Researching the Cake Assembly
A former student and now neighbor of mine got married in Las Vegas last month. She held a reception back here in Minnesota so that everybody could be included in the celebration. She may have asked me to help her make a wedding cake for the reception, or I may have volunteered— I don’t really remember. I do remember feeling totally overwhelmed however when I sat down to research the “how-to” on wedding cake baking/assembly. Wooden dowels? Cardboard discs? Freezing tiers before assembly? What was I getting myself into?
Planning it Out
The bride wanted Red Velvet, Mocha, and Hazelnut. In the end we ended up dropping the Hazelnut as we decided to reduce the original plan of 3-tier to 2-tier. I was worried about transporting a 3-tier cake. I really didn’t want to go to all the work only to have it topple over in the back of somebodies truck. The bride agreed and we decided to cut back.
Mistakes Were Made
The cake turned out great, and was easier to assemble than expected. However, I would have done 2 things differently:
1) I should have put more time into the actual cake recipes. I just felt so overwhelmed with everything else, I cheated and used box mixes that I “doctored up”. Next time, I need to refer to a book like this: The Cake Mix Doctor because my “doctoring up” wasn’t that good.
2) I should have done a better job planning out my sizes as far as what size cake pans to use and what size tips to use on the piping bag. The cake pans I used were 10″ and 8″. It probably would have looked a little better with more disparity between the sizes. I would have used a 3″ inch diameter disparity and not 2″.
What I am most proud of though is the cake topper, which I didn’t make. The bride made the topper, I simply advised on the materials. I saw the feathers at Joanne Fabrics and emailed her a picture of them from the store on my phone. She loved them so we went and got them and picked some other things to go with. All together, after using coupons, the cake topper cost less than $10.00 to make. It looked perfect on top of the cake.
I also made some goodie bags for people to take home. They are filled with decorated sugar cookies cut into the shapes seen on playing cards as well as actual playing card-shaped cookies. They are tied with pretty ribbon and a heart-shaped cutout was attached with the bride and groom’s monogram hand-drawn on the front and “Thank You” on the back.
I sort of told the bride I would never take on a project like this again, at least for as long as I am living in a house without a dishwasher. But I don’t know, in a way I sort of miss the project. I guess never say “never”. But just like getting married, taking on something like this is a big commitment and takes lots of work.
There were some good video tutorials I researched while planning this cake. This one from Epicurious was helpful: Wedding Cake Assembly