Post # 1
Originally, my mom wanted to cater the meal AND make the cake.
I hired a caterer. (Side note: I also vetoed her choices on my dress, my shoes, and countless bridesmaids dressed.) I let her keep her job of making the cake, I’ll feel bad if I take the cake away from her too.
My mom has never made a wedding cake before. She doesn’t do a lot of baking in general either.
Originally she said we were going to taste-test over Christmas; but we didn’t. Now I’m looking at Easter for the taste-testing, I really want her to make the whole 3-4 layer cake and stack it to make sure it doesn’t collapse.
She said if she finds she can’t do it, then she’ll tell us in time to hire someone. Our reception is July 9, so we only have 4 months, after Easter we’ll have a little over 2 months to find someone if she can’t do it.
Do you think my fiance and I should go to a few tastings “just in case”?
Any tips from those of you that made DIY cakes?
The decorating shouldn’t be bad, I want it to be white with some flowers. Something like these. (My mom likes tons of flowers, so I’ll be telling her “take the number of flowers you think it should have and only put on half of them”.)
Post # 3
Eggs, flour etc are v cheap. Go to the store, get the lot, and *gently* encourage a test.
Is your mum a by-the-recipe baker, or would she consider herself an ‘instinctive’ baker? You can’t really go messing with recipes unless you really know what you’re doing.
The baking itself is not difficult, but I for one would want a LOT of practice with the stacking & decorating etc. Would you consider using one of the stands with more than one base, i.e. the cakes aren’t actually sitting on each other? It would remove one type of stress, at least…
I think if you’re looking for a relatively simple cake, like a vanilla sponge with buttercream etc, you should be fine: if you want different flavours in each layer, maybe go to a few tastings just in case!
Post # 4
Making a simple wedding cake actually isn’t that hard. You do need to use dowels and separator plates to bear the weight. You can’t just stack the layers directly on each other.
I would refer her to a cake baking website like http://www.cakecentral.com
You have to create an account to use all the features of the site, but it is free.
There are forums where newbies can get advice and read questions from others new to wedding cake baking- tips on transporting the cake also.
I suggest your mom needs to make a practice cake not only for the taste testing but for the techniques.
And yes, I would schedule some tastings so you could quickly order a cake if you need to. Only schedule tastings with bakers who have your date still available so you don’t waste your time.
Post # 5
Oh boy. Baking isn’t easy. Baking a cake, decorating it, etc is even harder. I’m not sure if this is the best idea, but I understand that your mom wants to help. I hope that she does a trial run beforehand.
Post # 6
I think for baking she’s more “by the recipe” because she hasn’t done it a lot (she’s “instinctive” for cooking meals).
I know I don’t want a traditional white cake.
These are the flavors I’ve narrowed down based on description, now I just need to actually taste them:
– Double Lemon: Light lemon cake layers filled with a tangy lemon cream (and fresh berries when available).
– Orange Blossom: Light vanilla cake layers, brushed with syrup containing orange juice, filled with orange mousseline buttercream, flavored with fresh orange zest and orange flower water.
– Key Lime: white coconut cake, soaked in coconut rum, with key lime & chantilly cream filling
– Strawberry Grand Marnier Cake: Yellow cake with fresh sliced strawberries and Grand Marnier buttercream, made with the famous French orange liqueur.
Post # 7
@abbyful: Oh dear. Go for that tasting. That is not an easy list!
Post # 8
That chantilly cream – that’s fresh cream with vanilla extract. Do you really want your mum decorating the cake the morning of?
Post # 9
We didn’t have one cake–we had 7,8 or 9…don’t remember!
We incorporated them into our centerpieces at the table, on a stack of our favorite books.
And both sets of parents made them all!
AND they all turned out So So good. It was really fun to watch people try different ones too.
Italian Wedding cake, lemon, etc etc.
Post # 10
Have her check out this site: http://www.weddingfads.com/
They sell cake kits. If she goes this route, it should turn out okay.
Post # 11
Definitely have your mom make the cakes so you can try them at Easter. Those are some pretty complicated flavors to make for someone who rarely bakes.
My sister made our wedding cake, and it was a TON of work. She had to buy a lot of supplies, like larger cake pans, to make some of the layers. Your mom will also need dowel rods and probably some cardboard cylinders to put between the layers. We forgot the cardboard cylinders, and the layers were a little too heavy. As a result, the cake leaned a bit.
The logistics of making the cake were a little tricky too. I mean, this was a serious monster of a cake. If your mom makes the cake, how will you get it to the reception, where will you store it in the days before the wedding and during the ceremony, when will she put it together and decorate it? Luckily our reception hall had a full kitchen with a large fridge, and my sister was able to decorate the cake the morning of the wedding.My sister was also a Bridesmaid or Best Man who traveled from out of town for the wedding. She made the buttercream icing and some of the cake layers ahead of time, but she spent a lot of time at our reception hall the night before and morning of the wedding making and decorating the cake. The cake turned out wonderful, albeit a little crooked, but it was a big stressor the day before the wedding, and my sister didn’t get to enjoy getting ready with us or anything.
Why does your mom want to make your cake if she’s not a baker? Is it because she wants to help with something? Is there another way she can contribute? I would tell her that you’re worried that she won’t be able to enjoy the days leading up to the wedding if she’s stuck in the kitchen baking your cake. My other recommendation would be to do like @fiver did. If you have single cakes of different flavors, the baking, storage, and decorating would be much easier, and still beautiful.
Post # 12
Would you consider asking your mum to look after the flowers instead? They’re far easier to get right…
Post # 13
LOL! I feel your pain on all the mom suggestions just not working out!
I wanted to do my own cake, kinda. My plan was to order round cakes in different sizes from Acme and stack them myself. Then I was going to add either real flowers or silks to the top. Could do it super cheap and well, I like Acme’s cakes…LOL! But, mom said no, and I’m getting a cake for $278….not too bad.
Maybe mom will do this instead? You ca buy the stacking stuff at craft stores and walmart….at least you’ll know it tastes good and it will be iced already!