Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jon and Samantha's Wedding Cake

Jon and Samantha's wedding came and went about a week ago and now it's time to share my recipes for their yummy three tier wedding cake.  It took me about two days to complete it because I did everything from scratch.  I wasn't sure whether or not it would be a good idea until I saw how much the kids liked it.

To begin, I made a few test cakes over the summer leading up to the wedding to ascertain how many batches of scratch cake batter I would have to prepare to fill each cake pan.  The answer was a lot. hehe.

Here's my vintage wedding cake recipe:
(It comes from an old Betty Crocker's Cookbook)

3/4 c. softened butter
2 1/2 c. flour
3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/4 c. milk

(Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.)

1. I take out my butter and eggs to let them warm up to room temperature (about a half hour does it).
2. In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt, and baking powder and mix them up with a fork, then set aside.
3. Grease and flour the cake pans. ( I also do step 4, but it's not necessary.)
4. (Parchment paper cut into circles at the bottom of each pan ensure cakes pop out perfectly.)
5. In a stand mixer, whip up egg whites into stiff peaks and set aside.
6. In another clean mixing bowl, mix the butter about 20-30 seconds then add sugar slowly until mixed in well.  7. Scrape sides of bowl and add egg yolks, one at a time and mix in well.
8. At this point, I add my vanilla and  almond extracts.
9. Slowly add milk and flour mixture about a 1/2 cup at a time, alternating between them, finishing with flour           mixture. Mix together well for 60 seconds, or until well mixed.
10. Gently fold in egg whites slowly with a whisk or slowest setting on mixer. Just until mixed, don't overmix.
11. Pour batter into cake pan(s) about 2/3 full.
12. Bake.  Check regularly with a fork or toothpick.  Cake is cooked when a toothpick/fork inserted into cake comes out clean, no crumbs or liquid.  Time varies.  I live at 4000 ft. elevation AND I bake one layer of EACH tier together in the oven, so it takes my cakes longer to cook, (about 50 minutes for the 14" cake pan), but for some folks it may only require 35-40 minutes.
13. Leave the cakes in pans to cool.  Don't try to remove them before they're cool
To remove them, I gently run a butter knife down the sides of the pan, center a cake base on top of pan and carefully flip cake onto it.

You want to mix up as many batches as you need to build your cake.  For our cake we had 3 tiers: a 14" base, a 10" middle tier, and a 6" top tier.  The 14" cake pan required me to make 2 & 1/2 batches of cake batter for each layer (each of my tiers had two layers), while the 10" cake pan took a bit less than 2 batches per layer, and the top tier took less than 1 batch of cake batter per layer.  I believe I mixed up a total of 11 batches and had a bit left over for a few muffins.

*If you are making a layered or tiered cake, you must level each cake layer before glazing, frosting, and stacking.  That will require you to flip the cake top from the cake pan onto a base, and then using a second cake base- flip the bottom of the cake onto it to cut and level the top of the cake, not the bottom. It takes a bit of work with all this "flipping", but it matters.

After you've leveled your cake top so that the entire cake top is evenly flat, you will want to glaze the cake.  You do this to seal the crumbs in so they do not drag into your buttercream and make a mess.  I opted for a few jars of my homemade strawberry jam for this cake, but I have also used peach and apricot cinnamon jams for other cakes, so it depends on your taste.  Choose a jam you will like and simmer it in a pot on the stove, stirring regularly.  Let it bubble and boil a bit, then remove it and baste it allover your cake.  I cover my entire cake layer with it.  It seals the cake, keeping it moist and flavorful.  Then, stick it in the fridge to cool while you move on to your next cake layer or tier and give them all the same treatment.

While your cake layers are getting cold (about an hour in the fridge) you can make your buttercream frosting, which I use for my "glue" between layers, to glue the bottoms of each cake tier to their cardboard bases, and to cover sides and tops of each tier.  There are many great buttercream frosting recipes, I like a simple one like this:

Easy Buttercream Frosting
2 pounds sifted confectioners sugar
1/4-1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 T. vanilla extract
2/3 c. softened butter

I add all the dry ingredients to my stand mixer, mix slowly, and then add the milk and vanilla and mix until creamy.  Depending on humidity- you may need more milk, add slowly at a teaspoon at a time.  Be careful not to thin it too much, otherwise, you'll need to add a bit more confectioners sugar.

It should be a creamy stable consistency that holds its shape when you spread it, but not too stiff.  Using either a frosting spatula or the backside of a butter knife, spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting allover your cakes.  Spread an even layer (1/4 -3/8" thick) on each cake tier's bottom layer, then carefully place your top layers on top.  Then, make sure each tier is covered in an even coat of buttercream on top and sides, let rest in fridge again.  At this point, the cake(s) can be served as buttercream is a very popular frosting.  You can also cover this in a layer of marshmallow fondant like I did.

Here are a few pics of test cakes I made that were covered in marshmallow fondant.

 The recipe for marshmallow fondant can be found here:  The Twisted Sifter Cake Shop.  I covered the entire wedding cake in marshmallow fondant because it handles hot weather better than buttercream and we were expecting 100+ temps.  The flowers on the wedding cake I made from gum paste.  That recipe can be found here: Scott Clark Woolley's Gum Paste Recipe.  If you have any questions about making a wedding cake from scratch, or decorating it, please do not hesitate to email me or leave a comment.  I am very happy to share what I have learned with you.  Have a GREAT day!

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  1. Thank you very much for spending some time on my blog and posting a comment. And thats some cake, and it makes me want to get married just to have a cake made,lol. Richard

  2. WOW, your cake turned out beautiful! I like the idea of glazing with the jam to keep the crumbs in place! I bet everyone really enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing!! :)

  3. Thanks for visiting Richard. I really enjoy your blog. The cake was fun and yummy.

  4. Thanks Candy. it was so much fun to make and yeah, I thought it was pretty yummy. The jam really works and it adds another level of flavor.

  5. Oh what fun cakes you definitely have talent.


  6. I can't believe you can take on a wedding cake and so such a great job! I love the glazing tip, that will help.

  7. Thanks Kathy! Maybe I shouldn't have tried such a big project, but I am a fool for new things. I had a lot of fun and learned something new. There's also the fact that it was a great excuse to make lots of cakes and eat them too.

  8. Wow! I'm impressed. It looks so beautiful. And being home made I bet it tasted a whole lot better than the average wedding cake.


  9. Thanks for the kind words everybody. You made my day, and yeah it did taste good Kateri. I really enjoyed it.


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