I made a wedding cake, you guys!I sort of expected to have a little cake assembly drama to tell you about, but the truth is that it basically went off without a hitch.When last we spoke, I painstakingly laid out my wedding weekend plan…and then I promptly changed it. After making the fillings on Friday morning, I started fearing that if I filled the cakes that night, the mocha and caramel puddings would soak into the layers too much by Sunday, leaving everything sort of…mushy. Gross.Instead, I chose to get up early on Saturday morning to torte, fill, and level the tiers. As you might have expected, the 14-inch base took the longest, clocking in at 1:40. The 10-inch center and 6-inch topper took 90 minutes combined. Each tier ended up being 3 1/2-inches tall.
Large pieces of thin cake are difficult to stack perfectly so, in addition to torteing the layers and leveling for height, I trimmed the sides a bit all the way around. I wrapped the tiers in plastic and put them in the refrigerator for about three hours while I popped over to the rehearsal luncheon in TriBeCa.When I returned home, I made a triple batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I used a dozen egg whites (leftover from the fillings), which I had stored overnight in a very clean, dry mason jar. It was crazy humid here on Saturday so I had to give the frosting a few 15 minute chills to keep it workable. Crumb-coating, frosting, and doweling took about two hours, although I probably could have done it faster if I hadn’t been so tired from getting up so early. I refrigerated all the tiers uncovered overnight.On Sunday morning, I made a double batch (8 egg whites) of Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I divided it among four piping bags and refrigerated them while I went to have my hair done. #bridesmaidlife I got home about an hour before the cake and I were scheduled to be picked up and taken to the venue. I scurried around my apartment, grabbing anything that seemed like it might be important. Think icing spatulas of every conceivable variety, loads of ziplock bags, scissors, tape, three piping bags fitted with couplers and star tips, extra cake dowels, a weight-bearing central dowel, a permanent marker for marking those extra dowels, a box of food safety gloves, and a dozen damp paper towels. And insulated cooler bags. And wax paper. And aprons.Also, a bridesmaid’s dress, four-inch heels (because I was too busy worrying about cake to get my dress tailored), makeup, deodorant, jewelry, and my trusty friend, VJ.We loaded all the tiers into the back of my friend, David’s Volvo station wagon and set off for the Central Park Boathouse.
Assembling the cake took about an hour. I mostly did it by myself, although VJ did help center the tiers. My favorite part of assembling tiered cakes remains inserting the central dowel. I used a 3/8-inch dowel that I sharpened with a vegetable peeler, and it popped through the cake boards just fine. I couldn’t find much information on how thick the central dowel should be, so this diameter (1.5x the tier dowels) was a guess. I saw the cake lifted and moved three times without incident, so I suppose it was a good guess.
I was very happy to have my friends around for moral support, especially when the frosting started to separate while I was piping. Instead of panicking, we opened a second bag and used a new piping tip. It turned out that I had just overloaded the first bag—an easy fix. When I felt like crying, they made me laugh instead.
If I could go back and fix one aesthetic thing on this cake, it would be the piping. It was just a little uneven, mostly because I was nervous, but once the flower cascade was placed, nobody noticed. Expectations are the enemy of joy…or something.Once the cake was assembled, I got myself glammed up to be a bridesmaid. The ceremony and reception were beautiful.The cake was sliced at the end of the night and it looked just how I had hoped it would. I love those alternating stripes of filling!I got loads of compliments on this cake. The guests loved the mix of flavors and that this wedding cake was lighter than most—a benefit of using puddings and Swiss Meringue Buttercream instead of all-butter American buttercream.There was also one peanut-allergic teenager who was so happy this cake was peanut-free that he gave me a bear hug and ate two slices! Who knew so many people have peanut butter wedding cakes?!The bride and groom were happy with it too, and that is the most important part. I’ve known Ariella and Bob for several years now and love them both. Ariella, in particular, was a huge support when I began to take baking seriously, so I was really touched that she wanted an E2 cake for her big day. It was such an honor to be asked to participate in their wedding day as both a baker and a bridesmaid.
And now, the question that I’ve been asked multiple times since Sunday: will I ever consider making a wedding cake again?
Absolutely. I don’t think I’ll be putting Sylvia Weinstock out of business anytime soon, but I learned a ton during this process and had a great time baking and assembling my first tiered cake. I am going to need a bit of a breather though—it’s been an intense few weeks and I am exhausted in more ways than one! I’m taking this Friday off so I can enjoy some family time in Austin, but I’ll be back next week with some great new recipes.
Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and excitement for this project! It wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun without you ❤