How To Make A Wedding Cake, The Easy Way

A few weeks back we celebrated my sister and her husbands’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. So that is a super big freaking deal. We had to celebrate big. I wanted to make a special cake. I decided to do a wedding cake.

I hadn’t made a wedding cake in many years. I didn’t even know if I could remember how to put everything together but strangely enough it all came back to me.

I ordered a cake topper from the glassblower at our attraction where I work. He does really amazing work. I ordered it weeks before the anniversary so I would have it in plenty of time. I told him what I wanted it to look like and he had it ready a few days before the celebration. I wanted 50 in gold with birds and bells. I think it turned out amazing.

My sister has always loved the basket weave design on cakes. Anytime that I make a cake for her I use this design. Although it is a little time consuming, especially for a three tier cake, it can actually hide a lot of flaws. HA!!

Several years ago I bought this floating cake stand. It is called that because you place each layer of a cake on a different level and because the stand is in the back it almost looks like it is floating. This way you don’t have to fool with the dowel rods and stacking the cake etc etc. Also this stand can be used for many different things. I have used it several times for desserts, cupcakes, finger foods. Lots of things.

I have had my stand for many many years. I can’t remember what I paid for it way back then but it wasn’t too bad. I just looked this one up on Amazon and it is $161.00. But as I said you can use it to serve so many other things.

I bought new Wilton pastry bags for the icing, mine were pretty much worn out. I already had several cake tips and I had the round pans. You do not have to use round pans you could use heart pans. Or even cupcakes.

So I made the cake a day before the Anniversary party. The first layer is quite large.

As you can see this is the largest pan that fits on the bottom of the stand. With all the cake batter it was so heavy.

I am going to give you a few tips about the cake. I use cake mix. It is the easiest thing in the world. For cakes like this I use the white cake mix, usually Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines. I am not ashamed of it because it makes the best cakes. I think I used about five or six boxes of cake mix for the three different sizes of cake pans. Never fill the pans more than half way full of batter. Another thing I do, when I take the cake out of the oven I put a paper towel over the top and use a small saucer or flat plate to press down the top of the cake. This makes it flat and smooth and easy to put the icing on.

I do however always make my frosting myself. You will never catch me using canned frosting. With the cake mixes you can always add an extra egg or oil if you feel like the cake needs to be a little more moist. But with the frosting in a can you pretty much have to use it just like it is. I will share my frosting recipe for you below.

Remember when I told you the cake pan with the batter was really heavy? Well I am also upper body challenged when it comes to muscles. As I started to flip the cake over onto the pan, that part turned out great, and I was just starting to think I was danged near perfect at this, I dropped the cake pan on top of the warm fresh cake and it knocked a piece out of the side. After much cursing, ranting, and pacing several times across the kitchen, the voice of reason which belongs to my husband called out from the living room and said I am sure you can repair it with some icing. Well it was either that or make another layer. About another hour of baking would have to be done. I decided I could fix it and I did. Sort of like a jig-saw puzzle lol.

This is my frosting recipe it can be used for cakes with a stiff consistency or made softer by adding more milk.

1 teaspoon Wilton Clear Vanilla Extract (Be sure to use the clear so your icing will be perfectly white)
2 tablespoons milk or water (you will need to add more depending on the consistency, I also use Half & Half)
1 cup of solid vegetable shortening (yep the kind in the can)
1 tablespoon of Meringue Powder, (I have been known to skip this if I don’t have it)
2 pounds of sifted confectioners’ sugar
Butter extract, this is optional but it adds such wonderful flavor to the icing. Sold right next to the vanilla extract.

Sift confectioners’ sugar and the meringue powder into a large mixing bowl, set aside. Cream shortening, flavorings and mild or water, I never use water, or the Half & Half. Gradually add sifted dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together. This is where you want to decide how stiff or creamy you want the icing. A good consistency is when you stick a spoon in and it is soft but the spoon will not topple over. You can always add extra Half & Half or whatever you are using or extra powdered sugar to get it to just the right consistency.

