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Anyone ever see a wedding cake like this?

So I am trying to figure out what I want my wedding cake to be like. I really want it to taste good more than anything, and be pleasing to the eye, but in a more minimalist way than most cakes I have seen (I am a very plain elegant type of person and cakes to me tend to get gaudy).

I am not a huge fan of fondant and I was thinking a cake like a Smith Island Cake with different color fillings and no side frosting would be really cool. Has anyone ever seen this done. For instance it would be just like layers of cake, fruit filling, cake, marzipan or butter frosting, in many layers with the sides not iced so you could see the stripes? Would there be a reason why this wouldn't work? Has anyone seen anything like this? If so any pictures?

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  1. My niece's wedding cake was much as you discribe.. simply about 18" round, about 4 to 5" tall, the sides exposed the layers, there was a thin sheet of marzipan on top and It was decorated with a few fresh flowers. A lot depends upon how many people it's to feed. Her wedding party was about 40 people. This was easily 20 years ago and I can't tell you much more than that it was a multi-layered, multi-flavored cake and that it was a home wedding and quite non-"traditional". A lot depends on the expectations of whomever is paying for the wedding. If it's a traditional mother footing the bill, such a cake might be frowned upon. If it's a comfortable wedding for close family and friends without succumbing to "Bride magazine" rules, then you can have any darned kind of cake you want! I had a small homemade family wedding and my cake was my husband's favorite: carrot cake.. made by his other favorite, me.

    1. Seems to me I saw a "simple" wedding cake done by Martha Stewart for the "Baking with Julia" series on PBS. Amazing pictures and a complete step by step instruction available in the "Baking with Julia" cookbook. I may be off a little on the particulars, but it seemed to have layers of genoise cake, each layer split with a liquer/fruit like rasberry? and then it was frosted with a rich buttercream and decorated with beautiful marzipan cherries. Simple, elegant and you could (or an amazing friend or professional baker) make it.

      1. An issue with the fruit filling is that when you layer the cake, a softer fruit filling or cream doesn't usually have the strength to hold the layers apart to keep a distinct stripe. The filling would ooze out between the layers and create a bulge, or it would seep into the cake layers.There is usually a moat of butter cream or whatever the outside is iced with that is piped around the edge of each layer to hold fruit filling in place. Just something to consider.

        1. A friend of mine who has a wedding cake business makes something kind of like what you describe. The cake itself is either carrot cake or sweet potato praline flavor and the filling is made from cream cheese, so not colorful like fruit filling would be, but certainly tasty. The top is sprinkled with confectioners' sugar and decorated with tiny caramel-dipped apples. I'm not sure how well this holds up in a warm-weather outside reception, but the cakes are certainly different than your usual dry white wedding cake. I'll try to post a pic:

          1. There are at least two versions of this style cake in Martha Stewart's Wedding Cakes:
            As long as you support each tier properly and not overload each cake layer with filling & fruit, it should be beautiful.
            Congrats on your wedding.

            1. Honestly, I think a cake with the striped layers showing might be very nice, but it is not going to look as minimalist as a simple white cake would. And if you decide to go with a more traditional white cake, you certainly don't need to use fondant. I agree that fondant is disgusting, but buttercream is also commonly used. Personally, my wedding cake was frosted with white chocolate buttercream and it was delicious. And I don't really think the trend is toward gaudy cakes these days, at least not out in California. What I had--and what I've seen many friends do--is keep the cake itself simple, and decorate with fresh flowers.

              1. I bake wedding cakes for a living and the kind that you are referring to would be beautiful. Even you can make it. What you would do is put your first layer of cake down, pipe a icing ring around the top of the cake and then you can put any filling in the middle of the ring that you want and it wont squish out. Then you would position the next layer on and the ring from the first layer will stop it from moving around and then continue to do same thing till you get as many layers as you want. You could make each ring a different color of frosting and then the fruit filling could be a compliment flavor & color. I also brush on a amaretto liquer before the fruit filling. If you use real flowers to decorate the cake and you get them from the florist, be sure to ask them to not use the preservative that they put them in in the water. Also if you do different size layers, just make sure that your icing ring is the same size as the next layer and then you could lay flowers on the outside part. I most always use silk flowers tho and there is no fear of color bleeding from the silk either.
                I use Betty Crocker white cake mix with the pudding in it and I put it in the mixer for 20 minutes. Don't believe what they say about it being tough or to full of air bubbles. It will rise great. Bake it to where the toothpick still has a little little amount of mix on it so it wont dry out after you decorate it. I baked my son's on a Wednesday, and crumb coated it Thrusday and decorated it Friday and set it up on Saturday morning and was just right. What I use to pipe on the frosting for the ring is the coupler tip that you would put in your frosting bag that attaches to the tips. I dont use a tip and just the coupler part to get a good ring. Put 1 ring down, then do another next to it and then 2 more on top of those for a good layer. If you also want to, you can put wood skewers in the cake right down the middle and it will keep it from sliding to one side or the other.

                1. Just a suggestion, have a "display" only cake just for show. Have an "eating" cake to be served from the kitchen.

                  1. that is a good idea too. At my son's wedding we also had cupcakes and the little itty bitty's thought that was the coolest cause they had their own little wedding cakes. But then the big boy's liked it too.

                    1. I lived in Paraguay, South America for a year as an exchange student (many years ago). Birthday and wedding cakes typically had layers with dulce de guayaba, dulce de leche, etc. between the layers but were frosted. The family I lived with typically had them decorated with live flowers. My husband and I had a (gluten-free, vegan chocolate wedding cake decorated with organic (edible) roses. A photo of our wedding cake is on the right at http://www.flyingapron.net/special.htm .

