Sea-themed Wedding Cake

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This is the second wedding cake I have made. All cakes are special and I want to give 110%, but a wedding cake is another league. My nerves were slightly more agitated.

The bride asked for shells, sand, seal toppers and loves lighthouses. With all these decorating wishes I was worried that the cake would look more like a child’s birthday and not a wedding cake.

Whilst looking through the internet for ideas I remember seeing various photos on Pinterest on how to make your own cake stand out of candle holders and plates. And so the idea was born to make a lighthouse cake stand to accompany the cake. I sandpapered the candle stick holder a little and then painted over two coats of white acrylic paint. The next day I painted the blue parts of the lighthouse, the next day the black door and windows. My husband drilled the hole into the wooden plate before I painted it. And a final coat of clear waterbased varnish. The good thing about these kinds of decorations is that they can be prepared weeks in advance. Just like the sugar paste seals and the sea shells which I made over the course of a few weeks.

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I used my favourite, and I think the best, colour guide website I know to find a good selection of matching colours for the cake.

I had thought about buying moulds for the shells, but then I decided to practice my skills by following various tutorials on YouTube. Serdar Yener from Yener’s Way has a very detailed tutorial which also shows you how to make your own moulds. I dusted the shells with shades of brown and ivory dust.

As the cake had to last four days until being eaten I went for a simple lemon pound cake and brushed each layer with lemon syrup to keep the cake moist. As the bride isn’t really a big fan of sweet things I opted for SMBC (Swiss Meringue Buttercream) instead of regular buttercream or ganache as a filling.

Covering the chilled crumb coated cake with fondant was a near disaster. Within a few minutes the fondant became really tacky and I couldn’t buff it with the smoothers. It was a warm day and the cake had been in the fridge to firm up. I read now that you have to work fast. I thought I had been  but obviously not fast enough. Also I thought that the buttercream would be sticky enough but have now learnt that is it advisable to lightly brush the cake with water or syrup to help the fondant stick. In hindsight I don’t think I will use SMBC underneath fondant anymore. As a filling yes, but not for the crumb coat.

I am really happy with the overall look of the cake, the seal toppers and the shells but not at all happy with the fondant covering. But there is always room for improvement. So better luck with the next cake.

The most important thing, however, is that the cake travelled well over 300 km to its destination and got there in one piece. The bride’s friends who took the cake said they caused a traffic jam as I had given them strict instructions not to drive through any pot holes or to take the bends too quickly! 🙂

The bride and groom were over the moon and at the end of the day that is what counts and makes all the work worthwhile.

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Lemon cake: www.brigitte.de

Colour inspiration: www.design-seeds.com

Tutorials: http://www.yenersway.com/tutorials/free-videos/ (Beach Cake)

Fondant cakes & fridge: http://ericaobrien.com/blog/yes-you-can-and-sometimes-should-refrigerate-your-fondant-covered-cakes/

Building a cake delivery box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUAt7TfI_H0