I took a big leap and and did my most challenging cake project yet – a wedding cake for a dear family friend. I discovered many new things about cake decorating with this one. The biggest lesson is that the simpler the design, the more exacting the decoration needs to be.
The design process was really fun. The bride wanted a simple and elegant cake that had a modern style. Twisting the layers and adding a few glam decorations like the gum paste lilies and a silver glitter letter “L” as the topper kept the design both sleek and interesting. The “L” was made from gum paste that I cut with a sharp blade and let dry overnight and covered with edible Disco Dust. You can buy it in almost any color at your local bakery supply store.
Here’s how it came together:
Days before the cake was started, I made the gum paste lilies. If you’ve read my past entries about cake decorating, you know what a huge fan I am of gum paste. It handles very easily and dries rock hard. I’ve found so many uses for it. This time, however, I stuck to traditional flower making. I followed the directions from a book and made these in one night.
Here you can see a bit of the process. A ball of gum paste is attached to a piece of floral wire and shaped into the stem. I painted it with brown food coloring and sprinkled it with corn meal to recreate the look of pollen. The petal itself was cut from a cookie cutter and ruffled on the edges by rolling a metal ball gum paste tool along the edges.
Here’s a tip when it comes to baking large-scale cakes. Place a rose nail in the center of the pan to conduct heat through the middle of the batter. This helps the cake to bake more evenly and avoid any raw centers or overdone edges. It also helps it to bake with a nice flat top as opposed to a domed center.
When assembling square cakes, the trimming and layering process must be done meticulously. Getting each cake level and square proved to be very difficult, but worth it in the end. In this photo, the filling was applied by first piping the border with buttercream. This prevents the filling from oozing out the sides of the cake later on.
Once stacked, each cake is sealed with a very thin application of buttercream frosting and refrigerated to set up for a second coat followed by fondant. I love doing this thin layer first because you don’t have to worry if crumbs get mixed in. Once refrigerated to harden a bit, this thin layer gets covered with a second layer of buttercream that stays clean and smooth. This first buttercream coat is also a great time to refine the shape of the cake and smooth out anything that is not level and square.
Once each cake was frosted and covered with a nice white layer of fondant, it was time to work on the details. Here are a few tools that I used to apply edible pearl dots to each side of the cake. I created and printed out a few templates and held the paper to the side of each cake as a guide. Making a small poke with a tooth pick left a small mark on the fondant that I could could cover up as I applied the pearl dots.
Here is one last shotof the finished cake. As usual, the cake had its imperfections, but I was really pleased with the results. The best part was sharing it with the bride and groom!
Leave a Reply