Posts tagged ‘Weddings ‘

Cupcake Mountain, Wilmington, North Carolina

Read all about my trip to North Carolina for my firned Chrissy’s wedding, and the wedding cake I made for them, which will be hence for known as Cupcake Mountain.


Add a comment November 28, 2012

Royal Wedding Cakes

I should be rolling Fondant for the 3 cakes sitting in my fridge..but I’ve found myself glued to the tv, because the big day is here!  Prince William and Kate Middleton will wed in just an hour. How exciting! A big fairytale wedding , a dashing prince and a commoner.

I love the fact the call Kate a “commoner.”  Meaning not of royal blood. I think thats what I like about this whole story.  Yes its got an incredible cinderella factor, but Kate Middleton wasn’t exactly sulking by the cinders when Wills came along.  Shes confident, smart, and chic. Captivating and charming– and they both look so happy.

And how dashing this young prince is! I’m loving the red Irish uniform not to mention Harry and his messy ginger hair!  How could you not be excited? Its gooey-heart warming to see all the world watching and celebrating in a lovely little love story and a happy moment in history.

And the anticipation over the dress, I’m curious!! But lets talk cake.  From what I know Fiona Cairns has designed a multi-tiered fruit cake decorated with flowers in keeping with the theme of their nuptials.  But now as I watch Diane Sawyer, and all the other anchors are talking about how Kate Middleton’s brother James, is in charge of the cake. In fact Mum Middleton began an event planning business in which she has been very successful. James Middleton as well as some of the other Middleton clan all work in the family business and that also includes cakes. Kate Middleton, princess and cake decorator?! All roads lead to cake!!

If you’d like to try to make a fruit cake heres my recipe, though I bet the royal wedding cake will have royal icing and marzipan as is traditional style for a fruit cake.

How about a fun wedding cake? Well I’ve been experimenting with Cake Pops, after purchasing Bakerella’s Cake Pops.  BakerELLA…hmm guess she beat me to that name, but all the same a good little book on how to make a fun little snack.  I decided to try mini wedding cakes for my cake pops.  Heres how I did it.

I baked a store bought box cake in a 13″x9″ pan. Once cooled I sliced it into quarters and began to crumple with my fingers until everything was tiny crumbs. As Bakerella suggests mix in 3/4 of a standard store bought frosting.

I then chilled the mixture in the fridge for easier handling.  If you are making good ole cake pops you would roll into balls and chill, but this time I decided to roll it out to about an inch thickness.

I used a variety of Wilton circular cutters to make 3 different size mini tiers. The “dough” is a little sticky so stacking the tier was relatively easy.  I chilled the assembled cakes in the fridge on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.

I melted wilton candy melts in the microwave.

With lolli pop sticks I dipped the sticks in the melted chocolate and then carefully inserted the chocolate end in the base of the mini cakes. I then used a block of foam to balance the cakes as the chocolate set.

Place the cakes in the freezer to settle up. Then dip one by one.  Getting the chocoalte smooth is difficult but I recommend shortening, Bakerella suggests vegetable oil too.

Tips: Make sure your cake pops are totally covered.

I used the left overs of the 3/4 of a can of icing to touch up the rather imperfect chocolate. I had fun piping rather sloppily little tiny decorations. These would be great at a bridal shower or even at a wedding reception.

Its now 6am and finally the dress has been revealed, tiara, train and all….GOREGEOUS!!!

Add a comment April 29, 2011

Here comes the Bride

This past weekend I was in my friends wedding.  In fact I was the M.O.H.  Maid of Honor.  Sarah and I have been friends for along time  and I had joked for years about how I’d tell the story of how we met at her wedding, so its surreal that the day has actual come and past.

sarah's wedding 4

This dubious job of being MOH comes with many responsibilities including planning the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and holding the train of the gigantic dress up while the lady of the hour has to pee.  I’ll breifly paraphrase the toast i gave at the reception…aka the story of how we met. Ahem.

