DIY wedding cake-white almond buttercream with strawberries

Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to baking to make this DIY best ever wedding cake. It’s a super delicious white cake with almond buttercream frosting and layers upon layer with fresh strawberries. It can easily be decorated to make it a DIY rustic wedding cake (I’ll show you how I used fresh flowers to decorate the cake), or this cake can be made for any special occasion, because it is so good and all your guests will love it!

DIY wedding cake - best wedding cake - white layer cake with buttercream and fresh strawberries. This layer cake is easily decorated with fresh flowers to make it a beautiful rustic wedding cake from @sweepthi

Let me tell you guys a little story.

My gorgeous older sister got married in 2012. It was in early June, and it was one of the hottest days on record. In fact, I’m pretty sure it broke heat records that day. She had been really busy with work leading up to her big day, and had planned on a morning wedding at beautiful location. She hadn’t planned anything other than that. It would all be from 10am-11am.

diy rustic 2 tier wedding cake with fresh flowers from @sweetphi

The week of the wedding came, and family and friends were all asking “well, where’s the reception?”

She didn’t have anything planned, but she had a backyard and said “let’s just do a potluck reception in my yard, anyone who wants to come is welcome, and please bring a dish to share.”

I was her maid of honor – and her sister – so I helped bring chairs and tables that we borrowed from friends and family. It was going to be low key and special (it was).

The night before her wedding, at the rehearsal dinner, she turned to me and said “do you think you could make a cake for the reception?”

It was around midnight by the time I got home, and so I set to out baking her a cake. I had never made a layer cake. I had never made a tiered cake. I had never made frosting.

She also had asked for ‘wisps’ with the frosting (insert eye roll), but I thought I’d give it a try!

So I spent until wee hours of the night making her a cake. It was seriously so incredibly delicious. People raved about it, it was gobbled up, and I was proud to have helped.

It was special.

How to make a DIY wedding cake. White cake with strawberries and buttercream frosting from @sweetphi

Keep in mind, this was 2012. I was new at blogging, I had been asked for the recipe and just wanted to share with the world how good this cake was, and how I was able to make a diy wedding cake for her, so I shared a post on my newbie blog.

People have made the cake and to this day write me emails telling me how delicious it is and how it made their event special. Other people have shared the picture on pinterest. Of course, of all my posts, the one with the horrible 3am photo of a cake, or the picture of the cake at the potluck (remember how I told you it was record-breaking-hot that year?) where the frosting is slightly melting is the one that gets shared. Those pictures have tens of thousands of repins. It blows my mind. Is it because it’s realistic and relatable? Who knows…

Since 2012, a lot of things have improved- like my photography and recipe direction writing, etc. I redid the pictures when I got my first ‘real’ camera, I created a new post for the sour cream cake with almond buttercream frosting, and….crickets. I even changed the first sentence of the post to read **UPDATE- I remade this exact same cake with better step by step photos** and linked to the post, and nothing…no one clicked over.

How to make a DIY wedding cake. White cake with strawberries and buttercream frosting. Best wedding cake with fresh flowers from @sweetphi

However, the 2012 post? It got some pretty strongly worded emotional comments. People felt the need to tell me how horrible the cake looked, that I should be embarrassed, that they would be ashamed, they even use profanities! This is a cake we’re talking about. Seriously, a cake I made for my older sister, at midnight, for her backyard potluck reception. And that garnered hatred? Mind. Blown.

Fresh flowers on a wedding cake. Simple 2 tiered wedding cake from @sweepthi

So, I put on my big girl pants, or apron if we’re being accurate and remade the cake, yet again, with even more updated pictures. I was able to re publish this post as if it were brand spankin’ new, so I hope you enjoy!

