Self made wedding cakes - am I crazy?!?!

We are wanting to have loads of little cup cakes as our wedding cake, as I think they're cute and fun and easier to dish out to everyone after - they can just go and grab them form the cake stand! We are then going to have a little made cake on the top of this pile of cup cakes to cut for 'official photos' that I know a lot of relatives would want (we're not that fussed by it all).

I started to look around at prices and the cheapest I could find was £1.50 each!! (we are thinking about having 80 odd). We're trying to cut down on the bits that we aren't really that fussed about, and although these cakes did look very yummy indeed I can't justify spending £100 on cake that people might or might not eat, especially after paying for 3 course meal, reception drinks, buffet etc!! So I came up with the idea of making the cup cakes ourselves - it will be a hell of a lot cheaper plus something that I can get everyone involved in (we're talking about very basic cup cakes with very simple icing etc nothing too fancy!).

But will this be too much work for me and my little helpers the day just before the wedding? (I'm guessing it would have to be at least the day before for them to actually taste nice on the day!!). Has anyone made their own wedding cake or planning on doing so? Am I letting myself in for more hassle and bother thats not really needed? Any tips of ideas would be lovely, thank you!


  • mrsgibbs2bmrsgibbs2b Posts: 468
    I am crazy too and making my own cake!!!

    Apparently it is fine to freeze sponge, so you could make your little cakes in advance and then just decrate them the day before??? I'm thinking this is what I will need to do or I'll be rushed off my feet!

    Also, I definitely need some of those huge heat retardent mittens so I don't burn my arms - which would be a typical me thing to do!!!!
  • bennicuk1bennicuk1 Posts: 933
    I'm still waivering on cupcakes, but am leaning more towards than away. I calculated this weekend that to make 140 odd cupcakes with 2 trays in the oven at a time for 20 minutes each wouldn't really take all that long. Could make them 2-3 days before and last ok. I've had a trial run of a small batch in the freezer too (without icing). They didn't make it until a month in the freezer as we are greedy, but my mum assures me cake lasts an eternity in the freezer (and she freezes hers with normal icing on the top. Infact just yesterday we tucked into some frozen cake at her house!

    I think if you have some help and don't think you'll be rushing around go for it! I know for me, the idea of baking a few days before my wedding is the most lovely thought ever, I love baking.
  • We're planning on doing to same- don't they take more like 10 mins to bake? we're going to bake them a few days before and try to beg/borrow/steal big loads of tupperware to store them in.

    We went to an AMAZING cake making shop the other day and had a browse through some books and lloked at the stuff they had on offer- you can really go mad and spend LOADS on decoration, but there are some realy simple and effective ideas too.

    If you want some ideas, email me and I'll let you know
  • bennicuk1bennicuk1 Posts: 933
    Depends how big you make them! I use muffin trays so about 20 minutes on a low heat works perfect.
  • KeepingMumKeepingMum Posts: 566
    in case its any help...Asda do plain cupcakes you could just decorate yourself. Cant remember exact price but something like 20 for £1!!

    I get them for kids parties and decorate them - everyone assumes you made them too!! (shh!)

    They do plain and chocolate ones.

    Mght make it a little less work to just decorate them - but you can still make them really personal. (And you can try them fist to see if they are Ok for you)

    KM x
  • tuppenceuktuppenceuk Posts: 5,346
    I'm making cupcakes a few days before the wedding.

    Found a recipe for chocolate brownie cupcakes on the nigella website, and did a test run earlier this year - they last for at least half a week without showing the slightest sign (perhaps due to the sheer amount of chocolate in them image ).
  • Thanks for this - I was considering making my own 3 tier cake, but I think perhaps this is a little over optimistic for me.......but the cupcakes idea is PERFECT!

    Tuppence, I've just found the recipe, so i think i'll also be making my own cupcakes befoere the wedding

    Thanks for the inspiration, girls image

    Edited - Hope you don't mind me stealing your idea, Tuppence??

    [Modified by: DivingDaisy on August 05, 2008 09:49 AM]

  • NaomeiNaomei Posts: 2,273
    Hey, I think you could do it but like other people have said, you can get plain cupcakes too from the supermarket and that might be easier (plus they might have preservatives in them that stop them going stale so quickly).

    The thing about making your own - which I think is a fab idea btw - is that they would not all be uniform sizes probably. When I make them they are all different sizes! So I think it would depend on whether you're going for the kind of quirky look or whether you want them all exactly the same...

