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Tier Wedding Cake
Weddings can become expensive, but you can save money while
getting the wedding cake you've always wanted. The instructions
from former Wilton representative and baking expert Zella Junkin
are perfect for a wedding, but the tier cake is just as impressive
for anniversaries, birthdays, and other special events.
butter cream icing
light corn syrup
large angled spatula
cake tier set
-columns (plastic dowel rods)
-cherubs or accessories
icing tips: #199 shell, #16 star, #3 round (a #21 star tip may be
used for larger cakes)
cake dividing circle
cake board (circular cardboard)
assorted round cake pans in graduated sizes.
craft knife or pruning shears
When baking a cake tier, remember to bake two cakes, i.e. a three
tier cake is composed of 6 cake layers. Place icing between each
layer before covering with butter cream icing.
- Place cake on cake board, then set on cake stand.
- Thin the buttercream icing with light corn syrup
(approximately 2 tsp. for each cup). The consistency is correct
when your spatula glides over the icing.
- With a large angled spatula, place a mound of icing on the
cake's top, and spread across cake, pushing the excess down onto
sides. Always keep spatula on the icing surface, and avoid
touching the cake.
- Cover the sides with excess icing from the top, adding more
icing if necessary. Work from the top down, forcing any loose
crumbs to the cake base.
- Smooth the side of the cake first. Hold the spatula upright
against the side of the cake, and slowly spin the cake stand
without lifting the spatula from the cake's surface. Remove
- Smooth the top of the cake last, again using the edge of the
large spatula. Sweep the edge of the spatula from the rim of the
cake to its center, then lift it off, and remove the excess
- .Remove cake from cake stand, and set on a cake dividing
- Using the dividing circle as a guide, mark equal
measurements in the cake's icing at the top edge where icing
swags will be added.
- Place cake back on icing stand. Use a #3 icing tip to make a
thin icing swag along the cake's side, making sure the icing
lies between the marks. This serves as your pattern for
decorating. Repeat around cake.
- Using a #15 star tip, cover the thin swags with the thicker
zig-zag icing swag.
- Using the #3 tip again, make three swags lying above, below,
and on top of the thick zig-zag icing swag.
- Add #199 shells along the top edge of the cake to complete
- Repeat along bottom edge of cake.
- On the base tier, center a cake separator or plate one size
smaller than the next tier, and press the separator or plate
gently into icing to imprint and outline. Remove circle.
- Measure one plastic dowel rod at the cake's lowest point
within this circle. Using this dowel rod as a guide, cut dowel
rods to the same size. Generally, the larger and more numerous
the upper tiers, the more dowel rods needed.
- Insert dowel rods into the lower tiers to bear the weight.
- Position separator plates on supporting tier, making sure
each tier lines up with the pillars below.
- When you are setting up the final display, align pillars and
assemble tiers, then add cherub accessories, floral holders, and
- Plan ahead so that all your instruments are at a hand's
reach while you're working.
- To keep your serving base free of icing when you decorate,
place 3" wide strips of waxed paper under each side of your
Always mix enough of any one color of icing. It is extremely
difficult to duplicate an exact shade.
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