Monday, April 2, 2012

Hitched, part 2 - Cake

This post had way too much talking in the first draft, so let me just sum up some key points:
  • I love good cake.
  • I baked my wedding cakes so that they would be maximum tasty.
  • They were.
  • They didn't look like professional wedding cakes but I didn't care.
  • I made the cakes a week ahead and froze them until the day before.
Ok now these details might be important to you:

For freezing, I wrapped each unfrosted cake layer in plastic wrap.  For some recipes, freezing the cake makes it turn out crumbly and dry.  In other recipes, freezing them actually brings out the cake's moisture.  Weird, but true. I tested my recipes, including freezing, ahead of time so that I knew they would be moist.  Word of advice to all future brides out there... even if you get your cake from a bakery, make sure that the sample that you taste has been prepared just like what will be brought to your wedding.  Typically the cakes are made ahead and frozen, then thawed right before the event.  However, what you sample at the shop may well be freshly baked so it could have a different texture.

My cakes came out of the freezer in the morning of the day before the wedding, and were frosted late that night. One of my bridesmaids worked on them along with her fiancĂ©, both of whom were my friends in college.  Frosting the cakes felt like old times for me because the three of us worked on a lot of  late-night projects together in school.

My bridesmaid made raspberry filling while her fiancĂ© made and applied cream cheese frosting to half the cakes.  During the reception, our officiant slipped off to the kitchen to make and apply the whipped cream frosting to the other cakes immediately before they were served (whipped cream frosting turns icky if left exposed for more than about 2 hours).

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting   One of the girls at my work has a side business making wedding cakes.  She was sweet enough to make edible flowers for my cakes.
Chocolate Kahlua Cake with Raspberry Filling and Whipped Cream Frosting

Carrot Gold Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This recipe is from my grandma.  When I was little we each got a homemade cake for our birthday and I always requested this one.  

2 c sugar
1 1/2 c vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 t cinnamon
2 c raw carrots, finely grated

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare pans by coating with oil or butter and then flour.
Beat sugar and oil together thoroughly.  Add eggs and beat until fluffy.  Sift next 5 ingredients (dry ingredients) together into egg mixture.  Fold in carrots.
Bake in 9x13 pan or two 9" diameter pans for 40-45 minutes.

1 8-oz package neufatel cheese
1/2 c butter
2 t vanilla
5 1/2 c sifted powdered sugar
about 1/2 of a lemon*

Beat together cheese, butter, and vanilla in a mixer until fluffy.  Add powdered sugar gradually to avoid a mess when you turn on the mixer.  Add lemon juice to taste, about 1/2 lemon worth.

*When it comes to lemon juice, never use the fake stuff.  It is a hassle to stock fresh lemons but you can buy a lot when they are in season and then freeze the  juice.  Just squeeze and pour into an ice cube tray.  Pop out the frozen juice cubes and store them in a freezer bag.  They will keep indefinitely as long as they are not open to the freezer air (in which case they will slowly vaporize).  One cube is about 1/2 of a lemon worth of juice.  

If you ever taste a better carrot cake than this one, I would like to hear about it.  You can vary the cake by adding up to 1 cup of pineapple (DH said it "blew his mind" the first time I made it with pineapple), but that does not work well for a layer cake because it doesn't hold together as well.

Chocolate Kahlua Cake with Raspberry Filling and Whipped Cream Frosting
This cake recipe, sans filling, came from yet another girl at work.  She made them as bundt cakes.  Kahlua is a coffee flavored liqueur, but the baking process eliminates the alcohol.  The finished cake has a certain tang caused by the Kahlua, but I would not say that there is any obvious coffee flavor.  Also of note, this cake is fairly expensive for a homemade cake, due to the alcohol, raspberries, and the purchased cake mixes (but entirely worth it).

1 boxed chocolate cake mix*
1 boxed chocolate pudding mix, regular size
1 c oil
1/2 c Kalhua
1/4 c vodka
3/4 c club soda
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare pans by coating with oil or butter and then flour.  
Mix all ingredients for 4 minutes.
Bake in two 9" diameter pans for 50 minutes.

*I tested three flavors of each type of mix in my wedding cakes.  The unanimous favorite for the cake mix was red velvet.  There was no obvious flavor from the pudding mixes.  

Raspberry filling

I added this filling between the layers of my Kahlua cake in lieu of frosting.
3 c Raspberries
1 T Corn starch
Sugar to taste

On the stovetop, cook washed raspberries over medium heat.  Frozen raspberries are fine for this.  Heat while stirring constantly until the raspberries break down into a syrup.  If desired, run the syrup through a strainer or food processor to remove seeds.  Add sugar to taste (~1/2 to 1 cup).  Dissolve corn starch in a small amount of COLD water and stir until there are no lumps.  Add to sauce and stir.  Spoon out a small amount of filling and allow it to cool.  Verify that it sets to a jam-like consistency.  If not, add more cornstarch, again dissolving it first in cold water. Once the filling sets properly, remove from heat and allow to cool before applying it to the cake.

I used these directions to make the Whipped cream frosting and then put fresh, washed raspberries upside down all over the top of the cake.  If you have leftovers of this one, cover the entire thing with plastic wrap and make sure that the plastic wrap is pressed against the whipped cream frosting, everywhere.  Whipped cream frosting is gross when it dries out.


  1. Squeeeeee!!!!!! That cake was so delicious! I am so excited to have this recipe. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :P