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Demo: Making a wedding cake at home

41 posts in this topic


That is the picture of the picture of her cake. It is a Martha Stewart cake.

I was asked how long it took me to make her flowers. I said, "Two days and twenty-five years." (The 25 years of course in reference to the daughter herself :) I made about 900 small, medium and large sized hydrangea blossoms. I think I have the picture posting thing figured out. I hope these photos are the right size.


My one regret and we'll get that out of the way first is that I did not get to place all the flowers on the cake myself--I had cake angels helping me and very thankfully so because I was running out of time--but the placement wasn't exactly as I wanted it but all in all it was a huge success and it all worked out great. sniff


I had a variety of cutters to choose from, the plunger kind, but mine were too small, the kind with the cute little handles, but there's not enough room to pop out the flowers quickly or efficiently, the green plastic Wilton ones were the most user friendly because they have smooth more cushiony tops where you don't slice your fingers off when you press down about 900 times. But I did use one metal one, since I made three different sizes but I put bandaids on my thumbs to protect them from the sharp edges. The green cutter with the white stick is just a Wilton cutter and a sucker stick.


I hot glued marshmallows onto an oven liner pan for two reasons. One is so I could have an easy count of all my flowers and the other is so that I had a nice upside down resting place for my blossoms to dry out. I was using raspberry flavored fondant with tylose to help it dry nice. Another added feature --no extra charge--of the hot glued marshmallow pan is that hot glue makes great long strings that mimic hairs all over everything--as if I didn't have enough to worry about :laugh:


This handy dandy roller outer board made life much easier--I had the same correct depth fondant with just a couple rolls of the pin--every time--made things go much smoother and cleaner and easier.


When the cutter got too small for me to push out the flower with my fingertip, I used a sucker stick to push it out. I just cut out beaucoups of flowers and piled them all in plastic containers until I could get to the next steps.


This shot and the next show where I made my operation mobile to a certain extent so I could cut out beaucoups and stuck them in plastic containers until I could get to the next steps whether I was at the table on the phone or watching tv.



I used three different methods. For the small ones I just used a ball tool and after sprinkling with cornstarch, I just pushed the ball tool into each petal so they cupped up around it.


Medium sized ones, I textured the petal close to the center of the flower. Then thinned the outside of the petals by running the ball tool over the edges of the petals--you could use a marble for the same effect.


The large ones I rolled out twice as thick as the others so I could get the greater size--small and medium I rolled out 1/8" thick--larges I rolled out 1/4 inch thick--

then I just ran a fabric texturing little baby rolling pin over the entire petal--but ran it over the petal like the spoke of a wheel--not just across the edge--from the center--maybe two rolls-you can kind of tell in the picture


See how fat the fondant is too??? Real thick so I can get a greater size out of it when I roll it.

However my dilema was that I needed 4-petal blossoms and I only had a 5-petal cutter. So here's the five petal one...


Then I turned it over, pinched off one petal and


Wa a a la there you have it times 900 :laugh: . But each one had to be turned over, pinch off a petal & away you go.


See the textured little baby rolling pin in the shot there in the top left corner of the picture??? Rather clear acrylic looking pencil shaped roller with little grooves in it. Ordinarily you would use a flower veiner for this--but this worked better for my purposes. A flower veiner is just a plastic mat with the texture imprinted on it and you press the flower dough into it to imprint the texture into the dough.


This next is a shot of how much super pearl dust I used per air brush bowlful--it was real gas to just blow the stuff on my zillions of blossoms--I used everclear and mixed each batch as I sprayed it on. Made each bloom come alive.


To be continued...

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I hope so, you have me hooked. I remember that cake, I always thought it was pretty. Cake angels, I need to find me some of them cake angels.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo


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Don't take to long to finish this... :wink: I need to know the rest!

This cake is a gorgeous! Wonderful job on all those flowers....

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Not sure how I will sleep tonight in anticipation of the rest of the story.

This is like watching one of your favorite shows and you get to the season finale and they end it with a cliffhanger until next season which is a zillion months away :laugh:

Believe, Laugh, Love

Lydia (aka celenes)

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Thanks guys. I was at first just making a fun pictorial to enlighten. But now I am going to include a little more nitty gritty stuff like construction--things that are not as sexy as making fun flowers but oh so important to making a successful cake.

