16" Genoise Wedding Cake

Decorating By kentlybp Updated 19 Feb 2016 , 4:29am by FrostedMoon

kentlybp Posted 17 Feb 2016 , 4:27am
post #1 of 9

Hi everyone, 

I'm doing my first wedding cake in May, and my client has requested to increase the size of the cake, with the bottom tier going from 12" to 16."

My questions:

1.) Is that even possible with a genoise cake? I've searched extensively and haven't seen a recipe for larger than 14." 

2.) In the event that this does work but I need something like magi-strips, where do I find those? I haven't used them and am uncertain where to purchase them online. 

3.) Does anyone have suggestions on how to break up the batter? I would need to do this in at least 2 batches for the bottom tier since I'm using my home oven and kitchenaid (no hobarts here!) 

4.) Would it be a better idea to make large sheet cakes and cut them to size? It seems really inefficient to do it that way, but it might be my only option. 

Any and all suggestions are appreciated. I'm definitely concerned and want it to go well, but realistically, I don't know if I can manage it with the resources I have. 

Thanks in advance for your help! 

8 replies
clarisse1 Posted 17 Feb 2016 , 6:03am
post #2 of 9


I don't have too much experience in genoise...works sometimes, sometimes not.  What I do know is that you can buy 16 inch round half cake pans.  So you would not have to produce a huge amount of batter all at once.

Good luck!


Tobylee Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 12:35am
post #3 of 9

Have made lots of Genoise and prefer RLB Cake Bible recipe.  Her specific method of adding the butter and her use of brown butter make for an exquisite cake. Around page 496 she discusses Genoise wedding cakes. No easy task. I agree with Clarisse.  Use a half round 16".  With such a delicate cake, it will certainly need dowel structure.  What are you filling and topping it with? 

kentlybp Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 1:20am
post #4 of 9

Hi Tobylee, 

I have the cake bible and have referred to this recipe. RLB specifically does not include genoise cake recipes larger than 12" because she says that's when the quality of the cake begins to become compromised. Honestly, I can't understand how the half pans would be useful. I've never used them, but I'm also not accustomed to making cakes this large. 

I'm definitely planning on using dowels. There's no way I would attempt a stacked cake without them. The filling is going to be mango buttercream. The couple wants to use a damask stencil pattern. While my go-to frosting is Swiss buttercream, because of the stenciling, I may have to use a crusting buttercream. 

On a related note, have you ever tried stenciling on Swiss buttercream? My understanding is that it is much more difficult to do than using stencils on a crusting buttercream, although not impossible. 

Again, any suggestions or thoughts you have are welcome. Thanks! 

Tobylee Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 3:34am
post #5 of 9

I have used the half pan but only with Weinstocks recipes which are dense. Worked very well.  Offhand I don't know the volume of that pan, but concerned that your machine may not be large enough to handle it. Of course, you might try baking multiple half layers and stacking. But then you'd need more bc.  Hope you're charging enough.

I can't imagine stenciling on Swiss bc.  Even if I froze it, it would probably start sweating as I worked.  At least for the exterior the crusting seems the only reasonable choice. Fondant too heavy for Genoise.  Hope you'll let us know how it turns out. Bonne chance! 

clarisse1 Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 8:17am
post #6 of 9

area of 16" half pan  1/2 (64*3.14)=100.48 sq inches

area of 12" round      36* 3.14  =      113.04 sq inches

the genoise recipe for the 12" layer fills the half round pan amply.  Wow, to make the 16" tiers is a LOT of cake.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 12:38pm
post #7 of 9

Question 1 - can you even fit a 16" pan in your oven?  Mine will take it just but it's a brand new oven and most I checked before buying, won't.

Question 2 - Can you not make the 16" a dummy cake and then get them cutting cakes as the genoise sponge they want?  Would save a lot of headaches...

kentlybp Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 5:26pm
post #8 of 9

Good morning all, 

Thank you, first off, for your replies. I really appreciate it. 

Tobylee, I'm definitely not charging enough for this cake. It's for a friend, and they don't have a huge budget for it, but they are having close to 200 guests at the wedding. 

Clarisse, thanks for the calculations! I wouldn't have considered doing that, but it is helpful to see that the 12" wouls work for a half 16" pan. 

Snowflakebunny, my oven does fit a 16" cake pan, but I also wasn't certain at first and had to check.

I'm trying to get them to come on board with the dummy cake idea. I live in Los Angeles where May is an iffy month weather-wise. It can be sweltering, but it can also be cool and gray. It really is a coin toss. 

Theyre concerned about not having enough cake, which I understand. It's a legitimate concern. No one wants to run out of cake at their wedding! With that said, it's priority no. 1 that the cake be light, so I need a good sponge or oil based recipe. I'm also trying to (gently) explain that there are certain limitations to working from home and also that there are limitations in what can or cannot be done with recipes - e.g. recipes cannot be scaled up infinitely and expected to work. Ideally, what I think would be best, is to have the original cake as planned with a sheet cake in the back in case it was needed. That way, everyone gets cake and it would definitely save some headaches. 

Also, as Tobylee pointed out, a 16" cake is a LOT. I really think a backup sheet cake would be more than plenty. 

Do you guys agree? 

FrostedMoon Posted 19 Feb 2016 , 4:29am
post #9 of 9

Back up sheet cake all the way!  If this is really about having enough servings, then that should do it.  Plus, jumping to a 16" from a 12" makes for a wider and most likely more squat cake assuming you aren't changing the number of tiers.  Show them some pictures.  I'll bet they'll go for the 12" tier  ;)

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