Black & White Wedding Mini Cakes

What an amazingly, exhausting experience.

I mean, I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself in to.
The bride wanted to have 150 mini cakes with a black and white design to fit their color scheme. We decided on marble cake with a dark chocolate ganache filling and fondant icing. The cakes would be wrapped in black satin wribbon around the bottom edge and have 2 edible (alternating) black or red royal icing hearts sticking out the top.

My first task was to build the stand that all of the cakes would sit on. I constructed it out of Foam core board and styrofoam. I cut the Foam core into 6 graduating squares, then glued a pretty wedding wrapping paper to the top and bottom of them. Around the edges I glued black ribbon. I purchased the styrofoam as one big sheet that was 2" thick, 12" wide, and 36" long. Then I cut it down in to 2x6x6" squares and stacked and glued three squares together to form 6 inch blocks. If you look closely at the picture below you can see the styrofoam squares before I wrapped them in the wrapping paper (aside from the top one).

Once the blocks were glued and wrapped, I glued black ribbon around the top and bottom edges to finish off the look. Below is what the final stand would look like. However, at this point all of the layers were not glued together, they were simply stacked on top of eachother. It wasn't until the night before that I actually glued it all together.

By the Wednesday night before I had as much ready to go as I could, but I knew I still wasn't going to get it all done unless I took some time off work. So I took off a half day on Thursday and all day on Friday. I immediately went to work as soon as I got home on Thursday night and worked on it until about 11:30ish. Then got back up at 8am Friday morning and worked on it ALL day up until I had a meeting to go at 7pm. By the time I left for the meeting I had 22 cakes done.. 22!! (now, remember ... I was supposed to have 150 done for the wedding the next morning??). At that point I was already so exhausted, and the daunting task I had ahead of me (and how little I currently had done) began to overwhelm me. Even to the point where when I got to the meeting someone (totally joking) asked me, "Are you done with that cake yet?!"... and I about burst in to tears. But praise GOD for my dear, sweet, unbelieveable friend Kelly who came to my rescue and offered to come over and help me. I didn't get back home until about 9:30 and Kel got there I think about 10:30. From that point on we worked.. and worked.. and worked. When Michael got home about 2:30AM he started to help too. Yes folks.. that's 2:30am... (he was IN the wedding so he had been at the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner all night which is the reason I ended up being the one to go to the meeting). The most trouble we had was with the fondant. It is SOO tempermental. You can't have it too warm, too cold, too greasy, too sugary, etc., etc.... And it was a very time consuming process just to get ONE cake covered. See, I had the cakes (all filled, cut in to squares, and ready to be covered) in the freezer because they are much easier to work with when frozen. But then the cake had to have a "not too thin-not too thick" layer of buttercream put on so that the fondant would stick. Then the fondant had to be rolled out (but not too soon otherwise it would dry out) and cut to the approximate size for the cake. Then the cake had to be carefully covered making sure not to pull too hard in one direction otherwise it would tear - oh, and making sure you get the corners perfect so there's no pleats.. etc., etc..... blah, blah, blah. Basically it was A LOT of time consuming work. Way too much for one person to do, so I totally thank God for Kelly and Michael's help.

I think it was about 3:30am when I began walking around like a zombie and my eyes began to glaze over when Kelly said we ought to take a break. So she left and I stayed up another half hour or so to finish some stuff up then went to bed. At 7am I was back up (yes, 3 hours later) and Kelly (bless her heart) came back at about 8. At that point panic began to set in as the wedding was supposed to start at 2pm in San Francisco. Well Michael was starting to panic too since he was in the wedding and needed to be at the chapel by 1pm. So he was freaking me out, I was freaking him out, and Kelly found a way to solve the problem. :) We finally decided that we were just going to have to drive separate. So Michael got ready and left and I decided that the latest I could possibly leave was 1:00 in order to get there in time to set it all up. I knew at that point that there was NO WAY I was going to make it to the ceremony. We figured we'd get as far as we could on the cakes and that would be that, no matter how much we had gotten done. By 12:30 we had 100 cakes done and I ran in to the shower while Kelly finished up putting the ribbons on the cakes. By 1:00 I was out of the house with cakes in hand and on my way to SF. I got to the reception hall by 2:00 and no joke it was like 1000 degrees in there! I couldn't believe how hot it was and began to worry that the cakes just might melt! I quickly got the cakes put on the stand and began pushing in the royal icing hearts. First the black, then the red - wait, the red aren't dry!! Eek! Luckily I had piped out just enough black hearts to use in place of the red. (I piped extra incase of breakage). Turns out, not all of the 100 cakes we had done even fit on the stand, so I kept the remainder in the box. At 3:00 the cake was done. Phew! So I rushed to the restroom to put on my make up, do my hair, and get dressed. (it was a pretty scary sight when I finally first looked in the mirror! haha) And at long last, by 3:30, I was done.
The guests started showing up about 4:00. Praise God that it was all done in time. I hit A LOT of snags along the way, but in the end everyone really liked it and it turns out there was plenty of cake to feed everyone. There was even some left over for the bride and groom to take home. Whew! It was the most exhausting and labor-intensive cake I've ever done, but it was totally worth it to see the look on people's faces as they walked by.

Well... here it is! (Better pictures to come soon, I promise)


Anonymous said...

Your cakes for Gabe and Tessie's wedding were amazing! You did a fabulous job!!!

Love, Aimee

twenty something? said...

these cakes are far from amateur. where do you bake from?

jessica said...

I did a crazy amount of cupcakes once and I said I would never do it again. the worst part for me was packaging all those little cakes. How did you do it? How are you two? give us a call or an email if you want to hang out soon. Tiger2626@hotmail.com or 577-0625

Tessie said...

OMG Tara...I love you. thats all i can say you are the best and your cake was phenomenal...really your the best!

Tanya Roy said...

I have 150 square mini cakes coming up soon. July 24th.
You blog helped me a lot. I actually took the whole week off work, so I should be good for time.
How did you store the cakes?
How did you package them for transport?
Luckily I'm not attending the wedding. You're a brave girl...lol

Tanya Roy said...

oh my email is tjroy@nb.sympatico.ca