Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Ambyre

In Desperate Need of Wedding Cake Advice

Recommended Posts

Okay, I am not an accomplished cook, but I am a huge fan of food. I love to cook, and I am actually really good at it, but not if I don't know how. I am gooing to make my own wedding cake. My wedding is the last week in September so I have only three months to learn how, and to practice. I know it sounds impossible but I would aprriciate some help anyway. SO.....if anyone can give me all the details, or everyone give me little tid bits on decorating it, making it, making the frosting....so on an whatnot, I would be tremendouisly greatful. You know, the works. Also if anyone has any inexpensive ideas for snacks, and the actual meal for my wedding I would be much obliged.

I intend to serve 50 at my wedding, but it may very well be 10 - 15 people instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking through the pictures in this exceptional recent thread on beautiful wedding cakes will probably get you in the mood for your big undertaking!

Click here for Wedding Cake displays see pages 2 & 3 for pictures and then the eGullet bakers will no doubt offer you tips and advice to help you plan ..

Welcome to eGullet and congratulations on your upcoming wedding! You came to the right place for the right people ...


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did my own wedding cake...but opted out of the baking and bought the sponge from a local baker, which ended up being a blessing. All I can say is keep it simple, the fancier you go the more frantic you will be. Buy more icing sugar than you need, you will run out. And don't sweat it if it isn't perfect...flowers cover a multitude of sins.

We had about 40 people...we did an afternoon tea reception for which I did all the food. I hired two teenagers from the culinary program at the high school to do the table and they did a great job. In the evening, we had a potluck dinner, which turned out great and everyone is still talking about it.

Best wishes, keep the stress low, and remember, it's supposed to be fun!


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

Scott Stratten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you able to sign up for any classes? Although, I really dont care for the style of decorating, Wilton Courses can offer some basic instructions on decorating and creating tiered cakes. They can be taken at your local craft store. You can also check their website for more information. There are also some good books that focus on making, decorating and constructing wedding cakes.

Do you have any idea of the style that you want? How about the actual cakes? Do you have a preference on your flavors?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why have you decided to put this kind of pressure on yourself? Is it an economics decision? Or you are just jazzed up about doing it yourself?

Will you also be making your own dress :laugh: (Couldn't help myself)

Here are some links to earlier discussions dealing almost exactly with your question

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=15132&hl=

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=29321&hl=

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=67296&hl=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have time to search for you at the moment but there's at least 2 threads on this site about doing the whole wedding meal and cake. I can't remember for sure but it might be in the cooking forum rather than pastry and baking.


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Okay, I am not an accomplished cook, but I am a huge fan of food. I love to cook, and I am actually really good at it, but not if I don't know how. I am gooing to make my own wedding cake. My wedding is the last week in September so I have only three months to learn how, and to practice. I know it sounds impossible but I would aprriciate some help anyway. SO.....if anyone can give me all the details, or everyone give me little tid bits on decorating it, making it, making the frosting....so on an whatnot, I would be tremendouisly greatful. You know, the works. Also if anyone has any inexpensive ideas for snacks, and the actual meal for my wedding I would be much obliged.

I intend to serve 50 at my wedding, but it may very well be 10 - 15 people instead.

Hi Ambyre,

If you're new to tiered cakes, I suggest investing a few bucks in the book "The Whimsical Bakehouse". Great, easy, clear instructions on tiered cakes; also great instructions for some basic flower piping (if you want to try your hand). Their buttercake recipes are terrific, also, but I'd stay away from their buttercream recipes that use shortening. :wink: I especially love their attitude toward cake decorating, which is fairly loose and carefree. Great for beginners, and not too overwhelming. Good luck.

And -- congratulations on your wedding!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why have you decided to put this kind of pressure on yourself?  Is it an economics decision?  Or you are just jazzed up about doing it yourself?

Will you also be making your own dress :laugh:  (Couldn't help myself)

You made me laugh, Chefette -- my mother made both my wedding dress (including up-to-the-minute fittings) and my wedding cake. I don't think she OR I would make the same choice again..... :raz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think in the last year without even trying I have come across at least three articles in the newspaper about "oh, hahah I never made a cupcake except maybe from a box and now I am planning to make my own cake - and not just any cake, but a really really fine and fancy one".