Let me rewind a bit, I found a coupla pictures I was looking for.


That's where I just tossed my cut flowers into plastic tubs so they would not dry out until I could thin the petals out. But I mean I had to use then within a few hours--would run the risk of them becoming one giant mass if I let them sit too long.


That's a shot of some flower and leaf veiners, see by the scissors, the white & blue blobs?? Flower & leaf veiners, just blobs of textred plastic. Old timey plastic flowers from the 50's & 60's work great as flower formers & veiners if you can find 'em.

So we got the flowers done. Now it's time to make the stand and think about construction.

Right out of the box I made the bottom board too big, drat that anyway. I got distracted looking for my trusty yardstick--which I never found till the next day--so I just plunged into making it with an 8 inch ruler and a dressmakers tape--jeez loueez. So not quite concentrating as I should have been.

I usually always make my stands 8 inches bigger than the bottom cake--so when I center the cake on the board there's a 4 inch lip on either side of the cake. If you look at the original picture, the stand is 2 inches bigger on either side--so I 'bordered' the stand--you'll see in a minute what I mean.

I doubled half-inch thick foam board for the top of the stand.


To cut it, I just find a preferably serrated knife, steak knife whatever and hang it over the table-top and cut. This seemingly boring point is actually essential when you are trying to replicate a cake, or make a certain size cake. You don't have to use already cut materials--most times they won't accommodate your design anyway. Symmetry is everything.


That's a shot of piecing the boards together to make the right size stand--there's another layer of solid foam board under those taped together pieces so it is very stable. But each cake will be on it's own secure board anyways--and just resting on this stand.


I dotted drops of hot glue onto the top edge one of the boards (that did not take kindly to being photographed) & let the drops set up. So I could bevel the edge there by attaching a piece of balsa wood so it would rest against the drops and bevel the edge.


See the pretty bevel after it's wrapped up??? I used wrapping paper and real lace to cover the boards. *The cake did not come in contact with the wrapping paper--wrapping paper could contain things harmful to eat. I would not recommend using it in a cake for sale but this was a family cake so you don't mind poisoning people as much ??? :laugh::rolleyes:


So I purchased wooden trim pieces, fleur de lis, from the craft store to use as 'a border' for my stand because I cut it too big. Half of the time, cake deco is figuring out how to undo or cover up boo-boo's and often times the result is even better than before. So I 'painted' them with food coloring and dusted them with non-toxic flower dusts. I glued them on the board and later you will see them better.


You can kind of see the wooden fleur de lis in this shot. This is the full stand before the lights. Kind of pagoda looking.


I found cool battery operated lights that I installed before covering my separations. I used 3/8 inch foam board and a piece of styrofoam in each separation. They are set up so that you can get to the on/off switch but still cover up the box--most of the battery boxes were white but a couple were black. Then I taped the lights to the bottom of the board above it. They all worked--it was my first time using these lights and I was really pleased with the effect.


Before the cake board was added & it is also upside down so you can see the lights.


So that's with the cake board added--now right side up--see the one little light there between my fingers kind of. Each one had ten lights--lots of fun these lights.

So we got flowers, we got a stand, we got lights, camera...how about some cake action??!!

Right after lunch...brb... :smile:

Edited by Pam R (log)

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Talk about a labor of love!! Now I know why I stick to cooking instead of baking (anything) most of the time. Can't wait to follow the rest of the story...thanks for sharing!

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Sorry, no cake yet. We need to make our fillings & icings first--no sense having to store cakes umpteen extra times--might as well get them all filled before we store them.


I made two half sheet pans full of the goo to make what I have always called French buttercream--it's a paste made with flour, sugar & milk, cooled completely then butter is added. It tastes like ice cream and is great on cakes but I only wound up using it to dam the cakes. (more on that later)


The following is a shot of me not only waiting patiently but planning ahead of time for my butter to come to room temperature. :laugh:



That's like a dozen fat bald lemons for PH's lemon cream--I bought an extra food processor just for this step. Man this part smells soooo good--lean closer you can smell it... :rolleyes:


Lemon cream all done--like two gallons of it.

I mix the lemon cream with berry filling.


