Recipe 80: American chocolate wedding cake


I’m fairly certain that when many set out to complete every recipe from Mary’s Baking Bible, the American wedding cake is something that is generally left until last. I even wondered if I would get the chance to make it, since I don’t know anyone who is about to get married, nor trust me with making a wedding cake for them. I considered the possibility of making each one and decorating it separately to give to others, but then seemed pointless as who would really want a 12″ cake to feed 40, and a 6″ to feed 1 (ahh, I joke, but I don’t doubt it!).IMG_3693-1

All in all, it’s the trickiest cake I’ve ever made, it required me to be patient, careful and pragmatic. All that for a cake? YEAH. Biggest issue of all was the sheer quantity! Mary says that you could try to make the entire mixture in one go, requiring large bowls…I’m not sure large bowls are needed, maybe bowls the size of a small skip?! For the 12″ bottom tier, the mixture was the entire capacity of the Kitchenaid bowl + another large bowl filled to the top. I then had the issue of overspill in the oven, which created a massive mess and problems later on. The bottom tier did sink, which didn’t surprise me since it’s flourless and ginormous. But I will admit to you all, that the 6″ top tier, was not the same as all the rest. Alas, as trouble struck and it couldn’t be saved, it was decided that we would instead make Mary’s fudge cake…naughty.IMG_3696-1

It is important to consider the cost of making this cake, ingredients alone cost £110, and I needed to buy each tin as I annoyingly, didn’t have a 12″, 9″ or 6″ tin. All in all, a cost of £160. Mhmm, for me it’s a lot, but I’m sure to those who make wedding cakes or have paid to have one would think that seems fairly reasonable. So Amy, why did you make this cake? Well, my cousin was turning 13 and was having a party of at least 60(ish), so when my aunt asked me about making a cake, this is the one I suggested, hurray – a reason to make it! I didn’t think my cousin would appreciate an array of flowers for his cake, instead I used M&M’s, Flake, chocolate footballs and homemade chocolate numbers – I must admit, these were my favourite. IMG_3698-1

Going back to the quantity of the mix, this is what you will need:

  • 38 eggs
  • 2.85 kg plain chocolate
  • 1.25 kg caster sugar
  • 840 g ground almonds
  • 450 g unsalted butter
  • A jar of apricot jam
  • Extra bits for decoration

I must also apologise for the lack of pictures of the process of making it, as you can imagine, I was flapping all over the kitchen covered in cake mix…not a good look. And so, without further ado, here is Mary’s American chocolate wedding cake!

Ingredients: Cake 6”: cooking time, approx. 45 mins 9”: cooking time, 1 hr & 15 mins approx 12”: cooking time, 1 hr 15-45 mins, cover loosely with foil after 1 hr
Chocolate 175 g 525 g 900 g
Eggs (large) 3 separated, 1 whole 10 separated, 2 whole 17 separated, 5 whole
Caster sugar 150 g 425 g 700 g
Ground almonds 75 g 275 g 475 g
Coffee (black) ½ tsp 2 ½ tsp 4 ½ tsp
Apricot jam 2 tbsp 75 g 100 g
Ingredients: Icing
Chocolate 225 g 350 g 550 g
Butter 75 g 150 g 225 g


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas mark 5. Lightly grease and line the bases and sides of a 6″, 9″ and 12″ tin.
  2. Melt the chocolate gently in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, giving it the occasional stir. One melted, leave to cool slightly. Add the yolks, whole eggs and sugar into a large bowl (or bowl of a freestanding mixer) and beat until thick and light. Add the melted chocolate to the bowl with the almonds and coffee. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold carefully into the chocolate mix, then pour into the prepared tin.
  3. Bake in the oven, cooking for the allocated times above until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for about 5 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack, peeling off the parchment and allow to cool. If necessary, the cakes can be frozen at this point.
  4. Turn the cold cakes upside down, this allows for a nice flat, even surface. Heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan gently, until nice and loose. Alternatively, you can push the jam through a sieve but I find that messier! Brush all over the sides and top of the cake.
  5. For the icing, break the chocolate into pieces and melt gently in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, giving it the occasional stir. Then add the butter and stir until the butter has melted. Stand each cake on the wire rack over a baking tray to catch the drips, then pour over bit-by-bit, smoothing the top and sides of the cake with a palette knife. I would suggest putting the bottom tier onto a cake board and then placing pieces of kitchen towel around the bottom of the cake. This way, you won’t have the struggle of moving it later on. Leave to set in a cool place.
  6. Transport the cakes in individual layers, it would be a shame if you suddenly had to brake in the car and smoosh, cake gone. Assemble when you get there, and decorate as you wish!IMG_3706-1

3 thoughts on “Recipe 80: American chocolate wedding cake

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