Wednesday, May 31, 2017

My First Ever 4 Tier Wedding Cake.

Tier sizes: 12 inch, 10 inch, 8 inch, and 6 inch
Yield: about 100 servings of cake
I volunteered to make a wedding cake for a friend's wedding as my wedding present to her. 
My experience with making wedding cakes is limited to 2 - two tier cakes and 2 - three tier cakes. However this is my first, four tier cake. 
Despite losing electricity for almost eight hours, baking the cake layers went somewhat smoothly until I started baking the 12 inch rounds. After throwing away 3 layers of cake due to fallen middles and falling apart,  I managed to end up with 2 usable layers of vanilla cake.
Why did I have so much trouble with the 12 inch layers? 
After thinking about it, I believe the cake mixes that I bought on sale were old and just didn't bake as well as they normally do. Even the smaller layers had one or two issues, but nothing like the large, 12 inch layers! 

Once the power was restored and the cake layers were cooling, I set about making the buttercream frosting with 10 pounds of powdered sugar, 2.5 lbs of butter, and 2.5 cups of solid, vegetable shortening, 3 Tbsp. and 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, about a quarter cup of lemon juice, and about 1.5 cups of water. 
Like Making Four Cakes of Different Sizes
When I began to work with the two inch layers, I quickly discovered that making the wedding cake was the same as making four, separate layer cakes. Each tier had two cake layers that had to have the tops leveled before they were cut in half, filled with frosting, stacked, and crumb coated with icing. THEN, each tier had a final coat of frosting applied and smoothed. 
Each sunflower was individually piped onto a square of parchment that was attached to a flower nail.
Sunflower petals and buds: Wilton #366 leaf tip
Sunflower centers: Wilton #21 open star tip
Sunflower leaves: Wilton #125 petal tip. 
Cake borders: Wilton #21 open star tip

Sunflower Tutorial

Smoothing Crusting Buttercream
The following tutorial will show you the basics of frosting a cake and then smoothing the crusted buttercream frosting with a Viva paper towel.

  • For best results, wait 10 to 20 minutes after frosting your cake before you begin smoothing the frosting. 
  • If your work area is warm, put the frosted cake into a refrigerator for about 10 minutes before you begin smoothing the buttercream. 

Believe me, it took several attempts before I figured this out for myself!