As you may know if you follow me on Instagram, my mum and her lovely partner Mark, recently got married. The ceremony and party were over separate weekends, but both were filled with family, friends and all the things they both love. There was great music, emotional speeches, a beautiful homemade vibe and a lot of cake.
As soon Mum and Mark announced their engagement, I offered to make wedding cakes for both the ceremony and the party as a present, without ever having made cakes of this scale or importance before (the closest I’d come was a Mojito Cake for my lifelong friend Chloe’s Wedding Dessert Bake Off). After a long chat with my mum we agreed to lemon, fresh flowers, nothing fussy. For the wedding ceremony: one cake to feed 20 people; for the party: enough to feed 100.
Initially I was confident. I made a Pinterest board for ideas. I did some drawings, researched like crazy, wrote detailed plans and dreamed in cake. I tried different recipes for frosting and convinced myself that I could confidently make Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I put the party out of my mind, confident that at two weeks after the wedding ceremony I had ages.
I made the cake layers a week before the ceremony and froze them as soon as they were cooled – a tip I picked up from Smitten Kitchen that I can’t recommend enough to save your sanity. Then the day before the ceremony I packed my kitchen aid, a range of spatulas and a lot of icing sugar in the car and headed to my mum’s house for some serious decorating. It started badly – a gloriously hot day and a car with no air conditioning made for a pretty sticky drive. Then once I started to stack the cakes it went completely pear-shaped. The curd was slippery and oozing out from my buttercream dams on each layer and the layers were sliding, no matter how much I chilled. At one point I got so stressed I nearly cried. But then I took a deep breath, decided to ditch the plan and just go with my instincts.
Although it was only one tier I pushed straws into the cake to stabilise the layers. Instead of the planned naked cake, I covered the three layers of lemon maderia with lemon flavoured buttercream, tinted pink to match the bride’s dress. The flowers all came from my mum’s garden, including blush pink roses and strawberry flowers. I poured all of my love into that cake, and it didn’t matter that it wasn’t perfect. When the happy couple cut the cake and we all finally dug in I was too busy smiling and enjoying myself to worry about the inperfections.
Soon I’ll be sharing the experience of making three two-tiered cakes, including the recipe for all three flavours, for the wedding party. Let me know if you have any questions about the whole process and I’ll do my best to answer them.