(Closed) Has Anyone Made Their Own Wedding Cake?

posted 8 years ago in Food
Post # 3
Member
57 posts
Worker bee

I made my own cake, a long time ago. I wrote a squidoo lens about it, with some recipes and lots of pictures, if you want to have a look: http://www.squidoo.com/wedding-cake-in-nc

 

I wanted to make my daughter’s but when she saw how crooked my layers were way back when she said NO WAY. Oh well.

Post # 5
Member
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I want to do cupcakes and a small tier cake for my wedding, but am obviously nervous that it wont come out right. I have been thinking for Valentine’s Day I am going to set up a mock taste test and see if its something I should venture into or not. πŸ™‚ I went to the library and found a cupcake recipe book and alot of researching online I think I have found some that I can definitely make. I am hoping it turns out great because just like you I really dont want to spend big dollars on cake! πŸ™‚

Post # 7
Member
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@lilyfaith- I would definitely like your recipe! I have been going back and forth with flavors like-strawberry(FI fav), tres leche (ME!) and double chocolate! Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew but I feel like this is your day it should be unique to you and I want to sit back 20 years from now and think wow I had my hand truly in the planning. My ceremony wont be until about 2 so that gives me time early in the day to put the icing on the cupcakes/cake. I am actually leaning more to doing it since talking about it now. πŸ™‚ Unless I find a great cheap bakery.

Post # 8
Member
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010
Post # 9
Member
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I don’t want to be a nay-sayer at all, but just to try to be helpful: I have some experience making wedding cakes for friends (pics below: the first is summer berry tiramisu cake (no coffee/rum, just layers of sponge cake, berries, and mascarpone frosting, and the second is almond cake with blood orange curd filling and buttercream frosting), and though I was going to do my own I seriously reconsidered and decided not to after taking into account the fact that it literally might not be possible due to the time involved. 

It takes a LOT more time than I thought. Originally I thought, “how hard can it be? It’s just regular cake, but bigger, and so I have to put wooden dowels in, that’s not the end of the world.” and it’s not that hard, it is totally doable if you have an open schedule, but the time commitment really gets you in the end. A lot of time spent stressing over the mathematics and logistics involved, how much cake to make for how many people, how you’re going to transport it, what can be made ahead of time, how long it will take to defrost, etc. A lot of time actually baking and cooking everything. A lot of time making practice cakes for people to taste to make sure you’re not going to poison anyone. And as much as you can make cake layers and frosting ahead of time, you still are going to need a lot of time either the day before or day of to put the whole thing together, time which you may not have if you have to get hair done, put out programs or other DIY projects, round up guests, etc. Especially if you are making a meringue buttercream or other stable buttercream, you can make it ahead of time but you have to spend a considerable amount of time rebeating it so that it comes back together (it separates a little bit when you refrigerate it). You also have to have the refrigerator space. If you are having a smallish wedding, say less than 65 guests, it might be doable, but if you want to make a full-on wedding cake for a lot of people it is really tricky to do when you are the one getting married! 

The girl at Smitten Kitchen did a friend’s wedding cake and chronicled the whole thing pretty well here: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/06/project-wedding-cake-an-introduction/

If you do decide to do it, please feel free to send me a message and I can send you the buttercream recipe I used (which was absolutely divine–tasted wonderful, not like a mouthful of butter, and was so easy to frost and decorate with) as well as any other recipes or tips for the construction, etc. Oh and my final bit of advice is that if you want to make large quantities of buttcream you absolutely need a stand mixer–I tried it with a hand mixer at first and the motor burnt out after the second batch. The stand mixer is also very good for making large batches of cake batter, too.

 

 

Post # 11
Member
191 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

My sister is a pro-trained pastry chef and made her own cake, and for her, the hardest part was time and logistics. The groom and his men took the cake to the reception room the morning of, and because they didn’t drive carefully enough, the icing was smushed. My boyfriend had to fix/ hide it with flowers. He did a decent enough job, but it was still a “needless” stress for her.

