Thursday, August 27, 2015

Project Wedding Cake 2015: Planning

I mentioned last post that my next big project is a wedding cake for some good friends in Oakland. Because of the distance between Oakland and LA, I am not making the entire cake at home and driving it to the wedding (like I did last time). That means I have a LOT of pre-planning to do, if I want to make this happen. So here is my plan:

  1. Bake the cakes a few weeks in advance at home, triple wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the freezer. (I always bake big cakes at least a week in advance, and typically 3 weeks out, and freeze the layers, because they are SO much easier to work with when they are frozen!)
  2. Fly to Oakland with the frozen cake layers. I still haven't decided if they will be my carry-on (which I prefer) or if I should put them in a suitcase and check them... I get really nervous when I think about the cakes getting tossed around with the luggage, but I am a little more nervous that TSA won't allow me to carry on frozen cakes... I have carried on baked goods plenty of times, but never a large quantity of cake, and never frozen. I'll need to do a little more TSA research...
  3. Day before the wedding, make the frosting and filling and assemble the cake - I can do this at my friend's apartment where we're staying, or I can do this at the bride and groom's house. I want to be as out of the way as possible, but I also don't want to have to transport the cake after it's assembled. I may take the approach that I did for Heather's wedding, and make all of the tiers separately ready to go, then transport them to the bride and groom's house to stack them and store them in the fridge. I just hope their fridge is big enough!
  4. Day of the wedding, the caterer will transport the cake from the bride and groom's house to the reception venue down the street. No stress for me!!
So aside from the whole flying with frozen cake issue, I think the plan is pretty solid. I will bake the cakes this weekend. The bride and groom requested a three-tiered square cake to feed approximately 120 people. They want the top and bottom layers to be vanilla, and the middle layer to be chocolate. The chocolate layer should have fruit filling, and the vanilla layers should have buttercream filling. The entire cake will be frosted in white buttercream, and decorated with flowers from their florist. I haven't decided what kind of fruit filling I'll make yet, but I'm leaning toward raspberry, as that is usually a crowd pleaser!

I am going to bake the chocolate and vanilla cakes this weekend. Check out the ingredients I'll need for one 14" and one 6" square vanilla cake, and one 10" chocolate cake (each cake will have 3 layers):

  • 17 cups of flour
  • 12.5 cups of sugar
  • 6.5 tbsp baking powder
  • 12.5 sticks butter
  • 7.5 cups buttermilk
  • 29 eggs
  • 8.75 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 cups coffee
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
As always, the wedding cake recipe I use comes from the amazing cake book Sky High. I use both the chocolate and vanilla cake recipes for every big cake project that I've done, including the gluten-free wedding cake! They always turn out spectacularly.

I think I will go to Smart and Final to get bulk flour, sugar, buttermilk and eggs!! I'll post again once I've finished the baking, and all cakes are wrapped and in the freezer. Here we go!

Friday, August 21, 2015

2015 Update and New Projects!

Hi Blog World,
It's halfway through 2015! Where does time go? Over the past two years there have been lots of changes: I moved to LA, I started running and completed 7 half marathons so far, and have tried to live a healthier lifestyle, which means FAR less baking... But I'm still baking for special occasions, or by request :)

Here are some recent baking projects that I've done:

Minion Cake for my nephew's 2nd birthday!
Harry - the newest minion?

Happy 2nd Birthday Harry!

Bridal Shower Cookies and Cupcakes for my dear friend's bridal shower! The theme was 'girly' so I went with pink, white and gold, and used lace as my inspiration.
Lace/doily hearts
More doilies
Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Roses

The sweet spread
Zoo Baby Shower Cupcakes for my best friend's baby shower!
Lions and Tigers and Panda Bears, Oh My! (and Zebras!)





The whole display!
Pies! My mom and I took a pie making class from the wonderful Kate McDermott ( and I've been practicing my skills!

Apricot Pie fresh from the oven

Mom and I with our finished pies!
Mom and I with the Amazing Kate!!

Triple Berry pie! (not enough egg wash...but still tasty)

Peach pie ready for the oven!

I have a couple more big projects in the coming month, which I'll be sure to document here. One bachelorette party, and a WEDDING CAKE! The special challenge with the wedding cake is that the wedding is in Oakland...and I live in there will be lots of travel/logistics involved. Stay tuned!!

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