I finally finished my very first wedding cake. It was not as easy as I expected especially since the Bride's design selection was very simple. I had trouble getting my icing smooth. In the end it turned out smoother than it was in the beginning.
I ran into several issues while making the icing. I made at least two batches of icing that didn't come out right. I used Dawn's icing recipe. I accidentally added pure vanilla extract which made the icing ivory and the Bride wanted white. Then I used clear vanilla and the icing tasted a little salty to me. Not sweet at all. So I ended up making my icing using the wilton recipe and everything started to work out fine.
My next issue was with the cake stand. I used the tall tier cake stand but my stand was shipped to me with the legs already glued to the largest plate. Since the Bride's bottom tier was only 10" I had to buy an extrz 12" plate and legs. I glued the legs on correctly but when I sat the 12" plate on the table the legs were in the air b/c the bottom bolt was taller than the legs. I don't know why but it was. So I didn't use that plate just in case someone bumped the table and the cake fell over. I ended up using the 18" plate and I placed rose petals down to take up the extra space.
Finally when the cake was setup with table decor and all, the manager of the venue wanted the Bride's mother to view the cake. Of course she picks out spots where the icing isn't smooth. So she asks me if I could turn it around. I did but it was hard turning an entire 3 tier cake around all at once. I had to lift the entire cake slightly just to turn it away from the unsmoothed sections.
Anyway, let me cut this story off here b/c there are more things I could discuss that made this cake stressful. After this cake I'll probably just stick to celebration and holiday cakes.
Tell me what you think! Thanks for listening!
Oh I think I would have teared up after all that especially the MOB asking you to turn the cake...she just didn't understand that getting buttercream icing perfectly smooth isn't always possible. Don't let this turn you off of making wedding cake though...you handled the design and set up very well. It's lovely! I have yet to do a wedding cake and I'm sure my first will be a learning experience. Thanks for sharing yours. It helps us wedding cake newbies get prepared
I think it turned out great. I can't believe she asked you to do that! I think everyone that orders a cake needs to read a little artice I read on cakes. It's to the bride and it explains that a real cake is not going to look perfect the way one in a magazine does! It's usually not real cake or frosting and has had people pouring over it for hours just to get the perfect picture. I'm not sure where I read it, but I'll try to track it down!
Thanks for the comments! I told myself that I was going to revise my contract and put a section under terms and conditions about perfect cakes in magazines.
Thanks guys for understanding and feeling my stress!
peacockplace...I would love to read that article! It is so true.
What a stressful first wedding cake! I always stress to my brides that you cannot achieve a perfect b/c icing...it is in the nature of icing to have some spots and cracks! If they don't want the chance of that, then they can pay more to get fondant . I think you did a nice job for your first cake...don't despair, try, try again!!! Looks great!
Great job agentcakebaker! You did just great. Don't get turned off from wedding cake though. It's like everything else, some experiences are good, others not so good, but it's the good ones that make it worth it!
That sounded very stressful. I get tired only reading about it.
But you should not give up the weddingcakes. This was only your first. It turned out so nice and beautiful.
And some people are just not nice in their head.
My first one was a trial too. It was for my sisters wedding.
As my mother did not wanted me to bake, only decorate her cake. It was awful.
She baked a thin layer cake for the norwegian marzipan whiped cream cake. The cream she bought was not fresh, and the marzipan cracked all over.
I cryed my self to sleep that nigt.
That was the minute I desided I never decorate others cakes. Only my own. And I would only get the stuff my self, to inshure that everything is fresh.
What a nightmare. My mother never gets in my work again.
You just keep it up. You did great work.
Ok... I found it! It's from theknot.com
Mind Your Magazines
Keep in mind, magazines (like ours) have food stylists, editors, and assistants working nonstop to keep the cakes looking perfect. These people spend hours fixing the sweating, dripping, leaning, or sagging that can happen to a cake after it's been sitting for awhile. And if what they do doesn't work, they can fix it with PhotoShop. They also have the luxury of creating cakes from stuff that isn't edible -- most cakes in magazines are iced pieces of Styrofoam, which certainly doesn't taste very good. So don't expect your cake designer to be able to replicate to a T exactly what you see in print.
If you want to see the whole artice on cakes here is the address
Thanks peacock! I will definitely use this on my next wedding cake order.
Sounds like you used the same stand I used. Don't let this experience stir you away from others! Today's a new day and you can take lessons from that and move forward. I did my first one last year for my sister's wedding and I stressed for months! I had a few issues with the icing as well and doctored it as best I could. Usually our own eyes are harsher than the untrained ones. Everyone thought it looked great, it did turn out pretty well....I was just glad it was OVER!
I do not recommend doing a cake for a wedding you are also a part of! Very stressful.
Wow!! After all that, I'm glad you have that one under your belt!! I can NOT believe they made you turn the cake around! Holy crap! I just keep picturing having to do that and cringe.
I think you did a really nice job of it! I am going to be printing out that article peacock posted--I'm sure it will help!
Thanks for sharing your pic! It looks lovely!
And if what they do doesn't work, they can fix it with PhotoShop. They also have the luxury of creating cakes from stuff that isn't edible -- most cakes in magazines are iced pieces of Styrofoam, which certainly doesn't taste very good.
Thanks so much for finding the article...I knew they had to be photoshopping their pics! LOL on the styrofoam comment!
nice job! did the bride ask for that kind of decorations?? that's very different!!
This was the bride's idea. She should me a cake picture with spirals on it but she came up with the idea of the edible pearls in silver and gold.
She wanted the silver and gold pearls to match the silver and gold in her wedding dress.
