cake seems like it's getting easier all the time!

Torting a Wedding Cake

Now that you know how to bake a wedding cake . . . let's get more fancy.

Torting simply means to cut a cake into multiple layers. Torting adds extra height, drama and taste to the cake when the layers are filled with icing, pudding or fruit filling.

Simply measure the cake layer and mark the halfway point with toothpicks or dots of icing.

Cut again with either a serrated knife or a Wilton Cake Leveler.

Separate the layers by gently sliding a cake circle between layers and lift off. Repeat for each additional layer.

Each tier in the cake, with the exception of the base tier, must be on an uncovered cake circle or board the same size as the tier. This is necessary whether the tier will be positioned on a separator plate, stacked on another tier, or placed on a foil-covered cake board. The board makes it easier to handle the tiers when decorating, offers support for construction and makes it easier to take the cake apart for cutting.

Place each tier on the same size cardboard circle. Position the white surface of the board against the cake. Place a few strokes of icing on the board to secure in place.

If you are baking a shaped cake (such as a heart) and don't have a matching board, simply trace around the pan on corrugated cardboard to get a shaped board.

The base needs to be very supported by a strong board. Place the base tier directly on a sturdy base of three or more thicknesses of corrugated cardboard. For increased strength, tape the three layers together with corrugation lines running in opposite directions. Cover with Fanci-Foil Wrap. For heavy cakes, use 1/4 thick fiberboard or plywood.

I hope you enjoyed this brief tutorial on baking beautiful cakes. Now you can move on to the next step by learning how to apply icing.

All photos and instructions were courtesy of All photos and instructions were courtesy of Wilton. All rights reserved.

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