Like three gallons of berry filling--ok ok so I have a little leftover--but you never freaking want to run out y'know--more is better--too much is our friend. This is my recipe for this berry filling.

Raspberry filling from K8

I made one by putting a 10 oz bag of thawing frozen raspberries (from the grocery store freezer section) or use fresh into a heavy sauce pan with a peeled diced granny smith apple and one third cup of sugar and a squirt of lemon juice and brought to boil stirring often while cooking gently for about 15-20 mins.

Then in a little cup mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water, then pour into bubbling fruit stuff stirring constantly for another two minutes.

Cool, puree in food processor and then strain out the seeds. Add almond extract if you want. Be sure to securely seal the edges of the filling with buttercream.

You can actually use any combination of berries.

This is not difficult and the fresh bursting taste is well worth the little bit extra effort. Enough for a quarter sheet. Yum Yum

Sorry this next is sideways--the rotate thing is not responding--but...


It's a lot easier to make cooked icings if you stand on a step of some kind--cooked icings that have to be constantly stirred. I mean I'm not short, I'm 5'8" but by the time I have my mixer bowl on top of a pot to make a double boiler--I'm up in the stratosphere to hoist up my elbow & stir for 5 or 10 minutes. And never let the term 'double boiler' scare you--stick a pot on a pot. If you don't have a thermometer to check the temp, just feel it and if the sugar is no longer grainy then it's ready. This is my set up for swiss meringue buttercream.


Then apparently, 18 eggs whites won't all whip up in a 5 or 6 quart KA hahahayeahnotfunny--so I had to do all kinds of juggling of mixers & bowls--I have three bowls and two mixers--a shot of mixer central--


Not counting my 20 quart that needs a weird plug that hasn't been hooked up yet--it is a perfect match with my really cool oven that likewise is not hooked up yet--hmmm, two years & counting--all I need is a little bit of commercially zoned property & I'd be all set. :rolleyes:


No, really isn't this the coolest oven??? See the relief on the door??? Way cool.


So another really huge area to consider is refrigerator space. I have two regular home friges. If we had done the catering too, we would have purchased another frige--a really big one. I had seven tiers of cake crammed into the two freezers--didn't get a shot of that--but it was pretty cool really--Seven tiers, a 16x14x12x10x8 and a half sheet, quarter sheet groom's cake well plus the anniversary cake--I always deliver a little anniversary cake boxed & decorated to match so I don't have to go insane trying to figure out servings minus the top tier y'know?? Brides always like to hear that they can serve the whole cake and still have their anniversary cake too. I mean this top tier was an 8 inch--that's a lot of servings.

So here's a picture of the one frige with just the fillings & less than half the frosting. And there's the half & quarter groom's cakes too--not the brownie cheesecake part--the cake part before I stacked 'em up.


I cannot tell you how many midnights & 2 AM's, 4 AM's I've been up cleaning out my frige so I can house some other huge mass of sugar and flour I've created. It's a constant rearranging of everything in there--don't be afraid to toss out the less essential stuff and even essentials to make room--and for heaven's sake don't go buy a bunch of groceries when you're doing a cake from home. Eat out!!

Which brings me to the next dilema of a home baker--the family needs lunch dinner and breakfast--gotta stop for that too. No fun at all.


Plus stuff everywhere...suffice it to say you have to work real hard at all the juggling of food stuffs and boxes and boards and all the while feed the family and keep your cool--answer the phone--field interuptions--hang onto some kind of organization and sanity or you're doomed. Now how many eggs was that I just put in there?? How many cups of flour lessee.... :rolleyes:

Anyways--labor of love huh??!!! This time yes sure--usually it's SHOW ME THE MONEY!!! :laugh:

Even though the pans won't fit in the sink...


I do have a great dish dryer :wink:


Y'all gotta be tired 'cause I'm tired--let's bake cake later :smile:

(edited just to fix photo size :)

Edited by Pam R (log)

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can i just say that i would never-ever-never bake a wedding cake, not ever, but i am finding this riveting. the drama. the anticipation. such fun! thanks.

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."


Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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can i just say that i would never-ever-never bake a wedding cake, not ever, but i am finding this riveting. the drama. the anticipation. such fun! thanks.

