Help With A Wedding Cake...

Baking By emilyslover823 Updated 3 Jul 2015 , 9:42am by julia1812

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emilyslover823 Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 5:26am
post #1 of 5

A family friend asked me to make her wedding cake for the fourth of july. She wants the bottom 12 inch tier to be like a strawberry shortcake. She wanted white chocolate ganache, cream cheese frosting, strawberry glaze as well as fresh strawberries and bananas to go inside the tier. There will be 2 filling layers for this tier. I figured the best way to do it would be to make a whipped white chocolate ganache and put that on the cake first. Then I would make a cream cheese whipped cream and put that on top of the ganache. Then I would dam the outside with buttercream and layer the strawberries and bananas so they're pretty even. Then I would pour the glaze on top of the fruit and stack the next layer of cake on top. I have a few problems though. I don't want the bananas turning brown or the strawberries to get mushy. I really don't want the whipped cream to turn liquid with the heat and humidity of Florida in July. 

The next tier is a 10 inch pineapple upside down cake. The cake will be flavored with pineapple juice and crushed fruit. The middle filling will be a layer of whipped cream cheese pineapple frosting and then a layer of crushed pineapple that has been caramelized in brown sugar and butter.

The top tier in an 8 inch german chocolate cake. I made a frosting with shredded coconut and crushed pecans but they want something else to go on the inside. I'm totally clueless on this. What goes good with a german chocolate cake? I'm really stressing over this cake. They want the entire cake to be covered in buttercream rosettes. I personally do not really care for this look because it tends to look sloppy and messy if it's not done right. I can make very nice rosettes but my problem is the heat and humidity. I'm going to the church 5 hours before the wedding and I'm thinking I should be okay as long as my layers are filled and crumb coated. They will be frozen until I take them out at around 6:45 am. This is 15-20 minutes before I work on them at the church, I want to ensure they make it through transportation. I was thinking maybe I could make each rosette individually by piping them on a piece of wax paper. I could then freeze them on a cookie sheet until I have to put them on the cake. If things go as planned, I should arrive at the church with the 3 tiers already filled, torted, and crumb coated. All I would have to do is stack the cakes and apply a thin layer of buttercream so I could place the frozen rosettes on the cake. Would this method work? Would the cake be thawed by the time of the reception (around 12:30)? Can these ingredients I mentioned be frozen? Will the buttercream rosettes freeze completely or do I risk them melting? If they do freeze completely, will they break when I try to apply them onto the cake? Please help me out of you have any tips or if you can answer any of my questions. It will be greatly appreciated. :)

4 replies
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julia1812 Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 6:56am
post #2 of 5

Okay...lots of flavors going on with that cake...

Reading "cream cheese & whipped cream" and "heat in Florida" rings some alarm bells. I hope you are not planing to keep that cake outside for 5 hours???

Taking it from the freezer straight to room temperature might cause a mess because it will sweat...not to mention the potential health risk!

I like coconut with lime...or limoncello.

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emilyslover823 Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 7:11am
post #3 of 5

Yeah, the heat is what I'm worried about. I'm completely new to cakes and it's really just a hobby but our friend thought she could save some money. I do plan on going to pastry school but I still have a few years before that can happen. Anyway, I had no idea there was a health risk with freezing and then going to room temperature. I thought a lot of people did that but I suppose not. Thankfully, the only time this cake will be outside is during transportation. Its really only about 5-10 minutes from where I live so I don't really have to worry about that too much. The cake will be in an air conditioned kitchen for the majority of the time. It will only be on display for about an hour or so. Even then, it will be in an air conditioned room. If you don't mind me asking, what would I need to do to avoid a potential "health risk"? 

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Snowflakebunny23 Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 8:10am
post #4 of 5

I'm going to be a real kill-joy here but part of being a wedding-cake maker is knowing when to say no.  And I think that this is one of those times!

With the recipes, I wouldn't dream of putting pieces of banana in a cake as filling as I expect they will go brown.  What do you mean by putting a glaze on top?  A real German chocolate cake (in Germany) is usually either filled with cream and cherries (Schwarzwaldtorte) or could just be a chocolate apricot glaze (Sachertorte - although technically that's Austrian).  There are also many other flavours depending on the cake type so make sure you know what she means.  I second what julia182 says though as well - this is a LOT of flavours, and if you aren't used to doing this, very complicated.

If you want my honest opinion, I would seriously reconsider doing this cake.  You have said yourself that you are completely new to cakes.  Doing a wedding cake itself is hard and stressful.  Doing a wedding cake when you are a guest, you have to deal with exceptional humidity and heat, you have to decorate it and only have a very limited window of time just strikes me as nutsyness.  I have stacked and decorated cakes at venues and trust me, it ALWAYS takes longer than you think.  Then there's the practicality side of things - what will you wear?  Will you be able to get changed afterwards (buttercream gets everywhere).  We have had a heatwave here in the UK over the past few days.  I have made dozens of cakes and wedding cakes over the years and, while we are not used to it here, I can tell you that it was very very butter was melting when I was trying to make my cake batter for example!

If you do decide to ahead, I would tell the bride that you need to make some changes - go for sturdy sponge and a reliable filling.  Maybe a chocolate fudge with chocolate frosting and raspberry jam and a lemon sponge.  Instead of buttercream for rosettes, use white chocolate ganache which is a bit more stable in warmer temperatures and means you will be able to make and decorate the cake beforehand.  Order the SPS system or another interlocking plate system.  If she doesn't like it and wants all of the exotic flavours, tell her she will have to buy it from a commercial business where they have the facilities to cater for it properly.  I promise you that you will not enjoy the wedding if you are worrying about it.  I think it is also unfair to the bride not to be completely honest about your concerns and capabilities.  She may want to save money, but will she be quite so understanding if you have a problem and the cake isn't like a magazine picture??

Good luck - I hope it works out well.

p.s. sorry for the very long post.

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julia1812 Posted 3 Jul 2015 , 9:42am
post #5 of 5

Okay...I thought you gonna leave the cake out at room temperature for 5 hours...that's why I said "health risk".

Why don't you make a chocolate cake with strawberry filling, vanilla cake with banana curd and lemon cake with coconut and cream cheese? All recipes should be well practiced of course! 

I don't see a problem with the buttercream rosettes, especially since the cake will be cooled throughout and NOT sit at room temperature. Practice the piping! The eyes eat too ;)

Since you are a novice I highly recommend you do that cake as a practice run. Be sure the recipes are good, make sure you have practical experience in using sps (NOT only watching it on you tube) and make sure you get your time management right. 

You HAVE to deliver a beautiful stunning tasty cake if you commit to this. That's why you don't get around a lot of baking JUST FOR PRACTICE! Your family and friends will thank you for all the free samples you'll deliver ;)

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