They go through a huge breathless adventure and load of money and say - hmmm now I kinda understand why maybe nice cakes aren't all that cheap.

Everytime I read those where they are talking about copying some top cake artists' cake I wonder to myself why they aren't also going to make their own Vera Wang wedding dress (based on a photo in Bride's magazine - no pattern), maybe cater all the food, block print the invitations, design and build their own home. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

I do think that a cake for 15-50 should be a manageable task though so check those links and the references from Ruth. Keep your plans simple so that you can achieve them and so that this will not impinge on your wedding festivities - which you should be enjoying.


Edited by chefette (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on the wedding, ambyre; and welcome to egullet.

I wonder if one of Martha Stewarts books might be good in this situation. I have not cooked from her books or mags much, but many people (including on egullet) mention her recipes as a good resource for baking projects. Assuming you find a cake of hers that you like, you would have the benefit of detailed instructions--which of course you could supplement with other questions here..

Just an idea, maybe someone else will have specific feedback re: using her wedding cake recipes...

Here's a link to one of them..

(If I hadn't baked much this would probably be the approach I would take--i.e. rather than trying to build up a concept from scratch. If you can make one of those cakes to your satisfaction, maybe you would then be able to modify it based on suggestions, etc.)


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another suggestion that would really work is to do a cupcake tree, which also happens to be kinda trendy at the moment.

Basically, all you have to do is make a bunch of cupcakes.....ice each one, and stick a flower on it.....it can be a fresh flower, or an icing flower.....or a marzipan flower, a gumpaste flower, or chocolate flower........and you don't even have to make the flowers yourself.....you can buy them if you want to.

Or....you don't even have to put flowers on them.......you could ice each one and top it with the large coconut shavings (not angelflake, the other kind, also known as "chips"). That looks really frilly and wedding-y.

Then, all you have to do is put the cupcakes on a tiered stand (you can rent stuff like that at the party rental store) and voila! Cupcake tree, zero stress.....AND you don't even have to worry about cutting the darn thing.

Here's a great example of a cupcake tree........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My advice for most people would be:

1) not to try to do it. I did my own wedding cake, and helped chefette finish her wedding cake, then delivered them to the reception site, we thought it would be a good idea and that our guests would expect it since we're pastry chefs who do wedding cakes, and we wouldn't do it again if we could have a "do-over." And we're pros.

2) do just about everything else, the food, the snacks, the invitations, the favors, tying ribbons on the rental chairs, hand-painting both of your initials on the champagne glasses you'll use for the toast, sewing your own Vera Wang dress from a magazine picture, valet parking all the cars yourself--ALL of that is more manageable, more fun if you have the right personality, and can be learned and done in advance easier and less stressfully than starting from ground zero with your own large wedding cake. I'm over-stating things just a bit, but do try to pawn the cake off on someone else in the family, like your mother if she's like Ruth's or your mother-in-law, and say surprise me. Then act really appreciative.

3) If I have not swayed you, and you plan to do your cake anyway because it is calling you and you cannot resist--then DO NOT link to the page of cake pictures above. Reduce your expectations by not having any awareness. If you think you can come close to a cake of your dreams type cake done by elite pros--the kind featured in that exhibit and in the pages of Brides magazine--then keep it food-safe, move it around and make the right decisions when things go wrong and resolve them quickly--most likely you can't. Not without a lot of help (somebody find that thread and link to the Washington Post story with B. Keith Ryder.) Short of hiring someone, it's better to go into this project with seriously reduced expectations--think rustic, think outside the box, think fresh fruit, think lopsided and sagging and gooey, think, well, don't think about what cake artists do. Our cakes in that exhibition were on styrofoam anyway.

The saving grace for you is you're looking at 50 servings max, so if you can't be pulled back from the edge, if you think you just might be inherently gifted, and that everything just seems to turn out well,

I do LOVE chefpeon's idea for you--cupcakes are hot, they've finally arrived in LA after being all the rage in NYC several seasons ago. Here's a link to a piece in this week's LA Times:

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...-headlines-food

called "Attack of the killer cupcake." (Free access, registration required)

Tons o' cupcakes arranged like a wedding cake can be done. I bet you might even not regret doing it yourself.

