Friday, May 22, 2009

May Showers & Wedding Cake

Ever feel like you are living under the Big Top and your life is a three ring circus? Uh-huh. Last Saturday was Project Wedding Cake day and we could have charged admission to the circus that was our home in the morning--all we needed was a trapeze artist or two. We had the rest of the show: clowns (the boys of course), monkeys (yep, boys again), elephant (me after all the cake scraps I ate), gravity-defying acts (4 tiers of cake) and so on.

It wasn't lively only because I had a wedding cake to pull together on a standard rowdy Saturday morning, but the fact that we were all attending the wedding too; that added a challenging element. (Wait, who's idea it was to bring the kids anyway?) So of course that meant there were babies to bathe, tiny shirts and pants to iron, and many bags to be packed with activities, sippy cups and the appropriate stuffed animal.
Do NOT ask me how Brangelina do it--I only have two and it's work. Oh right, they have like 6 nannies.

All day I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never did and the four of us plus four cakes made it to the ceremony and reception without incident. Oh, did I mention that it was pouring rain? Like the kind of intense downpour that hits the ground so hard it splashes up under your dress.Yeah, not nice.

I assembled the cake from the bottom up at the reception hall and decorated it with simple purple ribbon and fresh daisies. The bride's colors were purple and yellow and we worked together to incorporated them into the cakes design. She also had picked a cute Precious Moment's cake topper which suited her to a tee, and I think both the bride and groom were happy with the final result.

Later on that evening, as he busily snapped photos of the cake cutting, the wedding photographer asked me how I felt about my creation and the fact that it was about to be destroyed, ie: consumed. I assured him that unlike some wedding cakes, mine focused first on taste and second on appearances, meaning that it's ideal destiny was to be consumed down to the last crumb, not just to sit pretty. I would be ten times more upset if it was only for show and never got eaten and enjoyed!

That said, here's the lowdown on what went into the cake with recipes at the bottom. Hope you weren't expecting a DIY wedding cake tutorial, because frankly I am not the patissiere for the job! This is my sixth wedding cake over the last 10 years, not a very good ratio. I should probably decide soon if I'm serious about this wedding cake calling or not.

Alright, there was both One-Bowl Chocolate Cake and Yellow Butter Cake in the cake layers, with the exception of the second layer, which was double chocolate. After all, chocolate is a more popular flavor and I wanted extra. Cakes were filled with Chocolate Frosting and covered with Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Rolled fondant covered the cakes for the final touch.

Feel free to shoot
me an email if you have any questions about making these recipes in large quantities.


Yellow Butter Cake
Chocolate Frosting
Swiss Meringue Buttercream

One Bowl Chocolate Cake

From Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup warm water

3/4 cup buttermilk

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two round 9-inch cake pans or one 9x13 pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to ensure batter is well mixed.
Divide batter evenly among pans. (If I have any extra batter I like to make a few mini cupcakes.) Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed.

Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Frost as desired.


Helene said...

Gorgeous Aimee! No doubt the bride and groom enjoyed it immensely!

abigail @ Paper and Cake said...

you are a rock star! or should i say wedding cake baker star?

i am super impressed with not just the way it looks, and the way it probably tasted, but being able to pull this off while still able to let your children live :)

you go girl!

Two Minute Takes said...

Aimee, not only does the cake look beautiful, the photo of you adding the final touches is a gorgeous shot! Yes, continue considering "the cake business", weddings, baby showers, etc.

Dianna said...

It's beautiful! I'm impressed.

Elyse said...

This looks amazing!! Fabulous job! I've never made a wedding cake, but I was recently asked to make one for a friend. I'm definitely going to take a class, but any tips you have on large scale baking, decorating, and where to "learn" the art would be much appreciated :)

kimberleyblue said...


And you look great in that shot of you decorating the cake.

Really, what a stunning cake.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Beautiful job, Aimee! You looked equally lovely.

Very impressive that you got the cake finished, it there safely, yourself dressed, AND your two little guys packed up and (cleanly)dressed! My biggest headache was keeping the kids clean until we arrived.

Happy holiday weekend!

Coco Bean said...

Amazing! You are my wedding cake hero, I would never have the guts to try making one. The loving couple would have to deal with cupcakes instead! When I saw the pictures of the inside of the cake I knew that it had to taste great!

Melissa said...

How beautiful! And I'm talking about you and the cake! I know how hectic attending and baking the cake can be. I decorated my sister's wedding cake with tiny piped royal icing snowflakes. Talk about pins and needles-and I wasn't the one getting married!

Susan said...

Gorgeous cake, Aimee! You've just given me inspiration for my daughter's birthday cake... minus a few layers :)

You are a food star!

Emily said...

YAY! You did such a good job! The cake is beautiful. I'm so glad you concentrate on flavor before looks. I completely agree with you. Is this your new calling? I think so.

Half Baked said...

great job! The cake looks not only beautiful but really tasty too!

RecipeGirl said...

It turned out gorgeous! If it were mine, I'd be thrilled :)

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

That One Bowl Chocolate Cake is so good I made cupcakes with it.

Beautiful cake, I'm so impressed.

Liliana said...

Aimée, you're amazing! The cake looks absolutely wonderful (and so do you).

I showed your blog post to my family and my oldest daughter wants to make the cake with me (for her 21st birthday - not for her wedding!). We've never made a wedding cake before so that should be quite challenging.

I remember how it poured last Saturday - kudos to you.

Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship said...

Do you know if you could make this with homemade buttermilk? Mine is really thick, almost like yogurt or creme fraiche. I wonder if the consistency would affect the cake.

Jennifer Jo said...

It looks like you make six cakes every ten DAYS. Beautiful!

Dana said...

Fabulous job! It looked absolutely lovely and I'm sure it tasted delicious. I think it's really special when a wedding cake tastes good because they so rarely do. I hear you with the 3 ring circus! That feels like everyday here.

Kimberly said...

Aimee...those cakes looked DIVINE. So simple and pretty...I think that's how it should be. I'll bet they tasted great too.

CookiePie said...

What a GORGEOUS wedding cake - you are amazing!!!

Abby said...

I'm sure the recipient was one happy brides.

And your hair looked so pretty!

And I love little boys in dressy clothes. So. Sweet.

giz said...

Truly impressive but really, when did you find the time to do this - it's a load of work.

Marta said...

Great job Aimee! Wedding cakes are HARD and stressful! The thought of messing it up seems so tragic! I've done a couple, and I've never been more stressed. Yours turned out great and I'm sure was delicious. I like the delicate and classy decoration with the fresh flowers.
Thanks for sharing the photos with us :)

Michele Humes said...

You look so glamorous doing the final touches that I think you should absolutely decide to get serious with wedding cakes. But that's just my two, prejudiced cents.

Culinary Wannabe said...

You and the cake both look beautiful! How you managed to get your whole family and the cake there without a hair out of place (or frizzy - thanks rain!), is beyond me. Bravo!

Kate said...

Wow! I'm lost for words ... cake, kids, rain ... what a nail-biting marathon! Congrats on pulling it off so impressively.

Sweet Treats by Dani said...

what a beautiful cake! i sure wish i could find somebody as talented as you here in newfoundland for my wedding next summer :)

Anonymous said...

look delish! Great job!

Anonymous said...

I made the chocolate frosting to use on cupcakes the other day and wow, was it good! Everyone loved it :]



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