I would like some ideas for something to top off a two tiered square wedding cake I would like to make for my own wedding. It really needs to be simple and uncomplicated as I am not a decorator. I know, I must be crazy for this undertaking, but I am determined. I have made experimental cakes and frostings trying my hand at it and for the life of me I can’t get that buttercream smooth with no wrinkles, holes or knife streaks. Besides, I cannot stand that super sweet frosting. I have just about decided to make a vanilla cake (using a mix combined with sourcream and added sugar for making it more moist and denser) with a lemon curd filling. I thought about maybe topping the cake after I get it together with just sifted powdered sugar to completely cover it; however, I need what??? to make the powdered sugar stick to the cake and not fall off - perhaps one of the liquers (anyone got a lemon liquer recipe??) or airbrush honey all over the cake first!!! Ha, just kidding, I’m sure somewhere out there someone is already doing that. I had thought about a simple glaze (powdered sugar, milk with lemon flavoring) to go all over the entire cake. What other kind of glaze would be good with the lemon curd filling? I am not really interested in using flowers, bows or the usual decorations on it.
I would just like something very different, elegant and simple to make. Thanks for the help.
For starters, consider getting “The Cake Bible”, by Rose Levy Beranbaum. She is the totally awesome, perfectionist author that this website is devoted to. There, you’ll find all the info you need to make a truly delicious, beautiful wedding cake.
For a Frosting, consider the Neoclassic buttercream in lemon, it is perfectly smooth and definitely not too sweet. The color is pale yellow, though, not white. If you must have a whiter frosting, many people swear by the Mousseline buttercream, which is harder to make than the Neoclassic but holds up beautifully.
For the cake, her White Chocolate Whisper cake is often paired with the lemon Neoclassic buttercream, it has a very fine crumb and is light and moist.
Gia, thanks for replying. I am not truely sold on the lemon - I guess I like the idea of lemon as it would “cut” the sweetness of the cake or any kind of icing. My wedding colors are a very dull, faded, muted brassy gold - medium tone with antique ivory. I guess I was trying to coordinate the coloring somewhat and also make it very simple so I could actually accomplish the project. I saw a photo of a cake that used sifted cocoa that totally covered the cake instead of icing. Of course the cake was a rich brown as if it had been iced with chocolate. I don’t think I want it that dake, but it looked interesting. I guess I thought that I could do one covered in sifted powdered sugar to get the same effect but of course much lighter. I am not oppossed to a cake that is not super white. I has always liked a simple cake like a pound or lemon that just had a simple sugar glaze on it instead of thick creamy frosting. But I guess that a simple sugar glaze would be too transparent to look “finished” and polished as a wedding cake should look. However, I am totally not opposed to the “out of the ordinary” look - as long as it is pretty. It will definitely have to be a plan where it can be accomplished several days prior to “the day” with the “putting it together” phase to take place the day before. I plan to make two layers square and have it on my mother’s(deceased for 36 years now) Fostoria square pedestal cake stand. The square base is only 9 1/2 inches square and that’s allright because there will only be about 25 guests maximum (a very intimate affair). So it will not be too elaborate and because of that size factor I did not want to go too far with dramatics. Just simplicity. Thanks again for your time.
Thanks Julie for the info - I might do a trial run on the Neoclassic - found her recipe online. I am open to sny suggestions - I just need to keep it easy and simple so that I will be able to accomplish the project in advance of “the day”. Thanks again for your time.
There are so many options for you… the sky is the limit! You could do layers cheesecake tiers, you could do a tower of bundt style cakes that are drizzled with icing or dusted with powdered sugar, you could do a cupcake tower, you could do a mock cake made out of chocolate truffles, you could do a croquembouche, you could do a traditional cake that is covered in lady fingers or some other kind of cookies/candies, etc, etc, etc. I’ve even seen a wedding cake made out of snack cakes like twinkies, snowballs, and ding-dongs.
Oh, and I agree with Julia - Rose’s buttercream frostings are the highest in quality and flavor - never too sweet, and simply wonderful to work with. Pure joy to the palate!
