I decided to make my wedding cake, long before I became officially engaged. Some girls dream about their giant, poofy wedding dress as soon as they are old enough to know what a dress is, but I was much more interested in planning the food aspect of the wedding.
As I have mentioned several times, I am fairly good at making food that tastes good, but I lack the ability to make food pretty. Because of this, I knew should try to keep the cake simple. I was not going to start playing with fondant a week before the wedding, and I wasn’t going to make a monstrous 4-foot tall cake that would be threatening to implode and collapse at any second.
So, about three months before the wedding, I selected two recipes (one of which, I pieced together from two separate recipes) to test. I made four lemon cupcakes and four white almond cupcakes. I was pretty sure I wanted to go with the white almond, but I had to try the lemon cake just in case, because it got such good reviews. I also made cherry marshmallow creme icing and peach buttercream to put on top. See, it is difficult for me to find a buttercream icing that I like. Most icings seem to have too much powdered sugar, and I don’t like the taste of powdered sugar. Don’t ask me why powdered sugar tastes differently than regular granulated sugar, but it does, trust me.
The white almond cupcake won. Especially when the almond flavour only intensified after being wrapped and frozen in the freezer for a week. This was the recipe that I had pieced together from two different recipes, so I was extra happy. The lemon was good…but not what I wanted.
One week before the wedding, I made the wedding cake. I used a 9″ springform pan, and first filled it with a giant batch of Rice Krispie treats. Yes, the bottom layer of my wedding cake was fake. Sorry, but do you know how much batter it takes to FILL a 9″ springform pan? Too much. So, when it was cooled, I wrapped it in aluminum foil and set it aside.
The middle layer, I also filled the springform pan, all the way to the top. My parents’ ancient hand mixer almost died. And a dozen egg whites in a somewhat small bowl is no joke, but I made it!
Despite having virtually no leavening agent in it, it did form a pretty tall peak. It took about two and a half hours to bake. After it cooled completely, I first leveled the top. I used a bunch of toothpicks inserted along the edge, just below where I wanted to cut the cake. Then, I used a piece of (waxed, UNflavoured) floss to cut the cake. Even though my cake was very dense, it cut through it just fine. Next, I took a 7″ diameter circle I had cut out of a piece of paper, and carefully laid it on the center of the cake. I then slowly cut the cake around the edges of the paper circle. I was careful to cut straight up and down, to not end up with sloped sides.
The top layer was some leftover batter poured into this little mini cake pan I found at the last minute. It had sloped sides, but that was ok, because I was going to cut the sides off.
This cake batter was AMAZING. It held together no matter what I did to it, it seemed. Both times that I lifted a ring of cake off of the center that I was going to use for the actual cake…the ring held together and did not crumble. And it tasted amazing! I included the recipe below, but I did cut the recipe in half, bc most people do not need a FULL springform pan of cake.
When the cake layers were cooled and cut, I wrapped them first in saran wrap, and then in aluminum foil, and placed them in the freezer for the next week.
The day before the wedding, amidst the other reception-preparation flurry, I made the icing for the cake. I made vanilla marshmallow creme icing. I left the bottom and top layer the natural soft white that the icing became, and the middle layer, I coloured with colour gels to match the apricot-peach wedding colour.
The cake came together very nicely. My husband’s sister actually iced most of the cake, and another friend did a little piping around the different layers to give it a little flair. It was a nice, simple, delicious cake that didn’t cost a fortune, which is just what I was going for.
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 + 1/3 c butter
1 1/2 c sugar
6 egg whites
1/2 + 1/3 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
Servings: 1 8″ or 9″ round
Heat oven to 325oF. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and almond extract. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture, and add the milk. Beat until just combined. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until glossy they form soft peaks. Fold egg whites into batter until well combined. Pour into 8″ or 9″ springform pan and bake until a deep golden brown on the crust, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out cleanly. (Bake time at least 60 minutes.)