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Published August 15th, 2012
Wedding Cake Bliss
By Susie Iventosch
Photo Susie Iventosch

Cakes are some of my very favorite things to bake, and over the years I have accumulated many wonderful recipes and baked cakes for many occasions. It was with this background in mind that I offered to make my good friend's daughter's wedding cake. "We can do this," I said to her.
What was I thinking? While it turned out to be really fun and rewarding, it was not without trepidation that I ventured forward. Looking back, I wonder what ever possessed me to make her only daughter's wedding cake, when I had never before attempted such a project!
But offer I did and the entire summer leading up to the wedding, my family ate cake. They savoured carrot cake. They tasted lemon cake. They devoured chocolate cake. They enjoyed coconut cake, and about 50 pounds of buttercream frosting and fondant, tossed in for good measure!
If and when you decide to make a wedding cake, you might visit Spun Sugar in Berkeley to pick up a few supplies. For a three-tiered cake like this one, you will need 12, 9 and 6-inch cake pans, cardboard rounds sized to match the two upper tiers, wooden dowels for support under the second and third tiers, pastry bags, piping tips and connectors, a foil paper covered cake base, and a cake spinner, which is essential for smooth even frosting and decorating. They also carry ready-made flowers, which I purchased for my cake, since I had no experience in making my own.
This buttercream frosting was the perfect color for my bride's cake, but you can also pick up food coloring and edible glitter for a little sparkle. I did use the glitter and not only does it add a fairytale touch, it distracts from little boo boos you will inevitably create along the way!
In this cake, we used double layers for each tier and each tier was a different flavor and filling. For the bottom tier, you will need almost a full cake recipe for each layer. For the middle tier one full recipe is perfect for both layers, and for the top tier you will use less than a full recipe, so have extra pans ready for the extra batter that doesn't fit into the two six-inch pans and the large 12-inch layers, too. From the extra we made a little double layer groom's cake and a single layer cake for the couple to share after the honeymoon!
In my cake, I used chocolate cake with raspberry filling for the bottom tier, coconut cake with chocolate filling in middle tier and lemon cake with lemon curd filling for the top tier. You can find these recipes below, or use your own favorite cake recipes.
Spun Sugar
1611 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA
(510) 843-9192

Cake Assembly
Place the bottom cake layer directly on the foil paper-covered cake base and spread filling over layer. Place second layer over filling and cover entire cake with a first coat of frosting. Refrigerate. Repeat process with each tier, but for the top two tiers, place them on a plate temporarily until you assemble the cake.
Now you will place the layers together and to do this you need to cut the wooden dowels so that you have about six pieces the exact height of the bottom tier (double layer with filling) and six pieces the exact height of the second tier. You can cut these with clean sterilized clippers or wire cutters.
Sink the dowels in a circular fashion in the center of the cake directly underneath where the second tier will be placed. They should be spread out so they will support the entire 9-inch layer above.
Place the 9-inch circle of cardboard over the dowels and place the second tier of cake on top of the cardboard. (I covered the cardboard circles with plastic wrap to prevent them from getting soggy.)
Repeat process with the top tier.
Now, place the entire cake on the cake spinner and frost the whole three-tiered cake with another batch of buttercream frosting (you will need at least six recipes of the buttercream frosting for this cake including the first and second coats of frosting plus decorations), covering any cardboard that may be showing. This time, it helps to have a person spinning the cake while you spread and smooth the frosting on the tops and sides of cake with long off-set spatula. Just keep spinning and holding the spatula in place while applying pressure until you are pleased with the way the frosting looks! Refrigerate cake before decorating.
Decorate cake as you desire with frosting and decorating tips, flowers (fresh flowers are pretty on top, too) and glitter ... and voila, you have your wedding cake!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
(This cake will need about six recipes of this frosting for the base coat, final coat and decorations for the three tiers.)
This classic frosting recipe worked perfectly for both frosting and decorating the cake.

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) softened to room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted (very important to sift the sugar)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (I used the Costco pink Himalayan salt and used four grinds of the salt)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk

Place butter in a large mixing bowl. Sift powdered sugar into a separate bowl. Using an electric beater or a mixer, beat butter until soft.
Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and using the slow speed on the mixer beat until sugar integrated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. The slow speed prevents the sugar from flying all over the kitchen!
Increase mixer speed to medium, and add salt, vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk. Beat for 2-3 minutes. Add the final cup of powdered sugar and beat until spreading consistency. If you need to add more milk or more sugar to arrived at desired consistency, do so just a little bit at a time.

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