Cupcakes, or if you're creative and artistic, maybe cobble together a totally fun pop art/collage/mixed media/sculptural interpretation of a wedding cake, maybe three hatboxes wrapped in vintage wedding dress fabrics, and display that instead--and keep a single flat half-sheet of cake you've made yourself in the fridge until you're ready to slice and serve.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll second Steves answer. Everyone I know who has attempted to make their own cake has seriously regretted it. Most of my friends who are cake desiners didn't even attempt to make their own. I got a phone call about a month ago from a brides sister- in tears... saying that she and her sister were in the midst of making her wedding cake for the next day and it had just cracked down the middle and was there anything I could do to help??? Unfortunately, having 8 weddings of my own to do the next day there simply wasn't... they ended up with Costco sheet cakes apparently.

I don't mean to be a kill joy... but think twice...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I got married 4 years ago a lot of people asked me if I had plans of making my own cake and I looked at them like they were on some type of drug.

First I was not anywhere near the decorating level I am at today and secondly, I was stressed out of my mind that I had to put together what I call a production for a wedding because my dear husband really wanted this, so I went along with it instead of going away to some tropical spot with just the two us with the officiant to marry us.

I think it is great you wish to make your own cake and I think where there's a will there's a way, however as Steve and others have stated don't put any unneccessary expectations on yourself.

When I taught one of my cake classes one of my students told me (everyone, please don't throw darts at me for what you're about to read) that they used the frozen cakes from the freezer at the grocery store and arranged them and put some flowers and other wedding decor on them and ta da wedding cake. Might be an option for you.

I think the sheet cake idea is fabulous too and if you want something for your pictures, perhaps you can find a bakery shop or maybe on Ebay you could get your hands on to display a cake for show.

Whatever you decide, all that matters is that it's about what you and your better half want and that your day is about the two of you. So congrats and best of luck with many, many, years of happiness :wub:


Edited by celenes (log)

Believe, Laugh, Love

Lydia (aka celenes)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a way, I do have to agree with the others- you may want to reconsider making your own cake. I made my own wedding cake (along with my dress, invitations, favors, etc- :wacko::wacko: everything except for the food, which I left to real chefs, and the flower bouquets.) I already had experience making wedding cakes, and gumpaste flowers, so that was not an issue. My regret with making my wedding cake is that it took away from precious time that I could have spent with family and friends who came days before the wedding, or doing the things that many brides do before a wedding. I had to make sure my wedding cake was done on the Friday night and delivered to the reception hall since we had an early, semi-formal wedding on the Sat. Although at times I think I might have someone else do my wedding cake, if I had to do it over again, I do still think I'd probably would end up doing it myself anyways, simply because I like doing those kinds of things.

Everyone has given you some great suggestions- the cupcakes are so popular and so easy. Purchasing gumpaste flowers instead of having to learn how to make them is much easier as well, although learning how to make the gumpaste flowers is a lot of fun! There are even kits being sold to make "replicas" of designer cakes- there was a recent thread about this. Steve's suggestions about rustic, out of the box looking cakes is a good one. Here are a couple of suggestions for some, easy out of the box cakes: This one is simply made with edible wafer paper, cut in triangles and attached to the cake with royal icing.

spikes.jpg

If you like chocolate, there are chocolate cigarettes, available already made, which make for an interesting, easy to decorate cake. Here are some example of some cakes done with the chocolate cigarettes.

You may want to consider making the cakes ahead of time and freezing them- gives you more time than making them last minute. You may also want to consider having 2-3 separate cakes (on their own stands, etc.) instead of having the cakes stacked, so that you don't have to deal with stacking and the support issue. If you do decide to make your own cake, doing some practice runs with it before hand, having everything you need, and more- available when putting it together, may help you get through it easier.

