I have officially determined that paying a ton of money for a mediocre-tasting, beautifully decorated cake is ridiculous. I am going to make my own wedding cake. Others will help, too, but it could be a one-person job pretty easily.
Before you claim that I’m crazy, let me show, in evidence, the cakes that we (a mother-in-law-to-be, two friends and I; with no bakers or cake decorators in the bunch) made yesterday.
All of the cakes were gorgeous, and were almost ludicrously easy. I expect to be able to do it, but that we would have some major troubles or mistakes, but everything went smoothly, and all parts of the process were extremely forgiving.
The hard part will be making the decisions about what to actually do for the cake (# of tiers, colors, decoration style/method, cake flavors, etc…). Now I know that the actual decoration of that cake is achievable, no matter what I pick.
Before adding the fondant, we iced the cakes with buttercream and refrigerated them. The icing acts as a glue to keep the cake crumbs in place, and the fondant stuck on top.
This was expected to be the big problem step, but it was every easy. We made clear progress in our technique with just the four cakes. The white ones were done first, and the colored ones after. By the blue one, it was a smooth and even finish.
We used marshmallow fondant, which was both easy to make and cheap. And it tastes much better than any of the “proper” fondant I’ve had on wedding cakes.
There will be a lot of test cakes in my future. Next I want to experiment more with fondant thickness and flavorings, as well as testing some more color options. I like the monochromatic look with white; I’d also like to see if I like it as well with pale colors. We didn’t get a chance to test painting on the fondant with the gel colorants, and I’ll probably get that into the next test batch, too.
Obviously I’ll have to try tiers sometime, too, but I figure I’ll make more decoration decisions first since I have everything I need for that already.
I’m so excited about this. It totally de-mistified fancy cakes. And I spent about $5 a cake for these, even including the equipment purchases that will be used for all the rest of the cakes I’ll make in the future. I doubt that the cost of all of my test cakes, plus the cake gear, will come out to even half of the cost of a bakery wedding cake. Plus it’s a heck of a lot of fun!