Amen! I can't say that I'd given it much serious thought before, but now I can say that this is definitely a job best left to the professionals.

Amazing job, I can't believe your family expected you to cook them meals at the same time - I would have probably just snarled and tossed a take-out menu at them :biggrin::blink:

Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

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I can't stop.

But actually, my whole point thus far is, baking and engineering the cake while very important, is not more important than what I've already covered. I mean excluding the flowers though. But if you can get a nice stand, buy it even, and house and maintain your ingredients in the different stages of your progess, where you have bare naked cake to protect from the elements--the elements of the refrigerator & freezer too--I mean keep the baking soda fresh in there.

I mean some people think if you freeze a cake you're the baker from the lowest part of hell--likewise with box mixes, 'pre-measured ingredients'. When in reality--if you serve a brand new baked cake as a wedding cake--it is very likely going to serve poorly, crumble & all. In my humble opinion cake needs to mature to serve well. There are so many factors to doing a cake--a cake that slices and serves well is the point. Besides looking beautiful, tasting heavenly and not collapsing, it's gotta cut supremely well--that's why it was created.

Umm, all that to say if you have a pretty stand you're halfway there. Stack doughnuts on it & it'll look pretty.

Btw--I wrap my cakes in two layers of plastic wrap then slide them into baking bags to protect them from the elements. If the bag is not big enough I slice them apart and tape them together to make it big enough to cover. Baking bags like you might cook a turkey or roast in.

So this is a great formula that is very common in cake circles--yes it does involve 'pre-measured' ingredients. You make yours any way you want. This makes a great wedding cake that will serve and stack great. One box Duncan Hines cake mix, one cup self-rising flour, one cup super-fine sugar, teaspoon vanilla extract, teaspoon of almond extract, cup of sour cream, three egg whites, one egg, a little salt, one and a third cups of water and two tablespoons of oil. (Recipe is complete and has been edited 6/8/05)

So hers was a white sour cream cake splashed with grand marnier, the berry lemon cream fill in the top & bottom tort and whipped cream with fresh strawberries in the center tort and then swiss meringue buttercream iced.

The groom's cake was a fat brownie bottom cheescake with a melted ice cream chocolate cake layer on top, all within each tier, all covered & filled with rich freakin' chocolate icing that I ate for breakfast two days in a row--Southbeach diet be damned!!! Then topped with tuxedo strawberies, choco strawberries and chocolate curls. Hmmm, can't find pictures of the groom's stand.

I used over 10 dozen eggs, 20 ounces of vanilla, over 30 pounds of superfine sugar, pounds of chocolate, 6 pounds of cream cheese, 6 pounds of sour cream, oodles of boxes and boards and foam and hot glue and yards of lace, I lost track of the butta, but it was a lot a whole lot 15 pounds or so maybe. I used all my amaretto because I was out of freaking almond extract and I was NOT going to the store one more dang time. It baked out I guess, it wasn't particularly almondy--it was fine--just fine!! :raz:

Umm, see my cake pans of 25 years of cakin' at that time had to be replaced due to a house fire, but my mental file still held them as on hand. When it came time to bake her cake I realized I had only replaced my square set with like some idiotic 15x12x9x6 s-h-i-t--hahahahayeahrealnotfunny--so all the while I'm trying to figure in my head, well I can bake a full sheet and cut out the 14 inch square and I'll have an 8 inch left or some lunacy--all this mind-numbing cake surgery going on in my feeble brain--wait wait--remember how thrown off I was just by not being able to find my friggin' yardstick bwoooahahahaha...

So all that to say I dashed out on baking day and bought a set of even numbered pans... whew and whew again...

I was asked how much I would charge for these cakes somewhere over three thousand.

We got a little baking and some filling to do before Crunch Time...

Edited by nightscotsman (log)

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I am in awe of the whole process. All I saw when I was married was the cake, frosted and ready, being placed with flowers. Now I'm so glad I didn't ask for a lot of decorating - that's an incredible amount of work! No anniversary cake, either - but on that front I'm glad. I have the recipe and make a new cake just for us each year :-)

Can't wait til the cakes are baked!


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

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Full steam ahead--let's get baking.


