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Unexpected Baker: How to Use Your Old Leftovers to Make a Wedding Cake

Updated on March 24, 2013
A finished wedding cake. Photo source: Shanna11
A finished wedding cake. Photo source: Shanna11

Welcome to the second installment of Unexpected Baker, a yearly Hub where I show you how to create tasty, recycled and attractive creations out of your leftovers. In my case, I used the leftovers afforded to me by thousands of wasteful college students, but the general theme is the same. Waste not, want not!

Today I'll be showing you how to create a three-tiered wedding cake. Click here to read about making a birthday cake if you're celebrating a different occasion. Whatever celebration it is, you're sure to love the magnificent cakes you can create with ingredients right in your very own garbage can!

Two of my three roommates are currently engaged to be married this summer and I offered to make them one of my signature dishroom wedding cakes for free. I'm a giver by nature and I wanted to show them just how much I cared. It took me a five hour shift at work to craft this masterpiece and when my boss barged into the dishroom of the freshman cafeteria unexpectedly, he was so awed by my handiwork that he didn't even yell at me (of course, it was my last day of work, so he didn't really care either way).

While my roommates declined (I'm out of the country in the weeks leading up to their weddings-- so I'm sure that's why) your loved ones will be sure to enjoy the presence of such an eco-friendly cake at their wedding receptions. Make the event even more special by surprising them with the cake!

Decorating your cake is key! Photo Source: Shanna11
Decorating your cake is key! Photo Source: Shanna11

The Basics

First you'll need some cold mashed potatoes. And by "some" I mean at least ten pounds worth. This cake is worth it! I prefer to mix my mashed potatoes with bits of the peel and sour cream to add a thick, interesting texture, but it may depend on the tastes of your wedding guests.

Starting with a fine china plate (or a cafeteria tray for ease of transportation), create the three-tiered base. This is the most important part. Mold your congealed taters with grace and finesse, ensuring that the three tiers are the same height and perfectly rounded. Nothing ruins a work of art like uneven circles.

I used three different types of sauce for frosting to create a pleasing gradient effect. Mix ketchup and watered-down salsa together to create a red hue for the base. Fry sauce, or mayonnaise mixed with ketchup creates a fun and light-hearted peach color for the middle and ranch really gives the top of your cake a nice contrasting white color, sure to offset any blushing bride's dress nicely.

Garnish your wedding cake with cherry tomatoes for an extra special something. Photo Source: Shanna11
Garnish your wedding cake with cherry tomatoes for an extra special something. Photo Source: Shanna11


Decorating your wedding cake as attractively as possible is key. You've colored it and built it, but it's not a wallflower! Make it stand out!

Since your bottom tier is the largest, you'll need the most decorating there. I ringed the bottom of my cake with cheerful cherry tomatoes, which look great against the dark red ketchup. I embedded Reese's Pieces in the sides of the bottom to create a quaint button-like effect. Be careful-- the nature of the leftovers may cause the bright colors to mix a little. But the overall slimy taste of your cake is sure to change any negative effects that might have.

The second layer is ringed with grapes and chocolate chips that my coworkers found on the floor for me. Remember that cake-making is a group project and is great fun for the whole family!

The third layer repeats the tomato pattern and I interspersed raisins (although they might have been craisins, I'm not entirely sure) amongst them, ringing the top tier with shredded carrots. Decorating should be one of the final touches for your cake. Use varying colors, textures and level of decay to really create an elegant masterpiece that will symbolize the togetherness of the newly married couple.

Nothing says "Till death do we part" than discarded leftovers.

This will be the ecstatic face of the newlyweds when they see what you've made for them. Photo Source: Shanna11
This will be the ecstatic face of the newlyweds when they see what you've made for them. Photo Source: Shanna11


Again, I really encourage you to surprise your newly married loved ones with your leftover wedding cake. You'll realize just how much it means to them when they vomit from happiness.


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    • Shanna11 profile image

      Shanna 4 years ago from Utah

      Hahah, I have no idea! I'm American! Which explains why I would do something so disgusting as to make a 'cake' from cafeteria food leftovers. ;)

    • profile image

      Beth37 4 years ago

      Does "cake" mean something different in Europe than it does in the US? That is one interesting cake. You get extra brownie points... I wonder what a brownie is in the UK.