Posts Tagged 'wedding cake'

Pipe Dream #63: To Not Have To Try Try Again – Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

So I made this cake once. I’m sure I told you about it. When I bake, I usually bake new things. This means that approximately 80 percent of the time I’m not sure if what I’m baking will actually turn out. Despite my enviably calm demeanor and seemingly careless measuring of ingredients, you can be sure that I am crossing my fingers on the inside. Figuratively, that is. Haha, I edit my own writing, and I am definitely not editing out that last idea. Anyway, this cake was especially nerve-wracking because not only had I never made it before, but it was for a wedding. So it was like, plan plan plan to make the cake, drive four hours, make the cake that night, stay up til midnight finishing it, be a bridesmaid the next day. If it hadn’t turned out on the first try, I would’ve been sunk.

Luckily, I didn’t fail and the cake turned out great. It is actually the vanilla version of this chocolate cake, which was a total and massive success. The vanilla version was also a success. It was better than the cupcakes I made for the same wedding. And who can say, maybe it would have been better if I had failed this cake. They say you learn lessons from your mistakes. ‘If at first you don’t succeed’ and all that. But whatever, I prefer to do it right the first time.

P.S. I only have one process shot for this cake. I hope you can figure it out. I was a wickle bit busy.

I’ll say it again, poor photo, wonderful flavor. Have fun!

No regrets,


Vanilla Buttermilk Cake
Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes

Makes one three-layer 9-inch round cake

3 3/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 1/3 cup buttermilk
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

Combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and 1 1/4 cup of the buttermilk. Mix on low speed briefly to blend; then raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and the remaining 1/3 cup buttermilk until well blended. Pour one-third of the egg mixture into the cake batter at a time, folding it in completely after each addition. There will be 9 cups of batter; our 3 cups batter into each pan.

Bake for 26 to 28 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Turn the layers out onto wire racks by placing a rack on top of a pan, inverting it, and lifting off the pan. Peel off the paper liners and let cool completely. When the layers have cooled, place a cardboard cake board on top of a layer, invert again, and lift off the rack. To make the layers easier to handle, wrap them on their boards completely in plastic, so they don’t dry out, and refrigerate them.

How To Tier A Cake

In our previous tutorial, I demonstrated how to layer a cake. I figured I’d give you a couple weeks to sort that all out. So now you should be pros at layering, yes? Excellent. Let’s begin.

Step One: We’ll start where we left off with icing your cake. Please do that. It looks pretty.

Step Two: When you have your cake iced how you want it, stick some sticks in it. They’re technically called dowel rods, I think. Break or cut them off so they are perfectly level with the top of the icing of your tier. Then, stick them in to the cake, making sure to keep them within the bounds of the next tier so they don’t show. You can use three or four, but five is way out (name that movie). I used three because I went to jr. high shop class and learned that a triangle is the sturdiest shape. Holler.

Step Three: Being very careful not to mess up your frosting, center the second tier over the first and let it rest. To hide the cardboard layer, you can wrap a ribbon around the cake or place flowers artistically or just pipe dots or swirls.

Voila! A tiered cake. It sounds simple because it is. Have fun!


Pipe Dream #55: To Be Brave Like Amber

I was privileged to be a part of my dear friend’s wedding in July. We’ve been friends since we were real small, perhaps even in the womb. Womb-friends we are.

I made vanilla cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream. I was tempted to fill them with raspberry curd, but between doing the rest of the cake and being a bridesmaid, I found that my time was short. It’s ok though; the cake was filled with raspberry curd, and the cake is the important part. Seriously, one of the best vanilla cakes I have ever made.

She married the boy from across the street, so I guess it was only appropriate that the girl down the street should do the cake. It was a regular neighborhood wedding.

Seen here is the bride and her fabulous cousin having the time of their lives, obviously.

I also have to say, Amber is one of the bravest people I know. She is in the Army, which is enough by itself, and now she gets to move to Germany. That’s a foreign country! Where the people don’t speak English! I would be scared a little. Maybe just for a little while. She is not scared, and it is admirable.