DIY wedding cake. Best wedding cake. Wedding cake with fresh strawberries and buttercream frosting from @sweetphi

The cake is still as delicious as ever, and after having made it multiple multiple times, I can definitely give you some tips and tricks to making a successful diy wedding cake:

  • Use springform or cake pans that are 4 inches apart for the tiers so that you can actually tell there is a tier. I used a 10.25 inch pan for the bottom tier and a 6 inch pan for the top tier.
  • Make your cake a day ahead of time, then before frosting, freeze your cake layers for 30 minutes (this reduces crumbs).
  • Use a really sharp knife to cut the cakes into layers
  • Make enough frosting. It’s ok to have too much, but having to make more in the middle of the process sucks. I make a big batch of frosting, reserving a little to make a crumb coat, then after the cake is assembled and has the crumb layer on it and is cooling in the fridge, I make the second batch of frosting.
  • If you want your buttercream frosting to be more white – watch this YouTube video on how to make buttercream white, it works
  • Pick a flat cake stand that is big enough. Put a piece of parchment or wax paper on the stand before assembling/frosting your cake, that way you can pull the piece of paper out and have a clean cake stand.
DIY wedding cake - Best wedding cake-white almond buttercream with strawberries
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 50 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 (18.25 ounce) packages white cake mix (see note to make your own cake mix – I like using mixes because it makes it so that there are fewer ingredients)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 egg whites
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2⅔ cups water
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 lb strawberries, finely chopped
  • 2 cups strawberry fruit spread jam
  • Frosting for inside of cake & crumb coat:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 6 cups confectionery sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons milk for crumb coat of frosting
  • Frosting for outside of the cake:
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 8 cups confectionery sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line the bottom of two springform cake pans (1 pan 10.25 inches, 1 pan 6 inches) with parchment paper and then spray liberally with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a bowl (make sure it's big enough) stir together the white cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat egg whites with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form (I beat them on medium-high for 3 minutes). Change the mixer attachment to the paddle attachment and add in the sour cream and beat on medium for 1 minute, then slowly pour in the water, vegetable oil, almond extract and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  4. Slowly add in cup by cup of the dry mixture as the mixer is running. Mix on medium speed until well mixed and no big lumps remain.
  5. Divide batter, pouring it into prepared cake pans - batter should come ¾ way up the pan. Set cake pans on baking sheets, and bake until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes for the smaller cake, remove it from oven.
  6. Turn oven temperature up to 350 and continue baking the larger cake for another 25 minutes. Use a toothpick to check doneness, toothpick should come out clean. Remove from oven.
  7. Allow cakes to completely cool before frosting. Can be made up to three days ahead of time and stored in the fridge before frosting.
  8. Put cooled cakes in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then remove from freezer and remove outer cake pan part. Using a large sharp knife, cut each cake into three layers.
  9. Make the frosting for the inside of the cake while the cake is cooling.
  10. To make the inside of cake frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and cream it on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy (you're just mixing the butter adding air to it to make it fluffier, this step is called 'creaming the butter'.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and add in the sour cream and beat for 1 minute. Add vanilla and almond extract. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the confectioners sugar. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times to make sure everything is mixed in, then add in 1 teaspoon of milk and let the mixer mix for 2 minutes on medium high. Remove half the frosting and leave the other half in the bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of milk to the frosting for the crumb coat. Beat on medium high for 2 minutes, then turn mixer off.
  11. Put the frosting that you removed from the bowl into a piping bag (I just make one by putting the frosting into a ziplock bag and cutting a corner off.
  12. To assemble the cake: Place a layer of parchment paper onto the cake stand. Lay 1st layer of 10.25 inch cake onto the stand. Pipe a layer of frosting around the outer edge of the cake. Spread a thin layer of strawberry jam inside the layer of frosting, sprinkle a handful of strawberries around the cake. Place second layer of cake onto the strawberries. Pip a layer of frosting around the outer edge of the cake. Spread a thin layer of strawberry jam inside the layer of frosting, sprinkle a handful of strawberries around the cake. Place third layer of 10.25 inch cake onto the cake (I usually invert the top layer of baked cake – so the top is touching the strawberries – that way the top of the first tier will be flat). Now pipe a layer of frosting around where the smaller cake tier will go, then place the first layer of 6 inch cake on top of the 10.25 inch cake. Pipe a layer of frosting around the outer edge of the cake. Spread a thin layer of strawberry jam inside the layer of frosting, sprinkle a handful of strawberries around the cake. Place the second layer of 6 inch cake on top of the strawberries, then pipe a layer of frosting around outer edge of the cake. Spread a thin layer of strawberry jam inside the layer of frosting, sprinkle a handful of strawberries around the cake. Place the last layer of cake on top. Pipe any remaining frosting onto the top of the cake and smooth it out with a spatula.
  13. Now take the crumb layer of frosting and frost both tiers of the cake. Put the crumb-coated frosted cake into the fridge for 2 hours to cool down.
  14. Make the frosting for the outside of the cake. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and cream on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and almond extract. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the confectioners sugar. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times to make sure everything is mixed in, then add in milk and let the mixer mix for 2 minutes on medium high. If the frosting seems to thick, add in additional 1 teaspoon of milk at a time and beat until desired consistency is reached. Using a spatula (I like using a special cake frosting spatula) frost the entire cake until smooth. Carefully remove piece of parchment paper and then enjoy your beautiful creation.
  15. I used 2 fresh roses and just removed the leaves and then cut them very short and stuck them into the cake for decorations.
Notes
To make your own cake mix (this equals 1 pouch of cake mix) combine 2¾ cups cake flour, 2 cups super fine sugar, ½ cup non-fat dried milk or powdered buttermilk, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda.
I would highly suggest watching a YouTube video or two on how to frost a cake, it really helped me when wondering how to frost a large cake!
Best DIY wedding cake. Rustic wedding cake with fresh flowers

