I love cake. So I was quite excited about getting married… I mean it’s not the reason I got married ,but it was high on the list of reasons, he he he. Jokes aside, to many people the Wedding cake is the centre piece of their wedding, and can come at quite a price.
A simple 3 tier wedding cake costs around £250 and when you start customising, those sugary little details could double the price! And I had my heart set on something a bit special.
So what’s a girl to do… “Hey mama why don’t we make the cake?!” How cunning I thought we were being and what a grand design we set out to bake! I wanted a 3 tier wedding cake, totally covered with sugar leaves and flowers of all different types, sizes and colours. Easy peasy. And we’d spend the money saved on more champagne! Win win.
However, we are not wizard bakers and this was our first attempt at sugar flowers. And aside from 1 YouTube tutorial mama had watched, we had no bloody idea what we were doing! But we made a start: I bought a whole collection of edible paints and a truck load of roll out icing and we dyed it ball by ball. This was actually much more time consuming than you’d imagine as you really have to kneed the colour in. Think major hand cramps, and wow is it a messy job!
Then we began making the sugar flowers and leaves, how lovely we thought. I bought a little pack of tools and we have an experiment. I was bored after the first 10! And believe me when I say, IT TAKES TIME. We clocked up about 20 hours on flowers and leaves alone. And you cannot leave it to the last minute as they need days, preferably weeks to dry out nicely.
We had to guess the number of flowers to make, since we had no way of knowing how many we’d need to cover the cake. But really, once you reach the point, where you’re consuming more flowers than your saving for the cake you know you need to stop. We made a few hundred then called it a day/ fell asleep under the table. BIG WORK to say the least but wow do they look pretty all lined up in a row…. ahhh we thought, almost finished, well just need to make, ice ad marzipan 3 cakes, then stick all these flowers on, OMG, how much was bought cake again, can we do this!?
Yes we can! And on we ploughed… a relative had made a gorgeous genoa for the bottom tier and mama super star had made a 2nd tier fruit cake and the top tier was a rainbow sponge for added quirkiness. After the cakes were made we inserted ‘cake rods’ which can only be described as filled in cardboard straws (though much more expensive!) and they kept the tiers just separated enough, making for easy cutting on the day. On to the icing….
This is probably the trickiest bit and where not being professional cake makers really got the better of us. Do you know how hard it is to ice cakes? It feels like rolling silk to lay on chippings! And you’re thinking “Where did all those lumps and bumps come from!” and “OMG my cake has cellulite” and “Is it too late just to buy a cake” and yes it was… but did is matter? NO! because the genius thing about this cake is no matter how messy the icing looks it’s all going to be covered with beautiful little flowers, carefully hiding all the flaws!
With all the cakes marzipaned and iced we could finally we could piece it together. But oops, minor set back, we’d made the top tier the same size as the 2nd, I mean the other tier was right there, we could clearly see they were identical! A moment of madness, I think by this point we were so desperate to eat the cake mum had purposely sabotaged the top tier knowing it would need to be trimmed (sneaky wedding cake bites taste amazing by the way). And so a little snip snip here and there, and a few bites of cake later, we were back on track.
Next we sealed all the ugly edges and gaps. We used piped icing to tidy it up, although it really wouldn’t have show, but mama chief was having a meltdown at the cakes imperfections, so we did it. Now the finish line was sight, so wine was poured and out came the edible super glue for the final (and most fun) stage. Let the flowertastic fun begin! Of course mama, being the loveliest mama in the world allowed me the honour of sticking all flowers and leaves on the cake.
It took about 2 and half hours to do, and big shout out to the edible glue. When you first use it, it’s like water, and I had serious doubts it would be up for the job, but it was. Apparently icing just isn’t sticky enough, especially to hold anything of weight, so I highly recommend the glue.
And the final touch a finally a sprinkling of golden glitter dust and a little creative piping round the back, because it turned out 200 flowers wasn’t enough to cover the whole cake! I went for an Indian pattern style, using the edible glitter dust and white icing, it turned out really lovely.
And so there you have it one garden fairy princess wedding cake…. Mama and I both agree it was our biggest life achievement to date. And would we do it again, a million times over, because yes, we saves hundred of pounds but more importantly we made something totally unique that was so special money couldn’t by… and the look on your guests face when you unveil it at the wedding… priceless!
Now for the serious stuff….Below if a breakdown of the cake costings (so you KNOW it can be done!):
Roll out icing 1KG X 8 =£17.60
Marzipan = £5.22
Edible glue =£2.99
Colours (pack of 12) = £12.99
Gold glitter dust = £1.99
Flower making tools = £0.99
Cake rods = £2.00
Cake boards = £6.99
Genoa: = £12.00
Fruit cake = £8.00
Rainbow sponge cake= £3.99
Cake box (essential)= £12.00
TOTAL= £86.76 (WOW!)