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Another for the Cake-Baking Files

[Cake for Leah and Simon, April 2011.]

So because I have so much free time right now, I just baked a wedding cake. I think I honestly might have a slight Baking Addiction — or at least absolutely cannot ever say ‘no’ to baking when asked, especially when it’s something as important as a wedding cake; it’s such an honor to be asked, truly, so how-ever could I refuse? Thus I spent part of yesterday meditatively smoothing buttercream over cake layers stacked four high and reflecting that this second time around I was not nearly as neurotic (!) as the first, back in June. Thank goodness.

Unfortunately, though I promised myself to take photos along the way, as often happens time passes in a flash and I’m trying to get it all done — also: sticky fingers from the buttercream frosting — and don’t really stop to take pictures. But this is what I did: chocolate cake (the trusty A. Waters’ chocolate cake) filled with chocolate ganache and frosted with vanilla buttercream, in three rounds — a 6-inch, a 9-inch, and a 12-inch. I also made an extra 6-inch cake for the happy couple, to either save for their first-year anniversary or devour now for sustenance before the wedding (I’m flexible). I think the regular cake was about 4 batches of batter (and then I did another for the extra cake + some cupcakes for general consumption during the course of the weekend) which really isn’t so much — 1 double batches to make the 9 and 6-inches and then I made a separate batch each for the larger rounds because I was paranoid about not dividing it up equally.

I did take a photo of the 9-inch and 12-inch layers filled, crumb-coated, and butter-creamed to the max:

I hope to have photos of the finished product at some point — I won’t be decorating it myself and it’s just in pieces at this point, i.e. not very photogenic. As I waved it off this morning I felt a sense of pride (and hope: let it all taste so well, please! Let it be beautiful! Let everyone enjoy it very well!) that I managed to accomplish it, and in a small kitchen to boot.

I want to go into more detail about doing this project in a small kitchen sans dishwasher, regular-sized fridge and oven, and with limited time, especially compared to my experience in Maine which in hindsight was the height of luxury (tons of counter space, walk-in fridge/freezer, dishwasher) soon. Each experience had its positives and each experience had its negatives; my main take-away from this most recent one is that it’s absolutely possible to do something like this with a tiny space (I was astonished at how much room my little freezer had after all; I fit all the cake in there easily with room to spare) and as long as you go into it with confidence and a cheerful spirit at powering through (i.e. sliding the last layer out of the oven at 11 p.m. when you have to get up at 6.30 the next day for work is a wee bit difficult but by no means impossible) and are willing to re-do a batch of batter if necessary (I mean, just if that happens. Err.) you can do it. You can! And you can have fun, too. It’s good experience for doing my own (because I am) and others. I’m actually looking forward to the next commission I’ll hopefully receive (though I could still be high on sugar) and am thinking the next time I might get more creative with the flavoring … the shape … the size …

Basically what I’m saying is: if you need a cake baked, I’m your girl.

Now I’m waiting for a vegan lemon cake to finish cooling (though I might have to re-do as I’m dubious on quality) for my contribution to Easter lunch and waiting for a ride to Pt. Reyes. It never ends! But then again, I don’t really want it to.

Happy weekend — hope yours are extra sweet.


  1. My friend Krista recommended your blog, and I love reading it. It makes me want to start writing about food again. Thank you and keep it up!

  2. That was an amazing cake. I had the honor of assembling and decorating it, and now I have the honor of eating some of the leftovers for breakfast. Amazing job!

  3. Scott and I will take pictures for you tomorrow during assembly and send them your way! My whole car smells of buttercream, which is to say I’m having to refrain from licking the interior =)

  4. Oh man, this is making me all teary. And mouth-watery. But mostly teary. I’m so, so honored to have a friend (whom I’ve never met! we have to do lunch soon!) put so much heart into something so special. You’re a good one, N, and the pleasure is entirely ours. We’ll make sure to get some excellent photos of the beauty before we dig in like hounds. :)

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