1.Trim cakes. Secure 35cm cake to largest board, secure remaining cakes to the same-sized boards. Prepare cakes for covering with ready-made icing.
2.Knead ready-made icing on surface dusted with a little cornflour until icing loses its stickiness.
3.Roll 1.2kg (2½ pounds) of icing on cornfloured surface until large enough to cover the 35cm cake. Using rolling pin, lift icing onto cake, smooth with hands then smoothing tools. Trim icing neatly around base. Use quilting tool to mark pattern on side of cake.
4.Use 600g (1¼ pounds) of icing to cover the 25cm cake in the same way. Use quilting tool to mark pattern on cake, the same way as the 35cm cake.
5.Use 800g (1½ pounds) of icing to cover the 30cm cake; 500g (1 pound) of icing to cover the 20cm cake and 300g (9½ ounces) of icing to cover the 15cm cake in the same way. Dry cakes overnight.
6.Use the tape measure to measure the circumference of the 30cm cake. Roll 500g of the remaining icing into a strip about 8cm (3¼ inches) wide, 5mm (¼ inch) thick, and long enough to wrap around the cake. Use the embossed rolling pin to mark a pattern onto the strip of icing. Use the ruler and the pizza cutter to cut a straight edge down one long side of the strip.
7.Lightly blot dried icing around the side of the 30cm cake with damp kitchen paper to hold the strip of icing in place. Carefully roll the icing strip, embossed-side in, around the small rolling pin. Position the rolling pin so that the straight edge of the icing is flush with the bottom and side of the cake. Unroll icing onto side of cake.
8.Use a sharp knife to trim the excess icing flush with the top edge of the cake. Use fingertip to gently blend the soft icing edge with the firm icing on the top of the cake. Leave to dry 3 hours or overnight.
9.Use remaining 375g (12 ounces) of icing to make embossed strip to cover side of the 20cm cake in the same way.
10.Push 3 trimmed skewers into the centres of all the cakes except the smallest cake to support the next tier). Assemble cakes, securing each tier to the tier below). Half-fill paper piping bag with royal icing, pipe around base of each cake. Use fingertip to blend icing into any gaps where cakes join the boards. Dry cakes overnight.
11.To make royal icing, sift icing sugar through a fine sieve. Lightly beat the egg white into a small bowl until mixture is just broken up (do not whip into peaks). Beat in the icing sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches desired consistency. Using a wooden spoon mix in the lemon juice.
12.Fit piping bag with piping tube. Half-fill bag with royal icing. Pipe dots onto six joins at time on the quilting pattern; use tweezers to position pearls on dots. Continue this way on the 35cm and 25cm quilted cakes.
13.Pipe over some of the embossed pattern on the 20cm and 30cm cakes. Leave all cakes to dry overnight.
14.Wrap and secure ribbon to top cake tier with a little royal icing. Use ribbon to make bow, secure bow to ribbon with a little craft glue.
Equipment: 45cm (18-inch) round wooden cake board (page 208) 30cm (12-inch) round wooden cake board (page 208) 25cm (10-inch) round wooden cake board (page 208) 20cm (8-inch) round wooden cake board (page 208) 15cm (6-inch) round wooden cake board (page 208) smoothing tools quilting tool tape measure embossed rolling pin plastic ruler pizza cutter small non-stick rolling pin 12 wooden skewers paper piping bag (page 221) small piping bag small (number 2) plain piping tube tweezers craft glue Keep in a cool dark dust-free place. This cake is extremely heavy to lift and move, especially if the cakes are fruit cakes. You will need two people to lift the cake. The `pearlized blush sugar pearls’ are small edible pearls, and are available from cake decorating suppliers. We have a beautiful traditional five-tier wedding cake. The piping techniques used for this cake are relatively simple, but the piping needs to be really good for the cake to look wonderful. As soon as the bottom and middle tiers of the cake are covered with soft icing, use the quilting tool to mark the sides. Roll icing into an 8cm-wide strip, long enough to wrap around the cake. Use embossed rolling pin to mark the pattern on the icing. Using a plastic ruler as a guide, cut a straight edge, long enough to cover cake, along one side of the embossed strip using the pizza cutter. Roll the strip of icing, embossed-side in, around a small rolling pin. Position cut side against base of cake, unroll icing onto cake. Using a small sharp knife, carefully cut the embossed icing flush with the top edge of the cake. Use fingertip to smooth cut edge. Fit piping bag with tube, half-fill bag with royal icing. Pipe over some of the pattern on the cake to give a raised embossed effect.