Best wishes for your upcoming marriage!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will you also be making your own dress laugh.gif (Couldn't help myself)

Hey - I designed and made my own dress. Had a lovely train, re-embroidered lace, princess seaming, and hand beading, no less. Made the headpiece and veil as well. Also sewed the dresses for my bridesmaids. Bought all the flowers (my sister arranged them on the tables and made my bouquet). Made the favors. Wrote out the ceremony and vows (with the help of Mr. tejon, naturally).

I did *not* make my wedding cake, however. I considered it, but quickly realized it was more than I could handle. Ended up getting a wedding cake as a gift from the mother of one of the bridesmaids. She had made wedding cakes as a hobby for years and was happy to do it, especially since it was a small party and I wanted very simple decorations. Even got the recipe I really wanted: sour cream-poppyseed cake with cream cheese frosting. It was beautiful, tasted wonderful, and I didn't have to worry about it on such an important day. I would suggest you seek out similar help, if at all possible.


Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another suggestion that would really work is to do a cupcake tree, which also happens to be kinda trendy at the moment.

Basically, all you have to do is make a bunch of cupcakes.....ice each one, and stick a flower on it.....it can be a fresh flower, or an icing flower.....or a marzipan flower, a gumpaste flower, or chocolate flower........and you don't even have to make the flowers yourself.....you can buy them if you want to.

Or....you don't even have to put flowers on them.......you could ice each one and top it with the large coconut shavings (not angelflake, the other kind, also known as "chips"). That looks really frilly and wedding-y.

Then, all you have to do is put the cupcakes on a tiered stand (you can rent stuff like that at the party rental store) and voila! Cupcake tree, zero stress.....AND you don't even have to worry about cutting the darn thing.

Here's a great example of a cupcake tree........

I love that idea. It also has the benefit of being easily scalable for the number of guests -- I've seen displays where the cupcake tree is the center of the table, and there are additional cupcakes fanned out on the table itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another suggestion that would really work is to do a cupcake tree, which also happens to be kinda trendy at the moment.

...

I love that idea. It also has the benefit of being easily scalable for the number of guests -- I've seen displays where the cupcake tree is the center of the table, and there are additional cupcakes fanned out on the table itself.

The other cool aspect of chefpeon's suggestion is that with three months time, you have plenty of opportunities to try different recipes, frostings, decorations, etc. (if you want to!). Rather than spending the time to figure out how to make fondant or how to support cake layers, etc. you can focus on achieving a great tasting cupcake and on achieving the overall "look" that you want.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My nephew is having cupcakes at his wedding in August. Instead of the tiers though, they are doing a different approach and arranging the cupcakes in some sort of pattern with the icing being various colors - what pattern we won't know until that day. Something like a mosaic, or something that is special to them. maybe initials or spelling out a word, is what I am thinking.

Good Luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I am so grateful for all the advice and sites that I have been directed with thus far! What I think I am going to try is making both the cake, and the cupcakes long before my actual big day. That way I can see how far my skills will take me, and which approach I like the most. Thank you all soo much for your help, and if anyone has any more ideas, or pictures, I would be grateful. : ) thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've thought about what I would do if I ever did my own and right now I'm leaning towards a tower of petit fours. (No, I'm not getting married, Guys. :rolleyes: ) My favorites have always been plain basic white cakes without a whole bunch of frills and with fresh flowers. Don't forget that simple and clean can be very elegant.


Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oooooh...opne more thing, does anyone know what flowers are edible to put on a wedding cake, (prefferably with pictures)....and are all roses edible?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oooooh...opne more thing, does anyone know what flowers are edible to put on a wedding cake, (prefferably with pictures)....and are all roses edible?

I don't know where you live, but you might have some luck tracking down an edible flower vendor at a farmer's market this summer if you've got them near you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you practice, make sure you time yourself. I have made quite a few wedding cakes for friends and family, and I can't tell you the number of times I was madly finishing the decorations when the bride was about to start walking down the aisle. This would probably not be cool if you are the bride. (Maybe your dress could incorporate an apron?) It always takes longer than you think, and if you are an amateur, you probably don't have the kind of refrigeration availabe to do the whole thing in advance, or to transport the cake in one piece. And unless you have a climate controlled workspace, you have to deal with less than ideal conditions for working with buttercream. Keeping the frosting at a workable consistency when it's very hot out can add to the time and difficulty.