So once again here we demonstrate my advance planning and patience in allowing my eggs to gently come to room temperature--but but but it's only hot tap water and I use the eggs immediately-- :biggrin:


Why oh why use a scraper when the beater is exactly the right size & shape to scrape down the bowl


I grease and use waxed paper or parchment.


And umm, I use a piece of folded aluminum foil with a tear there on the one end & the little legs bent in opposite directions so it will stand up--I put one or more in my cakes instead of baking cores and rose nails--so the bigger cakes can bake off better--They remove easy peasy--just slide a knife down each side and wiggle it out--the knife unfolds the little feet & it just slides right out.


I use the wet toweling around my pans--it makes the cakes bake more level and I have less waste--they are secured with t-pins. If you use this or the magic strips that are sold for this purpose, hot water soaks them more thoroughly.


So we're torting.


Yeah great, we cut the cake in half now what. I like my one sided cookie sheets to lift my torted cakes--you can use cake cardboards too--if your cake is cold or frozen or if you're real good you can just lift it off. You replace the cakes the same way--be confident, be bold, line it up carefully, be quick & pull the cookie sheet out & the push the cake off at the same time. Wa la.



Here is the icing dam I mentioned earlier and the filling--the berry lemon cream.

Oh wait wait I forgot something...


The grand marnier splash--it's simple syrup and grand marnier squirted on first--then the fillings.


When I do the strawberry & whipped cream, I kind of sandwich the strawberries in the whipped cream because I don't want the cake soaked with the berries. Then another layer of the cake and the lemon berry filling and then cake.


And how do you get that icing smooth??? Build it up much higher than you want it and scrape your way down to the smooth even cake resting just beneath the surface--I use a dough scraper.


Dowel, ugh I hate cutting dowel, but I promise these plastic ones are the bomb--just stick it in & press it down --then mark it and twist it up & out--clean it off and hacksaw it off--or use a steak knife or use a pair of never been used on hedges hedge shears. I no longer use wooden dowel due to the musty taste than can be imparted to the cake immediately surrounding the dowel.


Now these look even but put them to the test as follows.


Slide them back and forth with a straight edge to be sure they are the same length.


When you put in your dowel, put them under the weight of the cake you will place there--like if you were balancing that cake on your fingertips--kind of place your dowel there--not on the far outside perimeter of the cake--put two circles of dowel if necessary--put enough dowel to hold the weight--nobody was ever sorry they used to much dowel.

And they have gotten very creative with dowel—I do use drinking straws sometimes—but I will often reinforce them with bamboo skewers too. So much easier to deal with than wooden dowel. Also there are stress free stainless steel set ups that cost so much it would stress me to use them but some people swear by them. And another kind they have now is a nice white dowel with a screw in the top that you can dial up or down to match the height you need—very nice—I found some in the drawer and used them in the groom’s cake—I loved not cutting freaking dowel!!!

And remember, my stand will hold my cake up--it's built out of half inch thick foam core board. I have to be sure my dowel will keep it from caving in--but I didn't want too much additional height so I just slid bamboo skewers into the boards directly under my cakes so that they would not crack as I lifted them in place--these are the cardboards they rested on while they were in the freezer. Not the best picture –hey I’m not Patrick!! But you get what I mean.


And this was sheer genius :rolleyes: I didn't want to tax the servers too much by them having to cut the groom's cake with the brownie bottom--it's brownie, cheesecake baked on top of that then icing then cake in each of the two tiers. You know how tricky cutting brownie can be. So-o, I scored it-hehehehe--except then I squished it all back together so I could ice it & all--you know what happens to brownie when you squish it all back together??? It all goes all back together--hahahayeahnotfunny--so technically I would have had enough time to put on more of the flowers if I hadn't been doing stupid stuff like this :laugh:


So well here we go. We baked, we filled, we froze, we iced, we are in serious crunch time--now we gotta make some boxes so no birds christen all this hard work and the Memphis sun doesn't melt anything on the way. And if we have to slam on the brakes, and if there's an earthquake, well you get the picture.


So you can tape any size boxes, like you can tape two sheet cake boxes together flat if you need that much room--we are disregarding the pre-folded creases imprinted on the cardboard and ignoring the flaps and folds. Remember you will want this to be able to be taller than the cake so you can cover with plastic--you can always get moving boxes too, but for my purposes with this cake that was not practical--for a stacked cake it would be.


