Going to the chapel….

No… not me silly. It’s my sisters wedding of course. Meaning I have taken on my biggest challenge yet. Make a wedding cake for 120 people. From Scratch, no instructions!

As I am not one to turn down a challenge or make it easy for myself, I naively started planning an elaborate tiered cake with many different flavours, decorations and general wedding flair.

However this was not to be. The request for fruit cake as the top tier and my lack of confidence in producing two tiers of sponge that could withstand the weight of a hefty fruit cake led me to ponder on how to 3 tiers of fruit cake that weren’t boring as anything. No Hydrolic lifts, or jazzy stage lights. Just 3 tiers of fruit cake.

Time to throw out the recipe book! As you know there is nothing quite like a bit of experimentation when you have a specific date, a specific number of mouths to feed and a lot of pressure ( please note the pressure is self inflicted, my sister is calm as a cucumber).

I am putting the fear behind me and confidently stating I can do this! In fact I am writing this retrospectively, so we all know I have done this. Well to a certain extent, the cake is yet to be eaten so it could still be undercooked and tasteless but, fingers crossed hey!

Here is my step-by-step guide on how (not) to make a wedding cake

 Number 1: Time for a test cake. This is experimentation at its very best. A whole cake to play around with. My plan throw everything at it and see if I can produce something edible.

I decide on a light fruit cake with a chocolate orange flavouring. Meaning fruit was soaked in Grand Marnier and I added dark chocolate chips. This was definitely a success. It tasted delicious, and other than the burnt outside and the fact that the fruit sunk to the bottom it was wedding ready.

With the basic gist sorted time for step two.

Number 2: Make a second test cake to correct burning and sunken fruit.

So I was planning to make another test before I made the actual cake, but unfortunately time disappeared and I was left with 5 weeks to go until the wedding and no 2nd test cake. Nothing for it but to just hope I get it right.

It was, as they say, time. Time to face my deamons and write a new recipe, use my judgement and hope for the best.

So here we go.

Number 3: Bake the cakes

Three tins 12inch, 9 inch and 7inch, Two Days and One Mission….

( don’t you love the drama)

My (mostly) From Scratch 3 Tier Wedding Cake. 


7 inch (this is more fruit heavy as it will be kept for a few years)

Cooking time: 3 ½ hours 

6oz Butter
6oz Soft Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
4 1/2oz Plain Flour
3oz Ground Almonds
5oz Raisins
10 oz Currants
5oz Sultanas
2oz Mixed Peel
2oz Glace Cherries
1 Orange Zested
1 Lemon Zested
1 tbsp Grand Marnier + Extra for feeding
1/2tsp Mixed Spice
1/4tsp Nutmeg

Now that’s a lot of butter!

9 inch

Cooking time :2 ½ Hours

12oz Butter
12oz Soft Brown Sugar
6 Eggs
9oz Plain Flour
6oz Ground Almonds
6oz Raisins
10 oz Currants
6oz Sultanas
3oz Mixed Peel
3oz Glace Cherries
2 Oranges Zested
1 Lemon Zested
100g Dark Chocolate Chopped
1 tbsp Golden Syrup
1 tbsp Grand Marnier + Extra for feeding
1 1/2tsp Mixed Spice
1 tsp Nutmeg


Cooking time: 3 ½ hours

1lb 12oz Butter
1lb 12oz Soft Brown Sugar
14 Eggs
1lb Plain Flour
13oz Ground Almonds
8oz Raisins
120z Currants
8oz Sultanas
5oz Mixed Peel
5oz Glace Cherries
2 Oranges Zested
1 Lemon Zested
200g Dark Chocolate Chopped
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
1 tbsp Grand Marnier + Extra for feeding
2 1/2 tsp Mixed Spice
1tsp Nutmeg


  1. Measure out your fruit the night before, place in a bowl and cover with 1 tbsp on Grand Marnier
  2. The next day preheat your oven to about 140/150C degrees 
  3. Cream your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  4. Whisk your eggs until they are very light and slowly add bit by bit. With the larger cakes you will need to add a bit of flour/ground almond bit by bit to ensure your mixture doesnt curdle
  5. Sift the flour and pour in the ground almonds. Gently combine
  6. Chop you chocolate into chunks, Zest your lemon and oranges into the mixture. Then add the Fruit and chopped Chocolate. Gently combine
  7. Add your golden syrup and gently stir
  8. Then carefully pour into your tin and flatten- indenting the middle of the cake slightly
  9. Cover up with Greaseproof paper and bake in the oven for the time given above.
  10. Remove the cake and test if its is done by poking a skewer through the middle – if it comes out clean the cake is ready
  11. Leave on the side to cool
  12. When cooled wrap so its airtight and leave somewhere out of the way. You can feed the cake every week with Grand Marnier or another chosen liquor until its ready to be iced

There we have it, 3 tiers, 2 days, 1 cake

The Result

Well they look alright, they smell immense and hopefully in a few weeks time I will be able to confirm that they taste pretty good too.

Number 4: Almond ice

Now I am not here yet so we wont even start to talk about this or the white icing. But all I can say so far is … here’s hoping 🙂

What a great cliff hanger! I can tell you are thirsty for more.

Tune in next time for the final steps on how to (not) make a wedding cake.

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