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Wedding Cake


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I have been tasked with making my niece's wedding cake, and accepted the challenge only to have her hamstring me with the following: Carrot cake, but no nuts, no pineapple, no raisins, no coconut. AND she wants creamcheese icing. Of course she does. Little monster. I won't even go into how she managed to pick the only wedding cake in the Martha Stewart book that has a thousand individually crafted flowers on it- but white is so boring, so could they be purple? Sure sweetheart, anything for you :wacko:

So...here's the first question:

Could someone who knows more about chemistry than I do tell me if this recipe could be successfully doubled? Tripled? Quadrupled? It's basically a muffin method cake, so I think it would be okay, but I'm not really sure.

Not Really a Carrot Cake

1.5 cups carrot, cooked and fork mashed

6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter; more for the pans

9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pans

1-1/2 tsp. baking soda

1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. table salt

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup buttermilk

Melt the butter in a heavy-duty 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden-brown, about 4 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and let stand until cool but not set, about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves. In a large bowl, whisk 1-1/2 cups of the pumpkin purée with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and buttermilk until very well blended. With a rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Gently whisk in the brown butter until completely incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Edited by Badiane (log)

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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The purple flowers may need some experimentation if she wants those in cream cheese icing. Purple is a color notorious for not holding up well over time. Even commercial icing companies have special formulations for their purple products.

Cream cheese icing has to be held cold, which is something that some wedding venues may not be able to accommodate. You'll need to get cold storage as part of the delivery contract. Also, the aforementioned purple icing may do weird things as the cake moves from a walk-in to the room temperature reception. (weeping, turning grey, fading, etc.)

The main issue that I see with using carrot cake is that it tends to be more crumbly than regular cake and will be difficult to use for larger sized layers, and will need a lot of supports for upper tiers. You'll also need to carefully watch the baking soda/powder ratios to prevent green carrot bits.

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This is the cake she wants...I think it's the only one on the main page...the one with all the little flowers.


I know K8Memphis did this cake a few years ago with gumpaste flowers, but I am going to use Royal Icing because that seems easier to me.

I thought I would tint them mauve and then brush them with purple petal dust. Do you think that will hold up or is it going to go all funky? How long do you think royal icing flowers will last stuck to creamcheese icing?

Fortunately I don't have to worry about cold storage. It's coastal BC the first weekend of March...I will just use the great outdoor refridgerator, also known as the back of my van :smile:

Edited by Badiane (log)

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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recipe looks like it would be ok to double. I might not quadruple. But, you could weigh out multiple batches of ingredients, then "dump and stir" as they say in TV world... and bake.

Just build large layers out of sections of cake. Much easier than trying to bake a huge slab!

Karen Dar Woon

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Hmmm.... you could also use the Silver Palate carrot cake recipe; it does call for crushed pineapple but this disappears into the cake so you cannot tell it is there. Leave out the nuts and coconut and you're all set. You can add additional spices (that recipe only calls for cinnamon). I mention this because I routinely use it for wedding cakes (we have four this weekend and three of them are carrot cake) so I know it scales up easily. (My regular batch size is 4x the original recipe because that's as big as will fit comfortably in our 20 qt Hobart).

How purple does she want the flowers? You could just make them white and brush them with the purple petal dust for a very soft effect - or even airbrush them if you have one. (the more delicate the flower, the more they will fly around and not cooperate when you are waving around the airbrush ;)

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Hmm, I got an honorable mention above so I thought I'd toss in my two cents. I always have an opinion on a wedding cake :) pure cafeteria style though of course, take it or leave it. Thought for food.

I think you will make a lovely lovely cake. Your neice is a very lucky girl. Be firm with her. Just 'cause someone's getting married doesn't mean that the forces of nature no longer apply.

Royal icing as opposed to gum paste will be either very fragile or not as refined of a petal. Get some gum arabic to add to your royal --it's a coupla bucks--add some to your royal and it will strengthen it tremendously for your endeavor.

I tell yah, have you ever worked with fondant? You could do a bit of practising and see how you like it. Knead in a generous amount of cornstarch--the flowers will dry crispy and easy to handle. I do not recommend Wilton fondant. Any of the other pre-made is fine for this if you try it.

As far as setting it in your car. Maybe maybe not. Unseasonable warm days do happen. Cars get much warmer inside than the temperature out of doors. I'd recommend back up plans for everything.

Watch extremes of temperatures. If you cake sweats those flowers are gonna slide off. If they're royal they may or may not melt from the moisture. An idea around that is fill the cake with cream cheese filling and use a reliable decorator icing that will handle like you need it to handle to pull off this cake.

Make your schedule then start it three days earlier than you planned. Trust me, this one is non-negotiable. Nobody ever had a nervous break-down from having too much time to do a cake.

Keep your purple flowers out of sunlight and any light. You can loose your pink/red color and wind up with blue flowers.

If you triple that recipe do you have enough room in your oven to bake it all at once so it doesn't sit out at room temp for hours? You have to make that cake in advance and determine that it will hold up to the rigors of becoming a wedding cake. Like how's it gonna serve?

This design looks straight forward but you gotta avoid some of these pitfalls or it's gonna break your ♥

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With the extreme amount of flowers to apply I'd avoid the powdery stuff on royal because it's gonna be messy. If you go with powdery stuff on corn starch infused fondant or gum paste, you can steam it to set. But if you just get it the right color in the first place you're golden. Not having to deal repeatedly with hundreds and hundreds of flowers would be a worthy goal.

