Posts tagged Wedding cakes
Posts tagged Wedding cakes
Guest Blog: Summer
When I was first teaching myself to work with fondant, I found one of the hardest parts was actually covering the cake and having it look smooth. I struggled with pleats around the bottom, cracking and tearing fondant and corn starch or powdered sugar spots all over the fondant.
I looked at pictures and instructions, watched youtube videos and read forums. While there is a lot of good information out there, I felt like there was a lack of good suggestion all in once place or the videos went by so quickly. I watched adept hands make quick work of covering a cake with no issues and I struggled to figure out what they were doing.
I’m going to take you through my biggest tips and pointers for getting a nice finish so you can learn to cover your cake without pleating, tearing, holes, or any other frustrating issues that have you beating your head against the counter. This is good for those new to fondant as well, however, I will say that watching videos does help immensely so combine my information with some other videos and information out there.
Tip 1: Start with the right fondant
I originally used marshmallow fondant. While it’s easy to make and I’ve seen other people achieve professional-looking results with it, I found it sticky and hard to work with and I had issues getting it the right consistency. I started making fondant from scratch and the best recipe and the one I use all the time is Michele Foster’s Fondant recipe. A half batch (what I usually make) will cover up to one 10-inch round and it’s actually not all that hard to make.
One thing I found that really helped me was to buy a package of pre-made, high quality fondant to see what the consistency was like. That way I could better achieve the correct consistency when making it at home. I bought a container of Satin Ice, but I’ve heard good things about FondeX. Just avoid the Wilton stuff, okay? (Ick!)
Tip 2: Get your icing as smooth as possible
The icing on your cake (under the fondant) should be as smooth and hard as possible. For this reason, many people really like working with ganache under fondant. You can get it as smooth as glass and it sets up as hard as a rock. I like ganache, but it’s really rich and expensive so I mostly work with meringue buttercreams under my fondant which also provide a nice smooth surface. I use metal bench scraper and an icing spatula to get my buttercream smooth before I apply my fondant.
Tip 3: Knead your fondant in pieces
I divide my fondant into several pieces to knead it. Then I zap each piece in the microwave for two 5-second increments to soften it slighty (no more than 5 seconds per zap or you’ll melt it!) and then I work it on the counter. I keep the other chunks wrapped in plastic wrap so that they don’t get dry and crusty while I work.
While I’m kneading each section, I add a dollop of shortening and a dollop of glycerine to soften the fondant and make it smoother and more pliable. The shortening also helps the fondant to be less sticky. That way, you can use less corn starch (or powdered sugar) when you’re rolling. Corn starch and powdered sugar leave white stuff everywhere and can dry out your fondant.
Once you’ve gotten all the chunks kneaded individually, put them together and knead the fondant until it’s warm, soft, smooth and pliable. Remember silly putty? It should be a lot like that in consistency
Tip 4: Put away the spray bottle
I had always read that you should spray the cake with water (after frosting) before putting the fondant on. This never worked properly for me. The coverage was always uneven, with some spots too wet and some too dry, and the fondant was always slipping around and gooey. What a mess!
Then I watched someone apply piping gel with a pastry brush on youtube. Ding! I don’t generally have piping gel on hand, but the pastry brush works perfectly. I generally use water with a small amount of tylose powder dissolved in it (which is what I use to adhere pieces of fondant or gumpaste together when making my figures or applying them to the cake). But water works, too. The coverage is nice and even and you can apply it pretty thinly. It also helps do some final smoothing on your cake. Win!
Tip 5: Use your corn starch or powered sugar sparingly
Less is more. My preferred anti-stick is corn starch. Really, you don’t need much corn starch to keep the fondant from sticking to your counter and rolling pin. I dust just a slight amount on my slightly flattened disc of fondant, rub it around, flip and do the same on the other side. Then I sprinkle a small amount around the countertop where I’ll be rolling.
As I roll, I put my hands under and all around the edges to make sure it isn’t sticking to the counter. If need be, I sprinkle just a bit underneath and rotate the fondant slightly to distribute.
Tip 6: Roll it out bigger than you think it needs to be
Measure your cake across the top and sides. Got that added up? Great, add another 2 inches to the dimension. So if you measured 10 inches across the top and your cake is 3 inches tall, that’s 16 inches of cake total. Roll out the fondant to at least 18 inches. I actually like a little more. More fondant along the bottom means you have more to work with when it comes to lifting and smoothing around the bottom and less opportunity for pleating and folding along the bottom.
Tip 7: Roll it up
When you’re ready to put it onto the cake, roll the whole thing back onto your rolling pin. Don’t try to lift it with your arms or your hands and put it onto the cake. You’ll get more air bubbles if you try to do it like that. The rolling pin method allows you to roll it slowly over the top of the cake.
Tip 8: Secure the top edges first
Once you’ve rolled it onto the cake, secure all around the very top first. This will prevent the weight of the fondant from pulling away from the edge and tearing your fondant. The other thing that helps prevent fondant from tearing and breaking is the glycerine and shortening you added when you kneaded the fondant earlier as well as using a scant amount of corn starch (or powdered sugar).
Tip 9: Lift up and in
Now you’re going to work your way down from the top, smoothing out the fondant. Work your way around the cake, smoothing a half inch to an inch at a time all the way around, then keep going around until you get to the bottom. Sounds easy, no? This is the moment of truth. The trick? As you smooth with one hand, use your other hand to lift up the excess fondant on the bottom and push in towards the cake just slightly. It sounds completely counterintuitive, but just try it. Up and in. All that excess will help you with this. Keep lifting as you smooth down.