Set your cake in the middle and mark around it. Then score it with scissors or a knife. Make the creases along the scoring.


Make the 4 cuts on the short side of each of the new creases --cut just up to the markings you made. This enables you to fold the pieces up & around the shorter sides--tape everything in place---so you can now cover the top with plastic wrap and your cake will be as secure as possible. I also drop a frozen freezer pack into a plastic bag with a folded paper towel to absorb any moisture and wire it into the corner of the box or set it under the cake--makes me so much happier when delivering.


This is the real reason I was making boxes at the last possible minute and didn't have them ready in advance. (that's a spidery defect in the flooring just outside the box there--not dirt!! :) You also want to be sure your car seat is level--fold a towel or blanket to make it so. In vans & wagons many people use that puffy nubbly shelf liner so that the cakes do not slide.

Alrighty--next stop the wedding cake!!!!

Edited by Pam R (log)

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Kinda sets the mood type of picture--just pronounced husband and wife on the landing.


The happy couple.


A great celebation--my son on the left in the tux--he cleans up nice--back of my head in there to the right of the cake--my best side :) huge tall monsta cake.

*(edited to say: and that's my husband to my right there)


The groom's cake--a brownie bottom cheesecake with dense melted chocolate ice cream chocolate cake sandwiched with chocolate buttercream icing, chocolate curls, tuxedo and choco stawberies, lighted stand with chocolate fondant leaves.


The bride's cake, white sour cream cake splashed with Grand Marnier, filled with whipped cream and fresh strawberries and filled with berry lemon cream iced with swiss meringue buttercream, dotted by angels with raspberry flavored fondant flowers.



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Beautiful! The cake looks incredible, too :biggrin:


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

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Brava!!! Bravissima!!! And any other kudos and congratulations---they're all in order. I'd not have been able to find my pantyhose or carkeys to get to that wedding after all that work!! :wub:

You deserve days and days of picture-looking and feet-upping and just resting on your laurels (if you haven't worked them off already).

Now go have a mimosa. I'm sniffing, too, into my best cambric hanky.


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Brava!!!    Bravissima!!!  And any other kudos and congratulations---they're all in order.   

I Second That! Beautiful - truly a labor of love.... Those fillings sound luscious too! Wish I could sneak a taste!

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Absolutely beautiful! And no one could convince me that it wasn't everybit as spectactular to eat as it was to look at. I'd have had a difficult time cutting it but ohhhhhhh what a reward.

Thanks for sharing your story and the pictures as you went along. This has been a great read.

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Thanks, guys, you all have been very sweet--and where are my manners????

Here's a piece for you! :laugh:


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Lovely!!! Thank-you so much for sharing this with us!

I've never made my own cake stand for a wedding cake............but you've got me thinking about it. Did you use any center support for your cake stand?

For people who think about making their own wedding cake can you figure out how many hours this took you to make? So others will have a realistic idea.

On the day before the wedding and on the wedding day, how much time did you spend working on the cake?

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No, I did not have a center support for this cake. And both strangely enough and not strange at all the wedding cake board disappeared afterwards, poof thin air. But it truly was disposable so no harm done although I could have recycled it. I do use a center dowel on tilty and whimsical cakes, so I can just punch holes in the boards and thread them onto the stand.

How long did it take??? Whoa—a long dang time—seriously when I said it took 2 days and 25 years to make the flowers, it really did. Every ounce of everything I ever knew and everything I ever forgot is in those cakes—30 plus years. The day before & day of I worked from sea till shining sea.

>>>>Here follows is too much information!!! But anyways…

I planned early on to do as much of the advance stuff as possible. I budgeted a day for the cake stands & separations because I was creating as I went along too. There was no set of instructions to follow kind of thing. I really did not know what kind of groom’s cake stand I was gonna come up with either—just made it up. Now if I did the same thing again I could do it much faster.

I budgeted a day for the two gallons of Pierre Herme Lemon Cream and 3 gallons of berry filling and the eight gallons of French buttercream.

