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Jan 5, 2010 03:53 PM

cake books, books for wedding cake, ideas?

Hi all,

i am making a wedding cake for a friend. This is my first large scaled cake (150-200ppl).

In case i've somehow missed something, what is your favorite reference as far as cake recipe and design books.

I got the cake bible and martha stewart's wedding cake book on my amazon wish list... anything you find helpful?

my friend has no idea what she wants. i'm thinking of making 2 or 3 flavors. one chocolate oriented, another almond, and something else with filing (that is different than the frosting that covers it, ie pastry cream, mascarpone, curd, dacquoise, crushed meringue, pralines, mousse...)... feel free to chime in! i've love to hear what everyone likes!

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  1. deb from smitten kitchen made a wedding cake and posted about it on the website. tons of helpful comments and ideas..

    1 Reply
    1. My friend made a cake from Dede Wilson's "Wedding Cakes You Can Make: Designing, Baking, and Decorating the Perfect Wedding Cake" and it turned out beautifully.

      1. Thanks guys! I got the MStewart book for a reference, Dede Wilson and the cake bible. I've been reading through all 3 books and got lots of useful info.

        I split this comment from the "what have you been baking" discussion-

        last weekend, i baked test cakes from the cake bible. the basic white, yellow and chocolate buttercakes. the cakes are delicious, soft, moist and tender- but i'm worried they are too tender to tort and stack as a wedding cake (even though this is from her wedding cake section- unless i've done something wrong). I haven't gone to enough weddings to know what exactly i am looking for. Help!! has anyone baked from the wedding cake section from TCB? do you find it hard to tort (or not torting at all?) i froze the cakes and i plan to play with the test cakes tonight.

        i'm thinking of using her other cake recipes from the main portion of her book that uses buttermilk, sour cream or straight cream and maybe whole eggs (hoping for a sturdier cake). Do you guys know how i should go about adjusting these 9" standards to 14" and 10" inches??

        or adjusting baking powder in any other recipe in this matter?

        1. First time making a wedding cake...and it's for 150-200 people? Yikes! You are an adventurous person. lol :)
          You need to thoroughly check out this site; you have to register but it's free and you will not be deluged with spam or anything you don't want. It will be a wealth of information and help!

          1 Reply
          1. re: ttoommyy

            yep.. i'm nutty. but hey! i'm always willing to help a friend...

            thanks for the site. i love the tutorials on cakecentral. lots of great ideas there.

          2. I think the cake bible is probably all you need for the actual recipes and details of making the cakes. As for design, maybe just flip through wedding mags to get ideas?

            I made a wedding-style cake for my parent's anniversary party. It also was my first (and very likely last) large scale cake. I love layer cakes, but I'm an accountant...not a caterer.

            I think you are doing the right thing by making test cakes. Make the whole cake, frost it, practice decorating, etc. STart now thinking up occasions that you can volunteer a cake your practice cake doesn't go to waste or to YOUR waist. I made 2 test cakes...if I were doing multiple flavors I would have done more. (do you mean two cakes, or just different flavors on different tiers?)

            Have you given thought to the actual stacking of the layers? practice that. If you are going to use the separators, buy and practice that . I was too chicken to try that and just stacked mine one atop the other. (4 tiers)

            For adjusting the cake sizes, you can just do the math to figure the area of your pans and then calc. how many batches you need. If I remember correctly, I made 1 1/2 times the recipe of my cake every time I baked some layers, but that was right at the hairy edge of what my mixer could hold. RLB has a chart for changing the leavening based on different sized pans, but the changes are so minor I just ignored the issue.

            Oh, and consider how you will transport it. This can be the stuff of nightmares.

            3 Replies
            1. re: danna

              Thanks Danna,

              Good to know that you were able to make larger cakes without being obsessed with leavening amounts.

              i'm baking most of my test cakes this week with fillings and buttercream samples. I am inviting all of my friends, neighbors, co-workers to come help eat the cakes... =) one of my friends will make some grilled cheese sandwiches so we don't get all grossed out.

              my friend wanted a simply designed cake. Everything will be covered in buttercream. We have yet to decide if we are doing swiss dots, ribbons with fresh flowers or if she wanted a band of white plastic chocolate with little eyelets cut wrapped around each tier.

              we were thinking of making 2 flavors for alternating tiers. but as of today, i'm pretty torn with my cake recipes and worry if i got the correct texture. I will be baking more cake tonight and will report back...

              i'm opting to transport the cake in layers and assemble on-site. the place is >45 min from my house (1.5 hours very slow in freeway). The books i got instruct me to cut the dowels 1/4" taller than the frosted cake and i see some people cut it flush to the cake. I'm worried that the cakeboard on top will lift off the buttercream on the bottom layer (layers lacking buttercream) but the thought of tiers in a semi stilt scares me. Do you think a piece of parchment will work between the tiers? that way, i can still have some "adhesion"

              also, did anyone have success with hammering in a long dowel through the entire length of the cake? did you have trouble piercing through the cake board?

              1. re: jeniyo

                I'm excited to hear about your progress! Please keep us updated.

                I think transporting in layers is a good idea assuming you have time to assemble on site. My venue was charging me by the hour so I couldn't get there early enough with all the other stuff I had to do.

                I don't really understand the 1/4 inch taller thing. I used straws rather than dowels and cut them flush. I honestly can't remember if I drove a stake through the cardboard or not...I know I didn't use a dowel, but I might have used a shisk-kabob skewer (I do that a lot to stablize really tall layer cakes). I wound up transporting the whole thing in a cardboard box that I had cut two corners off w/ a utility knife, folded it down, slid in the cake, folded the side back up, duct taped it , transport, reverse operation. If someone hadn't suggested that too me, it would have sucked.

                OH, I think that's hilarious about the grilled cheese. Wouldn't want to get too much fat!

                Pic attached of the layers while I was frosting and stacking.

                1. re: jeniyo

                  If you do use flowers, make sure the flowers aren't poisonous and you might want to check to make sure the growers didn't use pesticides that can't be eaten.

                  Transporting the cake in layers is a good idea. I've used large rubbermaid containers, upside down for that. Put the cake on the lid (non skid mats work to hold them in place) and cover with the base. I've cut the dowels and straws to the height of the cake. If you're worried about it lifting the buttercream off, you can line the bottom with parchment or wax but it really doesn't matter. The cake cutting takes place, usually, behind the scenes and even if it does, they can scrape it off and put it back on. Also, make sure to have extra frosting at the wedding to fix any mistakes that might happen in transport or assembling. Who is cutting the cake? That also takes practice.

                  One thing to keep in mind with different cakes is that they rise different levels. The first time I did it, I used an orange poundcake and chocolate truffle cake. The orange pound cake tiers were lower than the chocolate truffle cake. This is where it helps to do test cakes. I used this orange poundcake recipe for wedding cakes and it's really moist and very good. It's also very sturdy.


                  This was the dark chocolate wedding cake:


                  They were my go-to large scale cakes for a long time because both were very good, and already proportioned so I didn't need to worry about changing leaveners, etc.