First things first. I know you have all been patiently waiting for the announcement of the winner in our Wilton Wedding Cake giveaway. Preparing for the wedding took me right through the deadline date without selecting the winner, so I don’t want to make you anticipate any longer. The lucky reader who will be receiving:
- Performance Pans™ Round Pan Set, 3 in. Deep
- Decorator Preferred® Bakeware Heating Core
- Wilton Wedding Cakes – A Romantic Portfolio
is #185, Susie Lee Weiner, who said in her comment, “like Busy-at-Home on fb as susan wiener. swiener1[at]tampabay.rr.com
Congratulations, Susie! You have been sent an email with instructions for receiving your prize!
Please reply within 48 hours, so Wilton can ship it right out to you! …
Well, it’s done. The months and weeks of practice, planning and preparation culminated in a beautiful wedding day, Saturday. I spent most of Sunday and Monday just relaxing and soaking in the reality of this newest chapter in our family story. Our daughter and son-in-law climbed into the moving truck, headed for California on Sunday morning, and I am slowly reclaiming those areas of my home that were overrun by powdered sugar, fondant, fresh flowers and myriad wedding prep necessities. What a glorious weekend! What a bittersweet send-off. What an exciting new journey is just beginning for two of our most loved people. God is truly good!
I have, as you can imagine, been occupied with all things wedding these past two weeks and most especially with my task as wedding cake baker and decorator — a responsibility that gave me both great excitement and exceptional fear. 🙂 I am happy to say that bride, groom and guests were very pleased with the results and I will classify my first experience with wedding cakes a success. I attribute that in no small part to the fabulous Wilton baking and decorating tools that I have been reviewing and the ones I already personally own. I have been a Wilton fan for years and so my personal collection of their kitchen tools is fairly extensive. Add to that the use of the Ultimate Decorating Kit, Wilton Preferred Round Cake Pans (3″ deep), the Wilton Heat Core and Wilton’s beautiful wedding cake book filled with decorating tips and instructions, all sent for our review here at Busy-at-Home, and my chances for a beautiful outcome were multiplied exponentially!
I baked and decorated nine, 12 x 18 sheet cakes, in addition to the wedding cake. I baked the sheet cakes in Wilton’s Decorator Preferred Sheet Cake Pans. I love, love, love these extra thick aluminum baking pans. They distribute heat more evenly, meaning your finished products will bake and brown more evenly. Beautiful!!! The extra thick aluminum means no warping in the oven and the hand-formed edges make lifting and carrying the pans a breeze! They are 2″ deep and are covered by a Lifetime Warranty. I cut 24 extremely generous pieces from each pan and most people were shocked at the size of the servings, so you could easily get 28-30, if you cut them slightly smaller. Ours was a simple cake and punch reception, so I opted for larger servings of cake.
To decorate the sheet cakes, I tinted Wilton Ready-to-Use Rolled Fondant, purchased at our local Wal-Mart. Our daughter had a spring colors theme for her wedding and so we tinted some of the fondant lavender, some peach, and left some white. I’m sure I used less than one pound in total to create the leaves and flowers for all nine sheet cakes. It required very small amounts of Wilton Orange and Violet Icing Colors to achieve the pastel tints I wanted. Once the fondant was colored, by kneading the color into the fondant, I sprinkled a light coating of cornstarch on the counter and rolled each color into a very thin sheet (less than 1/8 inch). I was fortunate to have the fondant roller included in Wilton’s Ultimate Decorating Set. It comes with bands that allow you to roll any dough or fondant to a uniform thickness. Since I wanted the flowers to be even less than 1/8 inch I removed the bands and rolled it by “feel”.
Once the fondant was rolled, I used the smallest pink flower cutter, also included in the Ultimate Decorating Set and cut 220 of each flower color. I did each color separately, as I didn’t want the first ones cut to dry before I had a chance to shape them. To shape these simple posies, I used the rounded end of the thin modeling stick and the foam block, both included with the Ultimate Decorating Set. I placed each fondant flower onto the foam and using the modeling stick, pressed an indentation into the center, which automatically turned up the petals, to give the flowers a dimensional shape.
I simply repeated this process for both the lavender and white flowers. The leaves were formed using a small petal cutter that I owned previously. It’s part of Wilton’s Floral Collection Flower Making Set. I rolled and cut the leaves in the same way as the flowers. Then I used the “shell-shaped” end of the green ball tool to imprint “veins” into the leaves and allowed them to dry as well.
The sheet cakes were baked using the same Perfect White Wedding Cake recipe that I shared with you in the first wedding cake post. One recipe filled one 12 x 18 pan. When the cakes were cooled I used Wilton’s simple Butter Cream Icing recipe. I won’t repost the recipe for you here, since you can get it easily at their site and the only variation I made was to use Bourbon Vanilla in place of the clear Vanilla. The flavor is outrageously delicious!
After icing the sheet cakes, I lightly scored the frosting to show where I wanted the cake cuts to be made, which created the framework for laying out the flower decorations. The cakes were moist and delicious with extreme vanilla flavor. The icing was rich and vanilla-ey and the perfect canvas for the fondant decorations. Guests raved about the taste and loved the decorations. What do you think?
There’s one more wedding cake post coming. It’s going to have tons of larger, more intricate flowers, a cool “lace” decorating technique and lots of pictures. This next picture is just a teaser and to let you have a peek at the finished product we took to the wedding reception.