Wedding Wednesday: Cake Crisis

Yes, you read right. Of all the blog clichés, I’m starting up a Wedding Wednesday feature. You might be reading this and thinking ‘Come off it Amy, where’s that crafty crack I’m after? Hit me up with some of the good stuff.’ To that I say: Don’t worry you addicted internet friend, you’ll get your fix when I’m good and ready.

this felt like a petty good point to insert one of my all-time fav gifs #relevant

You see, I have been on a creative mission recently. After the lull of moving into the house I sort of threw myself into wedding planning and then got really caught up in everything. In an effort to slow down and really start to enjoy the process, I figured that sharing what I can here would force me to take a step back and have these posts to look back on after it’s all over and done with (in a very short 13 months time). That brings me to today’s main feature: Wedding Cake.

In the beginning I really couldn’t have cared less about the cake. Cake it cake, right? WRONG. Cake it life.

I mentioned this to my mother and she just about fainted. She is a baker, you see, and a damn good one at that. I hinted that she could make the cake herself and then she broke out in a hot flush. She protested that there was no way that she would manage to make a cake with all the other stress she would be under (who’s the actual bride here?) So we left it at that and I set up a google alert for deals on wedding cakes which spat out a Groupon offer on the daily.

Fast forward a month and Kath (my mum) decided to pull up her big boy pants and offered to make a fruit cake for the big day. Couple of things with that: I don’t like fruit cake. It brings dishonour on all other cakes. Her argument is that she likes fruitcake (again, WHO IS THE BRIDE?) and that it’s basically indestructible and can be made well in advance. That doesn’t make up for it being an abomination. Also after Pinteresting the shit out of wedding cakes, I decided that I NEED a 4 tiered masterpiece. We were at an impasse – Kath’s offering a fruit cake and I have visions of this:

What to do? As with many of my life choices, we decided to go with the old adage, fake it till you make it. Did you know that there’s such a thing as a dummy wedding cake? Some brides actually hire out fake, decorated cakes made out of polystyrene to display at the reception and then just serve a delicious selection of sheet cakes which are much easier to manage and way cheaper to supply. This all sounded wonderful but the thought of cutting into a cake my mum made on my wedding day seemed pretty special so we have ourselves a bit of a compromise… She’ll make a fruit cake as one of the tiers, the rest will be ‘dummies.’ That way we can serve all the delicious flavours without worrying they’ll spoil. We’ll actually be able to cut into the cake for that key photo-op and then also be able to serve fruit cake to all the heathens who want it. We have our solution!

I looked into hiring a dummy cake but decided against this for a couple of reasons:

  • £175. Just for hire. For a cake that you cannot eat. Sorry, WHAT?
  • The hire ‘cakes’ were pretty plain (obviously so that they would fit in with many different wedding looks).
  • They couldn’t be dismantled to insert the desired (ha) fruit cake.

So I’ve decided to have a go at decorating my own dummy cakes. I found a set on amazon for £17.99 and with the right tools, hours of YouTube tutorials and a bit of practice I’m hoping that we can pull together the cake of my dreams. I say ‘we’ because I’ve roped in Kath to help. She took a cake decorating course in the winter of 1997 so I’m sure she’ll be an invaluable source of knowledge.

I mentioned tools, and I think this is the key thing to making this cake a success. I do not possess any raw cake decorating talent, and I take my hat off to you and grovel at your feet if you do, but I believe in this case that specific tools will carry me a long way. You can basically get a tool to do pretty much anything in cake decorating, and while having actual talent would be the ideal, I have enough time to practise something that might actually look quite good. Case in point: I managed to make actual edible, flexible lace at the weekend with a bit of patience and the correct tools:

cake lace

Obviously I had to buy specific things to make this but here’s the thing… I’ve spent a grand total of £91.33 on all the cake decorating supplies I think I will need to make my ideal cake. I’ll need to add-on the cost of the ingredients for the fruit cake and fondant for covering the tiers but I’m pretty confident I can keep the total under £150. Compared to the £450 I was quoted for a real 4-tier edible cake, I’m calling that a win!

So Mum and I have a cake-date set for this weekend and I’m so looking forward to it. There will probably be tiers (hahahahahaha I’m so funny) but it will all be worth it when it comes to the big day and we can say that we made it together. Even if it does look like a dog’s dinner 🙂

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