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Posts Tagged ‘Wedding Cake’

I did it. I made my sister and (now) brother in-laws wedding cake (two months ago now!). I am both pleased and surprised to say that I didn’t run into too many issues! That can probably be attributed to beginners luck, a healthy dose of research, and the fact that I kept the cake very simple. As I mentioned in the post about Catherine’s bridal shower, I made a practice cake. This helped me work out a few issues related to the frosting and give me the confidence to succeed on the wedding day! Without further ado here is some of my documentation of the process….

I under estimated how busy we would all be before the wedding–dropping wedding favors off, picking up THE wedding dress, entertaining family and just enjoying the festivities. Here is what my timeline looked like:

Thursday:

  •  Grocery shop
  • Bake cakes, two 10X2 inch and 1 8 X 3 inch
  •  Refrigerate overnight

 Friday:

  • Make Swiss butter cream frosting
  • Frost and stack cakes
  • Cover with fondant
  • Pick up flowers from florist

Saturday AM:

  • Place flowers on top of cake
  • Deliver cake to wedding reception venue
  • Get ready for the wedding!

I used this recipe to make a coconut cake. This makes a very decadent and moist cake. It was to die for, if I do say so myself. I had to double the recipe in order to make enough cake. Let me tell you, I think I ended up using almost every bowl in my parent’s kitchen—I was shocked how much batter it took!

Line your cake pan with parchment paper as well as cooking spray. This way you can be 100% sure you will have easy removal from the pan. When pouring batter into the pans I just eye balled the proportions, trying to make sure that I put even amounts of batter in each of the layers. Once you pour the batter in, give the pan a good shake to and allow the batter to settle a bit, this will reduce the dome on the top of the cake during the baking process.

Once the cake is done cooking, allow to cook in the pan for a bit and then place on a cooling rack. Once completely cool wrap each cake in wax paper as well as plastic wrap. This will ensure that as the cake rests and completely cools over night in the refrigerator it will not dry out or smell like your refrigerator! Making the cakes a day before is key. The next day the cake will be much more solid, making it easier to handle during the frosting and stacking process. You can even make it up to 2 weeks in advance and freeze it.

 Making the Frosting: I used Smitten Kitchens recipe for Swiss buttercream frosting. Originally, I wanted to steer clear of buttercream frosting because I just don’t usually like it. But from the research I did it seemed to be the best option. Let’s just say I never looked back. Once you make the frosting give it a few minutes to chill but not too long or else it gets too hard and incredibly difficult to spread. Although I was using fondant, I learned through research that it is imperative to have a layer of frosting between the cake and the fondant; it acts as a dressing for the cake. The beauty of this is you don’t have to be too concerned what the frosting layer looks like. Just make sure it is fairly smooth.

If Swiss buttercream is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Rolling the fondant:  Two pieces of cake baking equipment I purchase were a fondant roller and a fondant mat. I would not have been able to make the cake without these. The mat has both circles and graph paper design on it, allowing you ensure that you have rolled out enough fondant. The mat also helps when transferring the fondant to the cake. You can easily flip your freshly rolled out fondant on top of the cake, slowly peel back that mat and smooth the fondant over the cake. Cut off excess fondant. Repeat for each tier of your cake.

PLEASE WORK!

Proud Mama

Lookin' fine

Stacking: Break a thin wooden dowel into pieces, just as tall as the cake itself and hammer them into the center. This will prevent the top layer from caving into the bottom layer. It seemed a bit silly to me but after lifting this cake multiple times I learned just how heavy a cake can get. Once you place you layers on top of each other use your frosting to make decorative designs to cover the seam. I chose to color the frosting purple and orange-the wedding colors. I then alternated purple and orange frosting stars.

Placing wooden dowels

Structural Support

No more seams!

 Allow your cake the chill over night in the refrigerator. In the morning before delivering your cake cut and place flowers on the top of the cake. Carefully drive the cake to the ending location and refrigerator. I must say it was lots of fun to do this. A bit stressful at times but in the end seeing my sister and her husband cut into a cake that I made was  a cool experience.

Love

I also made sure to jump in for a  photo opp! (Thanks Lisa!) Congratulations Catherine and Andrew!

Just had to jump in!

[L]

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This past weekend I had the pleasure of co-hosting my sisters bridal shower.  The shower was to be held at my co-hostesses’ (also known as my Aunt Linda) house, where many family functions have been held before. 
 
