Sunday, January 11, 2009

Introducing: My First Wedding Cake!!!!

I know I've been a little MIA for the past week or so...but, I've got a good excuse...I promise! I recently got the opportunity to bake my very first wedding cake. And let me just tell was quite the undertaking! I've never done it before, so I did a lot of research into the whole process. After all, I couldn't imagine anything worse than having the cake topple over mid-reception. But, I am ecstatic to report that there were absolutely no cake mishaps. I even did okay working with fondant for the first time. I was nervous about that too...I hadn't worked with it before, but it looked easy enough...kind of. After over 20 hours of reading, mixing, tasting, rolling, stirring, zesting and baking...I ended up with the fabulous four-tiered concoction that you see here. I got the design idea from Wilton. In fact, we bought almost all of the supplies from the Wilton aisle at Michael's Arts & Crafts.

I started on Monday, with a test cake. The result was good, but a little plain and a tad dry. I decided to try again on Tuesday night with another test cake. But this time, I added fresh lemon zest and lemon juice. The cake just needed *something*. The lemon was PERFECT! I think it added a fantastic flavor....definitely not just another wedding cake. The buttercream icing recipe that I used was equally great. The best part about the icing was that it was pretty easy to make. And get this...I made 16 batches of icing on Tuesday, that isn't a typo....SIXTEEN batches! LOL. I was quite literally up to my elbows in buttercream. I can think of worse things to be up to my elbows in, though...LOL.
On Wednesday night, I made the top two tiers. I also frosted them and added the ribbon & fondant. On Thursday night, I made the bottom two tiers, frosted them both, and added ribbon & fondant to one. I ran out of time and had to add the fondant to the last tier on Friday night. I had to have most everything done before Friday evening, because we had to attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner on Friday night. I was the queen of multi-tasking at this wedding...I was the cake baker, a bridesmaid, and I even took some wedding photos. It was a busy day, but it was so much fun!
At the end of the day, baking a wedding cake takes an incredible amount of time and patience. However, seeing the finished cake was overwhelming...I had NO idea that I was capable of such a feat. It was such a great feeling seeing it all set up at the reception hall. Hopefully, this won't be the last one that I bake. I LOVED the entire process! :)
Look at all those ingredients!!!

Rolling the fondant...

Adding the fondant to the cake...who knew a can of yams could be so helpful?

Top two tiers completed!

I did a test run the night before the wedding day...just to make sure it wouldn't topple over!

Putting it all together at the reception...

Classic White Cake
6 cups cake flour sifted
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 egg whites
***Zest & juice from 4 lemons
Cake Release
Makes: 12 cups of cake batter.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease bottom of pans and line with waxed paper or parchment paper, or use Cake Release. (Click here for complete instructions on preparing baking pans.)

Sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest & juice. Mix well. Set aside. Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Set aside. With mixer at slow speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternately with milk. Beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Pour into prepared pans. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Buttercream Icing
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk
Makes: About 3 cups of icing.

(Medium Consistency)
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.
For Pure White Icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Color Butter Flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.


Ashley said...

Congrats! That is awesome!

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOSH CELESTE!!!!! It turned out AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZINGLY! I'm so proud of you!!! Seriously, WAYYYYYY better than I was imagining it to look. You are amazing! :)

What's Cookin Chicago said...

Way to go! It came out gorgeous and you did an amazing job!!!

Macaroni and Cheesecake said...

That cake is absolutely gorgeous! What a phenomonal job! I am SO super impressed!! You should totally do that for a living!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't believe this is your first wedding cake! It looks amazing!

Anonymous said...

Looks great! So impressed!

Risa said...

way to go!! Kudos to you and your cake it's beautiful.

Colleen said...

WOW this is gorgeous! And that is quite a cake to start out with - great job!

Hungry Janey said...

It looks FANTASTIC! Good for you :)

Maria said...

Congrats!! The cake is STUNNING!

Ingrid_3Bs said...

You did a marvelous job! Your cake is stunning. Love, love,love the cream color and all the (it looks like) fresh roses!

Anonymous said...

OMG the cake you made is absolutely gorgeous. I'm planning a wedding and just saved the picture :)


l.v. said...

wow! this cake is beautiful! i stumbled upon this but had been wondering how to make a wedding cake! do you ice between layers of tiers and then put the fondant over the whole tier? also, what size cake pans did you use?

Celeste said...

Everybody - Wow, thank you all so much for the sweet comments. They seriously make my day. ;)

Iamia - Yes, you should ice the cake just like you would any other layer cake, and then add the fondant on top of the whole thing. The 4th photo down in the post shows the inside of the cake. Also, I used 16", 12", 8", and 6" cake pans. I hope this helps! Feel free to e-mail me any questions you might have...I'm happy to help! ;)

Jennywenny said...

Congratulations! Awesome, I'd love to do something like that one day. Once I manage to get smooth fondant on a cake, that is!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely set of photos - you have done a wonderful job!!!! The taste of the cake sounds fab.

Steph said...

That cake looks so beautiful. I've never folded egg whites into a white cake batter before. I'm hoping that will give me the fluffy texture that is so hard to find in a white butter cake

Fahrenheit 350° said...

Found you on DB. Amazing! I love the taste of lemon, on anything and everything. Very impressive!

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness...what an incredible project and your final wedding cake appearance FANTASTIC! Well done :) therefore glad to possess discovered your site!When meeting your cake decorator for the primary time, bring the maximum amount data as possible; theme of the marriage, color of your dress, woman dress and inspiration from the area and flowers. it'll create the choice easier.