How to Make a Wedding Cake

Today’s wedding cake is no longer a simple vehicle to serve dessert to your guests . . . it can be the final
detail carrying out your wedding theme and very often a work of art! This is evident in the inspiring galleries of wedding cakes pictures. Ever wonder how a wedding cake like this is made? We did too! So we recently sought out to find out how.

There are approximately 25 steps involved in making a wedding cake, and that is only for a 3-tier cake. The first major step to making a wedding cake is baking. Mid-week the layers of the cake are baked. However, prior to baking, many other preliminary tasks must be handled. The baking molds are lined with parchment papers (it takes six molds to make a three-layer cake —each layer is two molds so that the fillings can be laid in between so that beautiful look is achieved when the cake is sliced and presented to your guests). The cardboard base for each layer is covered with foil (this prevents the cardboard from getting soggy). The fillings are made and the cakes are baked. Once the cake molds have been thoroughly cooled they are covered with clear wrap until the following day when the decorating begins.

Decorating is the second major step to making a wedding cake and the essence of your wedding cakes pictures. Each of the three layers is iced with a thin layer of butter cream frosting which is the base for the application of the rolled fondant. The iced layers are brushed lightly with water. A large piece of fondant is hand-kneaded and flattened, very similar to pie dough. The more the fondant is handled the softer and more pliable it becomes. It is dusted with corn starch several times throughout the process so it is easier to handle. It is then placed in a machine called a "sheeter" which continues the flattening process of the fondant. After this it is placed on the work area and rolled once again the "old-fashioned" way—with a large rolling pin.

Then the piece of fondant is "draped" over the 1st layer. If there are any bubbles in the fondant, they are pricked with a special tool prior to placing it on the layer.

To make it easier to work from all sides, each layer of the cake is set on a plate that spins. After the fondant is draped over the bottom layer the sides are smoothed down by hand and the excess fondant is trimmed off with a small knife (similar to what you do when making pie crust). All excess fondant is saved and can be added to the pieces for the subsequent layers.

To stabilize the layer, its depth is measured and five plastic dowels are cut and pushed down into the layer. The layer is carefully inspected for any further bubbles or unevenness, and smoothed.

This same process continues with each of the three layers. Then comes the fun part; bringing your wedding cakes pictures to life!

On this particular cake, the second layer had a criss-cross, quilt design, with gardenias placed around the entire cake. The criss-cross design was achieved by placing a flexible, plastic template carrying this design and carefully pressing it against the sides of the layer, leaving the impression of the quilt design on the fondant. A wheeled tool—similar to a tracer that is used in sewing—was used to make the scores of the quilt design more apparent. Then a mixture called "royal icing" (only egg white and powdered sugar—sort of the "super glue" of cake decorating) is used to place each of the flower on the cake. Each sugar flower is specially hand crafted ahead of time to each client’s specifications.

Any element or theme of your wedding can be integrated in the design of your cake. Recent trends include fresh flowers (similar to the bouquet), rhinestones, pearls or lace replicas. The possibilities are endless and your wedding cakes pictures will speak for themselves. This particular cake had no color; however, if color is requested it is hand-created by adding dyes to the ivory or white fondant. Today’s designers can match any color you have in mind.

To put on the finishing touches when making a wedding cake, the edge of the plate on the bottom layer is also covered with fondant and then scored with a tool to make an attractive design (none of those frilly doilies here).

Viola, and there you have it! After our many hours with the cake design team, we can now fully understand and appreciate the amount of time, effort and craftsmanship that goes into making a wedding cake. Wedding cakes pictures now take on a whole new meaning.

Image courtesy of PhotoEdge.