A May Wedding Cake

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Bottom tier: Triple-layer Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Filling and Roses

Top tier: Triple-layer Vanilla White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Filling and Frosting

May seems like a terrific month for celebrations… weddings, graduations, birthdays, retirement, etc.  All those special moments in our lives that acknowledge change and a new start to the next grand adventure are often marked with a special cake.

Today I present you with my first-ever wedding cake.  Seriously, in the 3+ years I’ve been baking cake as a way to challenge myself, I’ve not been asked to bake a wedding cake.  Unless of course you count our youngest son asking us to bake his wedding cake – I said, “No”, considering we needed to travel 5200 miles to get to the celebration.

Consequently, I’d never made a wedding cake, because why would I do that?

And then, my new Homer Laughlin Fiesta Dinnerware Foundry 12″ Serving Tray landed in my  hands…. all I could think, “This needs a wedding cake.”  Did I really just think that?  #makeitstop

My best guess … the wonderful roughness of the Foundry bakeware and it’s echoing edginess that is cast iron cookware just begged for something fancy. And delicate. And not edgy.

The bottom tier went together like most every other Chocolate Layer Cake I’ve baked.


Parchment paper to line the bottom of the cake round has always been a win for me. The sponge doesn’t break apart and I don’t worry about it.


I couldn’t decide between a white cake (almond or almond/vanilla) or a white chocolate cake for the top tier.  I decided to try a new white cake recipe.

The recipe is delicious!  And I should have baked a test cake first!  I am still learning some lessons the hard way.

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The cake rounds developed quite nicely.  With the remaining batter, I decided to bake up a few cupcakes.

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Well.  That didn’t go as planned.  The ingredients weren’t fully integrated and some sugar concentrated at the bottom of the bowl – which became the tops of the cupcakes. Plus there was over-filling of each liner.  Results: unfortunate explosions.  I love science, except in the middle of a cupcake fail.

Time to build the cake.

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As written about in other posts, I prefer to gently scrape away the baked, brown top of the cake round.  This eliminates the thin brown line between the white sponge and white buttercream.

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In the middle of the build, I took a few snapshots of this top tier.  I smoothed out the buttercream for the final look on the wedding cake.

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While the top was back in the fridge, I went to work on the bottom tier.

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Before piping on the final ring of roses, I wanted to get the top tier in place.  It’s hard enough working with two cakes – but it’s difficult for me to be careful of the finished edges of the roses that rise a bit above the surface.

The three dowels support the top; the cardboard cake round the top tier sits on helps distribute the load of the three layers and prevents sinking.  Science. And math!

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Once the tiers were together, I began to very gingerly add sprigs of fresh flowers.

To create the image I had in my mind… I needed to photograph this cake outside.  We don’t have a garden, but there is a lovely park/green space just across the street.  It has a stone wall and overlooks the river; what a beautiful gem.

Before setting off, I worked on arranging the items I planned to use in the photo shoot.


Do you hate it when the cat condo photo bombs the practice look?


I adore these cupcakes with a Vanilla Buttercream Rose and Black M&Ms. Yum!

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Close enough.  Pack this up and head across the road.  I’m so grateful for my life partner husband who did all the heavy lifting and worked with me in keeping things level on an 800 year old stone wall.  Literally.

I love this look.  The Foundry Cake Plate looks at home with a wedding cake.. on a white table cloth …on a stone wall …over looking a river.

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The bouquet of flowers was designed my Die Blumenfrau, Heidelberg Germany. Her shop is just a few blocks from home.

Let’s see how this worked out.

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And the finished look…

I adore these Fiesta Dinnerware mugs but I don’t think they’re just for newlyweds!  Of course they make an outstanding shower, wedding, or anniversary gift.

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For me and our people, love is love and there’s room for everybody.  Here’s to all the marriages and families and hope and bright futures.

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When setting up a photo shoot along the river, expect river traffic…plenty of it!

There was a barge that looked like it was carrying sand.  The skipper/pilot waved enthusiastically at us.

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This pleasure craft was moving fast and the wake made a mighty splash against the wall.

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This river cruise party boat was right behind the personal craft… I love the guy taking a picture of us taking a picture of the cake (and him, too).

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Finally, a working tug was pushing something downstream.

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Since this little garden is set between the Alte Brucke (Old Bridge) and the lock/dam… person-powered water craft are prohibited from passing under the arches.  Unfortunately, this prevented the rowing crews and peddle boats from passing by.

Photographs of this wedding cake shoot.

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The Foundry 12″ Serving Tray is resting upon an upended Foundry Chili Bowl. I love the look.

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And a look inside.


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“I didn’t take a look inside the top tier.”  Slice it, take a bite, and get a photo by the kitchen window.

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And that’s it.  A wedding cake in the month of May.  It was a good first effort and I did the best I could.  Which, is all any of us can ask of someone else or ourselves.

One of my favorite take-away messages in recovery is “…it’s the journey, not the destination.”  That’s what I get to live and that’s how I design in the kitchen.  And certainly, that’s what is celebrated at weddings… graduations… birthdays… and retirements.

I’m grateful for my life partner husband and all the ways that we partner.

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I’m grateful for our people and their open hearts.

I’m crazy grateful for sobriety and the messages I get to carry every day.

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2 Responses

  1. carol says:

    Another simply delightful cake from you. i especially love your description of the photoshoot. Beautiful spot. Keep it up

  1. May 29, 2016

    […] baking a scrumptious vanilla sponge for the top of the wedding cake (blogged here) but not quite getting the texture right…I decided to tackle it again.  I followed this new […]

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