The New Bakers Dozen
Wedding Cake Dilema

The The Bakers Dozen: Wedding Cake Dilema
By Leah on Sunday, March 18, 2001 - 12:55 am: Edit

I want to make my own wedding cake, but haven't the first clue as to what to do, or where to start. Any advice would be greatly appreceiated. Thanks.

By momoreg on Sunday, March 18, 2001 - 08:22 am: Edit

Take classes. There are too many variables, and things that can go wrong, that if you don't have some experience, a lot can go wrong. Take classes.

By Yankee on Sunday, March 18, 2001 - 04:03 pm: Edit

My finacee and I are both pastry chefs and we both do wedding cakes at each of our jobs. But, we are having someone else do our cake.

Why? Because we want to enjoy the day and not worry about the cake. My advice is to do the same, especially if you are starting from ground zero.

Wouldn't you rather spend the day shedding tears of joy than tears of frustration because your filling didn't set up? Five to ten dollars a slice is a cheap price to pay for peace of mind.

Impress your guests with your beauty, charm and wit, and leave the Martha Stewart cake stuff for birthdays (they come once a year, rather than once in lifetime).

Mormeg is right, too. Start taking some classes if you want to learn how to bake.

Best of luck.

By momoreg on Monday, March 19, 2001 - 07:54 am: Edit

I did my own wedding cake, and even though I do them for a living, you're right Yankee, it's very frustrating, even when nothing goes wrong with it. Still, I know I would have regretted it if I hadn't done it myself. It came out great! And I probably save 2 grand on it.

By cherish on Monday, March 19, 2001 - 01:25 pm: Edit

Would anyone here happen to know of anyone in the NJ/Philly area who could make pulled sugar "bubbles" for my wedding cake?


By Yankee on Monday, March 19, 2001 - 01:26 pm: Edit

Yes, but you do these things for a living. I can't even imagine the horror that awaits someone who has no experience trying to do one of those $2K cakes.

The other thing, besides overhead, is that most of that $2K is your time and skill, not food cost. Isn't it? It's a difficult thing to sometimes try to explain to people.

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, March 19, 2001 - 07:11 pm: Edit

I would visit I heard they are great!!! Maybe they deliver? Just kidding.
2K? I'm in! Leah, don't try to take on this task alone. We have had our fair amount of last minute calls from brides that have tried this.I hate not to help them.
Have two people commit to help you, maybe brides maids? Take lessons from someone who teaches out of a bakery and not a classroom. They are usually more flexable. Tell them your desires right up front and they might even help you with the cake and storage.I don't know where you are,but if you have more ? e-mail

By RichardY on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 02:13 am: Edit

It's possible to make your own cake for a small party, but for a wedding is another story. You will need adequate freezer and fridge space, a large oven to accommodate a large cake, cake pans, cake stands, pastry bags and tips, and cake boards. In a professional production kitchen, there are tons of equipment, a significant amount of space and access to high quality products and ingredients. You also need the expertise to bake the sponge cakes, work with buttercream or fondant, and decorate the cake. Just like Yankee, my fiancee and I are pastry chefs as well, and we wouldn't dream of making our own cake. I love making it for others, but I rather focus my attention to my bride than my cake on our wedding day. I don't even like baking cookies at home much less a wedding cake. If you bake in a professional kitchen, it's much different than at home. I work in a great kitchen so I'm spoiled.

By George (George) on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 08:30 am: Edit

Another issue over and above making it is getting it to the reception.

I was a chef/manager at an off prem catering company whose owner also did wedding cakes.

The owner who was the only one "allowed" to make the cakes was a notorious procrastinator and would put cakes off to the last possible minute.

The primary filling/frosting was Italian meringue butter cream. For those cakes to be stable enough to move I wanted put them in a refer for at least 12 hours (even with half a cord of dowels)

More often than not she would finish the cake about 15 minutes after the reception was supposed to start.

Then we had to carry it out to the van, a 20-year-old clunker, drive it over pot holed roads to the reception, carry it into the hall and pray it wasn't going to sit in a 110deg kitchen for hours before the cake cutting.

And you have to travel with all your tools, extra butter cream and flowers to repair the damage from transit, etc.

A total nightmare.

The moral of the story is you will have plenty of other things to worry about, pay someone to worry about the cake.

By jkapple on Thursday, March 22, 2001 - 12:43 am: Edit

Yankee and George are right! Let someone else do the cake. Perhaps someday you will make beautiful wedding cakes and everyone will ooh and ahh, but for your wedding, focus on your spouse-to-be, family and friends. I had just finished cooking school years ago and was determined to do the food for my wedding, but every one I knew told me not to. Wow was I glad I listened to them! There's just so much else to care of and you want to have enough time and energy to deal with those little unplanned "surprises" that can come up right before a wedding.

By nicolez on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 12:43 pm: Edit

One little suggestion if you are really intent on doing your own wedding cake: make a dummy cake that you can do days in advance for everyone to see using styrofoam bases. Just ice them the way you would if they were real cakes. Then make sheet cakes of whatever flavor cake you want and have the reception hall serve that to your guests. However, I do agree with everyone else when they say not to do your own wedding cake. Everytime I do a wedding cake, it stresses me out - I couldn't imagine having to be stressed like that on my own wedding day. Good luck with whatever you choose.

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