It’s all over: my brother and his girlfriend of 12 years are now married. Huzzah!
I’ll begin by giving you the sequence of events over the last week for the cake to arrive at its final destination and finally be consumed by the guests:
- Sunday: Bake and crumb coat all 3 cake tiers
- Monday: Pass boxed cake layers to parents
- Tuesday: Parents transport cake & decorations to Virginia via car
- Wednesday: I fly to Virginia with final decorations & nut-free wedding cupcakes (for allergies)
- Thursday: The cake layers sit in their boxes, waiting
- Friday: I do the final cake frosting and preparations/decisions for decoration
- Saturday: Cake layers are transported to the reception area, and are layered together and decorated. A wedding is had.
Suffice it to say, it was a pretty crazy week.
Before I continue though, I want to say I owe a HUGE thanks to our friends (also fellow bridesmaid an best man) Ashley and James for their help, ingenuity, patience, and professional Kitchenaid mixer. The cake spent most of its time in their refrigerator, and they spent a lot of time toting it and me around, as well as lending me their various kitchen appliances and utensils to do the final frosting. James even jerry-rigged the cooler-box my father made for the transport of the individual layers to accommodate the completed cake so it could stay cool between when I finished decorating it and when it was time for its presentation.
Really, the cake was a team effort between a lot of people (also thanks to Liz and Roger for storing the bottom layer and to my parents, of course, for carting the whole thing across 4 states) and I want to thank everybody so much for their help. GO TEAM!
Now with all the thanking done, here’s a small photo-journal of the week. Regretfully these pictures were all taken with my phone (it’s tough juggling baked goods and a big camera, so I worked with what I had), but they’ll get the idea across.
The Final Unveiling!
Lessons Learned & Future Goals
I had a lot of fun with this wedding cake and because Joe and Stevie were happy to have me re-use the fabulous chocolate cake recipe from Adam and Emily’s wedding, it was significantly less stressful than the last time and I was able to focus a little more on the decorations. My initial vision for this cake was to make it an actual functioning volcano, but over time and due to limitations had to be pared down to simple dinosaurs on a mountain (hence the green frosting tinting and palm trees). Even so, I feel like the decorations fit the bride and groom well, and they were very happy with the outcome.
Besides being more involved with the decorations this time around, I also opted for 2 different frosting flavors instead of the one I’d done previously. This cake had a tier frosted with cinnamon and a tier frosted with peppermint (the top layer saved for the bride and groom was also cinnamon, per their request). We did this so that anyone who didn’t like cinnamon would have another flavor option to choose from, but in the future I think a single flavor is the best way to go for a wedding cake. It allows for easier frosting of the cake which allows more focus to be put on presentation, which would have been nice.
Until I get the opportunity to make another cake of this size, I’m going to start re-tooling my chocolate cake recipe. After baking the layers again it’s clear to me that some of the layers are taller than others, so I should test out some different ratios to attempt to get them all the right size.
When it comes to decoration I definitely learned how beneficial it is to keep your cake layers properly crumb-coated and chilled. From now on I will always chill my cake layers between baking and crumb-coating, and between crumb-coating and final frosting. Does it take longer? Absolutely. Is it worth the extra time? No question, hands down, yes. I didn’t get any crumbs floating around in my final frosting, and it really made the decoration much easier. I still have a lot of practice ahead of me in terms of getting smooth, even frosting around the outside, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it.
There will eventually be more photos available and some nicer shots of the cake, but for now I just wanted to share the success of WeddSplosion, Part 2!