wedding cake

What I learned today

The cake frosting experience wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I learned a lot in a very short time.  This recipe for buttercream frosting is maybe the best tasting thing I have ever eaten.  The cake itself really tastes good too.  Here are some things I learned and didn’t learn.

  • I need to pay attention to the sides of the cake.  I used two nearly-the-same size cake pans, bu the small difference in their sizes made for quite uneven sides to contend with.  I finally gave up trying to make them perfect, but I can now see that with enough patience and practice, I’ll be able to pull this off (I hope)
  • I need someone else’s math skills to half, double or quarter my recipes.  I struggled to convert 17.5 oz of sugar into cups assuming 4 lbs. of sugar is 9 1/2 cups and then I need it multiplied by .4 .  Seriously, I had to call my mom.  Still not sure we got the right amount of sugar, but it tastes amazing.
  • I thought my cake leveler would be awesome and it really just seems to be a pain in the butt.
  • Factor in the crumb coat.  I was an idiot and didn’t do a crumb coat because it didn’t look like I had enough frosting.  So, I went straight into application. I think the entire cake would have looked better with a solid base layer.
  • Too little frosting is a BIG error.  I think next time, I’ll make extra just to be sure.
  • Mix mix mix mix.  My overall colors didn’t turn out as solid nor as bright as I wanted.  One factor was clear, I didn’t mix thoroughly enough.  I also might need to get a different kind of gel coloring.  The Wilton blue just doesn’t seem bright enough for me.  Maybe what I am looking for isn’t possible in a buttercream.  The color I want for the wedding case is much more subtle though.
  • Amazon boxes make for great cake boards, at least for these practice cakes.  I’ll go with Rachel’s suggestion for the real deal and buy wooden cake boards.

That’s a lot for my brain to take in in one day.  Hope you like it.

Tales of a misdirected cake baker – Shopping list

This weekend I talked to the sister who is planning her wedding.  I asked how her wedding cake selection is going.  She looked at me with a little bit of surprise and said, “well….I don’t know since you are the one making the cake.”  I remember (foggily and perhaps under the influence of much wine) mentioning at one point or another that I would be willing to make the cake, but the pressure might be a little too much for me.  I also remember a discussion of focus, I would obviously be focused on the cake and unable to pay a lot of attention to other aspects of wedding preparation.  That said, the $800 + wedding budget line item convinced me that this would actually be the best wedding present I could give them.  I’ll be detailing the step by step processes I go through. 

My first challenge is to decide the size of the individual tiers and develop a shopping list. 

  • pans.  I have yet to decide if I should go with 2″ or 3″ deep pans there is strong sentiment online for both.  I’ll keep researching and will share the links. 
  • dowels
  • cake boards
  • cake stand
  • cake leveler
  • icing spatula
  • cake decorating turntable
  • icing coloring
  • fondant rolling pin (large and small)
  • ruler
  • fondant rolling surface
  • ingredients (duh this will be once we decide flavors of the layers)  

My goal today is to order the cake pans and a couple of other of the necessary supplies.  I still can’t decide on the 2 or 3 inch. 

Wilton has a good website to figure quantities.  Though apparently I am supposed to use different calculations depending on whether this is the main dessert or not.  I’ll have to figure that in.  Well, I do love a challenge.  We’ll see how this goes.  Luckily I have a few of test runs in my future.  I figure we’ll need a Christmas cake this year, certainly a cute cake for the shower I’ll also be planning and there is a 9 year old birthday in March as well.   Any ideas, suggestions or advise is greatly appreciated here!!