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First wedding cake

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm baking a wedding cake for the first time. I'm an experienced cook but not so much a baker. Unfortunately, I have to work all week and then we get on an airplane to go to our destination for the wedding. (only a 6 hour drive and transport for the cake is arranged)
Question #1-assume it's best to frost and use moistening syrup after arrival?
Question # 2-can I make the cake on the weekend before (sunday) for a saturday wedding? Can it be frozen unfrosted? Otherwise, I will be up all night baking Weds. night and it will still be three days old.
Question #3-neither of us like buttercream frosting. Found a wonderful recipe for a lemon cake with Blackberry moistening syrup, can I use a cream cheese frosting instead? I have a yard full of fresh lemons just dying to be used for this cake/frosting.
I know everyone is going to say I took on too much but that's just me and the way I always, always do things. I'm a doctor so I guess I try to overachieve in everything that I do.
post #2 of 11
Hello Tracy and welcome to the forum..

Yes you can bake ahead of time.. Wrap the cake rounds in plastic (unfrosted) and freeze. When ready to use.. allow them to thaw completely (unwrapped) before frosting.

You can make the frosting/filling ahead of time too.. Re-beat a bit before using.. and you can use any frosting you like..

As far as a moistening syrup.. when I use it.. I always use warm syrup on a cool cake.. so it won't crystalize.

Don't forget to feed the pig...


Don't forget to feed the pig...

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

wedding cake questions

Thanks for the quick reply. I think the book I'm reading is making it more complicated than it needs to be. I'm much relieved that I can make it on Sunday. It will thaw on the trip out Friday, get frosted, decorated and torted on Saturday for the Sat night reception.
Thanks again!!!
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Do you like using a brush or spray bottle for the moistening syrup?
post #5 of 11
For applying syrup, I only use a brush, it is effective at placing it in the areas you want it to go. The edges of a cake tend to be the areas most in need of syrup.

Also, are you flying with the cake, or it is transported by vehicle while you fly?

I would suggest providing enough time to let the syrup permeate the sponge (I tend to do more than recipes call for).

Also, I highly recommend you try your recipe before you need to make it. Depending upon your recipe, simply increasing the amount of ingredients and putting them in a larger pan doesn't always work. There are several classes of cakes and larger pans doesn't always work. The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum is a good reference if you're making a butter cake. It is also a good reference for cakes in general.

If you're planning to stack your cake, you will need cardboard cake rounds at the bottom of each layer, and I use drinking straws as my structural supports. Just make sure you have enough to keep the layers supported evenly. Too few and the cake could shift sideways. There isn't a problem with too many, except whoever is cutting the cake will be cursing at you under their breath.

Also, if someone is driving the cakes and you're going to be tight on time, I would at least put a 'base' frosting on beforehand, so you can work on the finish when you arrive at your destination. Of course it is contingent on how it will be handled during transportation. Even if the plastic wrap is touching the frosting, you can smooth it out after taking off the plastic. Chilling it before you take off the plastic will minimize any damaging effects.

Good Luck!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I'm sure I'm going to need the luck!! I'll make a test 6" this weekend. It's a lemon cake with lemon curd and blackberry homemade jam. Decided to use cream cheese frosting instead of buttercream because both of us HATE buttercream. So, would you actually torte the cakes with the fillings before they take off by car on Friday (wedding is Sat and I fly Thurs. so I would have to torte Weds night.)
We're flying but my soon to be very reliable daughter in law will be transporting the cakes. Was thinking about transporting all layers unfrosted or torted but worried about dryness, like your idea better but concerned about spoilage.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Oh, I'm using a book written by Dede Wilson and using the same layer sizes as in the book so hopefully the amounts for everything will work out too. I'm very excited but nervous too. We have fresh lemons coming out of our ears in the backyard. I will add a little lemon zest to the cream cheese frosting as well.
Thinking about doing the decorating with some silk flowers that I have to simplify things as I have some beautiful silk flowers. Would that be weird?
post #8 of 11
Hi Tracy and welcome.

Here are two alternatives to silk flowers for you for something that is relatively easy and will hold and travel well to be put on at the destination. I'm not a fan of silk flowers on food.

1) "gum paste" flowers, see if you have a baker's supply near you or cake decorating supplies shop... one of my suppliers sells pre-made beautiful orchids, made from sugar paste. Or since you're an overachiever, you can buy gum paste/sugar paste, and mold your own flowers. Gum paste mix can be bought at any Michaels, but if you can get the paste or the pre-made flowers, I'd recommend those. They can be made as far in advance as you like.

2) sugared roses. (easy) Buy some roses (I use pesticide free ones), and paint beaten egg white thinly on the petals. Take some sugar and put it in the blender to make it finer, still granulated but finer, and sprinkle it on the egg whited roses, saturating the egg white paint with sugar crystals. Let dry well (I hang these upside down with a clothes peg), then store in fridge on parchment or waxed paper in a box. You can take those with you, and add to the cake when assembling. Any other edible flowers can be used, violets, whatever.

Also a tip, when you make the cakes, are you making them in a shallow 2" pans and stacking layers? I recommend to bake them in a taller pan (usually 3" or 3-1/4"), and get yourself a "cake leveller" and cut your layers. Then you get all nice cakey stuff and no crust. Crust draws moisture out of the cake also.

Personally I wouldn't "torte" the layers on Wednesday night (I love lemon curd BTW but think that's a bit much to have it in there from Wed to Sat, and drive that way too), I would do it at your destination, especially if it could arrive Friday evening or early enough Saturday for your comfort. (DIL picks up frozen cakes from your freezer Friday). another hint, when the cakes are on their cardboards, use double-sided tape to stick them inside whatever boxes they will be transported in. last hint, pure lemon oil is nice for punching up the lemon flavor, even though you've got a backyard full.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your hints. Do you mean to tape the cake to side of boxes? So, I will not cut each layer in half until Sat AM but will crumb outside to help keep moist? I'll try the lemon oil too. I love the sugared rose idea and will do that. I will check around for organic roses. Any hint where to buy them? I'm thinking AJ's would probably have them, or Sprout's, both organic or gourmet stores in our area.
The cakes will arrive Friday afternoon so could I torte and assemble Friday night?
I also need a cream cheese frosting recipe light enough to use for wedding cake. The ones I've worked with won't work for wedding cake. The book I'm working with doesn't have one.
I will need enough frosting for a 6", 9" and 12" layer. (plus extra of course!!!) I was going to add some lemon zest to the frosting as well. Would you add the oil to the frosting too? Also, can I cut back on the sugar in the lemon curd, blackberry jam? I like things really tart and so does my fiance and most of my family. I understand I need to follow the frosting recipe for consistency but would like for the fillings to be very tart and tangy.
post #10 of 11
tracy, I'm in a bit of a hurry so can't get to all your questions, but no, on taping it, not to the sides, I mean to have the cake on a cardboard or silver covered cardboard cake round. (it's a good idea to affix cake to board with icing). Then under the center of that round cardboard (not the side with the cake but underneath the bottom), put a good sized piece of wide double sided tape. Then when you place your cake into whatever box you're using, have that tape that's on the cake's cardboard stick to the bottom center of the box, so your cake won't slide within the protective box.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
OK. I got it!
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