The road to the wedding was paved with icing…

The wedding cake that I made was for my brother’s wedding at the beginning of July 2016. My brother and my sister in law asked me to make their cake two years ago and I was chuffed to be asked to do so. I love baking in my free time but I had never made more than one layered cake before so it was quite a challenge but one that I was more than willing to take.

The cake flavours:

To begin with my brother didn’t want any fruit cake, biscuit cake or sponge cake which left me with very little other than cheesecake. So after more discussion they decided on three different layers.

The bottom layer was a sherry soaked fruit cake that I made three months in advance and I fed it with sherry every two weeks, I thought if the other two layers are a disaster at least this layer will make people fairly merry.

The middle layer was a lemon drizzle sponge that was cut into three layers and filled with lemon buttercream and homemade lemon curd. The top layer was a brownie chocolate sponge cut into three layers and filled with milk chocolate buttercream.

I got the sponge cake recipes from bbcgoodfood but added my own touches here and there.

The decoration:

Each layer of the cakes were iced with buttercream and covered with white fondant. The cakes were decorated with pink and lilac roses which I made four weeks before the wedding. The toppers were two Bassett hounds as they love these dogs, they were made 4 weeks before the wedding also. I also added a pink ribbon to each layer.

Challenges and what I learned:

YouTube videos were a huge help to me, in particular when it came to making the roses and stacking the cakes. I was using the wrong type of icing to begin with when making the roses so that was a little bump in the road and the new icing was tricky to work with as it set very quickly and so I had to constantly knead it when I was to make a new rose. I had to add colour to create the lilac flowers so that was a little challenging. Although I got to experience having bright pink hands for a little while.

The toughest part was definitely the dogs as I had never created anything that detailed with sugarcraft before. It took 8 hours to create them both and to add little quirks to them as they were based on their two bassetts. The veil was frustrating to create as I wanted to make it look delicate and it just looked like a white blanket on the bride’s head, I tried printing designs on it but that didn’t work so once again the internet came to the rescue, thank you google images, and I added mini roses to the top of the veil.

Bumps along the road:

I made the sponge cakes three days before the wedding and I had a near cake death with the lemon sponge when I was skewering it with spaghetti (I have now learned not to use spaghetti). I was tired and so I was skewering the cake when it was still quite warm and the spaghetti was getting softer, in my sleepy daze I noticed that the spaghetti was going in a lot deeper at one end and then it snapped. I was pretty calm about it and thought oh well that’ll be an unusual taste for someone. Once my mam had talked some sense into me I though I could burrow at the bottom and take it out. As I turned over the sponge and removed the baking parchment there I discovered the spaghetti lying snug as a bug at the bottom of the cake. I looked up and said “thank you” to the cake gods.

Through watching videos about stacking cakes a week before the wedding I realised that there might be gaps between each layer and so I had to go hunt down some ribbon that would go with the cake.

I found the stacking part the most stressful as I couldn’t do that until the day of the wedding and I had never done that before. Between using a spirit level and trying to remain calm it all came together.

The result:

I was really happy with the result and especially happy with how the cake tasted. Now that I have done my first wedding cake and I have all the tools I think I could rise to the challenge of attempting another one.

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