Saturday, September 27, 2008

Julie and Noah's Wedding Cake, Part Three: Exhausted, and ECL's Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Well folks, the cakes are baked, filled, stacked and frosted. Each tier is sitting in its own cake box in my refrigerator, hopefully not taking on any weird odors or slowly going bad. (I cleaned out my refrigerator, I promise.)

julie and noah's wedding cake, in pieces

I looked yesterday at RLB's instructions for putting together one of these wedding cakes and she suggests baking the cakes no more than 1 day ahead of time.

!One day! Seriously? When do you make all the fillings and frostings and put the whole shebang together?

I guess my schedule for this wedding cake was pretty off; I baked the majority of the cakes on Monday and the rest yesterday (Thursday). I made the sour cream ganache and 5 batches of swiss meringue buttercream yesterday too. I really should have baked the cakes Thursday and filled and frosted Friday. I could have made the filling and frostings ahead of time on Monday. But oh well.

julie and noah's wedding cake, can't remember which layer this is

In my defense, I will say that I only hold office hours three days a week, one of which is Friday, and that I mistakenly didn't take today off and my whole day was booked. Good for my ability to feed myself and my cats, and to afford to buy all of these:

julie and noah's wedding cake: the possible decorations

I am decorating the cake with ribbon and flowers because I can't pipe icing to save my life. I figure, with the right amount of pretty things, no one will notice that the cake isn't bordered in dots or shells or what-have-yous.

I have no idea what the right amount will be, so I bought a lot. The bride informed me that her colors are a medium pink and a medium yellow, and if I had any foresight I would have asked for fabric swatches or at least more clarification on what she means by medium. I kept gravitating towards butter yellow, which really isn't a medium yellow, it is more of a pale yellow. But it looks like butter! That can't be bad, right? I hope she's happy with what I have chosen. Those dahlias are to die for.

inspiration for cake decorating from Black Sheep Bakery

I was up until three am last night making frosting, then frosting, then chilling, then boxing, then cleaning. This morning I felt like I had just come home from a birth. Tomorrow I have to get up and hit the road by 10 am. I am not a morning person, but I really want to give myself time to get to the wedding site (90 minutes away) and get the cake set up and touched up and decorated before the wedding begins at 3. Annmarie laughed when I told her how early I wanted to get there, but I reminded her of past cake events where I was 90 minutes late because I was finishing a cake that took longer than I expected. It always takes longer than I expected, so I am trying to give myself plenty of time.

By the way, that swiss meringue buttercream? I mistakenly used less than half of the sugar called for when I made the first double batch, and you know what? It was plenty sweet. I couldn't imagine what it would have tasted like if I used the correct amount!

Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Martha Stewart and Dorie Greenspan's version
(these ladies had pretty much the same recipe)
makes 4 cups
  • 4 egg whites, 120 grams
  • 1.25 cups of sugar, 250 grams (Martha) or 1 cup sugar, 200 grams (Dorie)
  • 3 sticks of butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Swiss Meringue Buttercream, ECL's version
makes 8 cups
  • 240 grams egg whites
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 6 sticks of butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Plenty sweet.

Just saying.

Off to bed; good night everybody!


  1. Well done! I think lots of cakes with fresh flowers are prettier than those with just fancy piping...the inspiration cake is very lovely. I hope you get everything put together without mishap!

  2. I am sure your cake will turn out beautiful. I love the cakes with fresh flowers or even the ones with fruit. Can't wait to see the finish product.

  3. Huzzah! It will be great -- I just know it. Can't wait to see pics of the cake all assembled!

  4. Good luck! I am here wishing a smooth assembly of the cake.

  5. Amanda, Laurie, Raiuchka, and Melinda, your cheerleading has helped keep me going when the clock would strike midnight and I would just want to go to bed, and forget all about the stupid cake. Thanks girls!