Well this month raced by and it is now time for the second part of how to design and ice your own wedding cake. The prerequisite for this blog is the previous blogs “icing-and-decorating-your-own-wedding-cake-part-one).” (http://www.ottawaweddingshow.com/2012/11/icing-and-decorating-your-own-wedding-cake-part-one).
Prior to arriving at my “perfect cake design”, I had spent months looking at cake magazines and bakeries to determine what type of cake design I wanted as my wedding cake. My wedding was a formal one featuring a traditional and conservative theme. The cake design that I chose complimented the entire event.
My wedding cake design had four layers and was square in shape. Each ascending layer was approximately 30% smaller than the previous layer resulting in a tower with a pyramid effect. Each layer was separated by four decorative pillars made out of white plastic and resembling Greek architecture. The first layer of pillars was approximately 6-8 inches in height as was the second, with the third and final layer of pillars being approximately half the height of each of the other two layers.
Something I learned is that the layers of cake not only rest on the aluminum cardboard cake board (the type you normally see birthday cakes iced on in the local bakery) but, they also rest on a cardboard aluminum board on top of the cake covered it in icing to support the pillars. The cake is secured using slender wooden dowels and then supported by the aluminum cardboard. The dowels are cut to the thickness of, or slightly lower to just even (or slightly lower) than the surface of the height of the cake layer. If the layers sit on each other, a longer dowel is often inserted through all layers to secure the entire cake. This type of cake can travel assembled to the reception. (Note that in the 21 years since my wedding some of these supplies are now available in plastic.)
Something I quickly learned was that wedding cakes with tiers that include pillars are never shipped assembled…you assemble the cake at the final destination…usually the reception hall.
On another note, if you plan to give away wrapped pieces of wedding cake as party favours, these pieces of cake are from a totally separate cake (or cake layer) specifically made to be used as the party favours. This way your beautiful wedding cake is not taken apart to make the party giveaways. Often the top layer is put away frozen (or not if it is truly a rum-soaked fruit cake) to use as the Christening cake for the firstborn baby the new couple may have.
When icing the cake, do not worry about the final look. It is important to get a thick layer of icing on the cake. Minimally there should be a 1/3 of an inch in thickness all over the cake. As mentioned in the previous post the apricot glaze should keep the crumbs to a minimum and allow for a smooth finish. Sometimes it helps to have a lazy-Susan or other such spinning plate to make the icing more even and easier. Don’t be afraid to use lots of icing as that will give a think consistency and make it easier to create designs (like ridges or waves) easier.
Many decorations are available for wedding cakes ranging from flower designs in fondant to actual edible silvery leaves and almost anything in between. If you choose to make your own flowers or icing decorations they should be made ahead of time and placed on wax paper and allowed to harden for a day or two. On some wedding cakes the decorations are all artificial (not edible) others are a combination of both.
Other popular designs include using fresh flowers, ribbons and jewels or beads. The type of icing and decorations you are using on your wedding cake will determine how far in advance of the wedding you can ice the cake. Obviously, if you are using real flowers you only have a few hours until the flowers begin to fade.
The following are some ideas for assembling and icing wedding cakes as well as a slide show of wedding cake designs.
Assembling a Wedding Cake
How to Decorate a 3 Tier Wedding Cake
BEAUTIFUL SLIDESHOW of Wedding Cakes photos! White Wedding Cakes!