All in all, a very fun day filled with lots of memories. Best of luck and Auf Wiedersehen, my dearest Amber.


P.S. I apologize for the poor photo quality. I could make excuses, but who wants to spend their time listening to my excuses?

Pipe Dream #20: To Make a Wedding Cake

Here it is! The “wedding cake!” The fruit of my amateur labor!

And there is the beautiful couple. Jackie had the wonderful idea for the topper–super classy and cute. Seriously, have you seen some of the toppers out there these days? Come, come Wilton. We can do better. I refuse to use a cut plastic sculpture of a dancing Barbie and Ken for my non-existent wedding.

The beauty of this cake was truly in the details. The pearls were both perfectly pretty and heinously annoying–they kept rolling all over the floor. But the effect was worth a few more floor sweeps, I think. Probably I think that because I wasn’t the one sweeping and still finding pearls on the second floor weeks later…

We kept the main frosting a traditional white and used a linen-y sort of yellow for the detailing. I think perhaps the pictures make it look a little more yellow than it was, but just by a shade or two.

I put up a lot of photos. I was really happy about them, and I couldn’t choose which ones I liked best. Please excuse my enthusiasm.

Look at the picture she chose for the other side of the topper! Super adorable. Their dog is their baby.

And here is my beautiful and creative helper and friend. Thanks for making this so fun, Jackie! Couldn’t have managed this project without you. And seriously, if y’all ever want an interior decorating consult or a haircut, let me put you in touch–she does good work.

For some reason, I say y’all on my blog way more than I do in real life,


Pipe Dream #19: To Level Precisely – Anatomy of a Wedding Cake

I made my first “wedding cake.” It’s in quotes because technically, this cake was for a bridal shower/party prior to a wedding, but the intention was for the cake to look like a wedding cake. So I’m just going to call it as I see it and say “wedding cake.” This was an especially fun adventure because my hairstylist extraordinaire was helping me. She was so good about keeping things clean and organized, which basically made my life. Plus, she has an amazingly creative eye for color and detail.

If I could bake and never have any mess to clean up, I would bake every day. Which, if we follow our logic to its inevitable conclusion, would have both positive and negative consequences. Mostly negative.

To save effort, we baked the cake in all separate layers instead of slicing them through the middle and filling. I’ve heard that this can lead to a drier cake. The best best best advice I ever heard about making a layer cake was realized in this cake. Before slicing and decorating, we wrapped them well in plastic wrap, froze them and then took them out of the freezer right before we cut them. Weirdly enough, the results made the perpetual knots in my shoulders melt away instantly. I may never experience anxiety again! Ahem. Anyway,

They cut like a dream!

They didn’t melt my frosting because I was too impatient to wait until they were cool!

The crumb-age was minimal!

Apparently, I was a little too happy about the cake cutting so easily, because see how I didn’t level it down quite far enough? It caused problems later. I’ll get back to my problems-that-are-not-anxiety in a minute.

We decided to fill the cake with lemon curd, so we put a thick layer of frosting around the edge of the cake layer to keep the curd from splooshing out the sides. That would have made me unhappy. By the way, we bought the frosting at Lynn’s Cake and Candy. It is to die for. I want the recipe.

Then we gave the layered tier a quick crumb coat of frosting to seal in all the crumbs. I think of the crumb coat like a girdle–an invisible layer underneath it all that holds everything in. We hope.

After sticking it in the fridge while frosting the second smaller tier, we frosted the cake.

And here is where my problems came in. Because we hadn’t made the layers perfectly level and had left a little bit of a dome, the top layer stuck out a bit farther than the bottom layer, making it really hard to get the frosting thick and smooth. Luckily, we had decided to go “rustic” with it. The bride-to-be is super romantic and chic, so we had some license.

So so fun. Besides the layer issues, everything went off without a hitch. I would do this again.

Tune in tomorrow for the finished product!

I used many exclamation points in this post,


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