Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to baking to make this DIY wedding cake-white almond buttercream with strawberries. 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!
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.
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 sisterly eye rolls), 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.
Keep in mind, this was 2012. I was new at blogging, but kept getting asked for the cake recipe. I wanted to share with the world how good this cake was. But I also wanted to show 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 their pictures 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 re-pins. It blows my mind. Is it because it’s realistic and relatable? Who knows…
Want to giggle? Here is the 3am photo:
Photo of cake outside in the heat with the frosting melting:
Since 2012, a lot of things have improved- like my photography and recipe direction writing, etc. I re-did 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.
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.
So, I put on my big girl pants, or apron if we’re being accurate, and re-made 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!
This recipe can be made over the course of a few days because the cake layers can be made ahead of time, so that makes the whole thing a little less daunting!
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. Here is a nice set
- 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.
Other recipes you might enjoy:
- Banana Snack Cake with Greek Yogurt Frosting Recipe
- German Apple Cake
- Coconut Rum Cake
- Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake
DIY wedding cake - white almond buttercream with strawberries
- 2 packages white cake mix - 18.25 ounce each (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
- 2 2/3 cups water
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 lb strawberries finely chopped
Frosting for inside of cake & crumb coat:
- 1 cup butter 2 sticks, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 6 cups confectionery sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 2 tablespoons milk for crumb coat of frosting
- 2 cups strawberry fruit spread jam
Frosting for outside of the cake:
- 1 1/2 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
To make the cake:
- 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.
- In a bowl (make sure it's big enough) stir together the white cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Divide batter, pouring it into prepared cake pans - batter should come 3/4 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.
- 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.
- Allow cakes to completely cool before frosting. Can be made up to three days ahead of time and stored in the fridge before frosting.
- 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.
- Make the frosting for the inside of the cake while the cake is cooling.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
To 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 too 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.
- I used 2 fresh roses and just removed the leaves and then cut them very short and stuck them into the cake for decorations.
Thank you for this recipe. I live at 5000 ft elevation do I need to adjust the recipe? And it has been raining off and on for couple of days, does humidity affect recipe?
Thank you for the comment, I’m so sorry to say I have zero experience cooking at elevation, so sorry!
Pamela Swanner says
Thank you, I will give it a try and let you know!
Best of luck 🙂
I’m excited to try this! I do have a question, when do I level the cakes? while still warm or once completely cooled down?
I’d say to do it when they’re cooled down (they don’t have to be totally cooled, but just slightly cooled/ok to touch with your hands 🙂 ) enjoy!
Catherine McCollum says
Will this frosting work for cupcakes? Will the frosting tip definition hold up? Thanks!
Yes, I believe it will
Helen Johnson says
I made a small version a week before my daughter’s wedding and WOW! Baked it the day before her wedding (June ’17) then frosted the morning of the wedding using fresh sliced strawberries in one layer. I used the frosting on the groom’s cake but added cocoa and Bam! Two perfect cakes for a perfect occasion! My compliments to the original chef?
Oh my goodness, thank you so much for your lovely comment! And thank you for sending me pictures, they are absolutely gorgeous!!!!! So glad you liked the recipes!
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
Thank you so much for your lovely comment Cheryl!!! So glad you came across my recipe 🙂
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!
Hi there, hope you love this recipe. I have made this a bunch of times and do not sift it 🙂
Chelsie Dubay says
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’!
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 🙂
Are you adding all the ingredients that the cake mix asks for or are they included in your recipe?
The ingredients in the recipe are in addition to the cake mix.
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.
Thanks for clearing that up! I wondered as well. I assumed you would use only the ingredients listed in the recipe..
Can you make the frosting ahead of time?
Yes, definitely, just make sure to bring it back to room temperature before frosting the cake
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.
Hi Kathy, great question, as a matter of fact I do. Here is a link to the recipe: https://sweetphi.com/sour-cream-cake-almond-buttercream-strawberries/
Hope you enjoy.
Thank you so much.
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!
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.
This cake is amazing. I made my wedding cake using this recipe in 2014. Everyone loved it!! Don’t worry about the haters on the first picture…my icing kept falling off the sides when i was icing it and it looked horrible..but my friend came over and fixed everything luckily.
Your comment was the sweetest. THANK YOU! You totally brought tears to my eyes. I’m so happy you liked the cake, I’ve made it so many times and it’s just my all time favorite cake 🙂
I made this cske, followed recipe exactly but used 2 8 inch pans at 325. Checked cake at 25 min and middle was slightly sunken in and still raw. Then I turned heat up to 350 and checked twice more within 25 min and finally was cooked in middle. It stayed sunken the middle. But it is delicious. Moist, dense and yummy. What did I do wrong? It seems 325 is too low a setting.