Wonder how those spray cans of color would do??

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When is the wedding, and now many guests?

If you have some time to explore with your niece, you may be able to discern what particular aspects of *that* cake are most important to her. Is it the flowers? or the tiers? or, the particular way that the flowers drape/cascade? Or, does she like the "veil" effect of the flowers suspended away from the cake surface?

Not to be glib, but how much "real" cake do you actually need to have?

Karen Dar Woon

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Oy Vey...I am so glad I started this five months before the wedding because I have gotten some really really helpful information from all of you!

I need 150 generous servings of cake - this is a cake and coffee reception. There will be other items served (whatever my sisters and I come up with, apparently) but we are mennonite and the food better be generous. I am thinking that I will do five tiers from 12 inches to 4 inches. That gives me 174 servings, depending on who is doing the cutting.

I have perfected the recipe and have worked out how to get the baking done without having batter sitting about waiting to be baked, so that's good.

The venue for the wedding has changed, and I now have access to a) space to ice the cake the day before and b) adequete refrigeration.

I have abandoned the royal icing, even though it is my personal preference because I like a more free form look to the flowers. I have signed up for a very expensive gum paste class with Jennifer Dontz, and will have a good foundation for making flowers at the end. Right now, I plan to create them in plain white and paint them the week before with a bit of petal dust for effect.

As for the bride, she's out of the picture. :smile: She's in Moose Jaw, I'm here, and the wedding is in Victoria, so I won't be seeing her beforehand, and if her inability to answer email is any indication, I am on my own. She threw a dart and picked the cake and never looked back. I'm sure if you asked her right now, she would not be able to describe the cake to you other than it has lots of flowers. So really, any pressure I feel will be my own, because this is a very no frills wedding without any extras at all, and I want her to have something very special.

Thank God the other niece getting married next year has the means to pay a caterer!

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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What kind of stand are you going to make. Are you understanding this construction?

You can make a beautiful and elegant stacked cake with pretty flowers and all but to get them to hang off like this is an extra component in engineering.

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I might make one display cake, and a few sheet cakes for serving...

but then, I'm usually the caterer, and trying to cut & serve 150 pcs of cake in, oh, 20 minutes.

If you have sheet cakes for serving, then at least some of the desserts could be plated beforehand.

Edited by KarenDW (log)

Karen Dar Woon

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This is a very bare bones family wedding...the cake will be disassembled and cut up by various aunties. The whole reception will be serve yourself squares and cookies, so no one will be looking for pre-plated perfection. Thank God. Because they aren't going to be getting it.

As for the flowers hanging over the edge as they are...I am planning on creating that effect by making a pre-glued floral fringe - most likely in three inch segments, and then gluing the flowers directly to the cake board, or perhaps to a strip of gumpaste that I can then pick up and stick to the cake board. Fortunately, my brother is the pastor of the church it is being held, and I can have the run of the kitchen for the two days prior to the wedding, and a key to lock people out, so I will have plenty of time for things to dry in place and not have to move them very far, if at all.

I suffer no delusion that this cake is going to look like the picture, but if I can get the general effect, it's all good. My husband was a master confectioner and baker in Europe for a long time, but gave it up ten years ago to come to Canada. His experience is all with royal icing and fondant, so this is a bit of a new experience for both of us. He assures me that while we may not be using the techniques used in the picture, the effect will be the same. I will settle for not being humilated :smile:

The cake stand design will be shamelessly stolen from various things I have seen at raisethecake.com and will be make of sturdy mdf or some such and covered with fabric. The first riser, the one under the bottom cake, will be part of the stand. The risers between the tiers will be styrofoam, of course, and I am going to cover them with ribbon instead of icing them. That will just be easier for me. I'm going to buy the ribbon first, then get the styrofoam cut to fit it - I figured that would be less frustrating.

I have been practicing with the gum paste. I think the class I have signed up for will be money well spent. It kind of reminds me of my first pottery class, where I created several bowl like blobs and a vase with a hole in it :smile:

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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I think you're gonna do great! "Run of the kitchen" "lock people out" perfect attitude! Seriously. Aunt Louise can't cut the onions in advance and store them in the same frige.

I love "settle for not being humiliated"!!! Worthy worthy attainable goal in wedding cake making. Let me add a thought that you let the crowd determine that outcome too. We tend to bash ourselves mercilessly in these endeavors and 'our public' is not only very forgiving they are also far sighted if the cake is nearby and near sighted if the cake is across the room. ♥

Idea, cover foam with same fabric as mdf? Maybe, just a thought.

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I hadn't thought much about fabric. Oh Lord, I'm going to have to go to Fabricland. I HATE that place. Makes me feel like a failure. All those women who can sew a straight line wandering around. I'm going to get my mom to do it. Sure, she's 84, but at least she can cut straight and owns a serger.

I find, especially with food and mennonites, that as long as there is lots of it and it tastes better than the lard sandwiches and parsnip soup they survived on during the depression, they will think it's beautiful and perfect. As for the bride and groom, I could cram Ken and Barbie into a stack of donuts and that would be okay for them. They just want to get to the wedding night, they don't care about the food :smile:

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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