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 🙂

Golf Cake

Last weekend I got to indulge my love for cake decorating by crafting a masterpiece for my Nana’s 70th birthday! She’s an avid golfer and can swing a club better than most half her age so what better theme to make than a golf cake.

Golf CakeIt was a joint effort really as my mum made the sponge and I was in charge of decorating. As with most of the things that I make, I found the original idea on Pinterest and then took it from there. The cake itself was a delicious victoria sponge with a jam and buttercream centre. I crumb-coated the full cake and then draped a layer of dark green fondant over the whole thing. Then I set my mum about creating the light green grass detail for the border while I constructed the fondant version of my Nana.

birthday golf cakeShe is made of fondant with the assistance of some strategically placed tooth-picks. The golf bag is also made of red fondant with toothpick golf clubs and a personalised ‘N’ badge.

birthday golf cake golf bag fondant

We will ignore the scaling issues and the fact that Nana is as tall at the hole flag.

I had a lot of fun putting this cake together and as a first go at decorating a full cake I think it’s pretty good! The best thing about it however was spending a bit of crafty time with my mum who is an exceptional baker 🙂 It was lovely to work on this kind of thing with her and I hope we can do more of the same soon!

Rainbow Cake

If you’re a Pinterest addict like me then you will have surely seen the infamous ‘Rainbow Cake’ which has been the highlight of many a ‘Baking’ or ‘Party’ board. I couldn’t resist having a go at making it and I think it came out pretty well!

rainbow cake slice

I did a bit of research and I found out that the secret to making the colours so vibrant is to use gel food colouring and make the batter by using a white cake recipe… genius! I used this recipe fromI Am Baker and it was delicious even if I do say so myself. The frosting was a simple cream cheese/butter concoction and you do not want to know how many calories are in a single slice…

rainbow cake

It was actually pretty simple to make and really does pack a punch! Here’s how I made it:

  • Make up your white cake batter according to the recipe above. I found that it makes the perfect amount of batter for 4 18 inch cake tins.
  • Divide up your batter into 4 seperate bowls. I did this by weighing the bowls, zeroing the scales and then pouring 350g of batter into each one.
  • Pick out the colours you want to use and then add tiny amounts until you get your desired colour. I bought a set of 8 gel food colours from Amazon (affiliate link) and they will honestly last forever because you use so little each time!
  • Transfer your batter to greased and lined cake tins and then bake them in the centre of the over according to the recipe. (I had to eyeball it because my oven is terrible. Basically take them out when they look firm and start to take on a tinge of gold around the edges – scientific, right?)
  • Leave your 4 cakes to cool completely and then stack them up in a rainbow-like fashion, securing each layer with some frosting which you lovingly prepared earlier.
  • Cover the top and sides of your cake with frosting and then try to stay calm when you cut into it and reveal all of those wonderful colours 🙂

I challenge you to have a go at making this show-stopper! If you do, send me a picture of your creation on Twitter (@BoldlyGold) so that I can applaud your creativity 🙂