The Wedding Cake!

After all this time, planning and cake baking, the wedding finally arrived on a beautiful sunny day.  It was such a fantastic exerience, with lots of love and help from family and friends to make it perfect!  And the cake? Did it travel ok? Did it look good?  Did people like it? Well… you will see.

To brides thinking about making their own cake – go for it!  Here is how I did mine and with planning and a bit of practice i would totally recommend it.

I wanted to make a cake big enough for 120 people to have a portion each whilst still keeping the top layer intact.  I chose 6″/9″/12″ rounds to have a pronounced stagger between layers and the 9″ & 12″ layers together provided 130 portions.

The bottom layer had to be fruit to support the cake (and it also goes a long way), the middle was carrot and after Dave’s comment (See Dave and Fi’s wedding cake) about wanting to come back to some cake after the honeymoon, the top was also fruit

There was plenty as you have to allow for everyone, but not everyone will eat it.  There was enough for people to enjoy and also to take home.

Planning

So obviously there is lots to do before the wedding, when are you going to make it?  Fruit cakes can be made a couple of months in advance and the carrot cake nearly two weeks.  Sponges would be much less and I didn’t want to cut it that fine! The plan was to make the base fruit at the end of July and have quite a while to decorate it, then a month later bake and  marzipan the top fruit cake, and then make the middle tier carrot cake two weeks before, decorating it in tandem with the top cake.

I started with the big 12″ cake on the 30/July, baking it with newspaper wadding tied round it to make sure the outside didn’t burn before the middle was cooked!  It was a mother.  The next day I stuck it upside down on a 12″thick drum using boiled and cooled apricot jam.  I then covered it with marzipan to air seal it and wrapped it in greaseproof paper and left it until August.

Icing

13/ August

I decided that i wanted three shades of apricot icing on the cake, the bottom cake being the darkest.  In total the cake would need just over 5KG of sugarpaste icing!  In one mammoth morning i coloured the whole lot to the lightest shade using an apricot gel colour (and adding and extra bit of orange as it was a bit pink).  Hauling that much weight around was really tiring on the arms!  I then took away the quantity of the icing the top cake would need and kept adding colouring to the remainder.  I got a nice colour for the mid cake, took away the quantity of icing it would need and then carried on again until it was intense enough for the base cake.  It was a gradual process, imagining what i wanted in my mind’s eye and then comparing the shades next to each other all the time.  Once coloured I wrapped up the icing very very tightly in lots of plastic and clingfilm.

Icing the bottom cake was quite difficult because of the sheer size!  Having a big rolling pin helps and keep moving the icing between rolls, making sure there is a THIN sprinkling of icing sugar on the worktop surface.  Also be careful not to drag the sides when smoothing the icing down the sides.

To finish off i dusted the surface with white pearl lustre dust, using my fingers, but very lightly or you can make air bubbles under the icing!

Base Board and cake

I rolled out a layer of coloured icing, bushed the outer two inches of the 14″ baseboard with cooled boiled water and then laid the icing over.  The extra is then cut off neatly.

The base cake is then carefully placed into the centre and ribbon measured around the edge and pinned into place at the back of the board.

Stacking

Placing the next tier’s drum on the top gave me an indication of where to put the dowels.  The whole dowels are pushed in and then marked at the top of the icing (middle tier shown here)

Then laying them next to each other your draw an average across all of the (so they are all the same height) and cut.

The cut dowels are then pushed back into the cake, providing support of the cakes above.


Icing Bottom cake!

29/ August

For both Bottom and middle tiers I measured the circumference of the cake and laid out the length in tracing paper. I divided the length into the amount of segments or ‘swags’ that i wanted and then drew on the design in pen.  The trace was then tied round the cake and with a toothpick the pattern gently scribed into the icing.

I mixed up the royal icing and put into a bag with a size 2 nozzle.  I started with the horizontal swags, icing a bead and then dragging it a little to the right and then immediately making another.  It was a bit tricky and maybe a practice go on tracing paper is a good idea, i just went for it and found getting into a rhythmthe best thing, don’t over think it!

A damp paintbrush is handy to press down the peaks of the beads if you don’t want them spiky

After i mixed the three colours of sugarpaste icing i kept some back to make flowers.  I had three sizes of blossom cutter that came with a little ejector and they were great.  I rolled the paste out thinly and then cut a couple of hundred flowers of different size in the three shades.  This took a while as you can imagine so i did it here and there, storing them as i collected.  As i iced i picked out flowers and stuck the bigger white ones along the top and the smaller pale apricot ones along the bottom.  Don’t leave it too long before sticking the flower on as the icing starts to go hard.

I then spent some fun time sticking the mix of flowers all around the bottom with a dab of royal icing, very soothing! To finish them i iced in a little dot for each centre.


Top cake

30/ August

The smallest cake (6″) baked and marzipanned onto a thick drum base, very cute

Middle cake

10/ September

The middle cake, a 9″ carrot cake is made and marzipanned onto a thick drum base


Both cakes!

11/ September

Both cakes are covered in sugarpaste icing and then dusted with the pearl luster dust

The middle cake is then dowelled in the same way as the bottom cake


Using the tracing paper method I drew out the design for the middle cake, making the distance between the icing ‘swags’ a little shorter so it looked proportionate.  Then with a toothpick I gently inscribed the cake.

Again using white royal icing and a No2 nozzle I iced out the pattern ( I dropped the third swags!)

The finish I ‘glued’ on more little flowers and gave the centres a blob of the white icing.

Next for the top cake (it was a fairly long day!) I marked out a simple swag for the top and then ‘glued’ little flowers in a nice pattern, icing dots either side to finish.  Each cake i stuck to a bigger base board with a dab of icing as I then could transport them separately in boxes knowing the sides wouldn’t be hit.

The day before!

23/ September

At the venue I slid the base layer onto the table.  With a palette knife a carefully pulled the two top cakes off of their bases and eased them into position onto the base cake, seeing it all together for the first time!  The two deer i had bought for making moulds were spray painted white and placed on top – the Roebucks!

It was a brilliant feeling and I felt so pleased with it, especially when Paul and I cut it together!

The Big Day

24/ September 


Horaay!!


 

THE END

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Comments
One Response to “The Wedding Cake!”
  1. Interesting read, what a lot of work you put into it ~ I am definitely having you make my wedding cake when I get married!! Glad you’ve used some of the pics from the day as well 🙂 x

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