A few days before the wedding, I took the frozen cakes, icing, and all other bits over to Vancouver, then layered/filled/frosted the individual cake tiers at my grandparents’ house the day before the wedding. The morning of the wedding I recruited Lynette to babysit the cakes in the back seat of the car as I drove carefully across town (thank goodness it was cool in the morning and there was very little traffic!), where I assembled and decorated the cake at the wedding venue (The Beach House Restaurant in West Vancouver, overlooking the water – beautiful!). The whole time I was praying that the cursed frosting wouldn’t melt off the sides of the cake, but despite all the trouble it gave me, it held up just fine (even after sitting out unrefrigerated for several hours during the wedding reception) and tasted fantastic. However, it was so impossible to work with that I will not be using that particular frosting recipe again.
In the end, the cake as a whole turned out beautifully and it was delicious – and it didn’t melt or fall over or anything! I was hoping to get some pictures from the wedding photographer of the bride and groom cutting the cake (during which I had my fingers AND toes crossed and a horrible grimace on my face because I was terrified the whole thing would collapse!) but apparently the photos might be a while, so a) stay tuned! and b) I don’t have any pictures of what the inside looked like – but just know that this was a lemon cake with raspberry jam filling (a very easy, very delicious freezer jam – I used half a batch to fill the cake) and the-most-frustrating-but-nonetheless-delicious cream cheese Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, and everyone agreed that it tasted wonderful.
I got most of my wedding cake assembly tips from my trusted friend Martha, and some frosting tips from Zöe Francois’ blog post and video on frosting a cake. I would highly recommend a revolving cake decorating stand for easy frosting, as well as a large offset spatula – these were the two most useful tools I used.
And finally, I give you:
The Wedding Cake
A bazillion photos from start to finish
With an offset spatula, spread the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting (a crumb coat) to seal in the cake and prevent any crumbs from escaping, and refrigerate the cake to set the crumb coat (about 30 minutes).This is when I realized that the cream cheese frosting I was using was totally impossible to work with – it was soupy and liquidy and would not thicken up no matter what I did. It was so runny that I had to apply about four layers and refrigerate between each, and it had a curdled look to it even after I spread it on the cake. *Sigh* Oh well, at least it tasted good!
Insert wooden support dowels about 1.5″ from the edge of the cake, so they will be hidden by the tier stacked on top (I bought these 1/4″ dowels at Home Depot). To measure the height of the dowel, insert it vertically into the cake, mark how far the cake comes up, remove, and cut. Use this length as a guideline for the other dowel pieces.
Load the cakes into your car and drive 30 minutes across town to the venue. Go easy on the brake pedal, and take corners slowly.
Decorate. The pink roses were grown by Markianna, the bride, and the rest were borrowed from my grandparents’ garden.The look for the wedding flowers was “messy country garden”, so that’s what I tried for with the cake.
Markianna and Dylan, thank you for getting married so I could make this cake! I had so much fun doing it, and I am so honoured that you asked me to be part of your wedding!
(And if anyone is wondering, I would do this again in a heart-beat – impossible frosting and all!)