Simple Wedding Cakes

You've always had a reputation as an awesome cake baker and cake decorator and now a loved one or close friend is getting married. Dare you offer to bake their wedding cake? Will creating a homemade wedding cake be beyond the boundaries of your abilities?

Wooden Dowels

The truth is that if you're an experienced home baker and you've managed simple piped decorations, you should have no trouble baking a wedding cake. You'll need to read up on at least one technique: doweling. High, tiered cakes require some internal support to hold them upright. Simple wooden dowels, cut to size and stuck into the cake in strategic areas will do the trick. You cover over all traces of the dowels with icing. It really isn't that difficult, once you've read up on the subject just a bit.

As for the decoration, you needn't feel you have to make a lot of decorative piping and scroll work. Less is more when you're decorating such a large item. Buy a large star tip and extra-large icing bag, and after icing the cake smooth, use it to pipe big poufs of icing all around the edges of the layers. Then use the same tube to pipe fat, vertical columns all around the sides.

Now here's a brilliant tip: use real flowers to decorate your cake. Real flowers are more beautiful than any you can create from gum paste, marzipan, or buttercream. Make sure you use flowers that are unsprayed. If you are ordering them from a florist, make it very clear that the flowers are to be used to decorate a cake and that you don't want your guests to be poisoned with bug spray! Of course, you can use unsprayed flowers from your garden and rest assured that no one will take ill.

Shot Glass

Cut a small hole into the top of the cake and sink a throwaway, plastic shot-glass filled with water into the hole. Fill it with short stems of closed pink rosebuds and baby's breath, or a small spray of any flowers that you and the bridal couple prefer. Pack it tight and make the stems so short the flowers appear to be growing out of the cake. They will stay fresh and lovely for hours.

For the bottom tier, get some florist tape and neutral or green-colored twister seals and weave a wreath of sage, lavender, wild flowers, and violets large enough to encircle the bottom layer of the cake. The wedding guests will talk about the beauty of your creation for years to come. No worries about piping roses!

Get to the wedding hall early and set the cake up at the hall on the table provided for this purpose. You'll have to pack the individual cakes into your car very carefully so that they don't shift and slide in transit. Some well-placed towels can help keep them in place during the ride. Bring all your equipment with you and extra icings, too, for any touchups that might be necessary. Wear an apron over your work clothes for this purpose and get dressed in your wedding finery only after the cake is set up.