Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Wedding Cake

The newlyweds, Kelly and Alex

Last weekend my sister and Alex tied the knot in Missoula, Montana. My parents were there for the ceremony on Friday and Ryan and I were there to celebrate with them for the weekend. I had been looking forward to making a wedding cake for them ever since they got engaged last year. Cake decorating is one of the hobbies I picked up post-comps and after I was (mostly) done taking classes. I had so little time for fun activities in my first two years of grad school that what kept me going was vowing that I would learn to do all the things I had been missing out on.
The first new thing I did was take snowboarding lessons - and I am SO glad I did! After that, my friend Megan taught me everything she knows about cake decorating. I've always fancied myself a little bit artistic, but between all the school work, field work, and travel over the years, I haven't had much time to explore that side of my interests since high school.
For Kelly and Alex's wedding I wanted to make something simple and elegant. The basic design for this cake is featured on the cover the first Wilton cake decorating book. I adapted it to be a two-tiered cake and added the decorations around the edges. What I learned from Megan and the Wilton books is that there are a few very simple steps to decorating a simple cake with buttercream frosting. The first is to use the Wilton buttercream frosting recipe (basically crisco and powdered sugar). The second is to use the Wilton decorating spatulas and dip them in hot water after each time you spread frosting - this step makes a big difference! That is how the frosting looks smooth. The roses take a big of skill - mostly in getting the frosting to the right consistency - but they are well-worth it. I am also a big fan of using dots to decorate, they are simple and they can add a lot to a cake.
Ryan also has a bit of an artistic side when it comes to woodworking, which he clearly gets from his dad who made nearly all of our furniture. Ryan has made a few signs with names on them as gifts when people get married. We pick a font we like, print the letters out really big, and then Ryan routers them onto a piece of wood, then paints and/or stains it. We got the idea from my mom, who has made a lot of signs like this over the years. Ryan gave this one to Kelly and Alex last weekend.
I'm happy for Alex and Kelly and so glad we were able to be there to celebrate with them last weekend!

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