I made a resolution that 2012 would be a year of celebration, and so far, I’ve been successful. 2012 has been wonderfully busy, and there’s been much to celebrate!
I am so happy to be back in Florida, and I’ve been soaking up the sunshine, spending time with friends doing really important things (like watching The Bachelorette and scouting happy hour locations in downtown Orlando), and keeping up with the Shook clan (we’re a crazy crew!). Sadly, The Joy of Shooking has been a wee bit neglected.
BUT – in the spirit of celebration, I have a really BIG post for my return: a baking feat that is by far my most difficult, time consuming, and rewarding.
I started a list about a year ago of 30 things I’d like to do before I turn 30 this year. The list is still a work in progress (I’ve only got about two-thirds of it down on paper, so suggestions for my last 10 items are welcome!), and I added a really big task to this list in January: make a wedding cake.
My friends Mike and Christie got engaged over the holidays and started planning their summer wedding right away. Over my great aunt’s magical sour cream pound cake one night, we joked about making a wedding cake with this delicious recipe. Of course, in my mind this was the ultimate challenge. There was no way I wasn’t going to make this cake.
So I agreed to make a wedding cake for 150 people.
We did a few taste trial runs and a decorating sample, and the week of the wedding was here before I even had time to really think about how hard it would be to get a three-layer cake and six sheet cakes to the reception (there was a yoga mat and a very skilled friend involved).
It was such a fun adventure, and I am eternally thankful for the help that Mama Shook and my sister, Kerri, provided (though Kerri mostly just entertained us and skipped a day of school – rough life). I couldn’t have done this without them!
Also really thankful for my friend CB’s help in getting the cake to the reception site – one day we’ll open a bakery!
My mom brought over her KitchenAid, so we had 2 mixers working at the same time time all day. What did we do before stand mixers? I don’t want to think about it.
Ridiculous amounts of butter, sugar, eggs, flour, extracts, and powdered sugar were purchased over three different trips to the store. I think it was a total of about 18 pounds of butter between the cakes and the frosting. Paula Deen would be so proud!
Each 11″ x 15″ pan held a recipe and a half, so we made nine recipes for the sheet cakes alone.
They came out perfectly – I was so relieved and excited!
The 12″ round cakes were another story… (frosting took care of this little glitch)
Kerri’s contribution to this project (testing the camera on my iPad – and making playlists).
I frosted the tiered cake first, and our first batch of icing was a bit thick. But it was perfect for holding this monster together. You should also know that the top two layers are styrofoam. Because I don’t even want to think about how heavy a three-layer wedding cake made with dense pound cake would be. That’s just silliness.
The sheet cakes were much easier to frost. Frosting six of them did take a decent amount of time though.
It’s kind of amazing what piping can cover.
Side note: I went to bed convinced Maddi would figure out how to open the door of the laundry room, climb the hutch that I’d put this on, and eat the entire cake. Not joking. She’s a sneaky dog. Especially when food is involved.
And of course I had a photo shoot the next morning.
Then we had to get it to the reception venue, which took two trips and lots of guidance from CB – thanks for keeping cool, CB!
It arrived in one piece, and I celebrated! Congrats, Whitakers!