For the Love of Cake

60 years is a long time, isn’t it? I mean, seriously, that’s a long long time. I’m not even halfway there! Well, my husband’s grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary earlier this month and we had a big party to celebrate! All the family from out of town came to visit and we made table decorations and put together a little video of us all saying how much they inspire us with their commitment. It was a great weekend of celebration! One of my jobs was making the cake. I am not typically called upon for this duty as my sister-in-law actually went to culinary school and makes awesome cakes for family events, but she wasn’t arriving until the night before the party so I got the job. Of course, I didn’t mind as I’ve always dreamed of making it onto Ace of Cakes or Cake Boss or Cupcake Wars and being a super awesome cake decorator. Anyway, my job was to try and replicate the couple’s original wedding cake. 122 (16)This was the picture I was to make my designs from; awesome picture but when you have a white cake in front of a white dress in a black and white photo, it makes things a little difficult. I was told that it was a simple white cake with magnolia leaves around it, and that was about it. So my decorating doors were wide open it seemed. We borrowed some cake pans and decorating books from a lady at church and I got to practicing. Instead of making the cake from scratch, I found a tip on Pinterest for doctoring a cake mix that I ended up altering slightly:

  • 1 Pillsbury White Cake Mix (moist, pudding in the mix)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

We needed a cake that would feed a lot of people, and my mother-in-law wanted the size to be comparable to the original, so we decided to make a three tiered cake with 12″, 10″ and 8″ cakes. I used 2″ sided pans that I coated with Crisco and dusted with flour and made each tier out of 2 layers of cake. Talk about a lot of cake. Since I don’t do this very often, I wanted to practice and so I made a “practice practice” cake.  IMG_2398[1] I just made an 8″ 2-layer cake and practiced my frosting skills. After that, I decided I needed to practice with the size that I would ultimately be decorating in the end. So then I made a “practice cake.”

IMG_2452[1]Here you have my mammoth cake. This is what happens when you doctor a cake mix (meaning there is more batter than usual) and you disregard what Wilton tells you regarding the amount of cake batter needed for this size pan, and you look at forums that tell you to use two cake mixes. Yeeaaahhhh… Fortunately the cake didn’t overflow all over the oven floor as this was as big as it got. But I learned my lesson! LISTEN TO WILTON! IMG_2463[1]Once I made one layer of each of the sizes, I frosted and decorated as if I would the final cake. I have to say, although a lot of people liked it (we took it to church for people to eat as we had already eaten the last cake and didn’t need more!), I felt that this version was gaudy. There were too many swirls and such. Sure, I got the shell/swirl thing down pretty good but I didn’t like it. We needed a more simple design. Thankfully, I had time to figure that out before the party.

The day before the party, I spent 3 1/2 hours baking cakes. I used 6 cake mixes, 6 sticks of butter, 6 cups milks, 24 eggs, and 6 tsps vanilla. I have never baked such a masterpiece before; however I am glad it only took 6 boxes of mix rather than my predicted 9 boxes! As they cooled, I made frosting. (NOTE: I will not be sharing the frosting recipe as it is a secret family recipe that my sister-in-law created. Sorry!) Never in my life did I think that I would go through a 48oz can of Cricso; I felt as if my arteries were clogging up just thinking about it! Later that night I assembled and frosted the tiers.

The next day, we headed up to the party location to set everything up. My main job: get that cake ready. When we arrived, nearly all of the family was there and running everywhere trying to help with decorating. I was told that I could work in the kitchen or out on the cake table; I chose the cake table because I did NOT want to move that cake after I finished it. However, with my choice came some nerves. You mean I have to decorate this cake with everyone watching me?! I…I do this in the comfort of my own home, after the babe goes to bed, when everyone else is in the other room watching tv, and I put my favorite music on…..I can’t do this in front of everyone! Yeah, well I had to get over my fear and just frost the stinkin’ cake. It wasn’t so bad after all and I was done before too long. The result? Voila! My first ever wedding cake!


I was pretty proud of myself! I definitely need to practice smoothing the sides without scraping all the frosting off but I think I did pretty good.

20140614_152101We decided that a simpler design would work best and I really loved the outcome! Lots and lots of dots. That’s it. Sigh. I did it. And I had a lot of fun too! Oh oh! I forgot to tell you: we put raspberry filling inbetween the layers too! It was so very good! It tasted like the raspberry filling you get inside a doughnut. YUM!

Have you ever tried your hand at a wedding cake? We would love to hear your story below! Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a super spring weekend!