Summer Wedding Cake

At the end of last Summer, I received a request from a bride-to-be for me to make her wedding cake this June. She knew exactly what she wanted, and I was delighted to oblige. This cake consisted of three tiers (12", 10" and 6") of Madeira sponge, sandwiched together with plenty of strawberry jam and buttercream. As you can imagine, this cake occupied a lot of my thinking, and it was fun to finally create this cake a couple of weeks ago.

As is often the case when I am working on a big project, I fail to take many photos. The work is too all-consuming to allow for me to step back and take photos of the process. The photos in this post are the ones I hastily snapped on my iPhone.

I love how the fruit takes centre stage with this cake. You just can't beat the colours of summer fruits, can you? It was such a relief to arrive at the beautiful wedding venue (Wyndcliffe Sculpture Gardens in Chepstow), with each tier of the cake still in one piece, so that I could stop worrying about them getting damaged in transit. Armed with a shed-load of fruit, plenty of buttercream & my piping bag, I assembled the cake at the venue, all the while praying that the sun would not spoil the fruit before it got eaten! The bride told me that there was only a tiny sliver of cake left over, which was music to my ears. After all, the whole point of making cake is for it to be eaten.

For the record:
This website was very helpful in providing quantities for scaling up cake sizes. In complete honesty, one of the things that is most challenging to me in baking is the Maths, so I was very grateful for the chart provided on this website.

+ I used 900g strawberry jam, and ten quantities of my normal buttercream recipe for the filling and icing the top tier (250g icing sugar, 80g unsalted butter, 25ml whole milk, vanilla extract).

+ To prevent the jam leaking out the edges of each tier, I created a buttercream dam by piping a circle of buttercream around the edge of the sponge, which I then filled with jam. Then, I piped concentric circles of buttercream on top of the jam, and used a palette knife to gently spread this layer, I found this to be the most effective way of distributing the buttercream.

+ The two biggest tiers of the cake were supported with five dowels in each tier to prevent the cakes sinking into each other.