Three tier sponge wedding cake

  • Total Time

    3h 5m
    • Prep Time

      1h 30m
    • Bake Time

      1h 35m
  • Serves


  • Skill Level

  • 15 Reviews

    4 star rating

Weddings can be expensive business so why not challenge yourself to bake and decorate your own beautiful personalised showstopper. The beauty of this cake is that the sponges can be baked and frozen up to 3 months in advance, simple allow 24 hours to defrost and before adding the marzipan and icing.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C Fan, gas mark 4) and grease and line your tins. If you are filling your cakes, you can bake in sandwich tins or slice after baking.

  2. To make the sponge cakes: Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and add the sugar. Beat together, preferably with an electric whisk until the mixture is wonderfully light and fluffy. This can take up to 5-7 minutes, so this stage should not be rushed.

  3. Beat in the vanilla extract and eggs one at a time, with a spoonful of the flour with each one to prevent the mixture from curdling. Fold in the remaining flour with a metal spoon until you have a soft, smooth cake batter. Fill the tins with the correct sponge mix for that sized tin.

  4. Place in the oven and bake the 6" cake for 25 minutes, the 9" cake for 30 minutes and the 11" cake for 40 minutes. When cakes are cooked they should be pale golden in colour. When baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin and then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Wrap in cling film to keep for up to a day in a cool dry place. If you want to make the cakes in advance – wrap and freeze.

  5. Once the cakes are cool, slice and fill with strawberry jam.

  6. To ice the cakes, pipe a little royal icing in the middle of the cake board to help secure the cakes. Lightly dust the work surface and rolling pin with sifted icing sugar. Roll the marzipan, turning the icing 90 degrees after every roll to get an even thickness. Roll to a thickness of a £1 coin.

  7. Lightly brush the outside of the sponge cakes with boiled apricot jam to help the marzipan stick.

  8. Using the rolling pin, lift the marzipan and ease it over the cake.  Use your hands to smooth the marzipan into place, making sure there are no air pockets. Trim away the excess marzipan from the base of the cake using a small knife.

  9. Repeat step 8 with the sugar paste icing placing it over the marzipan layer. Lightly dust your hands with icing sugar and gently run over the cake with your hands to even out any lumps or bumps.

  10. To build the tiers, cut a template the same size as the second layer and sit in the position of the second tier. Mark each corner with a needle. Push a plastic dowel into the cake and mark with a pencil where it comes out of the cake. Lift out of the dowels and trim the dowels about 1-2mm above the mark then stick them back into the cake.

  11. Pipe some royal icing onto the centre of the bottom tier to secure the second tier. Carefully place the second tier onto the bottom one. Mix some icing and pipe a thin line along the bottom edge of each tier. While wet, run a finger over the line to smooth the icing and fill any gap between the two cake layers. A ribbon can also be added here to hide any unevenness that may appear. Repeat the process for the top tier.

  12. Decorate the cake with ribbon, lace or sugar paste flowers to match the wedding theme and colours. Alternatively you could pipe royal icing patterns on to your cake. Cake decoration videos can be found in our 'how to' section of our website.

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  1. 5 star rating

    Hi can you tell me the best way to freeze the 11 inch cake once it has the butter cream and jam on it also how long to defrost

    We would only recommend freezing a cake before adding buttercream and jam to it.

    Happy Baking!

  2. 1 star rating

    Very disappointed - made the 6 inch cooked for time stated took it out to let it cool and its still raw in the middle, Waste of ingredients and time

  3. 5 star rating

    I am a beginner in need of some help! I want to bake this cake in one 7" tin that is 4" deep. I'm not sure how much batter I would need for this or how long I should bake for? I have a baking rod if needed!

  4. 3 star rating

    Would be helpful to have 8 and 10" recipes too.

  5. 5 star rating

    Love this recipe, have used it for numerous birthday cakes for friends and family. Have now been asked to make chocolate birthday cake but dont want to use different recipe, how should I adapt this for an 11 and 8 inch cake?

    So pleased you are enjoying this recipe. The 11" cake is on the recipe already. For an 8" cake I would go somewhere in the middle of the 6" and 9" cake on quantities.
    To make it into a chocolate cake I would add in cocoa but then reduce down the flour by the same amount. For an 8" cake I would use 50g of Cocoa, so this would need to be increased for the 11".

    Hope this helps
    Happy Baking!

  6. 5 star rating

    Hey how much ingredient do you need for a 10 inch?

    I would go somewhere in the middle on ingredients, the 9" is 300g and the 11" is 400g, I would use 350g for a 10".

    Hope this helps,
    Happy Baking!

  7. 5 star rating

    Hi can somebody help. I want to make a 12 inch square cake what are the ingredients the tin is 3 inches deep. Thank you
    Hi there,
    Have a look at this article to help calculate how much cake mixture you need for different size cake tins. I hope you can use this principle to work out how much you will need in this case. Best of luck and happy baking :)

  8. 5 star rating

    If I bake it in one 20cm tin how long would I bake in please

    The recipe is for a 20cm square tin and would take 30 minutes to bake -

    For the 20cm square/23cm (9") round sponge cake
    300g Butter (unsalted) (softened)
    300g Unrefined golden caster sugar
    6 Egg(s) (free range)
    1½ tsp Vanilla extract
    300g Self-raising white flour

    Happy Baking!

  9. 5 star rating

    Hi, I absolutely love this recipe I've made it so many times and all my family love it too, today however I made it the same way I always make it, but it sunk in the middle and I'm not sure what happened, I made it again and same thing happened I'm wondering is it because my oven has been on for a good few hours today and didnt get the chance to cool down before i started baking, any input I'd really appreciate thank you Donna

    There are a few main reasons for why a cake would sink in the middle.
    These are the oven door has been opened before the cake has set. The cake didn't go in the oven as soon as the mixture was ready. There's too much raising agent in the mixture.
    Other reasons may be over beating the batter and incorporating too much air – the air can then cause a collapse during baking. Another reason could be the temperature of the oven is too high causing the cake to rise too rapidly.
    I hope this is of help to you, and that your bakes are more successful next time.
    Happy Baking!

  10. 5 star rating

    Fabulous recipe used for my daughters 10th birthday cake

  11. 5 star rating

    Great for my aunt's wedding. I'm only 12 years old and it was very simple and everyone loved it!!! Thanks!!!!!!!!

  12. 5 star rating

    I made the 11" and 6" and must say how impressed I was. Both cakes came out perfect and everyone said how tasty they were. I cooked them both a little longer on 150 fan as my oven cooks too quickly, will definatley use this recipe now for all my birthday cakes.

  13. 3 star rating

    Hi there - I'm hoping to use this recipe for a wedding cake and am having a couple of practices (with the 6" cake to start with - using a single deep tin).
    I'm using 160 fan but the published cooking time doesn't seem anything like long enough. I baked the cake for 50 minutes on my second attempt and I think it's just about cooked. And I think the recipe needs medium eggs rather than large?
    Am I doing something wrong if it's taking this long to bake? Maybe I'd be better off using 180 non fan.
    Thanks in advance - I've got to get it right before attempting the larger sizes!


    Thanks for your comments, it is worth noting that oven temperatures may vary slightly between ovens so it may be worth increasing your oven temperature if you feel this would improve the bake. I would recommend baking for the advised time then checking the cake every 10 minutes after this (by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake) until the cake is baked throughout.

    Happy Baking

  14. 5 star rating

    Great. Everyone loved it

  15. 4 star rating

    Great recipie and kept very well fur over a week. Wish there the ingredient sizes for 8, and 10 inch cakes as this would be so helpful?

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