Monday, October 22, 2012

Autumn Leaves Wedding Cake

As I mentioned in the last post, I completed and delivered my first wedding cake order this past weekend! The cake was for a friend from school who contacted me earlier this year about making the cake for her wedding. I baked several varieties of cupcakes for her and her fiance to try and they decided on a few flavors, as well as a style of cake. They settled on a 3 tier main cake, as well as a simple sheet cake that could be sliced in the kitchen to serve more people. The design for the main cake was 3 round tiers (10", 8" and 6"), with vines and autumn colored leaves trailing up the sides. The flavors for the cake were: 10" - spice cake with pumpkin filling, 8" - pumpkin cake with pumpkin filling, 6" spice and pumpkin cake with pumpkin filling. All of the round tiers had cream cheese icing. The sheet cake was simply vanilla cake with vanilla icing.


I started this whole process almost a week before the wedding when I made the fondant for the leaves. A couple days later I went shopping for the cake ingredients and dyed the fondant the colors I needed for the leaves. On Wednesday I baked all of the cakes and made the pumpkin pastry cream filling. Then I filled, stacked, did a thin icing coat on all the cakes and cut out some fondant leaves on Thursday. Friday evening was spent putting a final coat of icing on the cakes, and cutting out the remaining fondant leaves.
 
The plain vanilla cake for the people who weren't adventurous enough to try the pumpkin or spice cake ;) 
I needed to shape the leaves so they wouldn't all be flat and Joe had the idea to lay them over some candle sticks that I had up on the mantle for our fall decorations. It worked out well and between those and draping the leaves over some skewers, I had a good assortment of wavy and curvy leaves. The leaves had to sit out at least overnight to firm up and hold their shape. The final step for the leaves was hand painting each with some gold pearl dust that I mixed with vodka so it could be brushed on. The vodka evaporates quickly and leaves no taste, but it doesn't ruin the fondant like water would.



On Saturday, I put the finishing touches on the cakes, piped on the vines and added the leaves. I worked up until the last minute before we had to leave for the delivery and with Joe's help, we made it out the door on time. We got the cake set up and it stayed standing! When I went back to the reception to pick up my cake stand, it was STILL standing! :) I helped cut the cake, breathed a final sigh of relief, and headed home.


Now, you might be able to tell from the pics that the cake was a little "lumpy". I'm not sure why but after a while my cakes always seem to settle a little and the icing bulges or big air bubbles pop out on the side. Sometimes the icing even buckles and cracks. Right now I don't know how to prevent this, but it was the main point of my stress on this cake (and all my past cakes), so I need to figure out how to fix it soon. Overall, I'm glad I did the cake and the bride and groom seemed very happy with it. I know that it at least tasted good! That's it for tonight. Have a great week!


6 comments:

  1. Those leaves must have taken forever, but it paid off because it looks fantastic! Félicitations!

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    1. Thanks, Kate! And yes, they did take quite a while. I hope you're still having a great time in France!

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  2. Lisa! This looks amazing. Congrats on your first wedding cake (PS pumpkin and spice.. you can't go wrong with that!)

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    1. Thanks! It was pretty stressful though, so it might be my last wedding cake ;)

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  3. Eeek! I love this. Sorry I didn't pick up your phone call Saturday, I was out running wedding errands. This looks awesome! I'm sure Jess liked it. And I agree, pumpkin cake is delicious.

    I don't know why icing settles like that either, but I've had the same experience. Sometimes I think maybe I'm putting too much on and that it's just slipping down a little bit. I would guess it does it because it gets to room temp after being in the fridge. Maybe let it settle for a little bit on your counter before you put it back in the fridge next time? I dunno.

    I'm making pumpkin cake in the shape of a pumpkin this weekend with marshmallow fondant to cover it. Wish me luck!

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    1. Thanks, Chase! I think I might have to try letting it sit out for a little bit like you said. It seems to mostly happen when I fill the cake with something other than regular icing.

      I was planning on making a pumpkin shaped cake this weekend too, for Joe to take to work! Are you going to use 2 bundt cakes? That was my plan for an easy pumpkin shape. Good luck with the marshmallow fondant, and be sure to send me pics!

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