The first mutual memory Sarah and I have of each other is one fateful day during snack time in kindergarten.  Sarah wasn’t feeling good and puked purple grape juice all over my desk.  We’ve been friends ever since…

I’ll save all the tear jerky lines about how much I love both her and her new husband Sean and how the first impressions people make on us aren’t always important, and what makes someone special is that you can’t picture your life without them…sigh

There are more important things at weddings beside bathroom breaks and embarrassing stories…THE CAKE.

Sarah went with a popular trend in terms of wedding cakes.  A giant cup cake tower. With a miniature cake for the cutting ceremony.DSCN0574

Cupcake towers are great.  Your guests are far more inclined to partake, in a cupcake or two.  Sarah had a variety of flavors, from carrot cake to chocolate, with different custards and filling.  And her cake designer was even able to oblige in some non-dairy options, as the groom is lactose intolerant.  One more plug for vegan baking.  Its not just for strict vegetarian folks.  Sarah actually had some trouble finding someone who could pull off non-dairy.  To all those soon-to-be-Brides out there:  Do not be discouraged its pretty easy to make great cake non-dairy. And your groom will never know the difference as you are shoving it into his face…In this case the bride got a surprise handful to the mouth as seen in the scathing look below.DSCN0578I’ve come across a few horror stories from some other brides that the cake of their wedding day dreams wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.  Someone once told me during a class that she was promised beautiful gumpaste Hydreangias only to find out a day before her wedding that the decorator didn’t actually know how to make them!!!

Gumpaste is a lot like fondant.  It is edible but dries quicker and more solid than fondant.  Colored gumpaste tends to fade some what quickly so you should be aware and dye it a shade or two darker when using it.  Its most ideal for very thin petals and delicate flower designs.  In the case of Sarah’s cake she had Gerber daisies atop many of her cupcakes which match the decore as well as the bridal bouquets.  I wasn’t super impressed with the decorator’s flowers…but I suppose I’d built it up in my head– just what these daisies would look like.

Making flowers out of gumpaste is pretty simple.  If you totally suck at piping flowers you might find that making roses, daisies etc are quite easy when it come to gumpaste– its done mostly with cookie cutters. Hey as I say in class some of us are sculptors not painters.  Sugarcraft. com as well as offer a variety of cutters.  Here’s my take on Gerber Daisies using the Wilton daisy cutters.


Below is one of the Wilton Daisy cutters available at Michael’s or just about any craft store with a cake decorating aisle.  For each daisy you’ll need to roll out gumpaste to 1/16 of an inch (really thin–not total see-thru but close to translucent).  And cut 2 large daisies and 2 medium daisies.


Once you’ve cut the daisy blossoms use a balling/veining tool to thin the petals more. Place a blossom on thin shaping foam and run the balling tool from the edge of the petal to the center on the daisy.  The petals will curl in as you do this. Do this to all four blossoms cut.


Now chop ’em up.  Run a pastry wheel, a small pizza cuter, along each petal making 3 small cuts in each petal.  The cuts don’t have to be clean, just impressions.


Now glue all your blossoms together.  How you ask?  With gum glue–1/4 c warm water with 1/2 tsp of gumpaste dissolved in it. If you find you have hardened pieces of gumpaste along the edge of what you’re working with–this is ideal to dissolve for gum glue.  Typically one should let it stand for an hour.  Make some in advance and store it in the fridge for future projects.  Drop a little gum glue between each blossom with a paint brush and your set.  Let these flowers dry on flower formers–this is another Wilton Product.  Cutting paper cups in half and letting the blossoms dry in the concave shape produces the same effect if you don’t have Wilton flower formers on hand.


I used piping gel mixed with a little chocolate syrup to pipe a donut shape in the center.  I sprinkled with pink and yellow colored sugar and then filled in the center with chocolate syrup.  If you what a realistic comparison to real Gerber Daisies just scroll up my page–they are the header on the back drop of this here blog.


Find these instructions a little confusing or feeling like too much of a novice to do this on your own? Take a Wilton Fondant and Gum Paste Course (CHECK OUT THE NOVEMBER SCHEDULE PAGE) you’ll learn traditional Daisies, as well as Calalilies, and Carnations!

