Apr 27

How to Bake a Wedding Cake

How To Bake A Wedding Cake (courtesy of RealMeals.tv)

So, if you’ve got a wedding to go to this year and you just don’t want to do the registry thing again, why not bake the bride and groom a wedding cake? It’s not as impossible as you think!

So, we’re about ready to get started on our wedding cake! I’m standing here with Shannon Pridgen, who is the owner of Heavenly Crumbs Bakery, and she’s gonna make the icing and ice the cake for us, and, Shannon’s friend Shelly Everett is the owner of a catering company called Gourmet Angel, and she is gonna do us the honor of baking the cake!

We are making my aunt Estelle Betty’s Simply Lemon Cake.

1) We’re gonna sift 3 cups of all-purpose flour
2) Now, we’re gonna put in ¼ teaspoon of salt
3) 1 teaspoon of baking soda – okay, excellent!
4) And 1 teaspoon baking powder

Now, I’m just gonna sift it – just like she would.

What we have to do in our mixer here is put in 1 cup of unsalted butter, which is approximately 2 sticks – we’re going to just put it in.

You want to add 2 cups of sugar. Alright, so we’re gonna have to keep this going for about 5 minutes. And we’re gonna go ahead, and Deana’s going to lightly whisk 4 eggs for me. So now, we have our lightly whisked eggs, in which we are going to slowly start to incorporate into our butter and our sugar mixture. Gently do this!

It’s gonna be 1 ¼ cups buttermilk – we have to incorporate a little bit of the flour mixture that we put together earlier, and then a little bit of buttermilk, and then a little bit of flour, and then a little bit of buttermilk, until we have absorbed everything into our batter here. She was very specific about saying that we have to start with flour and end with flour.

1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice – put that right in!

And, we need 1 ½ teaspoons of lemon extract

Add ¼ teaspoon lemon zest

I’m gonna let this go for about 5 minutes. And I’m going to cheat, and I’m going to use pan coating spray! All you have to do is evenly distribute the batter into the baking pans now.

I’ve preheated the oven to 350° and slide them right in the center for 25 minutes or until done.

So, I have conveniently replaced Shelly with Shannon! Shannon is gonna make some butter cream icing.

I’m gonna take the butter, and I’m not really giving it a measurement (about 5 ounces). I left it out so it’s soft, and I’m going to whip that.

Now, I’ll slowly add confectioner’s sugar to this (about 1 cup). And, to give the flavoring, I’ll add vanilla (1 tsp). Now, icings sometimes get a bad rap because they’re sweet. What the vanilla will do is give me a little flavor, and the salt – what that does, is it cuts down on the sweetness. And, it actually enhances the vanilla.

Take your fingers (just a pinch) and add the salt – yea, just a pinch – that’s really all you need!

Now, to make your icing fluffy, – you don’t want it heavy – what we can do is just add a little milk (whole milk or cream) or cream. Cream is actually gonna give you a richer flavor, because cream has more fat.

Okay, we’re at the point where we’re making the filling. We made the icing. I separated some of the icing (about 1/3) – just enough to fill the cake. And, this is a passion fruit puree, and I’m gonna add about 1 tablespoon to the 1/3 portion of icing. Now, I’m gonna make sure that it’s fully incorporated. I’m looking at the texture – you don’t want to add too much!

Wow, they look great! So, I cut the cake in half, right? So, I have a nice, even 2 layers. Now, what I want to do also, is to even the top. To do that, I just go back and forth. You want to use a serrated knife, a bread knife, a knife with teeth. And now, I have a pretty, even top!

What you do need when you make a cake is a cake circle. This is to support your cake. You have to have something underneath, which is important – that has to be said. When you add frosting, filling, icing, my spatula is always on the icing and never on the cake. What I’ll do is, I’ll place my cake on top. Sometimes, I’ll invert it, because, what I want is the flattest side on the very top.

What I’ll do is I’ll get rid of the excess filling. I’m gonna put a lot of icing on this, and it’s gonna seem like a bit much, but always remember, your spatula must always touch the frosting. And why is that important – because when your spatula touches the cake it starts to make holes in the cake? No! You start to pick up crumbs.

Now I’m really using this turntable. I’m moving it around, because I want a nice, smooth icing. And what I’ll do is, I’m just gonna go across the top and holding the spatula straight. I’m trying to get those nice, perpendicular edges. I’m not really taking any off of the top (fill in holes with extra icing and smooth out as needed.) You gotta get the corners, all those uneven spots, so, what you do is you add a little extra. And then, I’ll come back and I’ll apply even pressure. You don’t want that extra icing sort of interfering with your perfect edge. And, what I’m doing is, I’m going across, and then I’ll pull away.

So from here, I’ll put this in the refrigerator and let the icing harden, and then, I’ll put the next tier on top of it – sounds good to me!

Apply icing to the smaller tier in the same way.

All your cake tiers need to be on a cardboard cake circle. I’m cutting off the remainder of the circle. And, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna place my straws were the cake is gonna be. And I use real straws, and they’re gonna support the cake. Instead of the cake resting on the other cake, it will rest on the straws. Notice how I frosted it first, because you need that straw to extend just where the frosting is.

Now we need to find the middle, so it looks just about there, so I’ll place it here, and I’ll use my spatula to adjust it.

I have my dowel. Make a point, because it needs to go into the cardboard. Yea, sharpen it, and I’ll estimate where the top goes – say a little below the top – and then, I’ll cut the dowel. Place this in the center. I’m going through the board. Something is going to cover that, right? A flower, a decoration, or whatever.

(Mixing food coloring into some icing) So, what I like to do is mix it on the table because it comes together very quickly. You must apply pressure, because you need to incorporate that color. I add a little more frosting. And, what I don’t like are flowers that are just one, single color. It’s kinda flat. So, I won’t mix it totally. I have a little of the white. And, what you can do – you’ll just add another color – so, I add a little red. And this will look beautiful with one flower.

Attach a number 5 tip to a piping bag with a coupler. I want a number 5 because I want a tip that’s not too big, something that’s elegant, but large enough to cover what I’m using. Fill the bag with white icing. The other key to this is…notice I’m doing this first, as opposed to the flowers. And now, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna go around and cover the cake cardboard with icing beads. I hide them and I pull, so, I add pressure and then pull. Squeeze, pull. Squeeze, pull.

Now, I’m going to a rose tip, which is called the 104 (empty the bag) the number is written on the side. I’m gonna lay the accent color on one side only. Just on one side – it’s called striping the bag. Then, fill the bag with the main color. So, what I’m doing now is I’m squeezing the air out. This is great because this is a clear bag, and you can see what’s going on. And, I add just what was in there – that’s my little base. And, I’m gonna squeeze in a circular fashion. Now I’m making my petals. It’s really about pressure, and it’s about positioning your bag. And so, what I’ll do is, I’ll put other flowers around. And again, you see the different variation in color – they look more like nature, as opposed to just a flat pink, or red or blue – you know. Of course, you’ve got the red on top, so the red is the one that really shows up on the edge.

So here we are! Shannon just made this beautiful wedding cake! Thank you, both of you – Shelly, Shannon – thanks so much! And, it’s about to go into the refrigerator because we can’t have that collapse, and this is one of the times I didn’t get to taste it, but I’m sure it’s delicious! Thank you so much!



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