A couple months ago a friend of mine asked if I could make her wedding cake. To say that I thought it would be easy would’ve been a huge understatement. To understand the depth of the challenge I asked her send me some pictures of what she was envisioning. Thankfully it was only 2 tiered and not a 5 layer over the top I can’t touch the top kind of cake. I was still extremely nervous accepting the ask, as I had only ever made 1 layer cake in my lifetime which was an Easter Egg Chocolate Cake that I had baked earlier this year. In the end, I decided to say yes and knew that I had to do a test run before the day of the wedding. After the initial test run I realized it took a lot longer for me to make the cake than I was expecting. A couple reasons being:
- BAKING MULTIPLE LAYERS: I had to bake 4 layers for the 2 tiers which equates to x2 baking time since my oven only fits 2 layers at once. I worked around this by baking 2 layers first in the morning so by the time I was home from work I could already start frosting the 1st tier while I baked my other 2 cake layers.
- COOLING THE CAKE: Before you can frost the cake you have to make sure they’re completely cooled or else the frosting will melt! Do’h!
- ICING THE CAKE: When icing a cake you have to do multiple layers to help hide the crumbs from the cake and smooth it out perfectly. I did 3 layers with the 1st one being the crumb coating. Also in between each coating, you have to wait 15 – 20 minutes to let it cool and set in the refrigerator.
I wasn’t completely satisfied with the test run cake, so I decided to do some research online to figure out the easiest and best way to frost a cake. I also altered the cake recipe that I found online by decreasing the sugar and eliminating the almond extract. While the frosting recipe that I found online I kept the same, but upped the vanilla extract. From my research I discovered a couple of baking tools that I purchased online that really helped crafting the final cake:
- REVOLVING CAKE STAND: helps easily turn the cake in one movement while you’re piping or smoothing out the frosting.
- ICING SMOOTHER: has a wider surface and gives a cleaner smooth motion while you’re icing. It’s specifically designed for smoothing the final layers.
- ICING SPATULA: for me was a smaller version of the icing smoother and helped with smoothing out the top of the cake and the corners of the cake.
- CAKE ICER TIP: helps produce a smooth layer for the final 2nd or 3rd coating of the cake.
In the end, after about 5 to 6 hours and almost 5 cups of butter later, the cake turned out just fine! :) However the state of my kitchen was another story!! :D
Recipe (1 2-tiered cake – bottom layer about 9″)
Vanilla Cake Layers = 2 layers = 1 tier
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 tablepsoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting = 2 layers = 1 tier
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract, clear so that frosting is more white
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons of whole milk
PREHEAT: oven to 350.
COMBINE: together flour, baking powder, and salt.
CREAM: together butter and sugar on medium speed for 5 minutes until it is soft and light. Add in vanilla extract and mix until combined.
WHISK: together milk and egg whites until combined. Tip is to pour the milk into a measuring beaker first and then add all the eggs whites in and mix!
CREAM: together together dry and wet ingredients on low by starting with the flour mixture and alternating with the whole milk mixture. 4 separate additions for flour mixture and 3 for the whole milk. Make sure to scrap down the bowl with each addition. Grease your cake pans and pour mixture into the pans and smooth out the tops.
BAKE: for 28 – 35 minutes and let the cake cool in the pans before frosting with the vanilla buttercream.
VANILLA BUTTER CREAM: cream butter in a bowl for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and light in colour. Slowly add in icing sugar into mixture, 1/2 cup at a time and mix for about 10 seconds. Make sure to scrape down your bowl after every addition. Add in clear vanilla extract and some salt and cream together until combined. Lastly add in whole milk until the consistency is to your liking.
ASSEMBLE CAKE: by first placing the bottom cake layer onto the revolving cake stand. Spread a large portion of butter cream frosting evenly and smoothly across the cake layer. Place the second layer of cake on top of the first and repeat the process on the top of the cake until it is frosted. Thinly coat the sides of the cake with icing to seal the whole cake as smoothly as you can. This is just the crumb coating so it doesn’t have to be perfect! Refrigerate the cake for 20 minutes until the icing is firm to help set the crumb coat. Then apply the 2nd coat by starting with the sides and finishing with the top. This is where I used the icing smooth, spatula, and cake icer tip to help with the frosting process. Place this again back into the fridge and repeat steps again for the final coat. After this is done, all you have to do is repeat the steps for the top tier layer!
WEDDING CAKE TOPPINGS: this is an easy way to spruce up and personalize the cake. I ended up making more frosting and piping the bottom layer with some shells. The bride also made the Mr & Mrs sign as a topper for the cake, while I made sure to get some of the wedding flowers to decorate on each layer.