I knew I wanted to keep things fresh and simple because who wants to eat a heavy meal in the middle of the summer?  After hatching a few ideas out with my mother (a true party throwing inspiration of mine) we decided a “build your own salad” bar would be a great way to provide a light, fresh lunch that met everyone’s dietary needs and restrictions!    Here is what the salad included
 

  • Spring mix
  • Red Onions
  • New Jersey Tomatoes (thanks Lesley!)
  • Cucumbers
  • Marinated Artichoke hearts
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Grilled Salmon
  • Roasted Turkey Breast
  • Rolls
  • Creamy Dressing
  • Balsamic vinaigrette

Since guests were expected to arrive fairly early Saturday and there was a decent amount of prep work that could only be done that morning, I wanted to make sure I got as much done as possible the night before.  Less stress=a more enjoyable party!

Here is what I did Friday Afternoon:

  • Wrap silverware in napkins and place in a basket: Guests will only have to pick up one additional item when filling their plates!
  • Wash and dry all vegetables: When it comes time to chop everything will be clean!
  • Label Service dishes and set up serving table: Knowing that everything already has a home makes set up easy.
  • Make Ice: Okay I didn’t do this but I should have!  We ended up buying a bag of ice at the store.
  • Fill balloons with helium: To be placed on the mailbox so guests will be sure to know where the party is.

Saturday Morning:

  • Fuel with a nice breakfast and a cup of coffee: You have a busy few hours ahead of you!
  • Brew tea and allow to chill for ice tea
  • Make lemonade
  • Chop vegetables/toppings: Place on the serving dishes and cover with plastic wrap
  • Fill salad bowls with spring mix: Purchasing the triple washes saves a lot of time.
  • Pick up rolls at Bakery (thanks Linda!)
  • Grill Salmon (thanks Joe!)
  • Roast Chicken breast (thanks Mom!)

Fresh Rolls

Perfectly Grilled Salmon

The Spread

When the guest arrived everyone mingled for a few minutes and snacked on a cheese and fruit plate as well as enjoyed a glass of ice tea or lemonade before we all dug in and ate! 
 
For dessert I made a slightly smaller version of the cake that I will be making for Catherine and Andrews wedding, but that is another post for another time.  Let’s just say I don’t think anyone was let down!  Modest of me, I know.
 

Sneak peak of the wedding cake

What is your favorite  bridal shower meal?

[Lizzie]

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Over Christmas I decided to announce to C & FBIL that I would be more than happy to make their wedding cake. They excitedly said yes.  But I thought they were just being polite.  About a month later they asked if I was still interested in doing it. Interested in doing it?  Are you kidding me, I couldn’t be more excited!  Seeing as I don’t really have the skill set to make a beautifully decorate cake let alone a beautifully decorate multi-tiered wedding cake this will certainly be a learning experience!   I have decided that the blog will be a perfect place to document my learning experience. 

The first official step in the process was taking a fondant cake decorating class.  I signed up for a 3 hour seminar at Create a Cook in Newton, taught by Linda Brundz of Sweet Alternatives.  The class taught us how to prep the cake for foment, how to handle fondant, various tools that would aid in your decorating and different decorating methodologies.  I was luckily enough to have my friend Sara join me in the class, I will probably have to use her as a resource at a later date!

Here are a few of the key take aways:

  • Bake and chill your cake a few days in advance–your cake will be firm and easier to work with
  • Cover your cake in frosting and let chill.  The frosting acts as a glue when covering with fondant.
  • What to do if your fondant is not the right texture-sticky (add corn starch) dry (add vegetable shortening)

 I am happy to report that I came away from this class learning a lot but knowing I still have a lot more to learn!    Here are some of the pictures from my class!  

 Rolling out the fondant-make sure to rub vegetable shortening on your rolling pin if you use a wooden one!  

Cutting the extra fondant off after the base color is place over the cake.  

 Adding stencil work….I have some great ideas for how this skill will come in handy for the wedding cake!  

Placing the fondant ribbon around the cake–as you can see I need to work on my measure skills…this was a bit uneven!  

And the final product!!      

View from the top.

 Please note I will not be making the cake toppers by hand-the women sitting on the side of my cake is less than flattering!  As you can see the collar I tried to put around the women’s neck, doesn’t so much look like a collar (use your imagination).  As I mentioned about, I have a lot of learning to do!

I am looking forward to taking Linda’s next class offered at Create a Cook–how to make a tired wedding cake.  What is your favorite flavor of wedding cake?

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