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Food and Cakes

Any brides who baked their own cake?

Tight, tight budget here. The cheapest person I found to do a cake was $500, not bad at all, but for my budget, I can do better. I have some friends who make cakes for fun and they are beautiful! But none of them want the responsibility of baking a wedding cake. (I don't see the big deal, all I want is a cake that looks like a birch tree.. just white buttercream with black scuffs) So I recently thought "well hey, it doesn't seem that difficult... I can do that" I bake cakes for fun myself, and I'm sure I'm capable... its just the timeline I'm scared of. If I'm getting married on August 15th, my plan was to bake cakes on the 13th, freeze them, decorate it on the 14th, and then wedding on the 15th... Is this even doable? I've never been to a wedding in my life, and everyone around me has had very informal weddings so I don't know what the days leading up to a wedding entails... Has anyone else ever baked their own cake or is planning on it?

Re: Any brides who baked their own cake?

  • Yep, I baked my cake! If you'll be baking it on 8/13, there's no reason to freeze it. I baked mine, filled the layers, and put a crumb coat on each layer, wrapped them well and stick them in the freezer a few weeks before my wedding. Then a few days before, I took them out of the freezer to thaw. The day before the wedding, I put the final coat of frosting on, stacked and decorated them, and stuck the cake in the fridge till just before the wedding.

    I highly, highly recommend the book Wedding Cakes You Can Make by Dede Wilson (link). She lays out all the steps, gives tons of special tips, and tells you what equipment you'll need for cakes of every size. The book also includes several tested recipes that you can mix and match to create your perfect cake flavor. It's totally worth it.
  • Wow! Thank you so much! I thought I might be crazy for wanting to do it myself, but now I feel pretty dang confident if I'm not alone!
  • I baked my own cake. I refrigerated it - no need to freeze it. I baked it Wednesday night, brushed on a light layer of homemade simple syrup and wrapped it in several layers of saran wrap to make sure it stayed moist. Then I frosted it and did the fondant on Thursday - refrigerated it until Saturday.

    The most expensive part was buying the pans and tools. If your friends do this for fun and you're on a budget, just ask if you can borrow their pans and tools. That way, you're just paying for ingredients.
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  • I didn't DIY the cake for my wedding but have for DH's cousins... 

    One place to check - Walmart, Target, Sam's Club, or your favorite grocery store bakery - if you're going to have to set the cake up yourself anyway, that's one option that would make it less work for you and the pricing is pretty reasonable..  And save you money and time...  Sam's club you can purchase pre-baked cakes and decorate them yourself, or have them do it for you and you won't have to purchase pans.  If you go with their whipped icing (Bettercreme), it's super yummy!  They will sell full boxes of their decorations (gumpaste flowers)..  It's just a lot less work and money!  I had to do this for one of his cousin's wedding's because I was in the hospital and had to come up with something quick on short notice (cupcakes) because I wasn't going to leave them having nothing...  Everyone loved them LOL...

    $500 is cheap compared to the nickels and dimes of DIY the cake (it's not just the pans, it's the trial runs, ingredients, supports, decorations, cake boards, coupler bags, icing tips, gumpaste/fondant cutters, etc. but MOST importantly, the value of YOUR time the week of the wedding because I'm guessing you're also doing other DIY things to shave the budget in other areas. 

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  • I was in two weddings with grocery store cakes. One was just a sheet cake with some real flowers on it (beautiful!) The other was a more traditional tiered wedding cake. I picked up the cake in separate boxes and someone put it together at the venue. Both were amazingly delicious!
    MesmrEwe
  • Will your venue allow this? Some venues have rules about food that is not prepared in a Health Department approved kitchen.
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    MesmrEweatlastmrsg
  • Yes our venue is okay with it. Our venue is pretty lax on anything and everything and even loan out catering equipment. We have the building for 24 hours and can do whatever as long as we clean up.
    Thank you so much for telling me about Sam's club and the pre bakes caked and sugar flowers!!! I would very much rather do the decorating myself because I wanna make my own filling (Something like the lindt stracciatella truffles) and I don't think Sam's could do that. Thank you so so much!!!
  • to save some time you could purchase the cake layers unfilled un decorated from the grocery store or sams club make the filling yourself and assemble you would save a lot of time by not having to bake your cake


  • mysticl said:
    Will your venue allow this? Some venues have rules about food that is not prepared in a Health Department approved kitchen.
    This!!!  But most of the time it comes down to venues making their own choices on this because most states have a clause for things like bake sales, churches, family events, wedding cakes, etc.  It's a gray area in the food code, but important to consider because I know a couple reception sites around here who get their panties in a bundle on this!!!
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  • I plan on making my own cake as well. I really want a huge cake, that is the look I have always loved. But the size I want and my picky tastes, I decided it would be easier for me to do it. But instead of baking at the actual huge cake everyone will see, I am going to make a fake cake and then have sheet cakes in the back. The fake cake I can do at my own leisure. I will cut a chunk of of the foam and insert a real piece of cake (  the day before the wedding probably) so I will still have that cake  cutting picture. Then we will wheel the cake in the back so the guest don't see and the sheet cakes will be cut.

    I have done this before for a friends wedding. I made her a fake cake out of foam and covered it in fondant. She had a little slice to cut and it turned out super cute.
  • My sisters both baked their own cakes, and they were beautiful (and super delicious).  They both did a lot of research and planning beforehand, including several small test cakes (this was great in my book, because I love cake).  It was nice, because they each wanted something a little different, and we're from a fairly small town where our options were limited to fairly traditional wedding cakes.  My youngest sister, who got married in May, actually made both the wedding cake (a 3-tier lavender-chamomile with lemon curd filling) and the groom's cake (Guinness chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, in a cowboy-boot pan that she bought off of Ebay).  She made them far in advance, froze them, and then put them together the day before.

    I'm planning on cupcakes, and I'll likely do my own as well--one of the first things I always do for my FI when he comes home from deployment is bake some of his favorites, so it's kind of our "thing".

  • A cake baker once told me to never refrigerate cake because it dries it out, maybe something to think about as you plan when to bake. Good luck :)
  • Charlotte - that's only the case if you don't have it properly covered..
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  • edited September 2014
    I did about 300 cupcakes for my sister's wedding a few years ago.  I'm a good baker but I wouldn't say it's the ideal scenario the day before the wedding with everything else going on.  Lesson learned, I'm spending the $ to pay someone else to do mine.

    *Hint from a baker, if you want the cake to be super moist, wrap it in plastic wrap as soon as it is cool enough to get out of the pan (but still hot) This seals in the moisture and almost eliminated the need for syrup.
  • My fiancé and I have decided to make our own wedding cake together, both as a way to save money and to incorporate something of "us" into the reception, which is going to be a open, cocktail type event rather than a traditional meal/reception type event. . I am lucky enough to be marrying a chef, or there is no way I would be brave enough to do this on my own!
  • My fiancé and I have decided to make our own wedding cake together, both as a way to save money and to incorporate something of "us" into the reception, which is going to be a open, cocktail type event rather than a traditional meal/reception type event. . I am lucky enough to be marrying a chef, or there is no way I would be brave enough to do this on my own!
    You are lucky to be marrying a chef, for sure!

    Regarding the bolded, I would just make sure you have enough seats for everyone and, if the wedding/reception is during a meal time that you have enough food to constitute a meal.

    I went to a wedding last year where they had a "mingling/cocktail" reception. They ran out of food because it was dinner time and they didn't serve a meal. And they didn't have enough seats for people so people left early. Just a caution. You can pull off an event like this nicely, but it's SO important to have tons of food and seats for every butt.
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    MesmrEwe
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