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Cake Ambition

OK, so I mentioned a few posts back that I attempted cake number two last weekend! I'm telling you, I can whip me up some butter cream frosting in no time flat these days!

My old friend Andy, who is an amazing designer, has been baking cakes (unbeknownst to moi) for a while now. He's incredible at it! In all honesty, anything Andy does in regards to design is going to be pretty damn cool. Here's one of his cakes:


Strawberry cake with Italian Meringue Butter Cream and gum paste Gerber daisies. Photo courtesy AW!

He saw my foray into the world of baking and had some great tips to share. Some sound a little ambitious for The The Thirty-Something Bride, but they all sound amazing!


A few of those tips:

  • Use cake flour instead of regular flour.
  • Try an Italian Meringue Butter Cream versus regular Butter Cream.
  • Use oils versus extracts for flavor.

I followed one of those tips and switched over to cake flour. Cake flour is a lot finer than all-purpose flour and can give the cake a better texture.


I also tried another recipe this time, one that called for egg-whites to be beaten and folded into the batter. I thought this sounded like a good idea, so chose to go with that recipe. Other than the egg-whites, the recipe was virtually the same.


Check out those "stiff peaks" baby!

I watched this cake like a hawk while it cooked and I am now certain (was unsure before) that my oven does not cook evenly. One layer was done about 3 minutes before the other. I checked once every minute (after about 30) to determine it's doneness factor. It was a pain in the booty, but that thing was cooked perfectly! See:


Once the cakes had cooled, I frosted them with a crumb layer. I did this last time too. It's a first layer of icing that goes on to "catch" all the crumbs from the cake. Once you get a thin layer of icing on it, you chill it for about an hour or so. Here's my crumb layer:


Yes, we drink cheap Diet Twist Up from Wal-Mart. Damn Wedding Budget won't even let me get my Sprite Zero on.



Oh, before the crumb layer, I did mix up the center part a little bit. I had read somewhere over on Martha's site that you could use any number of custards, creams, jams and preserves in the middle layer. So, I piped an edge around the outside of the bottom layer to keep to gooey center filing from spilling out the sides. I just happen to have a jar of The Loveless Cafe Strawberry Preserves that I scooped into the center of the cake. I was nervous about how this would taste, so didn't use a lot. I definitely should have used more!


After the crumb layer, I gave it another layer of frosting. I made the same frosting as last time, but on this go-around, I sifted the powdered sugar. I do believe it gave it a nicer texture. Andy had suggested I use warm water on my icing spatula to get a smoother texture, but that just isn't a skill I've mastered yet. I went for swoopy icing instead. You know, swoopy:

Here's my attempt at piping along the base of the cake. I was getting kind of tired of the cake at this point, so was getting sloppy.

So I have to say that this cake tasted pretty good in regards to texture. It was light, it wasn't dry and it was cooked perfectly. However, this cake wasn't as flavorful as the first and I think it's the egg whites. Perhaps because the egg whites lightened up the batter, it also lightened (or diluted?) the flavor. I think this is where I needed to follow more of Andy's advice and use some essential cooking oils versus extracts. At any rate, it was still yummy!

I am still thinking that I might be biting of more than I can chew here and it's making me nervous. I think it might also be making my MOH nervous that she might be helping me bake upon arrival in Nashville! :)

I haven't given up the notion of baking my own, but The Candyman and I do have an appointment weekend after this one with Sweet 16th, A Bakery just in case! Their most expensive cake ($45) is the Red Velvet Elvis Cake: two layers of red velvet cake plus one layer of chocolate cake with peanut butter cream between the layers enrobed in white cream cheese frosting. Is there anyway that cake could suck? I think not.




Reader Comments (3)

Your MOH is happy to bake! As long as we can drink a little bit while doing said baking. Your MOH is not so nervous about baking. In fact, your MOH has been spending a lot more time in the kitchen these days.

Your MOH is, however, a little nervous about the possibility of trying to soothe a very stressed out thirtysomething-bride.

May 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGood Enough Woman

You'll get there Louise! Don't give up. And thanks for the mad props in your blog. Today my assistant brought in a number of her wedding cake books and I am currently going through them to send you a few recipes and tips. Stay tuned!

May 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

That cake looks tasty!
http://www.relentlessbride.com/" REL="nofollow">RelentlessBride

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmyJean

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