Vintage glamour wedding cake

Vintage glamour wedding cake

Bake and Decorate
Laura Edwards

A beautiful 3-tiered timeless classic, this could take centre stage at any wedding feast. It can be baked and decorated at least a month in advance and there are no colours to mix as the entire scheme is in cream sugarpaste with highlights of gold. (You could also make this cake in white and gold.) If you break down each stage, giving yourself plenty of time, you may find it easier than you think.

The nuts and bolts


Quantity Ingredient

For the cakes

Quantity Ingredient
1 15 cm diameter, 7 cm deep square cake tin
1 20 cm diameter, 7 cm deep square cake tin
1 25 cm diameter, 7 cm deep square cake tin
2 quantities Rich tamarind fruit cake, batter only
6 tablespoons brandy
250g apricot jam, gently warmed and pushed through a sieve
3kg Marzipan
icing sugar, to dust

For the boards and drums

Quantity Ingredient
1 20 cm square thin board
1 25 cm square thin board
1 30 cm square thin board
1 15 cm diameter, 1 cm thick square cake drum
1 20 cm diameter, 1 cm thick square cake drum
1 25 cm diameter, 1 cm thick square cake drum

For the construction

Quantity Ingredient
1 30 cm diameter, 1 cm thick square cake drum
8 dowelling sticks

For covering the cakes

Quantity Ingredient
icing sugar, to dust
4kg ready mixed 'celebration' cream-coloured sugarpaste
2 tablespoons brandy
8-10 tablespoons white royal icing

For the adornments

Quantity Ingredient
icing sugar, to dust
set 3 blossom cutters, (5 mm, 10 mm, 15 mm)
30 mm butterfly cutter
30g white royal icing
100 small gold dragees in 2 sizes, (optional)
1 small paint brush
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 pot edible gold glitter
2 small artificial cream or white doves

For the top tier

Quantity Ingredient
75cm 3.5 cm-wide vintage gold ribbon

For the middle tier

Quantity Ingredient
95cm 4 cm-wide cream organza
190cm 3 mm-wide gold ribbon

For the bottom tier

Quantity Ingredient
120cm 5.5 cm-wide gold bejewelled ribbon

For the base drum

Quantity Ingredient
1 roll 12 mm-wide double-sided sticky tape
130 cm-plus 1.5 cm-wide cream ribbon


  1. Prepare the cake tins and batter. Divide the batter between the tins, filling each to the same depth. Bake as instructed. The smallest cake will take about 1 ¾ hours, the medium 2 ½–3 hours and the largest about 3 hours: if a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, it is ready. Leave to cool in the tins. When cold, prick all over with a fine skewer and sprinkle in the brandy. Wrap in baking parchment, then foil, until ready to use. You can continue to feed the cakes with 1–2 tablespoons brandy every other week, for a month or 2.
  2. To marzipan the cakes: Take the 20 cm thin board and place the 15 cm drum on it. Brush 1 tablespoon apricot jam into the centre, then place the 15 cm cake on top, upside down so the flat base forms the surface. If it is slightly smaller than the drum, make a strip of marzipan as wide as the side of the cake and the same circumference, and stick it to the edge. Similarly, all cakes should be the same height. If not, apply an extra-thin marzipan layer to the top of the shallow cake (use the tin as a guide). Repeat for the other cakes, placing the 20 cm cake on the same-size drum and 25 cm board, and the 25 cm cake on the same-size drum and 30 cm board.
  3. Brush the 15 cm cake with jam and knead 800 g of marzipan until pliable. Dust the work surface and a rolling pin with icing sugar, and roll out into a rough square slightly larger than the top and sides of the cake and drum and about 5 mm thick. Lift on to the cake and drum, smooth all over and cut away any excess. Cover the other 2 cakes the same way, using 1 kg marzipan each. Leave overnight to firm up.
  4. To cover the base drum: Dust the 30 cm drum with icing sugar and sprinkle with a small amount of water. Knead 1 kg of the sugarpaste until pliable, then dust a work surface and rolling pin with icing sugar and roll it into a rough square slightly larger than the top of the drum and about 3 mm thick. Wrap it loosely around the rolling pin and lift on to the drum. Smooth with your hands and trim away any excess overhanging the sides. Replace the excess in a polythene bag and seal. Leave to dry overnight.
  5. To cover the cakes: The 15 cm cake will need about 800 g of sugarpaste, and the 2 larger cakes about 1 kg each. Work on just 1 cake at a time. For each cake, brush brandy all over the marzipan. This helps the sugarpaste to stick and is also an antiseptic. Lightly dust a clean surface with icing sugar and roll out the sugarpaste into a rough square about 5 mm thick and slightly larger than the diameter of the cakes, its sides, and the drums.
  6. Lift the sugarpaste with your hands, place it over the cake and gently smooth, covering the cake and drum. Do not stretch, and work as quickly as you can, as it will dry out. Cut away any excess, provided it is still clean, and seal in a polythene bag. Leave the 3 cakes overnight.
  7. To build the cake, spread 1–2 tablespoons royal icing into the centre of the base drum. Gently ease away the largest cake and drum from its board using a palette knife and place it exactly in the middle of the base drum.
  8. Now insert 4 dowelling sticks into the large cake, spacing them to form the corners of a square just within where the 20 cm cake will sit. Push down each stick until it hits the drum, and mark with a pen about 1 mm proud of the surface. Remove each stick, score with a knife at the mark, snap and discard the excess. Replace each in its hole.
  9. Spread a spoonful of royal icing into the centre of the largest cake, remove the 20 cm cake and drum from its thin board and place centrally on top of the larger cake, resting the drum on the hidden dowels. Repeat the dowel placing process with this middle tier to add the top cake, again using a spoonful of royal icing to keep it steady.
  10. To make the butterflies and blossoms: You will need about 12–15 butterflies and about 100 blossoms in 3 sizes (I made 25 tiny 5 mm blossoms, 25 medium 10 mm blossoms and 50 large 15 mm blossoms).
  11. The decorations are applied randomly, so this is just a guide. Knead some of the sugarpaste left over from covering the cakes and drums until pliable, and roll out thinly (to 2 mm thick) on a board dusted with a little icing sugar. Stamp out the blossoms and butterflies and allow to dry for a few hours, or preferably overnight. I lay them out as I make them in boxes interleaved with silicone paper. Prop up the butterflies’ wings between two sticks (you could use spare dowelling rods), so the wings will dry as if in flight.
  12. If you like, pipe the centres of the blossoms with a tiny dot of royal icing and then press on a gold dragee. If you prefer, just pipe a dot for the centres. Once the butterflies are dry, paint the edges of the wings with egg white and dip into the glitter.
  13. To finish the cake, apply the ribbons by sticking them at the back of each cake using a little royal icing. On the middle tier, overlay the wide organza ribbon with 2 bands of narrow gold ribbon. Wrap the base drum with the double-sided sticky tape, then stick on its ribbon.
  14. Casual, informal designs do have one huge advantage: any blemishes or marks in the icing can be covered by a decoration! Randomly apply the butterflies and little blossoms all over the 3-tiered cake, sticking on with the royal icing. As a final touch, place the 2 doves in the centre of the top tier.
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