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DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial

April 15, 2016
DIY wedding cake tutorial

Naked wedding cakes are all the rage right now, and today, I will show you how you can can make your own wedding cake (or a cake for any occasion) with this DIY wedding cake tutorial. I know it can sound so intimidating to make your own wedding cake, but let me show you why it really is not that difficult. I’ve had so many brides express interest in making their own cakes but then they get too scared and come to me to make their cake. And as much as I appreciate their business and their confidence in me, I wish I could show them how to do it and that it’s really not that complicated! So I put together this little tutorial for those of you out there who have also considered making your own cake. Wedding season is right around the corner and if you haven’t yet ordered a wedding cake, consider making your own by following my video tutorial…

DIY Wedding Cake

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a very small percentage…maybe it will add up to be enough for a cup of coffee, but not enough for a new espresso machine or anything. (The price is still the same for you.) I only recommend products I personally use and love. And if you’d like to buy me an espresso machine, please contact me ASAP!

What you’ll need for a DIY Wedding Cake:


DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial


Directions for DIY Wedding Cake:

  • Bake and cool cake layers according to recipe.
  • Trim off the domed tops so you have flat, even layers. (Use this cake leveler to make the job super easy if you are uncomfortable doing this using a knife)DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial
  • Spread a little bit of decorators’ buttercream on the cake board and place cake layer upside, down.DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial
  • Pipe a “dam” with the buttercream using a big round tip to hold and conceal your filling.DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial
  • Spread your filling inside the dam, making sure you don’t use too much because it will bulge out the sides.DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial
  • Place the next cake layer on top, also upside down.DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial
  • Repeat previous step. Once you place the third layer on top, go ahead and fill in any gaps you may have with the buttercream to create an even look.DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial
  • Repeat the same process with as many tiers of cake as you wish for your wedding cake. I used a 6″ and 8″ for this one.
  • Insert plastic dowel rod into bottom cake and mark the height. Remove from cake and cut to size. If you are only doing a 6″ cake on top, just 3 dowels is enough. The bigger your cake is on top and the more tiers you have, the more dowels you will need to prevent the top tiers from crushing the bottom.DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial
  • Apply a little buttercream to the top of your bottom tier (8″ for me) and place your top tier on top of it positioning it to make sure it is centered.DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial
  • Feel free to decorate however you wish; dust with powdered sugar, use chocolate ganache for a drip look, arrange fresh or artificial flowers, or apply a thin coat of buttercream for a semi-naked cake.

**If you prefer a messier look (as in the very first picture), you can simply skip the dam and just spread your filling all the way to the edge and stack your cake layers on top pushing with slight pressure to push more filling out the sides. 


Directions For A Semi-Naked DIY Wedding Cake:

  • Apply a thin coat of medium consistency buttercream with a straight icing spatula starting from the bottom and working your way to the top.DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial
  • Drop some buttercream to the top and spread it out with an offset spatula so there is a bit of an “overhang” of the buttercream. DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial
  • Using a smooth, flat, cake scraper, lay it flush against the side of the cake and with gentle pressure, begin smoothing out the buttercream and scraping off excess buttercream. Turn the table as you are holding your scraper to make it easier.DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial
  • Continue scraping off and smoothing buttercream, revealing the cake layers underneath, until you’ve achieved the desired look.DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial
  • Using your long off set spatula, smooth the top overhang of buttercream into the center until you have a crisp, sharp corner. Simply hold your spatula at the same height as your cake and just “cut” off the buttercream at the top. DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial
  • Repeat with all remaining cake tiers.
  • Stack layers one on top of the other (making sure you use dowels rods for the tiers on the bottom) and smooth one more time if needed.
  • Arrange flowers if desired or leave as is for a more natural look.

DIY Wedding Cake Tutorial


DIY Wedding Cake

And also, check out this Woodland Baby Shower for more party and decor ideas!

Decorator's Buttercream


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 cups shortening (like crisco)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (or flavoring of choice)
  • 7 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup whole milk


  1. In a stand mixer, beat crisco, butter, and vanilla on low speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until all sugar has been incorporated. Add milk and mix again on low speed. Add more milk for thinner consistency and more powdered sugar for thicker consistency.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin



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  • Reply Mary January 2, 2018 at 4:40 pm


    Thanks for the instructions. I’m sure this will come in handy when I make my daughter’s baby shower cake. I plan to make a carrot cake, using cream cheese frosting. Do I really need to use the buttercream frosting as well? Can I just use the cream cheese frosting to decorate and fill the cake? Also, I plan to make a two-tier, cake, using two layers each of two sizes of cakes – probably two 9″ layers and two 6″ layers. Would this look OK, or should I use three of each layer?