She also had grand plans to decorate it, but ended up just doing that messy buttercream thing (I don’t know what it’s called, where you make little swipes all over the cake so the frosting looks intentionally lumpy/ spiky) because she simply ran out of time. Her wedding was at sunset in June.

I’d say if you can make three or four practice cakes and get the timing and decorating down pat, and do at least one full-scale trial run before the actual cake, you might get a better idea of whether or not it’s something you’ll actually be able to do. Keep in mind that no matter how much time you *think* you’ll have on your wedding day, it will not be enough, haha.

Good luck and congratulations, whatever you decide πŸ™‚

Post # 12
Member
3344 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

My friend made hers from FunFetti box mixes! (She thought she bought white, but when she realized it was actually FunFetti she just had to go with it because it was too late!)  Her mom helped her decorate, complete with a fountain in the midde!

Post # 13
Member
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

The buttercream recipe I used is this:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into chunks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract (though this was just to complement the almond pound cake)

Whisk together the egg whites in a metal bowl or the top portion of a double boiler. Set over simmering water and heat, whisking occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. If you are worried about foodborne illness, which I was, heat until the egg whites reach 140 F on a candy thermometer (but not higher or they’ll start to curdle!). You can also use pasteurized egg whites with honestly very little difference in flavor–it just takes a bit more time to whip them up into a meringue. Remove the bowl from the heat and scrap the mixture into the bowl of a standing mixer. Whip with a whisk attachment at high speed until the bottom of the bowl is at room temperature and you have a meringue consistency. Switch to a paddle attachment, put the mixer speed on medium-low, add the extracts, and then and start adding the butter a chunk at a time until all the butter is incorporated. It looks done, but it isn’t–it will start to separate and look curdled, so just beat, beat, beat, until it comes together (one batch took a full 15 minutes to come together) and is very smooth and creamy. It is a little bit extra work but it is SO worth it–this stuff is super stable, holds up for hours, and is so easy to frost with and smooth out. The cake in my previous post was even placed next to a roaring fire in the fireplace and it was totally fine, I think it was out for about 8 hours in the end.

For a cake for 125 (8-inch, 10-inch, and 14-inch tiers), I used six times this recipe. My mixer could handle a double recipe (i.e., 10 egg whites) at a time. I made it ahead of time, stored it in large freezer bags, and kept it in the fridge. Then I had to rebeat it the day of the wedding (I shouldn’t say I did it, actually–the Fiance did it, while I was assembling the rest of the cake! He’s amazing!).

Post # 14
Member
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Also what I forgot to include in my previous post about time and logistics is that actually assembling and frosting a tiered cake can take a looooooooong time. The first cake in my post, the tiramisu, took about 30 minutes on site, and that was after I had precut the dowels and cardboard, assembled the tiers and frosted them–so installing the dowels, stacking the cake, putting the raspberries on, and touching up the frosting took 30 minutes (and I ran out of time–it ended up looking a bit sloppy). The second cake, which was a more traditional wedding cake, took four hours to assemble–I arrived at the site with the layers, filling, and frosting, so this included cutting the cakes to be level, cutting the cardboard to fit each tier, piping the buttercream dam around the first layer, spreading the filling in, frosting the tiers, cutting the dowels, stacking the cake, and then touching it up and piping little dots to cover up the seams in between the tiers (no other decoration, I am no good a cake decorating!)–and I had the Fiance, the groom, and one of the groomsmen helping me.

Stacking the cakes is really no biggie from an architectural perspective–just be sure to have cardboard fitting the bottom of each tier! It also helps if the cake is a sturdy cake, like a pound cake, so that the dowels don’t wobble back and forth and the upper tiers have some extra support.

Post # 16
Member
327 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I did my own wedding cake with some help, and I wouldn´t recommend it

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