Sunday, June 6, 2010

Congratulations Melissa and Keith!

A few weeks ago I was asked to help with a groom's cake for my friend.  Only it wouldn't be a simple little fondant covered cake with some random design... no, no, the bride had grand plans for this cake.  Given the groom lives and breaths Chicago sports, it made sense to give the cake a Chicago Cubs theme.  So the instructions were to make the bottom tier look like Wrigley Field with ivy all over, a second tier with the Cubs logo and incorporate a cake topper that bride had gotten with a Cubs theme.  Yikes.  Given that this would be only the third fondant covered cake I've ever made, I started to have a mini panic attack. 

Thankfully, another bridesmaid was helping me and she was in charge of making the cake.  A yummy pumpkin spice cake... BTW, Jen, if you're reading this you still owe me that recipe.  It was to die for!  Dense and moist with a fantastic mix of spices.  The problem was, the traditional icing she used for this cake was cream cheese... which if you've ever read any baking forum, cream cheese icing and fondant do NOT mix.  So I scoured the web and found this recipe from Earlene's Cakes.  It uses something called Butavan which sounded to me like something you'd take to get rid of some sort of infection, but it is actually a butter/vanilla emulsion.  Since the recipe used very little cream cheese (which is apparently what causes problems for the fondant) the Butavan helps strengthen the flavor.  To be completely honest... this isn't the best cream cheese icing recipe.  It does the job and it didn't melt the fondant, but it doesn't taste nearly as good as a traditional recipe.

So away we go... Jen arrived with cakes on Wednesday night around 6pm.  Here's the first layer getting its icing:
And one word of caution if you use this recipe - you've gotta work fast.  The point of it is to crust so the fondant can be placed on, but it crusts fast.  Like, warp speed fast.  So I'd recommend having all the cakes trimmed and ready to go before you even mix the icing.

Putting on the fondant:
Oops, you can see our cheat sheets behind the cake... don't judge!  I wasn't familiar enough with the Cubs logo or Wrigley Field to go off of memory.
Now, how to create ivy... more fondant!  Tinted in 3 different shades of green and three different sizes for variety.

Lots of ivy...
While Jen got started on applying those to the bottom layer I got started on the top...
Turns out I'm much better at icing round cakes. 
And of course my dog, Indi, had to supervise the project...
This time he promised not to eat the cake.

Jen had gotten an edible Wrigley Field sign made to stick on the front.  How cute!
Jen was doing a great job with the ivy so I got started on the Cubs logo... this turned out to be a bigger pain in the A than I thought it would be.  I have fondant letter cutters but the "B" looks more like an "8"... that is, if you can get it out of the cutter in one piece!  This thing really had me pissed off.  There were many four-letter words said at this point.  But it turned out alright in the end!
So maybe it was all the sugar fumes, or possibly the fact that it was around midnight at this point... but we thought that sitting on the cake board like this, the top tier looked a lot like an old fashioned campaign hat.  Don't you agree?  Maybe you need to see it on my head to convince you...
Yeah... we were a little loopy at this point in the night.
Enough playing around, it's time to join the two cakes.  In hindsight, it would have been good to do this PRIOR to decorating the top tier.  Once again, lots of four-letter words and cake nearly ending up on the floor, but the only casualty was that the blue band got a little messed up.  Nothing a little shortening and smoothing couldn't fix though. 
DONE!  Well, almost.  The topper came with all sorts of Cubs themed extras to decorate.  So we got a little crazy and thought the bride might look good with a hat on...
Yeah... at this point it was at least 1am. 
Here are some photos from the wedding. 
The groom checking it out with some buddies from Chicago:
Looks like a satisfied client!
Cutting the cake.  They cut ours in addition to the real cake! 
I have to admit it hurt a little to see the cake like this...
But what good is a cake that doesn't get eaten?

Congratulations Melissa and Keith! 


  1. I can't even count the number of people who asked if we'd bought it from Ace of Cakes. Such a seriously awesome cake!!! So awesome, that it was supposed to only be at the rehearsal but we brought it the wedding too because Keith had to show it to other Cubs fans. Seriously... you Bs can Bake!

  2. That cake was AWESOME!!! I still dream about it.

  3. I promise to provide the recipe next time we get together. As long as you promise not to give out to everyone you know. It is one of my specialties. ;)