Saturday was the Big Day. We made our lists and checked them twice, gathered our supplies, took the cake out of the fridge Friday night, and the icing out on Saturday morning. We loaded the cake layers, lemon curd, and icing into large coolers and headed over to the wedding site.
Despite pounding rain and thunder, everyone involved in wedding preparation was in great spirits, and we busily got to work with more than one interested onlooker. Our first task was whipping the cold icing back into warm fluffiness with our hand mixer. I had read that this would be no problem – just give it a little beating to restore the texture. I readied the first layer while Brian beat, until he stopped, gave me a panicked look and said, “Something is wrong!” Our gorgeous, creamy Swiss Buttercream icing was weeping liquid. Oozing, really, and it was the texture that of runny scrambled eggs. Not good. And of course, the radiant bride walked in at that very moment to check how things were going. Brian literally hid the bowl and muttered, “Great!” We smiled, continued beating and hoped for the best. After a tense five minutes, the icing returned to a smooth creamy texture, thank goodness. (A more experienced baker friend told us today that we probably broke our meringue!)
The rest of the cake assembly seemed like, well, like cake! Layer after layer of cake was edged with icing, and the center was filled with alternating layers of jam or lemon curd.
And stacked very, very high…
Our two naked cakes, ready for decoration!
After the ceremony (for which the rain stopped and the sun shone!), I gathered lemon balm, lavender, violet leaves, chamomile blossoms, and roses, which were arranged on the cake like so…
And like so…
It’s funny how this cake almost took on a life of its own. Part of that is probably my doing. I have to admit that I got a bit obsessive about making this cake. It just seemed so important to make the most delicious, most beautiful cake we possibly could. And, not to brag too much, but it really was one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever tasted. So moist, flavorful, tangy, and sweet.
The kids agreed!
As we were preparing to leave, I went into the dining room to check if I left anything behind. There sat the remainder of the cake – just a quarter of a tier, really – calling out to me. I found myself a Ziploc bag, cut off a small chunk, and took it home to eat for breakfast today. Just perfect.
If you feel inspired to make your very own Lemon Wedding Cake, here are links to the recipes we used:
Lemon Cake: From Martha Stewart Weddings We multiplied the recipe by six for enough batter for two of the following: 8, 10, 12 and 11 inch rounds. We sifted almond meal and used it in place of 1/4 of the flour called for in the recipe.
Lemon Curd: Another Martha Stewart recipe. We made seven batches and still had plenty left over.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream: Martha again! We doubled the recipe to make 10 cups. Read the tutorial on this site if you’re planning on trying this recipe for the first time!
Simple Syrup: We brushed this on the cake sides to keep them moist. Bring 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a boil. When the liquid cools, add 1 tsp vanilla or lemon juice.
Jam: Take your pick! We used Blueberry, Apricot and a Blueberry-Strawberry mixture. Divine!
Making a Wedding Cake: Part One – Planning
Making a Wedding Cake: Part Two – Tasting
Making a Wedding Cake: Part Three – Baking
Did you flavor the buttercream frosting with lemon??
Teri Page says
We did not, but only because the cake had so much lemon already – lemon in the cake itself, and a VERY intensely flavored lemon curd.
What a story! I wish I could have been there to try a piece…I’m sure the bride & everyone was so grateful for your hard work but I’m also guessing no one really knows how much effort it took except you & Brian. The kids are beautiful, big…can’t believe how big Everett is, especially. Ella as pretty & curious as ever. Etta looks just like her mama!
Oh man, was it a good cake!
I have never before thought about how much work goes into a wedding cake, but now I know! I did share this blog post with the bride and her family, so they do have a little bit of insight into the process!
All that work really paid off! It looks delicious!!
Ronald Thomas says
Ann here—an incredible masterpiece!!!! Loved the cake story, Teri. OMGOSH, you guys dodged a bullet….glad the mixer made it work. Also loved the mesmerized looks on the kids’ faces. You guys will probably be asked to do an encore!
I’m fretting about your weather today….please be safe.
LOVE! PROUD!! XXXOOO
Thanks Ann! Yes, it sure is wet here, but we’re safe and dry.