Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wedding Cake

When my brother got engaged, he and his fiancee knew they had some fast planning to do - about 6 months! They were fine with a simple wedding and small reception. They asked me if I would make them a cake just so they had something to cut - not big enough for the 100 or so guests. I had made a tiered cake last year for my sister's baby shower, so I figured I could do the same size for the wedding.

As promised, I'm now sharing the pictures --
It took us a while to all agree on something. She wanted sunflowers, but for it to all be edible (so no real or silk flowers on the cake). He wanted didn't want anything too elegant, but with swirls or paisley that would go with the print on the groomsmen's vests. It had to be a two-layer round cake (because that's what I had the pans for). We pinned and reviewed a lot of wedding cake pictures.

About a month before the wedding, I did a practice run (picture at the top). I just baked two 6 inch rounds and did what the top layer of the cake would look like.
I certainly can't make two identical cakes, and I hate to say it, but I liked the practice cake quite a bit better than the final cake. Although, everyone at the wedding saw only the final cake and I received many compliments. The final cake was still very pretty.

I used two layers of 9 inch cakes and two layers or 6 inch cakes, all chocolate as per the bride's request.
I don't make cakes from scratch very often; a box mix works and tastes just fine to me. The icing was also purchased from a store. (Normally, I would make my own icing, but I wanted a little more time and less stress.)

I've never worked with fondant, so I wasn't going to start now. However, it takes a lot of practice and patience to get icing smooth and I wanted it as smooth as could get it. And when I'm icing a cake, I have to remember that a lot of things will be covered by the decorations on the cake and even if they aren't covered, as a whole, most of the 'less smooth' areas won't be noticeable by anyone other than me.
I iced the tiers separately, each with a cardboard base; then I [carefully] plopped the top layer on.
My sister asked me how long from start to finish the cake would take me, trying to get an idea of why special cakes cost as much as they do -- I estimated 4 hours. With the cake mixing, baking, cooling, cutting the tops flat, color mixing, and decorating, I think it took me longer than that. The decorating alone (after what you see in the picture above) took a little over two hours. A professional, or someone who makes special cakes a lot more often than I do, would probably be quite a bit faster.
But it all paid off (no pun intended, the cake was a gift from me).

And they loved it too --

For my baby brother and his wife:

all my love and best wishes for a marriage that is

as beautiful and happy as your wedding day!

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