Let’s pin together:

DIY rustic wedding cake with roses. Best wedding cake. DIY wedding cake from @sweetphi

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Showing 60 comments
  • Kathy
    Reply

    Hi Phi, Your cake looks amazing. Can’t wait to try this recipe. I was wondering if you have measurements for this cake for a smaller crowd (about 12 people) I would love t make this cake but don’t have 50 or even 25 people to feed i to 🙂
    Thank you so much.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Hi Kathy, great question, as a matter of fact I do. Here is a link to the recipe: http://www.sweetphi.com/sour-cream-cake-almond-buttercream-strawberries/
      Hope you enjoy.

      • Kathy
        Reply

        Thank you so much.

        • Patti
          Reply

          In the frosting directions you mentioned for both frostings to mix the butter and cream first. Then add sour cream. I didn’t see what type of cream or how much to use. Thanks!

          • Sweetphi

            Hi Patti, sorry if the instructions are a little unclear, I’ll edit them. The step is to ‘cream the butter’ – by beating it you add air and make it fluffier, so no cream ingredient is used, it’s just a process step. Hope that helps.

  • Rachael
    Reply

    Can you make the frosting ahead of time?

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Yes, definitely, just make sure to bring it back to room temperature before frosting the cake

  • AJ
    Reply

    Are you adding all the ingredients that the cake mix asks for or are they included in your recipe?

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      The ingredients in the recipe are in addition to the cake mix.

      • AJ
        Reply

        Sorry I meant the actual white cake mix calls for additional ingredients. I was assuming we didn’t add those as well. I assumed correct and it turned out great.

  • Chelsie Dubay
    Reply

    I have been using this recipe for over two years. It’s the best out there, hands-down! I’m so glad you didn’t let the nay-sayers get to you. Keep on cakin’!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      AWWWWWWWWWWW thank you so much for that encouraging comment, so happy you like this cake recipe, I too have come back to it time and time again, it turns out so good every time 🙂

  • Edna
    Reply

    I clicked on the link to make the smaller batch and followed the directions on it instead of the 50 servings of the one above. It is baking right now so I’ll have to send you another comment when it’s finally all done. I wanted to do a test drive and bake it for my family and if it’s good I want to go ahead and make the big one for a baby shower but I noticed that all the dry ingredients were sifted in the original smaller batch recipe so my first question being is it not necessary to do it at all in the bigger one? Did you find the texture of the cake to be a lot different by whipping the egg whites to soft peaks in the bigger batch?
    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Hi there, hope you love this recipe. I have made this a bunch of times and do not sift it 🙂

  • Cheryl
    Reply

    As a woman of a certain age that has been baking probably longer than you’ve been on the planet, I have to say your recipe sounds delicious, glad I found it on Pinterest. I will be trying it next week for a milestone birthday party. Thank you for sharing it and thank you for not folding under the negative comments from others

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment Cheryl!!! So glad you came across my recipe 🙂

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