I do love making Wedding Cakes for my friends. Generally, these are the poor souls who trust me enough to let me just kind of run with their ideas and be creative. Jonny and Gina were one such couple and, as we gathered to celebrate their wedding on 14th April, the sun even put in an appearance for the first time in a very long Winter. All the signs were pointing towards a very happy day.
When we met to design the cake, Jonny and Gina told me that their colour scheme was pale blue and gold with white flowers to include anemones and tulips, and little bird decorations. This was the initial sketch. It’s rare that I follow my sketch to the letter but this one came out pretty close to how I had drawn it!
The reception was held in the Great Hall of Bedford School. So pretty was it that Chris (my handsome assistant and photographer) got a shot of the room and its ceiling.
When I deliver a Wedding Cake, there is always some element of assembly required. This cake was never going to fit in my little Fiat 500! I set to work stacking the tiers and attaching ribbons to the base of each tier to cover the joins.
The cake itself was 5 tiers of Chocolate Mud Cake, Lemon Drizzle Cake (made gluten free), and Red Velvet Cake. My top tip for anyone wanting a big, multi-tiered Wedding Cake is to limit your flavours for the sanity of your catering staff and your guests – sometimes too many options can be confusing. Go for a nice mix of light and dark flavours and know that some will come back for seconds!
The middle tier of the cake was adorned with hand made sugar flowers and leaves. The white sugar anemones were the star of the show, flanked by sugar tulips (open and unopen) and some lily of the valley because it is beyond all things my favourite flower to make. Yes, it may be fiddly but it is so very satisfying when it comes together so prettily.
The top and bottom tiers also featured sugar applique birds. Here is my confession; I cannot draw to save my life (as you will probably have gathered from times in which I have attempted to draw things) so I wanted to try out a new technique here. I printed out two pictures of birds in the positions that I wanted them to be in using my edible printer and fixed them to a thin rolled out layer of Sugar Florist Paste (SFP), the same stuff as I use to make sugar flowers. Cutting carefully around my birds using a scalpel, I allowed them to dry completely.
Because I didn’t want the birds to appear too obviously printed and stuck, I used edible paints to add details to the wings and breast of each bird. Once this was dry, I painted the back of each bird with a metallic gold edible paint so that these would not look terrible from the back.
I fixed the applique birds to the cake with a little royal icing in position to look as if they were holding the golden beads wrapped around the cake. The finished birds were still more ‘pop art’ than ‘vintage chic’ but I prefer this immeasurably!
One very important part of any Wedding Cake assembly is standing back to admire your work AND to check that nothing is moving! You need to stand by your cake for a few minutes and look like a bit of a nutter. Believe me, this is well worth the funny looks!
Once completely satisfied that all was securely in place, I was able to pose for a photo with my creation. I wrote all about this stunning dress from Vivien of Holloway on my blog last week so click here if you love the vintage-inspired look and want to read more about it.
The couple both looked happy as they cut the cake. We gathered around them to take photos and I cannot wait to share some of the official photos with you later as I’m a BIG fan of their photographer.
I think the cake continued to be enjoyed after the wedding! Sorry Jonny, this picture killed me and I am going to use in on all of my advertisements from this moment on. As you are on Honeymoon, I don’t think you can stop me! That is a good slab of Red Velvet, right there.
I do love to see a cake being enjoyed. That’s why I do what I do.