                      1. Here's a Smith Island wedding cake that is frosted--it's really pretty.


                        I think the problem w/ it unfrosted might be that it could ooze, as mentioned above, if the filling were thin. But, you could use something thicker in the middle, like marzipan or chocolate ganache.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: chowser

                          The filling WILL NOT ooze if the ring of icing is put around the edge of the cake. The icing is like a dam and the filling is the water. As long as the filling is not piled on as high as the icing, it has no where to go and stays within the perimeters that you made with the icing ring.

                          1. re: thecountryrose

                            Yes, but the OP doesn't want frosting around the edges of the cake. She wanted to see the individual layers so the damn won't work in that case.

                            1. re: chowser

                              yes it will, there is no frosting on the sides of the cake. The dam is on top of the layer and it doesnt ooze either.

                        2. Wow, thank you all this is so helpful! I might be buying me a Martha Stewart Wedding Cake book, although I doubt I will bake it myself, I am not the baker extrodinaire of the family. I might actually be able to do something that matches the picture in my head. Good advice on the flower preservatives, and silk flowers that is something I wouldn't have thought of.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: ktmoomau

                            In case you didn't see it, here is one example from Claudette's recommendation (Martha Stewart) which proves that something very much like what you're after can be done:

                            1. re: vvvindaloo

                              when I looked at that web site, under the unusal wedding cake title, #16 of 21 the Strawberry shortcake cake looks like it would if you just did regular frosting . That was very different and unique. It would be very different for sure and I am even gonna show my daughter that one. She just wanted something simple like that too and then have a cheesecake bar with different toppings so the quests can make their on concoctions.

                          2. Square cakes are the in thing here in IND this wedding season. Also just a basic buttercreme frosting can be made and then you can also add your filling flavors to the frosting that you would use to pipe your circle around each layer as your dam. This would show each guest what the flavor of the filling would be. At our local cake supply store, they have fruit fillings that you squeeze out of a big plastic tube and they last forever in the frig. Squueze just alittle in the frosting to be piped and pipe that on and then use for your filling in the middle.
                            Oh and by the way, Congradulations to you & your finance. Best of luck.

                            1. bar exam and a wedding??? congratulations!

                              talk to the heidelberg bakery in arlington.

                              they did a marzipan covered and almond buttercream-filling wedding cake for me, and it was so delicious. they were easy to work with and very reasonable.

                              as to leaving sides exposed, cake will dry out.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: alkapal

                                i forgot to add: i took a photocopy of a simple border design, and they recreated it nicely. had fresh flowers on top, from florist. ( ps, don't let florist put the flowers on top of cake. mine pushed too hard and sort of tilted the top layer of the cake! )

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  Yeah I know that's why the wedding isn't until next May between bar exam in July then election season for the fiance.... nightmare, I am trying to get stuff done before finals time this year and then stuff will probably get pushed till August when I will have time again... Will have to visit Hiedelberg it is so close and I will have to try marzipan frosting. I in general just don't like much frosting on a cake at all I tend to eat the cake out of wedding cakes and leave a big hugs clump of frosting on the plate...

                                  1. re: ktmoomau

                                    The advantage of rolled frosting, marzipan or fondant, in that case is that it's easier to remove the cake from the icing, as long as it hasn't sat too long in warm weather and melted.;-)

                                2. I find a lot of contradition in what you're saying. Having all of the layers and filling open to view on the side of the cake is, to me, even busier that a lot of piped frosting. That, plus every Smith Island cake I've ever seen is frosted down the sides...

                                  The thing I would put greatest focus on at this stage of the game is what will be easiest to serve. Multi-micro-layered cakes, in my experience, have a tendency to break apart at the layers when serving, especially when not frosted down the sides, which acts as a sort of concrete to hold everything together.

                                  I agree with you on fondant icing. Second only in my book of yucky frostgings to royal icing. Don't know whether you plan on doing the cake yourself, having a friend or family member make it, or order it from a professional. For me, pure simplicity is a cake smoothly iced in buttercream. Takes a steady hand and a nice long spatula. Any "decorating" can be as simple as "string of pearls" piping of little round "pearls" of icing, which is not as simple as it looks, but is gorgeous when done right. You might also go with just a few flowers of your choice, either made from gum paste (some decorators create gum paste flowers that look so real you swear you can smell them!) or real flowers on a cake are lovely too.

                                  Good luck, and may you have a fabulous, happy, and totally problem free wedding day!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                    Smoothly iced is very elegant. I find it easier to do when I keep a tall cup of hot water and put the spatula in it before smoothing. The warmth "irons" the buttercream. It can take time because you have to stop repeatedly and reheat the knife. I don't bother to wipe off the water because it evaporates. But, it makes a very smooth layer and is worth the effort.

                                  2. If people can have a wedding cake out of doughnuts, then I don't see why you can't have the cake you want. Go to a baker that specializes in wedding cakes. They will work with you. I found out recently that my grandparents didn't have a traditional wedding cake, but had cream puffs instead because they couldn't afford a cake. That was close to 60 years ago. Now it's considered a modern alternative.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: MrsT

                                      Any chance your grandmother is French? A croquembouche made of cream puffs is the traditional French wedding cake. FAR more fattening than our traditional white cake, but that's the French for you! '-)

                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                        No, actually my grandmother is Lithuanian/Italian and my grandfather was Irish/Italian. They were 1st generation born in the U.S. and had to pay for their own wedding.

                                        1. re: MrsT

                                          Well, in my opinion, cream puffs make any occasion lovely! '-)

                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                            I think so too. I told her how way ahead of their time they were....