" Father of the Bride" May I Propose...Toast

Okay, this isn't as much a recipe as it is instructions for putting the pieces together. So sue us! Wedding cakes are hard monsters to build without some help!

You will need:

  • 3 fully baked cakes (e.g., pound cakes, white cakes, carrot cakes, etc. 12", 9", and 6" in diameter)
  • 3 strong cake boards (one of each size to fit the above diameter cakes)
  • 15 cups buttercream frosting or 8 lbs. of rolled icing (also called sugar paste, available at baking supply stores)
  • 9 plastic or wooden cake dowels
  • plenty of decorative doo-dads
  • 1 sentimental and appropriate ornamental cake support (matrimonial pillars, bowling trophy, favorite remote control or, better yet, a fetching retro-style blender containing pet goldfish)
  • 2 airline tickets to Vegas for quickie divorce when you come to your senses


  1. Unmold cakes and allow to cool on a rack. Invert so that cake's flat bottom is on top and use a serrated knife to trim away irregularities and create an even surface.
  2. Place each cake on its corresponding cake board. (You may prevent the cakes from shifting by spreading a little frosting on each board prior to placing the cakes.)
  3. If filling is desired, slice each cake in half evenly, remove the top half and the spread bottom half with an even layer of raspberry jam, lemon curd, or buttercream frosting. Replace the top half.
  4. Starting at the top and working your way down to the sides, ice each cake with a thin coat of buttercream frosting. (This is called a crumb coat.) Allow crumb coat to set for twenty minutes then follow with a thicker layer of buttercream. If using rolled icing, skip the second coat of buttercream and proceed to the next step.
  5. Sift a little powdered sugar on a clean work surface and knead the sugar paste until smooth. Dust with additional powdered sugar as needed to keep the sugar paste from sticking.
  6. Roll out the sugar paste into a disc large enough to cover the top and sides of the largest cake (about 18" in diameter). Use your clean hands or an offset spatula to smooth out the icing to get rid of any creases or rolling pin marks.
  7. Very carefully lift the disc by slipping both hands under the rolled-out sugar paste and drape loosely over the cake, without pressing against the sides. Use your hands to smooth out the top working from the middle outward to force out any bubbles trapped beneath the surface. Then gently smooth down the sides of the cake, removing as many folds and creases as possible.
  8. Use a pizza cutter or paring knife to neatly trim excess sugar paste from around the bottom edges. Inspect and smooth out any remaining rough spots and set aside to firm up before decorating further. Repeat the process to ice the remaining 2 cakes.
  9. Push one of the cake dowels all the way into the 12" cake, mark the dowel at the level of the cake's top and remove. Use this mark as a guide to cut 5 equal-length dowels. Push the trimmed dowels evenly into the 12" cake. (These dowels will serve to support the 9" layer to be placed on top.) Carefully center and rest the 9" cake directly over the dowels.
  10. Cut four more cake dowels as directed above and place evenly around the center of the 9" cake. (These will provide stability for the ornamental cake support.) Carefully position the ornamental cake support directly over the dowels in the center of the 9" cake and place the 6" cake on top of the support. Then decorate with abandon.
  11. Make sure you are well on your way to Niagara Falls for the honeymoon before anyone discovers the mountain of dirty dishes you've left in the kitchen.

Serves 80

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