Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A beautiful day for a beautiful wedding

Making cakes for my friends' weddings is such an honor. I am not a professional baker, so I'm always in awe that someone I love would trust me to be such a big part of such an important day. This month, I was able to do just that, making the cake for my friend Valerie's wedding.

Despite having a relatively small wedding, Valerie really wanted a large and impactful cake! So, we went with a three-tiered cake - one 10" tier, one 8" tier, and one 6" tier. The other fun thing about tiered cakes is the opportunity to have a lot of different flavors. For the largest tier, we went with a vanilla buttermilk cake with a raspberry filling. The middle tier was a chocolate buttermilk cake with a chocolate ganache filling, and the top and smallest tier was the most creative (and therefore least broad appeal) - an apple spice cake with a stewed apple filling. I loved all the flavors, but the apple cake might have been my favorite! All of this was topped with a vanilla swiss meringue buttercream.

The challenge with this cake was that the wedding was in North Carolina! As a reminder... I no longer live in North Carolina. So, my parents generously allowed me to take over their kitchen for a day and a half. I traveled with all my decorating supplies (apart from the cake pans, which I ordered and had shipped to their house) from Chicago to NC, did all my grocery shopping locally, and then got to baking. It was stressful getting used to a new-to-me oven, and my mom's KitchenAid doesn't have nearly the horsepower mine does, so there was brief 20 minutes of sheer panic when it looked like the icing wasn't going to come together. But, all worked out, and the cake turned out beautifully!

Valerie chose a rustic textured icing with no additional piping or decorating, which definitely cut down on my stress, decorating in a new environment, and transporting the cake 45 min in the back of a friend's car. The design went perfectly with her rustic and simple wedding design.

Do you see the cake to the right of the wedding cake that says "YAY"? I also made that! That was a lemon pound cake with a lemon glaze, and I used fondant to make the letters and bake them into the cake. It was a fun effect, but it was a LOT of work, and the fondant took up so much of the cake that it really impacted the taste and texture (in a not so positive way). I wouldn't necessarily recommend this approach, though I do think I will try it in the future using cake inside cake versus fondant inside cake. That's a very big thing these days and I haven't tried it yet.

Full dessert table
Cakes, like people, always look better
when photographed professionally
Thank you, Valerie, for inviting me to be part of your special day!