Thank you for your comment. I think you may have misread the directions a little…they say “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.
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.”
So the cake should only have been checked after 45 minutes, not 25, hope that helps solve the mystery 🙂
This looks amazing!! Do you think it would be good with raspberries and raspberry jam?
Yes, I think it would be fantastic with raspberries and raspberry jam – I’ve made it like that before.
This is a beautiful cake – and you are a beautiful sister. I bet it meant so much to your sister, clearly, you love her very much! Thanks for sharing this story! ?
Thank you so much Jessica, I really appreciate it!!
andrea rentea says
A most beautiful cake with decorations! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.
I’m so glad you like the cake, thank you for the comment!!
Shawnna Griffin says
hey girl this cake looks awesome! Yummy!
Your comments always make my day. Thank you!
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says
Wow, this is gorgeous! I have no weddings in my future but it’s pretty enough to make “just because!”.
Thank you so much! I’ve totally halved the recipe and made it for a “just because” occasion 🙂
Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It says
Oh my gosh, Phi, this is BEAUTIFUL!!! I want you to make my wedding cake! 😉
Awwww, you’re so kind! Thank you!
Can you make the cake layers ahead of time (1 month) & freeze them, wrapping them well. Then thaw & frost?
I have never tried that, but I think it would work just fine.
Ready to try it for my birthday Tuesday. I usually buy myself one,but I have to make this!!!
Thank you so much Lisa, I think you’ll love it, it’s truly amazing 🙂
Hi I just ran across your recipe. I have a question does it need to be refrigerated or can it stay out at room temperature? I am making a wedding cake and I was planning on doing it a day before the wedding.
Great question – I did keep mine refrigerated and then day of it was ok sitting out all day 🙂 Hope that helps
when you say “white sugar” in the cake batter recipe are you referring to granulated sugar or powder sugar?
Yes, I am referring to granulated sugar 🙂 I’ll make a note on the recipe.
Gwyn Hayden says
Today is my 19th wedding anniversary, and I’m going to pick up the ingredients of this yummy cake and make it for us tonight after work, but before we go out to dinner. I hope it’s delicious!! I actually think I’ll cut it in 1/2 also. I’ll send you a picture when I’m all done!
I would LOVE if you’d send me a picture (or post it on any of the Sweetphi blog social media channels and tag me), I think you’re going to absolutely love it! I have made the recipe in half and it comes out great! And most importantly, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!
Sarah hardin says
Could this recipe be made into cupcakes?!
Sarah hardin says
Baking time wise I mean…
Bake time wise I would do like a normal cupcake 20-30 minutes and checking after 20 minutes to check the doneness!
Tywna Nelson says
Hi is a springform pan the only one you’ve tried with this recipe?
I also tried a round pan (not springform) but I like springform the best 🙂
Oh that’s a great question! Yes, I definitely think these could be made into cupcakes…although I’d definitely half, if not quarter the recipe … unless you’re looking to get over 50 cupcakes lol.
Thank you for replying so quickly and clarifying that for me! I will cream the butter first. The cakes are out of the oven! I made one mistake… 🙁 I only added 4 Teaspoons of oil instead of 4 Tablespoons. Will that affect the taste or moisture much?
It might affect it a bit, but I’m sure it will still taste great because there is sour cream in there and that helps keep it moist!
It came out great! Is there some way I can share a picture with you?
OMG YES I would LOVE a picture! You could email me the picture at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag me on social media #sweetphiblog. Thank you so much again for coming back and letting me know how it turned out 🙂
Hi Sweetphi! I’ve just put the cake in the oven! The batter is delicious and the cake smells great baking! I have a question about the icing instructions. #5 says to add the butter and “cream”….I didn’t notice that cream was a part of the icing. Can you explain this step a little further, please? Thanks so much! Can’t wait to have a slice! Today is my 20th wedding anniversary!
Hi there, I can’t wait to hear how it turns out for you, I’m sure you’re going to LOVE it! Ok, so what that step means is that you need to “cream the butter”, that is a term for when you beat the butter with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until it is a creamy and smooth color, then you’ll scrape down the sides of the bowls and add the other buttercream ingredients. Happy anniversary!
This cake looks like it taste amazing! Will try, thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the comment!! It totally tastes delicious, I was just thinking of making it again because I’ve been craving it!
This sounds delicious! Do you think it can be made in standard rectangular pans?
Thanks for the comment! I think this could definitely be made in standard rectangular pans and then layered, you’d just want to make sure that the pans you’re using are the same size so that they layer evenly – otherwise you could cut the cake into the shape you wanted. Either way-whatever shape you use, this cake is phenomenal!