I have a new favorite bridal magazine to share! It’s WellWed Magazines, and they’re put together with style, thought, and an eco-friendly mind. There’s a special issue just for Vermont weddings, Cape Cod, Nantucket, […]
Like many of you, I’m a huge fan of Amy Atlas. Her ability to pull together a wide array of tasty desserts, beautiful linens, cool graphic designs, and perfectly-styled details is truly inspirational. From […]
Permalink The the siren song of a do-it-yourself wedding cake is a hard one to ignore. It seduces. It cajoles. "Make me" it sings. "You know you want to. All the cool kids are doing it. Maaaaaaake meeeeee." It lures you into a false sense of culinary mastery and into the treacherous waters of cake disaster. While there's nothing quite like peer pressure from inanimate baked goods, most couples hire someone else create their wedding cakes. For a few adventurers, however, making their own cake is all too temping. Don't think I haven't noticed you as you fondle fancy molded cake pans at Williams-Sonoma and linger a little too long in the Wilton aisle at Michaels. Oh, I know your type. You and I are kindred spirits, you see. We are would-be cake couturiers with grand visions of effortless, elegant culinary masterpieces adorning our table tops. We have pans. We have nifty decorating gadgets. We've watched every episode of Ace of Cakes. It's just baking, right? The harsh reality is that cake making is harder than it may appear. There's a great deal of chemistry, artistry, and patience that goes into creating a beautiful, tasty cake. This, of course, doesn't mean it's impossible for a home baker to make something spectacularly divine. It is possible! But the big question here is: is the DIY cake experience right for you? If you're considering a DIY wedding cake, here are the most basic considerations to help you decide if this route is a good idea for you.
- How many guests will you be feeding? (General rule: the bigger the cake, the harder to bake/decorate/transport.)
- How many hours of baking and decorating time will you need? And do you have that amount of available time especially right before the wedding? A conservative estimate for a simple butter cream-frosted (no decoration) 3-layer stacked round cake to feed 120 people would take about 4 - 5 hours to make. (Measure, mix, bake, cool, frost.)
- How important are taste and presentation to you? To your guests? The wedding cake is a high-profile part of nearly every wedding.
- Do you have the tools -- including a reliable oven -- to do the job? If not, how much will it cost to buy all of the tools? Is your oven big enough to bake a 14" round (or whatever is your largest size)?
- How good is your math? Baking is nearly all chemistry. Exact measurements are crucial to good results.
- How experienced are you at baking? At cake decorating? Are baking/decorating classes in your future?
- Will you bake from scratch or a mix?
- How elaborate will your design be?
- Will you have time (and budget) to experiment with recipes and decorating if you've never done large-scale baking/decorating before?
- Thinking of using fresh flowers for decoration? Great! Which common wedding flowers are are poisonous and should never be used on a cake?
- How will you store the finished (or nearly finished) cakes? Do you have enough 'fridge space?
- How will you transport the cake?
- Who will set it up at the venue?
- Who will serve it? (Caterers will charge extra to do this for you.)
- What if something goes wrong? What's your Plan B or worst case scenario fix-it?
Southern Weddings Magazine
One of my favorite wedding resources, Southern Weddings, just launched their first print edition and it’s gorgeous! Available at newsstands viat http://www.swsmag.net/, I highly recommend picking up a copy no matter what your geographical […]
The great talents at Real Simple magazine has just made their 2009 weddings magazine available exclusively at Crate & Barrel stores and online. A little heads up: it costs $13.95 (not including shipping if […]
If you’ve browsed Amazon or cruised through the cookbook aisle of your local book seller, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that there are lots (and lots and lots) of wedding cake books on the market. […]