Wedding season is well and truly upon us and for those brave few who have ever taken on the mammoth task of baking a wedding cake, either for their own wedding or for a loved one’s special day, you’ll know exactly what we mean when we say it’s quite a task.
There are some things you’ll ONLY know if you taken on the challenge (and lived to tell the tale!).
1. The ENDLESS planning
Unfortunately, you’ll know only too well that creating a wedding cake doesn’t actually start with the baking; there are the days and days worth of scrawled notes and meticulously sketched designs to go through before you go anywhere near the flour and eggs. What’s the theme? What colour are the chair covers? What will the bride think?! Just be ready with a new notebook and a pencil or two to hand – you might be here a while…
2. Styrofoam is your frenemy
So, you’ve done all the planning, filled up that notebook and left a path of destruction behind you in the form of several snapped pencils. You know exactly how many eggs, how much butter, sugar and flour you’ll need and your timings are down to a T! So you can finally start baking, right? Alas, no; now you must take to the styrofoam dummy cake to practice your icing. So here it begins, a new torture – hours’ worth of careful sculpting to try to perfect your icing technique for that really sharp, smooth finish.
3. You can’t remember when you last saw your kitchen counter
You’ve finally started baking (at last!) but somewhere along the (production) line you forgot what your kitchen counter looks like it. Was it granite? Marble? Solid wood? Who knows anymore, because it’s been days since you’ve had a free surface in your kitchen.
4. You’ve worked your dishwasher to the max
Even the most heavy-duty dishwasher can’t keep up with the washing up loads you’ve been tasking it with. What’s worse is that occasionally you’ll bring out a mixing bowl and it’ll have that hardened cake mix still stuck to the side and have to re-wash it by hand *grits teeth*.
5. You’ve surrendered your freezer…
You’ve done the smart thing and baked sponge cake tiers in advance and put them in the freezer to keep until you’re ready to finish the cake. But alas, you’ve had to get rid of everything else in the freezer to make room for all those tiers… Remember that lasagne you froze for a quick and easy supper? Forget about it, it doesn’t exist anymore.
6. …But then you can reclaim the fridge
Baking a wedding cake is a game of swings and roundabouts. While you may have had to sacrifice your freezer to the cake, you have simultaneously managed to reclaim the fridge. Where it once was full of eggs and butter and little else, you can now return some level of normality to your life by filling it up with actual food.
7. You start obsessing over speed bumps
Perhaps the most dangerous stage of the cake-baking experience – transporting it to the wedding venue! You’ve had to meticulously plan a route that avoids speed bumps, congested areas and road works in order to deliver it in the best possible time. You’ve also realised that in order to keep the cake as set and sturdy as possible you’ve had to crank up the AC in the car so you’re driving in arctic conditions. Queue frostbitten, stiff fingers by the time you arrive. But at least you’re on the home stretch now…
8. The sheer relief
And breathe! What initially may have seemed like an insurmountable task has now been completed. Once the cake has been set on the table and you’ve seen it in its rightful setting and in all its glory, the sleepless nights worrying about buttercream quantities start to fade away like a distant memory. Relief washes over you and you’re filled with pride… Which means you’re off-guard when someone asks you to make their wedding cake. It will be better next time, right…?