1 comment October 20, 2009

Haiwaiin Wedding Cake


I’ve been looking for a reason to post this reciepe, other then its just good summer cake.  And what better reason to post this cake than my friend Scott got married this past week!!!!!!!!   Their recent nuptials at City Hall will be followed by a big ceremony to come within the year.  In honor of my good friend Scott and his lovely bride Melanie, here is a personal favorite, Haiwaiin Wedding Cake.

This is one of the first cakes I ever learned how to make.  Its SUPER EASY.  And is perfect for a summer bbq.  And the assembly is quick so you’ll be out of the 350 degree kitchen in no time.   The no-nonsense version is as follows or you can scroll further and find a slightly more detailed recipe.


Make a yellow cake batter from any of your favorite store bought box brands. The cake should be baked in a long sheet pan(9×13) and allowed to cool.  Once cool, slather it with instant vanilla pudding, cool whip (ahhh the wonders of coolwhip), sprinkle with shredded coconut, 1 can of drained pineapple, and drained Marchino cherries, and chopped walnuts.  Cover with foil and your off to the BBQ where you can slice wide pieces grill-side.

Actually need to make it for a wedding?? PICT0548

Yellow Cake

I got this recipe from none other than Martha Stewart’s Wedding Cakes. I thought this was the most appropriate source.  This reciepe accomodated two 9″ round pans, it was a little over filled.  3 1/2 cups of batter would be enough to properly fill a 9″ pan.  Filling pans to 3/4 full the trick.   This reciepe yields almost 11 cups, so cake your face off!!

3 sticks of unsalted butter at room temp, plus more for greasing pans

4 c flour, plus more for pans

1 tb baking powder

3 c sugar

6 eggs at room temp, separated

1 1/2 c milk (I used 2%)

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter pans.  Place Parchment paper in pans, butter and flour paper in pans and set aside.

Sift flour and powder (Martha Says 3 times!!!! I think thats excessive– once should be fine). Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar till fluffy (with a paddle attachment if you have a KitchenAid mixer–which is a necessary investment if you are making wedding cakes). Add egg yolks one at a time.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture then milk, alternating.  Start and end with flour.

In a clean (grease free) bowl mix egg whites with salt.  (chill the bowl and whisk attachment for 15 minutes first)  Once egg whites are stiff, but not dry, mix 1/4 of the egg whites into batter.  Once incorporated fold the remaining whites in.

Pour batter into pans and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted comes out clean.  (it only took me 35-40)

Cool in pans for 20 minutes before romving.  Place on wracks to continue cooling.  Martha suggests refridgerating for a day before using.  In the fridge the cakes are good for 2 days.

Cherry Filling:

2 cups fresh or frozen cherries

3tb- 4tb sugar

1 1/2 tb cornstarch or arrowroot

2tb- 3tb water (ifyou are using fresh– frozen cherries should be thawed, and moist enough)

In a sauce pan combine cherries and sugar and simmer with low heat.  Mix cornstarch and water (or you could use fruit juice like pineapple) and combine in pan.  Simmer, mixing continually till thickened.


Coconut Butter Cream:

3/4 c shortening

3/4 heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract

1-2 tsp coconut extract

Combine till creamy creamy creamy.

4+ cups of confectioners sugar.  (please check my royal icing post for some successful mixing directions)

Icing will be a stiff consistency which is ideal for icing.

Icing pulling your cake apart??  Make sure to add a GENEROUS amount of icing to successfully cover you cake without crumbage.  PICT0540Think of it this way:  Plopping, yeah I used that as a verb, big dollops of icing all over the top of your cake is a great way to start.  With a spatula play connect the dots with the icing.  After the cake is covered you can do some cleaning up with your spatula to straighten out the side and remove all that excess frosting.


Garnish:  Cover this cake like a pina coloda at a fancy resort.  Add large piece of fresh pineapple and cherries, as well as large chunks of dried coconut.

This cake smells great, tastes great, is as refreshing as young love.  Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Kipp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DSCN0351


2 comments August 8, 2009

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Sugar, Frosting, and Fondant: an artistic exploration of Cake and other Sweets