    One thing that Nigella does that looks cool is a) metallic cake cases and b) she fills them up less (so they don't rise as high as the top of the cake case) and then ices them level with the top of the cake case. If you get what I mean. So the result is a very flat top, like the ones you can buy (Fabulous Bakin' Boys etc). I've tried it and that's one of the easiest ways to make quite uniform neat looking cakes.

    The other way is to do the full on muffiny style ie big New York style cupcakes, you know the ones with huge whipped frosting on.They taste amazing but they definitely need more effort as the buttercream icing needs to be piped on, and you need to make more effort to make them look fancy. They look amazing though.

    You can also get metallic chocolate buttons (dragees) which look great on cupcakes... make them look a bit glitzy!
  • lorrdainelorrdaine Posts: 1,316
    i am not sure about how long you can store them - but just wanted to say that i think its great that you are considering making your own. all of the girls who are doing it. i think its really personal even if its been done to save money. good luck everyone who is making their own!! xxxx
  • ska_girlukska_girluk Posts: 581
    oooh NaoCat reading your reply make me feel so hungry whilst you were describing the different topping for cakes - hmmm, buttercream icing...

    I think it may be a case of having a couple of trial runs and seeing how talented me and my relatives and bridesmaids actually are in the baking department! I'm sure I've brought those Asda cakes before Keeping Mum for one of my girly get togethers and they went down well, so they might be a possible option too. Thank you all for your suggestions and tips, I'm now looking forward to making lots of (hopefully) yummy cakes!!
  • Hi, bit of a lurker on the unconventional forum as you always have such interesting debates... thought I would tell you about my experiences making cupcakes for my wedding... made 100 american style frosted cupcakes, with two of my bridesmaids helping me out.

    We made the cakes the weekend before the wedding. It took around six (yes, six!) hours from start to finish... the actual baking is not so hard as you can do it in batches, but the decorating of 100 individual cakes takes quite some time! Best to keep the decor as simple as possible!

    When they were all iced we then put them in cardboard tray boxes lined with kitchen paper towel, wrapped the boxes in cling film and froze them.

    We were travelling a couple of hundred miles to the wedding venue, leaving the day before the wedding and staying overnight, so the freezing was good for two things - the frozen cakes were easier to transport as less likely to squish together, and they defrosted overnight keeping them cool and fresh until they were needed.

    All the guests commented on how lovely the cakes were, although I found them a bit too large to be honest - they are very sweet with all the frosting on too!

    I'll try and post a pic

  • Nope can't work out how to do it from Photobox!
  • clindleyukclindleyuk Posts: 776
    my friend went to a wedding where on the invite they were asked to make a few cupcakes with white or pink icing - problem solved, get the guests to do it for you! and you will probably have loads left over too!! xx
  • I'm so glad to have found this today as I just had a let down on the cake front.

    When we first got engaged I was really set on making my own wedding cake as I LOVE baking so I tested out a few different recipes for a non-traditional cake. These turned out to be some of the first flops I have ever made - anybody read 'like water for chocolate' - I really think that your feelings can get into the food as I was nervous about these. Then I thought I could do traditional because one can make it ages before and it would make my mum happy so we made a trial cake. It was nice, but I'm not a major fan of traditional cake. And the icing was a real pain! Soon afterwards I was chatting to a great local baker who said she did wedding cakes and would be willing to advise/do the cake, but when it came to our meeting she said she was too busy and generally gave off a reluctant attitude. So I'm back to making my own... and going traditional, hope my guests don't mind! Glad others are also doing this!
  • tuppenceuktuppenceuk Posts: 5,346
    I tried out a few different recipes - a couple from the nigella site, and a few from books. The choc brownie one was the easiest (for me), and worked every time I tried it. Can't guarantee that other recipes won't like other people more image

    PS - feel free to steal idea - I'm nicking the recipe after all image

  • Hi, have been looking for a group of people making their own cakes!

    I think it's a great idea to do your own cupcakes - there's lots of websites that do brilliant cup-cake cases with different designs on. You could even do a few different flavours to mix it up a bit.

    My mum and I both do loads of baking and last year we tried baking traditional fruitcake in cupcake cases to sell at a christmas fair - it went brilliantly and they tasted lovely (had to be careful not to overbake though) and it occurred to me that it would be quite a fun take on the traditional cake - fruit cupcakes....

    Another thought I had was about icing the cakes, I don't know how you feel about fondant, but it is very easy to work with and it struck me that you could cut circles out the right size for the top of the cakes with a fluted cutter, brush the tops of the cupcakes with glaze (jam maybe for plain cake, or any other kind of glaze for other flavours) and just drop the little circle on the top.

