Several years ago one of my dear friends was asked by a young teen, that we both know and love, if she would make her wedding cake when she gets married.
Without much thought of where life might take them...the answer was yes.
During a family Christmas celebration this year a certain beautiful young lady became engaged.
And you guessed it...She needed a special wedding cake.
The friend that promised a cake now lives on the west coast, and the bride-to-be on the east coast. Because there was a rumor that I have baked a cake or two...I was asked to bake the cakes in preparation for a cake decorating marathon scheduled at my home this past week.
In the meanwhile, my friend worked for hours and hours on the west coast making these beautiful sugar flowers! She shipped 31 of these beauties to me.
Frozen cakes are easier to work with so I started several days before the the big race.
(In hind sight...It may have been wise to begin a bit earlier!)
The bride has celiac disease so the top layer needed to be gluten free. This wasn't a concern for me.
I have lived several years gluten free and have baked quite a bit.
BUT...I never baked something that needed to hold it's shape for fondant.
The first batch tasted good but stuck to the pan and ripped.
I tried a boxed mix that tasted like cardboard.
My third batch looked great in the oven and then when I removed them craters formed in the center.
UGG...I became frustrated and decided to take a little break from the gluten free tier.
So, I moved on to the vanilla tiers.
Unfortunately, I had many out-takes with these tiers as well, but what a learning experience it has been!!
I learned that I should never try a new flour at a time like this....triple check your measuring spoons before adding baking powder, a heating core is needed when baking anything larger than a 10 inch round, and 14 inch rounds rip very easily.
Oh...and don't forget...if you bake too many in one day you cannot stack them in a small chest freezer without smashing some of them. BUT...clean Pizza boxes work great for safe stacking:)
The top shelf housed the (successful) gluten free top tier, the second shelf housed the second tier of the cake...
and the bottom...yep...those would be GLUTEN FREE AND VANILLA OPPS CAKES!!!
The chocolate tier went much better.
My first batch was an out take as well because I was talking to a precious 5 year old while adding ingredients. I was caught up in telling her that we cannot eat this cake but when she comes with her siblings to stay with me next week...we will make our own chocolate cake. Little did I know until it was in the oven that I forgot to double one of the ingredients and not only did my little friend have cake that night, but her family took the remainder of the 12 inch round home to devour later:) Silly Miss Joy!
The rest of the layers for that tier went super well and I even had batter left over to make cupcakes for some of our neighbors. My chest freezer in the garage was filled to capacity with pizza boxes housing all the 12 and 14 inch cakes!!
Wednesday night I picked up my friend and two of her beautiful children at the airport.
That night we made 9 batches of homemade fondant
The next morning we got organized.
My friend started making the branch while I made 10 batches of buttercream frosting.
We decided not to assemble the cake until we arrived at the reception hall, an hour from my home. So, we had to model the height of the cake to mold the skeleton for the chocolate branch. And then construct the bends horizontally so that it could be covered in chocolate clay and hardened.
(Can you see our personalities shining through in our wardrobe? My friend is an artist and works in pretty clothes...I am not...and work in comfy clothes with scary hair:)
I don't have photos of the next steps because we worked full out for 4 hours at the reception site to construct the layers, apply the branch and sugar flowers, and apply fondant rope between the tiers.
We made it in the nick of time!!!!
The finished product.
We love you sweet friends! May this be the beginning of a fabulous Godly marriage!!
And please don't say the C-A-K-E word around us for a little while:)
I think my friend and I have had our fill for quite some time!!