Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wedding Cake Adventures: Part II

Something possessed me to offer my extremely limited cake-making abilities to my niece, Leia, when I found out she was getting married.

{See Wedding Cake Adventures Part 1 here.}

She took me up on it and graciously told me she really didn't care about the cake...perfect!  Permission to really mess it up!

I drew a sketch of a beautiful 5-tier cake.  Two bottom square layers (largest 16" square, next 12" square, then a 10", 8" and 6" round cake.  Colors to match hers; red, black and blue.

She mentioned Roses and black lace.  Really, having known my niece since she was born, it was quite easy to picture the perfect cake for her.  a Princess cake!

I made the cakes and got them in the freezer, almost 20 batches of cake!

I started on the Roses a couple of weeks ago.  Made out of sugar paste, I googled every Gum-paste rose tutorial I could find and made my first attempt.


My first five just didn't look very good, but I started getting the hang of it and started in on what would become a very long process.

I started by coloring the fondant to a deep red.  It took a ton of red paste to achieve that color, but I will say, that after letting it sit, the color became more bright and red. 

I rolled out a small piece of gumpaste and cut out my petals.  Then each petal had to be rolled out to a very thin and slightly curved petal.  It kept drying out on me, so I got very good at keeping the paste and petals covered.

 I used 6" sticks for the pick and created the bud first (small tear drop shape at the end of pick).

With a little brush of water, I started to curl each petal around the bud.  You can see the progression in this photo.  Each Rose took about 18-20 petals.  I made almost 40 Roses, but 12 of them were not fully opened.

In the end (about 1/2 hour per that slow?) I had a whole bouquet of sugar Roses, making the cake completely edible.  Not that anyone would enjoy eating one of these!

I made a ton of little blue flowers in two sizes.  The larger ones got a sugar pearl in the center, the smaller one got a silver non-pareil.  I wasn't quite sure how I was going to use them, but wanted a little touch of the blue in the cake.  I ended up using the smaller ones in the center of each quilt intersection, and they also hid a few dowels!

Sunday morning I started to assemble the cake. 

I started with the largest layer, the square bottom.  I got it all iced and ready for the fondant.  The next few hours were not pleasant.

Try as I might, I simply could not get the fondant on that cake without it cracking.  I'm not entirely sure what the problem was, but I think it may have had something to do with the red and black color paste I used in it, as the texture was very different than using white fondant.  It was also very hard to roll out a large enough piece to cover a 16" x 16" x 4" cake!

After four 4 tries, I gave up.

We tore off the red fondant and took a picture or it and the cake underneath.  Not so pretty.  Within seconds of this moment, the doorbell rang.  There was Leia, her husband-to-be and her cousin...big smiles!  Anxious to see how the cake was coming along.

Argggggg!  We all stood guard and unequivocally told them 'no, sorry, you can't see it'.

I think Leia thought I was joking, but a few minutes later, she knew it wasn't funny at all!  There was simply no way I was going to get her all stressed out over my disaster on the kitchen table.

I took a deep breath and made a decision.  My 5-tier cake was turning into a 4-tier cake!  Instead of taking out the next square layers out of the freezer, I cut down the one I had already been working on.  It was still very challenging to get it covered with the red fondant, but somehow (with a little prayer), we got it on.  The corners were horrible, but I had plans for camouflage!
It was such a relief to get the bottom layer done, but it was getting late.  I still had a lot to do!  The round cakes and white fondant went together quickly.  In the process, I did pick up one trick.  Place your cake turn-table on a large #10 can or something similar.  The fondant will stretch out and hang a bit, which made creating smooth sides much easier.

Next, I created the quilted look on the 3rd and 1st layer.  I bought a quilt cutter and wow, do I love that tool!  I didn't space it very well, because I was short on time, but I loved the look and was very quick.
I piped a decorative border around the edges of the white round cakes and started on the bottom red square cake.  This was going to be a challenge.  Somehow I had to make it look good.  I made the mistake of using cornstarch on it, as I was rolling it out and it did not look very good.  A little alcohol and a brush helped that situation out.

I had several ideas for creating a black-lace look on this layer, but went with what I thought would be the easiest and the quickest; piping cornelli lace.  My hand and wrist were killing me by the time I was done, but it successfully hid alot of my mistakes. 

By now it was time for bed, but I stayed up to finish the quilting.  I created more of the little blue flowers (55 in all) to use on the quilt intersections of top layer.  I loved the look!  They were so sweet!  I was done by 12:30am.  We had to get up early for the wedding the next morning, but I knew I would have a little bit of time the next afternoon (before the reception) to finish the cake topper.

After a wonderful wedding and luncheon, we made it home around 3:30pm.  I had two hours before I had to bring the cake over to the reception center.  I pulled my new Cricut Cake (in all it's bright red shinyness!) and cut Leia's and Brandon's monograms.  I really should have let my gumpaste sit for 24 hours, so it wasn't perfect, but at this point, I wasn't being picky.
I pasted the monograms to two white circle medallions I had made and then brought the cake and everything else over.  My friend Cheryl and I held the cake in the back seat of my husband's truck, holding our breath on each pot-hole, train track and curve, but all was well and safe.  Phew!

Leia & Brandon cut the cake and smushed it all over their faces. 

We clapped. 

We smiled. 

It was a great day and I was honored to be a part of it. 


Creative Mish said...

Wow! This is an amazing. You did a fabulous job on it. Beautiful!

Cheryl said...

Beautiful!!!!!!!!! Such a talent lady!

Donna Piereder said...

I just don't know how to thank you enough! The cake was absolutely gorgeous!

kwgirl said...

I KNEW it would look amazing! You did a great more wedding cakes for you until Savannah gets married:)

Katie said...

Oh my gosh!! Gorgeous! You are, once again, simply amazing!

cindy said...

That last comment was not Katie, my daughter...somehow it was her google account. It's me...Cindy!

StacyC said...

You did a wonderful job on this cake!!! Nice job, especially on the roses.

Debbie Gardner said...


Karen said...

W.O.W. Sue, this is amazing. I can't imagine how much time it took you but it really looks fabulous. My dad was looking at it with me (he's quite artistic himself and can appreciate another person's talent!) He was amazed that the roses were not real. They look that good! Way to go!

shortandsweet said...

You did a wonderful job! I am afraid that I am going to volunteer for things like this...and it scares me!

Teri said...

Oh my heavens, Sue! That is a beautiful cake!!!


Brooks said...

Wow! You decorate cakes too!? You never cease to amaze me with your creativity and style. That would be a very difficult cake to make even for a professional and the colors were stunning! I would have never picked those colors, but they turned out very elegant.

americanfamily said...

Wow, what an effort! And believe me I know that (second hand). I think we tried at least six times to cover the last large square bottom with fondant and got the same cracked result! Ours was ice blue, so not much coloring. Don't know what the heck is the trick! Please let us know when you find out! In the meantime, Cassidy swears she will NEVER cover a large square cake with fondant. Can you say 'italian buttercream' instead?! BTW we are excited that you got yourself a cricut cake. Can't wait to see all the beauties you make with it!

M-C said...

Girlfriend is there anything you can't do? That cake is awesome!

Lori Allred said...

Oh my goodness girl you are daughter is not near old enough to be getting married, but this cake ROCKS and so do you. Wow!!

debbydugger said...

Hi Sue...I attended one of your classes in San Marcos, Tx a couple of years ago...think you're wonderful! Haven't been keeping up with my online stuff for awhile, so just saw this cake! Holy Toledo! This is just totally amazing! You could really do this professionally anytime you wanted! Charge a gazillion dollars too! :)

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