It took a full day to bake everything & fill & store the cakes. Full as in from 12-14 hours--due to the home oven only being so big-and the run to the cake store for pans at the last minute. That’s two layers of 16x14x12x10x8 plus the half and quarter sheet brownie/cheesecake combo each took two bakings because the brownie baked first, then I poured the cheesecake on top of the brownie & baked it all again. Then I baked the melted ice cream cakes separate. And don’t forget the anniversary cake. Now I sure coulda been more diligent but when you are not on the clock, you don’t have the same mentality. I allowed the day for it and I had all my fillings & icings ready so I could make the most of my freezer space. I mean figure just washing the 14 pans I used took more than a little while in that little bitty sink.

However, a strange phenomenon sets in for doing cakes at home. I have spent beaucoups of overnighters pondering this and many other mysteries of the universe I’ll save for another thread. But when you are in a shop, you have a boss, even if it is just your schedule, you get a paycheck hopefully, you are on the clock—you are in the left side of your brain. You have responsibilities you must fulfill, you can organize, you are together. When you create, you are in the right side of your brain where time and language do not exist. Therefore, you get in that ethereal arena where there are no clouds, no clocks, and you hover between the living and the dead in creative nirvana, a sugarcoated never-never land of sparkling wonder and awe. Then much much later when you come to your senses, you know you’re not hovering anymore you are officially dead because it is freaking five o’clock and you gotta deliver thirty minutes ago. WHOAUGH!!!! But just remember to peak out & check the clock—even set the clock if necessary to alarm every 15 or 30 minutes—trust me on this one. J

It takes days to plan & shop for everything and get it home. I shopped at six different stores several times each, the cake store, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Costco and umm the grocery store as well as Wallyworld (Walmart). I allowed a day for that.

The brownie cheesecake deal was a first for me—I read up & made it up as I went along not even knowing for sure if it would work—so I had enough time budgeted to come up with something easier & fool proof if it bombed—but it worked so that was cool. I was worried that the brownie would be too dry with the double baking but it was fine.

Then I switched gears and headed back to Costco for more eggs and enough butter to feel comfortable so I could do Swiss meringue buttercream instead of continuing with the French buttercream. And dang I got a great spot at the check out but forgot the sugar—had to go back & wait forever in the real long checkout line. Made the chocolate icing too—Hershey’s, recipe on the can, heavy on the cocoa—Thee ToTaL bomb—no really—company ate it on spoons afterwards--with the leftover I was gonna pipe chocolate roses & rosebuds to set up & dry so people could pop them in their mouths—yeah that didn’t happen. J

See she, the bride, my kid, tried to assign me something to do on the day of the wedding—hahahahahahayeahrealwaynotfunny. I explained to her that on a sunny day with a tail wind delivering a wedding cake is a nerve-wracking high stress event, which she knew anyway—then with me being the mother-of-the-bride on top of everything—yeah no freaking way could I be responsible for any other teensy thing. She is way together and this happened weeks before crunch time—so all I had to do was run interference on whatever happened that day. My brother came in that day & he stayed with us—he tried to talk to me but gave up—I was in hyper-focus and he was scared of me hahahahaha.

Now on a side note, over dinner at Outback after a recent cake delivery, my husband said carefully,” You are a real nice person except when you are doing a cake, you are mean.” I was quiet for a minute and said calmly, “Are you bleeding anywhere, do you have chunks of bald spots where hair has been ripped out of your head, do you currently have any untreated broken bones??? If you can answer no to two out of three of those questions, then you are a indeed lucky man.” Bwwoooahahahahahaha.

Ok –I could have had the chocolate curls done ahead of time—yeah I really should have had them done ahead of time. But you gotta do the strawberries at the last possible minute…so why melt the chocolate until you need it—so if I had done the curls in advance that could have bought me few more minutes on the day of too. But back to the bride—she did expect me to come down day before & be there to engineer the decorating of the tables. I really needed that time but shoot, this is my one chance to be mother of the bride. So I go do that—she had oodles of help I only needed to be there a few minutes. But it did break my rthym. Then we had the rehearsal & dinner—legendary pizza to die for—remember I’ve been on Southbeach since January.

