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Dec 21, 2009 03:03 PM

Baking a friend's wedding cake--please help!


I have somehow wound up becoming that friend who makes wedding cakes (which I have mixed feelings about!), and am supposed to make a wedding cake for one of my best friends in two weeks. I am driving myself crazy with thinking through the following questions and would really love some help from more experienced and wiser bakers than me! Any opinions/suggestions/fun stories would be welcome.

1. The number of guests will be 110. The cake will not be the only dessert--delicious baklava will also be served. If I make a three-tier cake with 6x3, 10x3, and 14x3 tiers (split and filled), will this be enough for 110? It is hard to tell what size to make the cake as different bakers seem to use different metrics--Wilton says this would result in 128 servings, while Martha Stewart (from her 1980s-era "Weddings" book) says it would result in only about 60.

2. The bride&groom have requested an almond cake, which I am super psyched about. I had the following ideas for fillings for an almond butter cake with an amaretto buttercream:

1. A layer of almond pastry cream topped with fresh raspberries for the filling
2. A layer of lemon pastry cream or lemon curd spread on top of a layer of almond dacquoise
3. Split the cake twice, and do two fillings: one raspberry jam, one almond pastry cream
4. Something else?

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  1. almond goes very well for coffee and carmel too.

    I have the feeling that this size cake will be a bit small for 110. If you have a denser cake with a richer butter cream filling you might be able to cut it into smaller pieces, but, i would make more just in case the servers end up cutting bigger pieces like they did at the one wedding i made the cake for. Thankfully, we had made double what we thought we needed and we did not run out.

    One thing to do would be to cut pieces of parchment paper to the size of your pans (don't count the top layer as that goes to the bride and groom) and then draw on them how the cake would be cut normally and count. That way there is no doubt and you can give the cutting chart to the servers and they will be more likely not to mess it up.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hala

      +1 on the diagram; it's a great idea and think you're right about the amount of cake..better to have more than not enough...

    2. I think the size will end up just fine, presuming you cut the top layer too. You're on the edge of having enough, but if the numbers don't increase you're good.

      Your flavor ideas sound great. With almond butter cake and aaretto buttercream,I'd like the almond pastry cream with raspberries or raspberry jam.

      1. Deb at Smitten Kitchen did a wedding cake for a friend and posted a nice tutorial and helpful hints. You may want to run through it.

        1. Check out Rose Levy Beranbaum's site. I know some think her recipes are too much work, but they never fail.

          1. I love almond everything. Less will be more, I would stick to the lemon curd or pastry cream.