So I kind of love to bake…I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, but I bake every week. It’s a pass-time of mine. So the idea had crossed my mind to bake some sort of cake of my own for the wedding. I quickly dismissed the thought because if it didn’t turn out, I would never forgive myself. However, after speaking with the venue/caterer people, and their statement that a cake would drive the cost of the food up, I began to reconsider the idea. I had always wanted a wedding cake, and wedding cupcakes just didn’t seem to cut it for me. If I could just have a little cake, maybe just something for us to cut into, that would be awesome. So I formulated an idea.
I think I like the idea of having the caterers create these:
They would be so cute AND cut down on the cake cost (and the cake cutting cost)! BUT so I can have my cake (and eat it too) I will try my hand at making this cake:
That way, it’s a cute little hive with honey bees, surrounded by a cupcake flower garden! Perfect right? Sure…if I could actually pull it off. The only cakes I’ve ever made are round. I don’t do cakes shaped like things…mostly because I’d screw it up royally. I tried a fondant cake once…that did not end well. But for the sake of experiment to see if I could, and for the joy of you all out there, I tried it.
The cake itself is a honey banana cake. It tastes like banana bread, which I love, so no problem there. Part of the cake is baked in a pan, but to create the “hive look” the other part is cooked in a bowl. The bowl takes about 10-15 minutes longer to cook, but they both came out splendidly. And, as with all my cakes, they sit in the fridge over night. This helps solidify and cool the cake, and actually locks in moisture! Refrigerating tip courtesy of Paula Deen, so you know it works!
The next day, it was onto tackling the buttercream frosting. This is real buttercream folks, not that powdered sugar crap that tastes artificial.
And apparently for real buttercream you need about 6 sticks of butter. For this whole cake process I needed a total of 8 sticks of butter…that’s FOUR CUPS of butter. Talk about adding to the thighs!
Buttercream takes a lot of love, attention and whisking. SO MUCH WHISKING. My arm hurt by the end and the boy had to take over for some of it. As you may remember I am not cool enough to own a stand alone electric mixer, so my electric mixing has to be done by hand…thus my huge biceps…
I finished off the buttercream with some honey, vanilla, a bit of salt and some yellow food coloring to give it that “beehive color.”
Next I cut and stacked the cakes to give it that sloping effect hives have, then I slapped on the buttercream, between the layers and all over the cake. After smoothing it all out, I traced a spiral patter along the sides and top to give it the textured look. Instead of sculpting bees out of marzipan I just used some icing gel and piped the bees on the cake. I didn’t have enough money for marzipan, or the talent of sculpting…so I may leave that for another practice run of the cake. Here is…drum roll please…the final product:
It looks NOTHING like the professional picture, and yet I am happy with it. I accomplished what I set out to do, and now I know I can do it. It looks homemade, which is the look we are going for anyway. So right now I am seriously looking at the idea of making this cake. I will do many more runs of this in the future, probably trying out different flavors of cake to see what we like best.
What do you think? Has anyone else made their own cake? Sound off brides-to be! Would you ever attempt this to save money?