All that said, I can completely understand your wanting to make your own cake. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By ResearchBunny
      Posted 6 hours ago Dear EGulleters,
      ResearchBunny here. I've just found you today. I've been lolling in bed with a bad cold, lost voice, wads of tissues, pillows, bedding around me. I spent all of yesterday binge-watching Season 2 of Zumbo's Just Desserts on Netflix from beginning to grand finale. I have been a hardcore devotee of Rose Levy Beranbaum since the beginning of my baking passion -- after learning that she wrote her master's thesis comparing the textural differences in cake crumb when using bleached versus unbleached flour. I sit up and pay attention to that level of serious and precision! While Beranbaum did study for a short while at a French pastry school, she hasn't taken on the challenge of writing recipes for entremets style cakes. That is, multi-layer desserts with cake, mousse, gelatin, nougatine or dacquoise layers all embedded in one form embellished with ice cream, granita, chocolate, coulis. After watching hours of the Zumbo contest, I became curious about the experience of designing these cakes. Some of the offered desserts struck me as far too busy, others were delightful combinations. I was surprised that a few contestants were eliminated when their offerings were considered too simple or, too sophisticated. So I'd like to hear from you about your suggestions for learning more about how to make entremets. And also, what you think about the show. And/or Zumbo.
      Many thanks.
      RB
      ps. The show sparked a fantasy entremet for my cold. Consider a fluffy matzo ball exterior, with interior layers of carrot, celery, a chicken mince, and a gelatin of dilled chicken broth at its heart!
    • By TexasMBA02
      After batting about .500 with my previous approach to macarons, I came across Pierre Herme's base recipe online.  After two flawless batches of macarons, I've been re-energized to continue to work at mastering them.  Specifically, I want to try more of his recipes.  My conundrum is that he has, as far as I can tell, two macaron cookbooks and I don't know which one I should get.  I can't tell if one is just an updated version of the other or a reissue or what the differences really are.  I was hoping somebody had some insight.  I have searched online and haven't seen both books referenced in the same context or contrasted at all.
       
      This one appears to be older.

       
      And this one appears to be the newer of the two.

       
      Any insight would be helpful.
       
      Thanks,
       
    • By pastrygirl
      Anyone have a favorite recipe for chocolate cake using semisweet chocolate?  My usual chocolate cake recipe uses cocoa, but I have some samples of chocolate I want to use up for a workplace party.  Yes, I could make brownies or ganache frosting, or chocolate mousse or chocolate chunk cookies, just feeling like cake this weekend ...
    • By onemorebitedelara.com
      Has anyone used Valrhona Absolut Crystal neutral glaze particularly to thicken a coulis or to glaze a tart?  If so, how did you like it and is there another glaze you think worked as well but is less expensive or can be purchased in smaller quantities?  
    • By Jaymes
      Red Velvet Cake
      It does use a large amount of oil - 2 cups, but it sure ain't "dry." Red Velvet Cake was very popular back in the late 60's & 70's and there were frequently "Red Velvet Cake cookoffs." This recipe won the blue ribbon at several state fairs.
      2-1/2 c sifted cake flour 2 c sugar 1 c buttermilk 1 tsp soda 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp salt 3 eggs 2 T cocoa 1 T white vinegar 1 oz red food color 2 C vegetable oil - regular "buttery flavor" is good but, if you can't find it, use 1 Cup Orville Redenbacher Buttery Flavor Oil for Popcorn (available in the popcorn section at the store) and 1 cup regular vegetable oil to make a total of 2C oil Cream cheese frosting:
      1 stick butter 1 tsp vanilla 8-oz pkg cream cheese 1 16-oz bag powdered sugar dash salt 1 c chopped pecans Cake
      Combine all ingredients; mix well and pour into 1 large or two small buttered and floured cake pans. Bake 300º for about 40 minutes, or until done
      Frosting
      Cream well, then frost well-cooled cake. 
      Keywords: Dessert, Cake
      ( RG466 )
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...