Having a homemade wedding cake can offer a personal touch to your special day. One thing to remember is just because a cake is made at home does not mean it has to look homemade. This particular cake is a red velvet cake with a luscious cream cheese frosting. The design will be a simple and elegant four-tier cake.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease pans; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and cocoa; set aside.
Using the electric mixer, combine sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add in food coloring and vanilla extract. Gradually add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the sugar mixture. Mix until combined. If necessary, scrape the sides of the bowl.
Combine vinegar and baking soda in a small bowl. Add the baking soda mixture to the cake batter and continue to mix on medium for 15 seconds. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely in pans.
Repeat Steps 1 through 3 until you have filled and baked three of each size of pan. When the cakes cool after baking, remove them from the pans and set aside.
Mix vanilla and cream cheese in an electric mixer set to medium and fitted with the paddle attachment until the mixture becomes creamy, approximately two minutes.
Add butter gradually and mix until combined, scraping the sides as needed.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add sugar. Mix until well combined; set aside.
Build the tiers.Trim each of the layers to 1 1/4 inches high. Set layers on corresponding foam board, spreading cream cheese frosting between each layer. You should have four completed tiers, each measuring 4 inches high.
Frost the tiers. Using a spreader or wide spatula, frost the top and sides of the tiers in vertical swooping motions to create the desired design.
Put it together. Set the 15-inch tier directly on the base plate or cake stand. Insert 10 of the wooden dowels into the top of the tier with one in the center and the other nine creating a circle 2 inches from the edge of the cake. This will provide support for your subsequent tiers. Center and set the 12-inch tier on top of the 15-inch tier. Insert eight wooden dowels in the 12-inch tier forming a circle 2 inches from the edge; set the 9-inch tier on top. Insert four dowels into the 9-inch tier, forming a square 2 inches from the edge. Top with the 6-inch tier.
Re-frost any areas that may have been damaged during the construction process.
Decorate. This step is entirely up to you. You could buy premade gum paste flowers that complement your wedding flowers or colors. Go as heavy or light as you like. Craft and baking stores also offer a variety of cake decor that you may also want to consider. Refrigerate until it is time to display.
Because large cakes require so much batter, you may want to start baking the day before. Prepare the cake in batches and refrigerate until needed.
When constructing the cake, leave the tiers on the foam board. The foam board will rest on the wooden dowels and increase the cakes' stability. The foam board can always be hidden with frosting.
Wait to assemble the tiers until you arrive at the wedding location. This will help you avoid any transportation mishaps.