Patricia, actually, both my fiance love cheesecake (that is the only sweet he will eat - doesn’t care for other sweets) and I kind of feel the same way. However; I am wanting to have a SQUARE cake in two tiers only or possibly one layer fairly deep with a smaller sheet cake if the one layer will not be enough for guests. Besides, I have never made a cheesecake and unfortunately in my area, the climate is usually, even in wintertime, humid, can be hot some days even in winter, etc. So I need something that will hold up to moisture, heat and dragging two and fro!!! I almost decided to order from Swiss Colony a bunch of their layered petit fours and just start at the bottom and stack them on my cake stand, since they are square, I thought that would either look really cute, or either look tacky, either one, I can’t decide. I don’t really feel into the cupcake thing as I think of very young couples when I think of cup cakes (and we are 54 years old). I kind of like the idea of tone on tone - I’ve seen the white or ivory iced cakes, smoothed icing with the all-over squiggles (I’m sorry the design has a name just can’t thinnk of it) placed on with piping bag. It actually is small scrolly lines placed close together but not touching or crossing and it resembles like a lacelike effect. I guess that is too complicated for me. Anyway, I read somewhere that a girl was stacking two cheesecakes and was going to wrap the sides of the layers in parchment paper and would use edible gold somehow as decoration. Sounds interesting doesn’t it.
Thanks so much for your help and valuable info.
I think the design you mentioned might be cornelli lace. It’s very cute, but a killer on the hands of the person who has to pipe it . Petit Fours are a nice idea, but if your area is very humid, you may have trouble with for poured fondant covering on them - sugar readily absorbs moisture and quickly turns to mush. Rose’s Mousseline Buttercream holds up extremely well in high temp/humidity (I speak from exterience).
Cheesecake is extremely easy to make, can be baked and cut into any shape, and can be served with or without being frosted. And although cheesecakes need to be kept cold, they are very sturdy, travel well if properly cared for, are largely unaffected by humidity, and can sit out at room temperature for an hour or so without ill effect.
Just some thoughts for you to throw around - please keep us posted on your decision, and congratulations of your wedding!
Patrincia mentioned some great ideas for altermatives to frosted layer cakes. Here’s one I’ve fantasized about: Napoleons. You can make or buy the puff pastry for the layers, cut them to any shape you want, with square being the easiest. Or line up serving-width rectangles in a square. The sides will be creamy-colored from the filling. You can dust the top with powdered sugar close to the time you display it for a pure white effect, or earlier so the butter has a chance to seep in and make it off-white. If the thought of making lots of pastry cream doesn’t appeal, you can use stabilized whipped cream accented with thin layers of jam or curd.
PS- If you want to stay with a layer cake, you could try a white chocolate whipped ganache for the frosting. It’s basically a well-behaved whipped cream. It looks good slathered on pretty casually.
you could always do cupcakes! don’t buy those cakes from swiss colony! make your own cupcakes frosted with rose’s neoclassic buttercream and you will be much happier. BTW NO ONE get’s their buttercream perfect unless it’s not a true buttercream. ONLY the baker ever notices these things.
Another option would be to create a rough design with your frosting, kind of like waves, swirling from bottom to top on the sides of your cake and swirling out like a pinwheel on the tops of each tier. If you do this with care it will can look beautiful paired with some wildflowers or any other flower, really.
If you want a cheesecake you CAN bake it in a square pan. I never use springform because water can seep in from underneath. you only have to make sure your pan is lined on the bottom and sides with parchment or waxed paper and let it sit overnight in the fridge before unmolding.
AND…...just in case you’re not overwhelmed with a million ideas…perhaps flaked coconut? Not everyone likes it…but those who do, really love it. You would need something to help it adhere to the cake…perhaps a thin layer of jam? you would certainly have to do a trial run…but it is white, and lovely, and yummy.
I never use springform because water can seep in from underneath. you only have to make sure your pan is lined on the bottom and sides with parchment or waxed paper and let it sit overnight in the fridge before unmolding.
there are wonderful “no water bath” recipes for cheesecake available
Patricia, if you don’t mind me asking, which “no water bath” cheesecake recipes do you use? I have always baked my cheesecakes in a water bath. Are these cheesecakes as creamy as the ones baked in a water bath? I’d love to try one…...