Michelle submitted a DIY wedding cake that looks simply phenomenal!
Among other things, probably my biggest DIY accomplishment was making my own wedding cake (see image). The homemade cake fed 100 guests plus 20 band members; two tiers were vegan chocolate cake with raspberry and chocolate buttercream fillings and two tiers were vanilla white cake with vanilla bean buttercream and lemon curd fillings. And save for paper maiche bird toppers (found on Etsy.com), all was edible down to the luster dust on gum paste grapes (I even made most of the fondant!)
We asked Michelle for some tips for those brides planning to make their own cake.
Plan ahead! This is obvious as its DIY 101 but with cake that was the biggest thing. I stuck with recipes I had made before and comfortable with cooking since I was going to be using an unfamiliar oven, so I particularly wanted to make cakes that I knew how to judge their “doneness” easily. And since my husband and I live in Santa Cruz and we got married in Southern California (Temecula), we made our own “cake mixes,” sifting together pre-measured dry ingredients so all we had to do was mix in the wet ingredients and throw the cakes in the oven. In terms of decorating, have a strong understanding of your design but be willing to be flexible. For example, the bundles of grapes on the corners of my cake came from wanting to camoflauge some seams in the fondant. I also stayed away from too much piping work as its just too time comsuming under the circumstances. I think perhaps the biggest two things in undertaking your own cake are to be realistic and calm throughout the process (freaking out does not stop homemade fondant from tearing – a relaxed jaunt down to Michaels for store made will do the trick in a pinch); and to pay attention to the inside of your cake and make it yourself (it doesn’t matter how beautiful the outside is if it tastes like sawdust).
Thanks for the tips Michelle!