Tip 10: Cut, smooth, cut
Once you’ve smoothed it all out with your hands all the way around, cut off all the excess with a pizza or pastry cutter.
Then use a fondant smoother to smooth it all down. Push in and move it up and down all around the cake. You’ll end up with a little bit more along the bottom edge. Use your cutting wheel to cut it again as close as you can to the bottom edge.
Tip 11: Use a butter knife to get a clean edge
Are you always putting something around the bottom of your cake to hide that ragged edge? I take a butter knife and work my way around, using it to gently remove and/or tuck in any excess underneath and create a nice smooth edge.
If there’s still a lot you didn’t get, use the pizza cutter again. If it’s just a tiny bit stuck to the cake board, you can scrape it off with the butter knife. If there’s some that is uneven, use the butter knife to press it gently up into the cake.
That’s it! Now you have a smooth cake with no folds or pleats and a nice clean edge along the bottom. Now you don’t have to worry about positioning your decorations to cover up your mistakes!
*Photo Credits: Sugar Coated Chronicles
While elegantly designed wedding cakes are still all the rage, there are plenty of couples out there that choose wedding cake designs with a more playful twist! Many brides and grooms lately are opting to highlight stylish and creatively designed playful wedding cakes as dessert at their reception to reflect their personalities or wedding theme. Here are some favorites that I’ve come across lately…
Ok… so you may not go as far as to have a donut wedding cake. But will you have a cake with a playful design at your wedding?
Selecting your dessert is a cakewalk when you go with one of these four options.
What it is: An elegant, generally all-white cake with an understated design. Flowers made of sugar paste (such as the gardenias here) are popular accents, as are sugar-paste roses and calla lilies. Typically, the cakes are composed of three- to four-inch-high tiers (inside each tier are four layers of cake). One common combo: citrus-vanilla-flavored cake topped with buttercream.
What to know: No matter the icing you choose, the white color almost never varies, so don’t try to match the shade to your off-white gown. A no-fail pick: pearlized white, which emits a slight luster.
Money-saving tip: Opt for buttercream icing instead of fondant―it’s cheaper. And commission a simple cake. Intricate designs will set you back financially.
What it is: A hip take on the traditional cake―it’s taller (tiers are four to six inches high) and design-heavy, with repeated patterns on the sides or the top. (The motif shown is the double wedding ring, often used by quilters.) Tastewise, these cakes are usually bold. Flavors range from red velvet to hazelnut to hummingbird (a variation of carrot cake, with a twist of pineapple).
What to know: You can ask for any design that piques your interest. A baker can create silhouettes of butterflies, birds, flowers, and more by hand or with pastry cutters.
What it is: A whimsical cake inspired by something sentimental―in this case, the embellishment on a wedding dress. (Here, the baker used sugar paste to mimic buttons on the bride’s gown.) Whereas modern cakes tend to feel structured, these are much less formulaic (note the flowing design and how each tier differs in height).
What to know: Because these cakes are highly personalized, you’ll need to work with the baker to develop a vision. Feel free to bring fabric swatches, a favorite quote, an inspiring photograph, or even a beloved childhood storybook
What it is: A laid-back, creative alternative to the typical three-tiered wedding cake. Here, an assortment of pies evokes a playful country mood and gives guests multiple flavor options.
What to know: Who’s doing the slicing, as cutting into pies can be tricky. If the guests cut their own slices, choose pies with thick fillings, like coconut custard, pecan, and pumpkin. Crust options include braided edges, lattice crusts with sugar, or a solid top with cutout motifs. Other casual ideas: a cupcake tower or an ice cream-sundae bar.
I always like to see a sweet twist on tradition which is why I fell in love with these dome-shaped cakes. I think they would be perfect for a French-themed shower or displaying a few on a table at the wedding itself. Precious!
* Photo Credit: Just Married Cakes
Summer vintage romance
Cute three tier white buttercream wedding cake, beautifully decorated with handmade sugar Calla Lillies.
* Photo Credit: If this is your photo please contact me and I will gladly credit you.
Unfrosted or “Naked” wedding cakes are becoming a trend and have a look about them that would fit perfectly with a rustic theme.
This beautiful apple flavored cake would be wonderful for a with it’s apple topper and details.
Planning a fall wedding? You’ll love this caramel apple wedding cake to top it off! It is always fun to incorporate favorite fall-isms into autumnal events (like caramel apples, apple pie, cider + donuts) and this caramel apple wedding cake is perfect! This cake seamlessly blends in all the spices of the season: caramel, apple, moist cake, chopped nuts, buttercream… YUM!
This cake is perfect as a wedding “sweetheart cake”, the term we like to use for a small cake made just for the bride & groom. This is a perfect alternative to still have the cake cutting ceremony if you’re having cupcakes, or another dessert in lieu of a traditional wedding cake. And, if you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen you can learn how to bake this cake yourself!
images via The Great Cake Company
Each cupcake is a work of art on this cake tower!
Classic Wedding Cake…simple yet elegant!
Photo credit: Cotton & Crumbs
Beautiful ~ isn’t it! Wedding cake from The Pastry Garden ~
Oh my goodness. Will you take a look at this cake?!? It’s so light and airy and pretty I feel like it’s screaming for a home at a very elegant wedding or shower, don’t you think? And, believe it or not, it’s made completely of crepes. Yes, crepes. Can you imagine how pleasantly surprised your guests would be when you served them up a slice? Heaven.
Chocolate Crepe Wedding Cake to die for!
Peony Wedding Cake