My sister asked me to make the cake for her wedding (which was the 22nd). The 10th was Doc’s birthday, and I used that as an opportunity to test out all the cake baking/making/decorating techniques that I had read about online. His cake turned out moist, good tasting, and good looking; so I decided to go ahead and use the same cake and frosting recipes on my sister’s cake.
I wrote last week about the techniques of making crumb coats and freezing the cakes while still warm. I utilized all of these new techniques on the wedding cake, since they worked so well last time. Freezing the cakes truly does make them moister! I froze the sections of the cake that I was going to use, and ate the sections that I cut away without freezing them, and largely preferred the cakes which had been frozen. That being said, I also froze the cakes because that way I could make them ahead of time and decorate them at my leisure.
I also learned, via YouTube, about gum paste calla lilies. Calla lilies were to be the “official flowers” for my sister’s wedding (not sure on the correct phrasing here), and so a plan for a cake design came into my mind. I didn’t have an airbrush to paint the lilies with food coloring, so I used a paint brush and hand painted them.
My sister sent me a picture of a simple white cake with 3 clean tiers and said that she wanted something like that, and if I could incorporate calla lilies then that would be great. I told her that if she wanted a clean look like that, I would have to use fondant (which is nasty). I told her that I was fine with doing that, but that I personally would prefer buttercream frosting (which would give a sloppier look). She told me that she would also prefer a buttercream frosting over fondant, and so it was done.
The last technique which I learned about (and which I used to great affect on this cake), was to make a sort of buttercream “gasket” in between your layers, so the filling doesn’t squish out the sides. I’ve previously tried to make layer cakes, and the weight of the cake always flattens the filling down. But if you squirt a ring of buttercream all around the edges (like a gasket), and then put the filling in the middle (in my case, raspberries and whipped cream), the filling can miraculously withstand a lot of weight! This cake I made weighed a ton, and I was always concerned that the filling layers would collapse and I would lose all that lovely height that they lent the cake. But miraculously, this never happened. The layer stayed thick and the cake had that extra height that made it more attractive.
I was very pleased with how it turned out, and I was very glad to make something special for my sister with my own hands! Luckily for the guests, the cake also tasted good, and of course I consider taste to be the most important part of a cake. Plus I learned a lot of valuable techniques for cake decoration!