Simple DIY wedding cake ideas, recipe from National Lewis University baking professor – ABC7 Chicago – WLS-TV

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CHICAGO (WLS) — Finding ways to save money on weddings is leading to a rise in the popularity of smaller ceremonies with more do-it-yourself elements.

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The average cost of a wedding in the United States is $33,000, according to a study from online wedding registry and planner Zola.

In addition to saving some money, these projects also add a personal touch to wedding décor.

Marianne Albovias, an assistant professor of baking and pastry at Kendall College at National Louis University, joined ABC7 Chicago on Monday with some ideas for a DIY wedding cake.

One simple wedding cake design for any skill level is a called a “naked cake.”

Naked cakes are simple designs that use a minimal amount of frosting, so the cake itself remains visible. These cakes do not require strong cake decorating skills, they take less time to decorate and can also be prepared ahead of time.

“You just want to bake your cake layers nice and straight,” Albovias said. “Then it’s all in the embellishments in the end.”

Albovias said that to achieve a polished look, it is important to use the correct tools and techniques to come out with a perfectly smooth finish.

To avoid messes, Albovias recommended applying a crumb coat to seal the crumbs in place before the final layer of icing.

Use straws or dowels to make the base cake sturdy so it can support the weight of the second layer.

Apply the second layer of the cake once it is at the venue. Next, add the final touches to the frosting.

For more decoration, create gold embellishments by using edible luster dust.

“This is an edible dust, and you would add a little bit of alcohol, like Everclear, or lemon extract and you can make a paint that will help to add a little bit of decoration,” Albovias said.

For wedding cakes, Albovias said to avoid using boxed cake mixes because the end result tends to be less sturdy, which is not suitable for multi-level cakes. She shared the recipe below for a cake base and simple frosting.

Cake recipe


– 2 cups of cake flour

– 1 1/3 cups of sugar

– 2 teaspoons of baking powder

– 2 teaspoons of kosher salt

– 11 tablespoons of butter, room temperature

– 1/2 cup of buttermilk, room temperature

– 1 egg

– 3 egg whites

– 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Vanilla buttercream recipe

Yield: Approximately three cups


– 3 cups of powdered sugar

– 1 cup of butter, room temperature

– 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (use clear for whiter buttercream)

– 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream

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