    The Jane Asher website is brilliant (if a little pricey) for cake toppers such as rice-paper roses and different coloured sprinkles.

    If you're any good with a piping bag, you could make run-outs of a particular shape or motif, months in advance, and use them to top the cupcakes. I recently made a huge batch of "apple logo" runouts for my mac-obsessed brother's birthday cake, sure it took a while but once I got into the swing it wasn't too bad.

    Sorry for such a long post, drop me an email if you want more info on any of my suggestions, or just to chat about baking generally. I have a HUGE collection of baking books and would love to help anyone who's looking for recipes.

    C xx
  • RobsGirlukRobsGirluk Posts: 594

    Ive just found this thread and its lovely to know that others are making their own cake too.

    After what feels like looking at a million and one wedding cake pics i have decided to make my own. I love baking and have ordered the equipment im going to need online this evening so hopefully i can have a trial run at the end of next week, im really excited ( is that sad?)

    Im hoping to make a three tier chocolate sponge cake, 12,9 and 7 inch tiers. I have ordered a personalised cake topper ( h2b as Superman and im Wonderwoman ) and im going to decorate it in white sugarpaste icing with red, blue and gold ribbon with a few gold stars dotted about , well thats the plan anyway, who knows what it will turn out like, if im brave enough i will post a few pics.

    Good luck to everyone with their baking!

  • SwanlakeSwanlake Posts: 1,032

    Great that you are making your own cakes! I made my own for my first wedding. They were slightly taller than a traditional fairy cake as I wanted to serve them for dessert at the wedding. Instead of decorating them, they were arranged on a 3 tier stand and then my mum and I srpinkled them with edible glitter and icing sugar. We then added a lot of fresh flowers and the result was fab!

    We served them with different fruits, coulis and chocolate sauce. Yum!

  • DustyMothDustyMoth Posts: 1,528

    My mum and I both do loads of baking and last year we tried baking traditional fruitcake in cupcake cases to sell at a christmas fair - it went brilliantly and they tasted lovely (had to be careful not to overbake though) and it occurred to me that it would be quite a fun take on the traditional cake - fruit cupcakes....

    Oh! Picketywitch, I'm so glad you've said that! Dave and I both love fruitcake, but we like the idea of fairy cakes instead of a big one, and I had been pondering if it would work - what sort of recipie did you use? I've got a fabulous dundee cake recipie I had been pondering using if we went traditional - would that work out do you think?

    Also... What do you other wierd brides think of lots of mini fruitcake/weddingy cakes? Mental or inspired?!!! We were also pondering this sort of arrangement with a slightly bigger one on top to give us something to cut....

  • ellie63ukellie63uk Posts: 126
    This photo is amazing!! We're quite lucky in that it is traditional in my partner's family for each woman (sister, aunties, granny etc) to make one tier of the cake - as many as are required. So his Mum can make the fruit layer, his sister the lemon layer, my sister the carrot layer etc, and I just have to make a wee vegan chocolate one for the top - and I might even delegate that to my H2B who'se a great baker. Then whoever is best at it will ice the lot with a few little helpers the day before. I like the idea of it being personal without me having to do lots of work!!
  • bennicuk1bennicuk1 Posts: 933
    How perfect are those cakes iced?! How on earth does someone get that good at icing. I thought I was getting better, but those cakes are amazing!

    I'm *hopefully* doing lots of cakes, but in this sort of arrangement:

  • Dusty Moth - I think dundee cupcakes would be wonderful!! You could do a trial run if you've got time, but I reckon they'd be fine anyway and me being me I'd probably just try and wing it (I'm a bit mad sometimes) They would probably take a lot lot less time (maybe about half??) so I'd be tempted to try them after about 15 minutes (stick a cocktail stick in the middle and if it comes out sticky/gungy you need to bake for longer.

    My fiance's favourite cake is a nigella recipe which is a really light fruit cake (more like a dundee) with chunks of marzipan in the mixture, really moist and delicious.

    As for the arrangement, I love that photo and I think it looks lovely. A lot of the "wedding cake" websites have a 3- or 4-tier stand with a "cutting cake" on the top, but I love that picture!!

    Wilton make this cake tin:

    which you might be able to buy or even rent from your local cake-decorating shop.

    Otherwise, a brioche pan has the same wibbly sides as a cupcake (almost) and you could do it that way. No idea how you'd make an icing nozzle big enough for the buttercream though!!

    Have a look on ebay for the stands, or ask your venue - they may well have one.

    If you're feeling really hands-on, I know someone who made a tiered arrangement of cupcakes using cake-boards in the right sizes and baked bean tins wrapped in wrapping paper!!
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