It’s a Piece of Cake…Maybe

Here at Manolo for the Brides, we are not shy of DIY. Our attitude is more or less ‘if you really think you can do it, why not do it?’ If you know how to sew, we see no reason you couldn’t consider making your own gown. If you can cook, we can absolutely see you doing self-catering. If you’re good at design, we think it’s a great idea to design and print your own invitations. We don’t often give instructions, but we encourage considering your own talents in creating your own wedding.

Me? I love to bake, and I’m really good at it. All the same, I never considered making a tiered wedding cake and decorating it myself. Why? Because while my cakes taste amazingly good, they are not ever pretty. I put the effort into the flavor. Decoration doesn’t come easy to me. I’m not good at prettying up my plates. If I competed on Top Chef, they’d throw me out for my sloppy plates about challenge two. I would never dream of giving you instructions on constructing and decorating a wedding cake…but there are plenty of sites out there with everything you need if you want to try making your own wedding cake.

Pastrywiz has instructions for making any number of sizes and styles of wedding cake, and even includes a handy guide to cutting the cake in the traditional way. A lot of the photos look like they stepped out of my mothers’ 1970’s Wilton Cake Decorating books, but the instructions look pretty solid and clear.

Not feeling certain that you’ve got the idea? Try this Epicurious video found on YouTube. It’s just one style of cake with one kind of decoration, but it’s clear, concise, and a complete visual of the basics you need to know before you decide to do this for yourself.

Once you’ve got the concepts down, you’ll want some inspiration for your design. You could do a lot worse than take a look at Wedding Channel.com’s gallery of cakes. Here you can search designs by tier shape, by color, by number of tiers, and there’s certain to be something to give you a better idea of what you really want to serve at your reception. You’ll need to register with the site to get to the pretty pictures, but it’s free and only takes a minute.

Whether or not you decide to bake and decorate your own wedding cake, checking out these sites should give you a better idea of what you want, what you don’t want, and even what the language is before you talk to a professional baker.

Oh, and don’t forget to save a slice for me!

4 Responses to “It’s a Piece of Cake…Maybe”

  1. Kristin December 21, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    I definitely like the idea of doing my own wedding cake. I have plenty of time to practice and an abiding love of baking, so I figure I’m in a good position to do it. Still, tutorials about freezing layers ahead of time, how long a fondant-covered cake can sit, and easy frosting techniques are nice, considering how busy things get right before a wedding (which is exactly the time the cake needs to be getting done). I like Peggy Weaver’s tutorials–you can find her by just searching “marshmallow fondant” on Google.

  2. Sarah G. December 21, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    I did my brother’s wedding cake, it was a small ( 60 or so guests) and very informal affair. I obsessed for weeks and the end result was scrumptious and gorgeous (Italian merangine buttercream studded with chocolates over an old fashioned 1-2-3 cake filled with alternating layers of chocolate ganache and raspberry buttercream). We had to hide the topper so the bride and groom could enjoy some cake later. I sent them another cake on their first anniversary.
    http://lifeatfullvolume.blogspot.com/2005/10/happy-anniversary.html

  3. Never teh Bride December 22, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    Oh, Wilton, how I love thee! I have to give a shout-out to the Wilton Guides in this post, because they include everything from a wedding cake calculator to help you figure out how much to make to baking time guides for each pan size to tips on stabilizing tall cakes to how-to guides for cutting different sizes of cake. Plus their online shop is none too shabby!

  4. Pencils December 23, 2009 at 11:41 am #

    My mom baked my and my sister’s wedding cakes. They were from a recipe in Martha Stewart’s first “Weddings” book, the one from the 80s–I had to look online to find a copy of it. It was a three-tiered cheesecake, the tops glazed in apricots, decorated with real roses (food-safe ones.) It tasted amazing, and looked beautiful. And because my mom made it, it was the most special wedding cake it could have been. We also had professionally baked wedding cupcakes, tiers and tiers of them, and a chocolate groom’s cake. We were not hurting for desserts.