I always start out with a thin coat of icing to help set the icing on the cake. Remember you are going to cover this up with the weave design so it doesn’t have to be too neat at this point.
This is where I had to do my repair work. I put the piece back in and used the icing like a glue and put that side to the back and I don’t think anyone even noticed.
I loaded my pastry bag with icing and used the basket weave tip #1D.
I know these lines look a little messy but that is o.k. because you will be going back over them doing the weave design. You just take the bag and go across the top of the lines using a staggering or ladder type of design. You are weaving one row over the next. Once you get the hang of it it is really quite fun. The icing should not be too stiff when you use this design because it will cause your hand to cramp from holding it in one position for too long.
You can see the detail on the top cake. I pulled off for a minute to work on the middle layer because my hand needed a break from the pastry bag.
The finished cake. I decided to use chocolate covered strawberries to dress the cake up a little but you could use flowers or just leave it plain.

So if you are in need of a wedding cake or anniversary cake and you want to impress your friends and family, you too can make a wedding cake. Let me know how it goes.

And always remember

Love your day your way!!!!

The Dog Days of Summer

Hello friends and happy Friday? Wow, end of the week and end of July. I got up at 5:00 AM to do some work I brought home with me last night and to try and put together this post.

I missed my Wordless Wednesday post because I have just been too busy to put pictures or anything together. Do you ever feel that way? I hate to think I am just passing from work to home to work again but that is the way it is for me in July. July is almost over and I will be relieved because our work load slows somewhat. Although, I am curious to see if that will happen this year. It’s a strange year again and hard to know what will happen with travel, the economy, and so on and so on.

A lot of things have been going on the last couple of weeks other than work. We had the Anniversary party for my sister and her husband, I had a dermatology appointment. I had a suspicious mole on my back. My regular doctor wanted me to have it checked out so I did. It was nothing. Just a spot that can be caused by heredity, age, it seems like I am hearing that one more and more HA!!, and a couple of other things that are nothing really.

We had a four month check up for Mark at Vanderbilt on Tuesday he got a great report. The trip to Nashville and back in one day is exhausting. We had to deal with fog in the early morning and traffic and interstate road work on the way back. About nine hours on the road, roundtrip, with all the delays and traffic.

I think I mentioned a couple of posts back that our Molly girl is really starting to show her age. A week or so ago she would not eat, she would not go on our walks with us, she seemed to be out of it. We took her to the vet and the vet suspects a tumor on her liver because her liver enzymes were crazy weird. This is causing her some issues with not wanting to eat. She has lost about ten pounds in two or three months. We were sent home with a bag of meds. The vet also mentioned that we could do ex-rays to determine if there was a tumor and then refer us to a doctor who could do surgery. Our girl is 13 plus years old, that is what we know for sure, because she came to us as a stray we are really not sure of her exact age. I don’t think that we will bother with ex-rays because if she did have a tumor putting her to sleep to do the surgery would be very risky.

Our precious Molly.

We started her on the meds a little over a week ago and she is doing much better. Her appetite has increased although we still have to do a lot of coaxing, babying and pleading to get her to eat. She can only eat soft foods because of her lack of teeth. The vet told us to feed her high protein food, mainly cooked by me, because she is anemic. I didn’t want to tell her that I barely cook for us so this would definitely be a change. I told Mark the babies’ food has started to cost more than ours. Not to mention the prep time. Oh what we do for our babies. We also have a schedule for the meds and for her feedings so this has to be done at regular times to keep her tummy happy.

She has definitely shown improvement she is walking more and seems to be stronger. She has arthritis in her back legs so she has an awkward gait and a hard time squatting.

Molly has been going on the walks with us. She does walk a little slower but she’s determined.
I finally finished the afghan for my friends’ birthday. She loves red so I picked this yarn with a few different shades of red.
It has been really hot here with lots of rain. The sun and rain make lots of beautiful flowers. Look at these beautiful Crepe Myrtle. I love this color.
I am in love with sunflowers. Look at this field I pass on my way to work and back every day. They’re starting to dry up but I have enjoyed them for about two weeks. The picture on top is a pot of sunflowers I bought in town at a vegetable stand. I am going to plant them so I will have my own sunflowers next year..
Turkey crossing. I never know what I will find on my road.

Thank you for being with me even during these dry periods of my blogging. I will hopefully be back to a more consistent blogging schedule next week.

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!!!

And So It Goes

What a week, well actually the last two weeks have been a little crazy. My sister and her husband celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary last week and as our family always does, we had to have a celebration. After a lot of thought we decided that we would have this celebration at my house. Our family has not had a chance to get together as a group in about a year and a half. We were so excited. I had to plan for about twenty people.

Of course you know me and how my crazy perfectionistic tendencies take over. My husband wasn’t too happy when I informed him, with just two weeks notice, that we were going to have to paint the entire inside of the house, put down new hardwood floors, hang new kitchen cabinets, get new kitchen appliances, resow the bad spots in the grass and re-brick the entire house. He just looked at me like he always does when he thinks I’ve totally lost my mind. So we did do a lot of work both inside and outside of the house, but ahhhmmmm none of the afore mentioned things. That’s just dreaming I guess for a two week time period. I have always said you should have company every week. That way you would be sure to keep your house clean all the time. What always seems like such an undertaking always gets done and it is fine. Whenever I have a million things to do and I don’t think I will ever get done, I think of this quote by Nelson Mandela: It always seems impossible until it is done. I love this quote and whenever I think something is undoableI I always think of it.

After all the cooking and cleaning it all came together and it was such a fun time. We talked and laughed and ate and just had a great time enjoying each others company. I decided to make a wedding cake for the celebration. I wasn’t sure if I would remember how. I use a floating cake stand so that you don’t have to use dowel rods. This makes the cake look really impressive and it’s not quite as much trouble. It was three layers and I got up at 4:00 AM on Sunday morning to put the icing on the cake. My sister loves the basket weave design so that is what I did. This design takes a minute or two to do but the results are so worth it. I ordered a cake topper from our Glass Blower at work and he did an excellent job with it. I will have a full post on the wedding cake in a few days. They are really a lot of fun to put together and so satisfying when they are done.

I did get two chairs painted. My friend Lorie gave me these chairs for a birthday gift about two years ago. We were going to have a girls’ night painting and wine party but one thing led to another and we didn’t get to have our night. I wanted to have the chairs to use at the Anniversary celebration. I had been keeping them in the basement and I carried them to the garage the week before the party and painted them. I love the way they turned out. They go perfect with my deck.

There were two chairs just like this.
This is what they looked like after a couple of coats of black paint and two new cushions.
The cake topper. Isn’t it beautiful?
The Lovebirds. Wow fifty years. They were made for each other.
Just having fun and hanging out.

I just have to tell you this. I really pulled a boo boo on Sunday just before all of my family started to arrive. I ordered a couple of trays from the Walmart deli to supplement the food. We have a large family and we like to eat. I ran down to the Walmart on Sunday around noon to pick up the trays. I went in and got the trays and some other items I needed and took my cart, I am only saying cart for the readers who may not know what a buggy is, outside and unloaded everything into the trunk of the car. I got in and no sooner than I pulled out of the lot I realized I had forgotten ice. I decided to stop at a little market on my road home to pick it up. It was like within five minutes of Walmart. When I stopped to get the ice I reached over to get my wallet out of my purse and NO PURSE!!! I was thinking well I must have put it in the trunk with the other groceries. I ran around and opened the trunk and NO PURSE!!! Full blown panic hit me when I realized I had left my purse in the cart in the Walmart parking lot. I jumped in the car and tore off back to the Walmart. I careened into the parking lot on two wheels and got to the cart carousel thingy and there was my purse sitting in the cart just where I had left it. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I would at least have to go inside to customer service on the chance that someone may have turned it in. The good Lord was watching out for me that day. I quickly went through my purse and everything was there. I was weak with relief. I know how bad this outcome could have been.

What have you been up to?

Always remember,

Love your day your way!!!