I had planned thousands of words on the ordeal of making a wedding cake for the first time, but now that it’s over, my brain is in a state of quiet, transcendent peace. Or…I’m sleep-deprived and loopy from the marathon of baking, bridesmaid duties, and dealing with hordes of family traveling into town for the weekend. One of these days I may write up a primer for amateurs baking a large cake for the first time, but in the meantime, here is my brother and his brand new wife’s wedding cake.
It was far from perfect, and there are certainly things I would do differently if I could do it again, but I accomplished my three main goals: to fulfill the bride’s vision, create moist and delicious wedding cake, and provide enough cake so that guests could eat as much as they liked. The bride’s father, a retired florist, provided and placed the beautiful roses. The top and bottom tiers were made of chocolate cake with two layers of raspberry Italian buttercream and one layer of white chocolate. The center tier was golden sour cream cake with two layers of strawberry Italian buttercream and one layer of white chocolate. White fondant encased the cakes. I also made extra side cakes identical to the main cake except iced in plain buttercream instead of fondant. They were sliced in the back room and never seen whole by the guests.
I made everything myself, from the cake, to the fondant, to the fruit puree used in the buttercream. One of my smartass friends asked if I made the butter. I told her about my pet cow and butter churn, but she didn’t believe me because I was lying. (I have a lot of smartass friends. I can’t imagine why.) I didn’t grow the sugarcane or mill the flour either. I’m so embarrassed.
There was enough cake to feed 560 people if you use Rose Levy Beranbaum’s numbers that assume traditional cracker-sized servings and many guests abstaining or 200 people if you use Dede Wilson’s numbers that assume real servings visible without a microscope and every guest partaking. I chose to go with Wilson’s numbers for the reception’s 120 guests. The bride’s brother had thirds—the ultimate compliment. All the boxed extra cake found homes without prodding. I consider that a compliment too.
Up next: The groom’s cake and a bonus first anniversary cake.