So day of, I’m up & running at 5:30 and I worked in hyper focus until we left to deliver at like around FIVE OCLOCK THE WEDDING WAS SIX THIRTY OH MY GAWD. CRUNCH TIME IS FAST BECOMING CRASH AND BURN TIME. Because I had to get dressed before we left too. The venue is seven miles from the house—that was totally on purpose.

But because of storage issues, hey you can’t leave whipped cream filled cake and cheesecake sitting out overnight y’know. I had to ice last minute because I didn’t want my icing to catch all manner of refrigerator smell—ain’t no way to fit all those boxed cakes in the friges—even unboxed they wouldn’t all fit. Besides, Thursday the father–of-the-bride aka bar-b-q-boy is smoking not one but two Boston butts—hahahhaha who doesn’t love a nice slice of white Grand Marnier strawberry bar-b-q smoked flavor cake---but hey we also got tons of out of town guests too—the bar-b-q came in handy on Sunday. No no no the venue was supposed to have their frige cleaned out & open for me—so I could deliver early—hahahahayeahthatdidn’thappen –but I knew not to count on it either.

Oh yeah, I had previously run out of yellow wrapping paper and had to go to the store before the rehearsal dinner and get it—so I was crazy nuts but that’s when I got the bright idea to go ahead and use the lights all over everywhere and took a bunch of time designing and wrapping the separations. I mean it’s not because I asked my husband to get the batteries the week before and I only got them the night before…hmmm...not like I couldn’t go get batteries myself…(hysterical laughter ensues…)

But no problem icing last minute because hey no piping –a big fat juicy border on the groom's cake took all of two minutes—just because I had to make & reload the bags a couple times.

Oh my soul, my blood pressure is pounding just thinking about all this—ha!!! Whooo hoooo. RadEmCowboy!!!!!

So where was I, umm, no eye liner-later—oh yeah, my husband was great—he knows how to go fire up the air conditioners in the cars and put a blanket in the back seat of my car to level it so the cakes ride level—he’s got a wagon thank God--I had the chocolate curls & strawberries packed into a newspaper covered half sheet box with a frozen freezer pack inside so I don’t have chocolate puddles when I get there.

So I’m slapping boxes together left & right—being sure to get the cakes in faster than the cat can crawl inside—he loves boxes.

So (takes big deep breath) we all survived—the bride was the requisite radiant—she really was--the wedding was a beautiful celebration, the cake was awesome, it didn’t fall over—it didn’t taste like bar-b-q—my husband has all his hair, well most of it—I didn’t bite off my fingernails mostly because there was no time to do so. J I’ll leave out the part where he checks his suit the day before & we notice the moth holes hahahahahyeahnotfunnyonceagain. lol

So people who fire up their ovens the day before a wedding are so way totally screwed. I didn’t get my eye-liner on, I didn’t get the coffee cakes baked for the fruit baskets for the hotel rooms of the out of towners, but then again I didn’t get the fruit baskets delivered to the hotel rooms of out of towners either so they never noticed the absence of coffee cake -lol.

So how long did it take??? Way too long but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way—it was a thrill and a joy and now a treasured memory--but again I had thirty years to try to figure it all out.

Shoot, now I wanna go make some more of that chocolate icing…grab a spoon…

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Oh yeah, don't forget two tablespoons of oil in that cake formula like I did writing it down. :rolleyes:

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Oh yeah, don't forget two tablespoons of oil in that cake formula like I did writing it down.  :rolleyes:

This has been so fascinating! On the cake formula, just mix everything together? Do the egg whites get beaten and then folded in or just added like all other ingredients?

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Just toss it all in--sometimes I sift the cake mi-

I mean the 'pre-measured ingredients' and the flour, but just y'know mix it a few seconds, scrape down the bowl, beat for two minutes --I bake at 350.

It's a nice blank canvas type cake for splashes and any kinds of fillings--it bakes and serves very well--perfect for tier cakes--still soft & fluffy but firm too.

Thank you, Meredith!

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I was quite busy and have no time to check out any forums lately, am very impressed on your work and work in progress photos! nice job K8 - if you still remember me, cherylshuen here :-)

Yes, of course I do--thanks so much!!

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What a beautiful job you did! Thank you for documenting all of this, I'm getting ready to tackle my first wedding cake, and this really is getting me in wedding mode!! :cool:

Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

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