It’s been a while since I began the saga of making a wedding cake for some good friends of ours. First, I told you all about selecting flavors and then we made cheesecake filling, pumpkin spice cake, and Baileys cream cheese frosting.
Now all that’s left is just assembling the cake! And believe it or not, while this step is a little scary, it’s actually not that hard. (We already did all the hard work when we frosted each layer!)
And when we are done, we will have a beautiful, delicious tiered wedding cake! At last!
I also just want to heap some praises on the wonderful wedding photographer, Lisa Rice of Lisa Rice Photography, who graciously sent me a few of the official cake photos after my camera battery died! If you are looking for a stupendous photographer, especially if you are based in Ohio, go take a look at her work!
Before Jake was born, several of my well-meaning friends told me to say goodbye to homemade cookies and from-scratch dinners. Wish my kitchen well and move on.
I both scoffed and worried about that advice. Was it really true that I wouldn’t be able to spend time cooking and baking the way I really like to?
While it’s certainly true that having a kid turned my world upside-down, I have discovered that we can do almost anything together if I am patient. Including baking!
Here’s the thing: baking/cooking together is not only a great way to build culinary confidence into a toddler, and a great way to make a fun activity out of something you were going to do anyway, but it also has a lot of developmental benefits for a little tyke! From early math (let’s count the eggs as we add them to the bowl!) to dumping in the ingredients into the bowl, baking is full of magical learning for little kids. (And guess what, folks!? Toddlers are super capable! I even let Jake help me make this wedding cake I’ve been going on and on about, and it turned out just grand.)
This Christmas season, during a time when family and togetherness are at the forefront of everyone’s minds, I thought I would share with you a few tips that may encourage you to spend time in the kitchen with even your littlest ones. Jake and I have been baking together since he was old enough to stand on his own—he can’t wait to help or watch with even the most mundane kitchen tasks, like making coffee! And it is my sincere hope that he will grow into a confident chef as we continue to cook together!
Woo-hoo, it’s time to frost a wedding cake!
You guys, this step is totally daunting. I’m not going to lie to you. The frosting is the part everyone sees! Everyone is going to judge your delicious wedding cake by its cover. So we had better make sure it’s a beautiful one!
What you see on this wedding cake is purely frosting. No fondant here! (I was very pleased that the bride asked me not to use fondant, because I think buttercreams and cream cheese frostings are way tastier than fondant…but I must admit that fondant is easier to smooth than frosting, so I had to bring my A-game.)
And let me tell you, this cream cheese frosting infused with a splash of Baileys Irish cream was divine!
So…it’s been a while since I started sharing the process of making a wedding cake with you. A lot has been going on around our house, and I will tell you all about it soon, hopefully amid oodles of Christmas recipes.
But for now, let’s get back to a very important job: making a wedding cake. It’s cake baking day!
Just to refresh your memory, we are smack dab in the middle of making a wedding cake: three tiers consisting of pumpkin cake filled with cheesecake and frosted with Baileys cream cheese frosting.
Baking the actual cake is obviously a big deal. But I found this to be the easiest and least stressful step!
The cake recipe I used was originally meant for cupcakes. Often, cupcake recipes don’t translate well into larger layer cakes, because they aren’t always leavened properly to rise well in different size pans. But this recipe, kept moist by the pumpkin even under long baking times, always came out perfectly!
This cake is probably the simplest from-scratch cake I’ve ever baked. It’s not fussy at all! There is no creaming, no sifting, and no alternating of wet and dry ingredients. It’s basically a dream cake…and I think we should take this recipe and turn it into a dream wedding cake!
So last time, I shared the inception of this wedding cake with you. To recap: the bride and groom requested a 3-tier cake, each tier consisting of pumpkin spice cake, a thin cheesecake filling, and Baileys cream cheese frosting on the outside.
It’s a tall order! Not only is a wedding cake a nerve-wracking, complex thing to take on, but I embraced the additional step of baking cheesecakes to fill the layers, rather than filling with a simple frosting or ganache.
Have you ever make a cheesecake-filled cake? It actually isn’t as hard as it sounds, but it does require extra time and a mountain of extra dishes. The cheesecakes are typically baked in advance and then frozen, which makes them firm enough to handle without crumbling or smushing during assembly.
I may have been somewhat MIA over the last several weeks, but I promise I have not been idle. I have been hard at work on a wedding cake for a good friend of ours!
When the idea first came around, it was almost a joke. You see, I have a frustrating tendency to volunteer for everything. And even to make up events so I can then volunteer to do everything. It’s a sickness.
So as the groom-to-be was teasing me for volunteering to make a dairy-free Sweet Sixteen cake several months ago, he suddenly asked, “Hey, do you want to bake our wedding cake?”
And months of planning later…here I am!
A few weeks ago, Sarah and I decided that the next logical step in our cooking adventures was making our own cheese. She promptly sent away for a cheese making kit and we geared up to eat some very fresh mozzarella!
Okay, before I lose you (geez, crazy lady always making things that are readily available in any grocery store…), let me just say that making cheese is a fun adventure, and it really is a lot easier than it sounds! If you’re really doubtful, you should try your hand at fresh ricotta first, because it is the simplest cheese of all. But if you are willing to be brave and have 30–45 minutes to spare, you won’t be sorry!