Wedding Cake: Trial Run

Baking, Wedding

This December, my sister’s pinterest wedding dreams will become a reality when she marries her longtime love! It has been the talk of the family for months while we collected multiple soup cans, pasta jars, mason jars, and big enchilada sauce cans to spray paint gold, fill with flowers, and use as table center pieces. A large part of this wedding will be D.I.Y. ed to save on costs. My sister mastered calligraphy a couple of years ago, so she addressed the invitations. And finally, I, along with my mom, will be making the cake!! Yay? It sounded a lot better five months ago, but as the date gets closer and closer, I’m getting more nervous!

The cake my sister envisions is pretty basic. She loves the look of rosettes on the cake, despite how hard I tried to sell her on this beautiful polka dot design. My mom was a bit hesitant of the rosettes, thinking it was more complicated. But we watched a couple videos and surprised my sister with small rosettes on her birthday cake back in May. Since then, we have become more confident that this vision is pretty do-able. We collected the larger icing tips, icing bags, cardboard circles, and dowels. The dowels keep the cake tiers from collapsing into each other once you layer them on top of each other. You just need a few in each layer, even chopsticks will do in a pinch. The things you learn!

Anniversary Cake Buttercream Roses

photo via

After my dad’s instance (he had zero faith in the dowels), we decided it was time for a trial run. We used a basic pillsbury devil’s food cake mix which filled one 6 inch and one 8 inch cake pan. Side note, I was shocked that we had no vegetable oil in the house and had to sub with melted butter flavored shortening, and it was the best cake I have EVER made! Anyways, I wasn’t worried about baking the cake, it was the decorating that was making me pull my hair out.

We gave the cakes a crumb coat (a thin layer of frosting) and began to assemble.  We inserted three (chopstick) dowels in the bottom layer before adding on the top layer of cake. We made 2 tiers, both single layers. We didn’t bother to use a cardboard circle under the top layer, because as my mom said, the caterer is not taking this into the back to be cut and served. Fair enough.

We dyed a can of vanilla frosting “mint chip” using this amazing chart I found on pinterest! Both the cake and the separate bowl of frosting were refrigerated over night.

The next day, it was time to get to decorating! I filled most of the frosting in the piping bag and used a small open star tip for the rosettes. I know I know! I should have used the  Wilton 1M bigger star tip, especially since we had it, but as you will soon learn, I seldom listen to my instincts when baking. I kind of set myself up for disaster too by filling the bag with too much frosting. Despite being refrigerated overnight, it quickly softened the more I worked it in the bag.

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Peek-a-boo Meatloaf

By the time I got to the top of the cake, I got pretty sloppy. The frosting was real soft and even if I made the rosette shape, it quickly relaxed into a blob circle. Then, disaster struck when I ran out of frosting! I only had a can of chocolate and had to work with it. And here is the final product.


The final look and sample center pieces in the background.

I comfort myself by repeating the words “trial run” when I look at this picture.

I definitely learned a lot but we have yet to try to make our cake again! We have invested in a special Wilton decorating icing which should be stiffer and hopefully hold it’s shape better when we make the rosettes. At the actual wedding, there will be flowers on the cake which should mask any errors we might make! We will continue with the two tiers but will make two layers per tier.

I’ll keep you posted when we do another trial run in early December!

4 thoughts on “Wedding Cake: Trial Run

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