    • Reply Irina January 23, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      Hi Mary,
      Yes, it is absolutely necessary to use the buttercream frosting on the outside inside of the cream cheese because the cream cheese icing is simply too soft to frost with. To answer your question about the layers, that just depends on the look you are going for. With two layers, you will not have a super tall cake. It will be approximately 3″-4″ high. If you are trying to go for a taller cake than I would probably go with 3 layers in each tier. Hope that helps!!

  • Reply carmen January 27, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    are you saying it has to be buttercream inside as well… I didn’t understand your answer there.

    • Reply Irina February 1, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      Hi Carmen, No, sorry. What I meant was you can’t use cream cheese when you are frosting on the outside. You can use it on the inside but buttercream must be used on the outside to crumb coat.

  • Reply Kay March 29, 2018 at 4:29 am

    Hi there,
    How early can you tier this cake?
    Our venue is being set up the night before for our brunch wedding (10AM Church ceremony, food and cake from 11-1). If I stack it the night before will it make it through, or should I wait until the morning?
    Thank you!

    • Reply Irina April 14, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      Hi Kay,
      You can certainly tier it the night before, as long as you have the proper dowels in place. Make sure you use more dowels for the lower tiers as they will be holding most of the weight.

  • Reply Newsha April 8, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Thanks for instructions. It’s great and easy to follow. But just one question. Can we use chocolate ganache instead of butter cream for outside?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Reply Irina April 14, 2018 at 6:37 pm

      Hi Newsha, good question! Yes you certainly can!! It will give you a nice hard exterior to work with and sharp corners around the edges. If covering with fondant, just brush it with a little water beforehand!

  • Reply Zuri April 20, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Hi, I love your tutorial!

    I am doing my brothers wedding cake in June.. I’m doing a semi-naked cake so this blog is super helpful!
    I am traveling 4-5 hours 2 days before the actually wedding, I was wondering if I should maybe bake the cake and just frost it overthere the day before and assemble it at the venue..
    do you have any tips that would help me have an easier experience? I would really appreciate anything you have to say.

    Also.. I was wondering if maybe I could use a strawberry filling inside instead of just buttercream alone.. do you have any ideas that could maybe help me with that?

    • Reply Irina May 3, 2018 at 8:03 pm

      Hi Zuri,
      I would do just that- bake the cake in advance, frost it the night before, and then assemble it at the venue. That way you won’t have to worry about the transportation or having anything happen to the tiered cake overnight. Make sure you use appropriate dowels when setting it up. And yes- you can certainly use a strawberry filling instead of buttercream, just make sure to pipe a “dam” around the perimeter first so keep it from leaking out and for more of the traditional naked look. Also, don’t use too much of the filling because fruit fillings tend to be a lot softer then buttercreams and that can cause your cake to “slide”. Hope that helps!! Good luck!

  • Reply zane June 21, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    what was the brown filling you used and how did you make it?

    • Reply Irina September 2, 2018 at 6:32 pm

      Hi Zane,
      The brown filling was a dulce de leche buttercream I made by whipping together 1 can dulce de leche and 2 sticks of butter on high speed until a thick whipped consistency forms (approximately 5 minutes). It is one of my absolute favorite fillings!!

  • Reply Kate July 31, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Very helpful. I have to do a 12-10-8-6 semi naked cake for a cousin’s wedding. (This is not my forte so looking at lots of ideas).
    I am struggling with how many layers per tier. Some people say each layer should be 2 cakes each 2″ high. Others torte to 4 layers each 1″ high. I am most concerned as that seems to me more likelihood for sliding.
    (BTW I am taking this cake 10 hours away and putting together morning of the wedding…and still trying to make the ceremony!)
    Anyway – the pictures, not the video, sure look like you split one of the cakes, putting one piece on the bottom and then a full 2 inch on top of it, and then the final piece of the split cake on top. The layers on the tier look unequal but I still think it looks great when iced “naked”.
    The video on the other hand looks like you used 3 equal layer cakes. What is the depth of the cakes in the video? 2″ for 3 layers? or 1.5″ for 3 layers?
    And did you use different size in the photos or is it my imagination?
    Any help is much appreciated…I need to get baking…there are just so many inputs to process on the internet!!!

    • Reply Irina September 2, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      Hi Kate,
      It all depends on what look you are going for. More “traditional” wedding cake will have 2, 2″ layers with one layer of filling in between but a lot more recent, “modern” cake will be taller and have 3 layers of cake per tier. Obviously the more layers of cake you will have the harder it will be to assemble and to transport. It will also be less stable and more prone to sliding. The cake in the video is taller than the cake in the photos, I can’t remember exact sizes of the cakes however. Sorry! Wishing you best of luck on your cake adventures!!

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