I got to do a really special thing last weekend - I made cakes for our friend’s wedding. Our good friends got married, and when we heard that they were engaged, I offered to make cakes for them! It’s such a fun thing to do for friends, and I got a zillion questions about my process, so I decided to pop it all here so I have a place to direct people! Rich said multiple times throughout the process “I can’t believe how chill you are about this” (Usually I’m super stressed and panicky about literally everything I do in my life, ever), which I think came down to the planning I did leading up. I planned a lot throughout the week, but did the majority of the workload across two days.
We changed things up a little from the traditional tiered wedding cake, and instead went for five individual cakes. There were 100 guests at the wedding, so I did four 8” cakes, and one larger 10” cake to make sure there would be enough. The great part about having a site with loads of recipes on it that you know is that I can direct people here, and get them to choose from the recipes I already have. They chose a whole bunch of different cakes, which was not only super fun to make, but looked amazing all lined up at the venue! I have a good sized collection of Aheirloom cake stands, so I used them to keep some continuity, but I think this would look so pretty with a whole range of different cake stands too. Cake tables for the win. They were such a huge hit, and I am so honoured to be have been included in our friend’s day! Congrats Damon and April! x
I wanted to leave all my wee tips and tricks I could think of here just in case they are helpful! One thing that REALLY helped is that we have a walk in fridge in our reception of our building (So weird, but SO convenient), so I was able to put two of the cakes down there overnight, which helped loads. Clearing out your fridge would work well too, or borrowing a friend’s fridge space! Just make sure the cakes have time to chill before you transport them. You want them to be nice and cold so that you don’t have to worry about any meltage.
Here are the cakes that we ended up with (in the order they are pictured)
Earl Grey Cake with Marmalade filling and Vanilla Bean German Buttercream
Vanilla Bean Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue buttercream
I didn’t make any switches in this recipe - I just used this one from my site.
Chocolate Mud Cake with Cherry Filling and Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream
This one was twin peaks inspired (I haven’t seen it before!), so I did a 1.5 x of this cake, which I baked into 3 x 8” pans, and then cut each cake into two, giving me six layers. I swapped the gluten free flour called for in the recipe for regular flour as it was not required to be gluten free. I then filled it with a store bought Cherry Jam, and finished it with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which I coloured hot pink. This cake also had a sprinkle twin peaks inspired top and sprinkles on the sides - I used sprinkles from Sprinkle Pop Shop.
Dairy Free Lemon Cake with Dairy Free Lemon Curd and Torched Meringue
The Bride’s Mum is Dairy Free, so I tweaked this recipe a little - I used vegan butter in the curd, and cashew yoghurt in the cake, and it turned out amazing! I then made a quick powdered sugar based buttercream (american buttercream, half this recipe but with vegan butter and no milk or coconut would work great) to stack the cake, then chilled overnight and then covered the day of with swiss meringue, which I torched.
Devil’s Food Cake with Hazelnut Chocolate Frosting and Salted Chocolate German Buttercream
Monday: Make a list of all the cakes, all the fillings, all the buttercreams, and work out what I am going to need for each.
Tuesday: Make a shopping list, and either do the shop, or order everything to be delivered via online shopping (I went for online shopping, because NYC life)
Wednesday: Get shopping delivered, organise all your groceries, clear out space in your fridge, make a game plan, make any fillings that can be done ahead such as your curd fillings
Thursday: Make alllll the layers. Cool completely, level off, and store in the fridge overnight. Make any buttercream bases (German buttercream you can make the pastry cream the day before as it ideally needs time to cool)
Friday: Make all of your buttercreams, stack and frost the cakes, chill overnight (The overnight chill makes the transport part much less stressful as you know that all your cakes are well chilled).
Saturday: Make any last touch ups, cover the lemon cake with meringue and torch (It will weep if left too long so I did it the day of), transport to the venue!
A few wee tips:
You can make your life easier by doing things like making all of the pastry cream for the german buttercream at once, and then portioning it out to whip up individual batches. I think I did a quadruple batch of the buttercream needed to make this cake, cooled it all in one container, and then weighed it, and used as much as I needed for one batch at a time. It means you aren’t making pastry cream a whole bunch of times, just once.
I used Acrylic cake discs which I got Rich to cut me on the laser cutter, but cardboard cake boards work great too. I used one that was the size of the cake, and then another which was two inches larger, stuck down with double sided tape, which made moving the cakes around super easy.
I popped some milkshake straws through the largest cake just to help give it some stability. Poke them down into the cake, then measure how long they need to be, and snip them off then poke them back into the cake
Give yourself a SOLID buffer. Like, a whole day’s worth if you can. I know someone quite well (spoiler alert - it’s me) who has had multiple cake disasters in the back seats of ubers where improperly chilled cakes had total structural blowouts. It’s not cute. Leave time to chill your cakes, and to organise all the last minute bits and bobs. I think this was key to me being a bit chill!
Please feel free to leave any questions or things I may have missed below - always happy to help! x