Well, I think that you did a fabulous job since this was your 1st. I have never done one, and I am totally terrified of anyone ever asking. But I think I would have screamed at the MOB-later, not in front of the bride!! How dare she!! You should have told her to try making the darned thing and see if she could have done better. But that is just me. Sorry , but it just peeves me off to hear a nondecorator-mind you I still think of myself as a beginner-say anything negative about something that they wouldn't even have the courage to try to make! There, I said it!! Nevertheless, I think that you should keep on making your beautiful cakes.
And, peacock, thank you for finding that article. I will have to remember to use something like that in my own contracts!
You all are welcome. I'm glad I found it because it's totally how I feel. A reallcake with real ingrediants can only be so perfect! I think brides are totally unaware of what they are looking at in all those pretty pictures.
I have two wedding cakes under my belt, so to speak, and I don't look forward to doing the next one but know eventually I will. I did them one week apart and talk about stress! The first one was 3 stacked tiers each offset to the back like stair steps. The bottom (16") started to crack when I stacked the layers but I managed to glue it together pretty nicely with icing and covered the whole thing with faux fondant. I could still see where it had cracked but noone else noticed. I also didn't mention it to anyone but my husband. No way it could have been turned for any reason, although it wasn't too heavy to move. The second one was a 3 tier heart shape and was a lot bigger and weighed a ton on the corean cake platter my sister loaned me. No way it would have gotten turned except for scooting the whole heart shaped table around. Picture that!!
With a round cake I always ice it then determine which "side" is best and make it the front, as I'm sure you all do too. It's great if you can get a cake to be great from any angle, flowers included, but seems like usually there's a "side" that looks best. I always hide lace my initial C someplace on the back side of my cakes, so if it was turned it'd be mort noticable. For every nasty thing you can think of to happen at a special event there's always the chace that someone will be willing to crawl out of the woodwork and do it. It's how you handle it that counts, I think. You handled yours right. I think your first wedding cake turned out great and you just let yourself be proud of your work and go on from there.
I appreciate the article about cakes. Sure they doctor the pics, like I heard they do the pics of the Victoria's Secret models. All that cleavage isn't just them and the bras. Shave a little off the buttocks and thighs too. I've also heard that most food pics you see on TV and ads isn't even real food. Blaaaahhhhh................. Ü
Thanks everyone for your supporting words. I feel so much better now. Even so that I'm ready to tackle my next project.
Well we both survived our weddings!!! Yeah!!!! I'm so thankful that the MOG of my cake is taking cake deco classes. She understands what we cake deco's go through! I can't believe you had to turn the cake around! OH.. I would have said something but that's just me! You did a great job!!! I said I won't do another wedding cake either... BUT I get home yesterday & my hubby tells me someone from the Fire Dept wants me to do a cake for them.... We'll see! So get back in the saddle & do your best!!!! We'll kick ass one day!!! Get some R & R!!!! You deserve it~
Thanks TC! From all the encouragement you guys have given me I think I am ready to jump back in the saddle. I read your story and I was stressed half way through your topic. So we all deserve rest!
Yep we do!! We'll be alright! Keep up the great work!!
Thanks! You too!
you know I think that there are 3 kinds of people to work with within this field......bridezillas, crazy MOB's, and then the just truely happy people.
Im a photographer and my 1st two years i had the pleasure of working for brides that where great.....they tottally focused on the Important fact that IT WAS THEIR DAY not for things to be perfect but to just share the love they have with others......
then after 2 years I got brave and started thinking hey you know If i sold the invitataions to the bride that would up my revenue$$$$$ worked out good made money easy enough..... (some other company printed I was just an authorized dealer)
then I got really brave and decided to do cakes...My 1st wedding cake fell into the Bridezilla catagory.....we was horrible.......about everything....
we wanted the somthing different....her cake top was horseshoe nails of thick people and wanted a rustic cake with brand on the side....
she showed me example of a cake with a monogram...and when i delivered the cake before we went to the church she went off on me because they was 1/8th of an differnce than what she saw in her head....
that should have been my 1st hint.....she complained about 100 other things and cried all day....
needless to say...i Didnt do anything no photos, no cakes nothing for 6 months .....all because I would get a sick feeling that would ever have to work with someone like that .....
I got over it and sucked it up
If you enjoy something ..Dont let someone take it away from you.....
I guess you can just chalk this one up to you win some you lose some...
and you did your best so that should make you proud.....
sorry i guess i got carried away
Hi AgentCakeBaker! You did a marvelous job on the cake and you also did a great job in handling the situation with MOB. MOB should have had nothing to do with the job or the cake, cause she was not the bride. With so many other things to do that should have been the MOB least thing to be concerned of. I have been to many weddings and never heard such a thing coming from the MOB or even anyone else that did not have anything to do with the making and decorating of the cake. I was a bride myself and I even forgot what my cake look like months before my wedding, so I would not even known if there was a crack, imperfection or whether the cake needed touch ups, plus it would not have been an issue with me. I just wanted the wedding day to come and be over with it, but of cause I requested pound cake with strawberry filling and butter almond frosting, that is all that I remembered of my wedding cake. How can the MOB judge someone elses cake without making or even designing one herself. Do not let one green apple spoil the bunch. You keep doing what you love the most and let no one tell you anything different unless they have been there where you are today. And even if the MOB thought that there was something that she disagree or did not like, she still was out of line with her comments. You keep up the good work and continue to look up. The picture of the cake is beautiful and being your first wedding cake, it is even better.
Hi peacockplace! Thank you for the article. I printed it out and some of the other articles, which are helpful just in case questions come up, at least I'll know in advance what to say and what to expect. Nice job in seaching.
Thanks lastingmoments and 2cakes. I really appreciate your comments, advice, and stories. The more and more I hear from others the more I feel better about the whole situation. I love baking and decorating cakes I am definitely not going to let one incident take that away from me.
Thanks guys! I feel so good about my first wedding cake.