Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Baking Your Own Wedding Cake

Images courtesy of The Art of Simple Food (click to actually be able to read the text)

I've been on a baking kick lately. It started when I was flipping through Alice Water's The Simple Food, searching for recipes for the Time Bank potluck.

I came across the most detailed description of how to make a basic cake. When it comes to cooking, I am a direction-follower. The more specific, the better. Imagine my delight when I learned that you're supposed to bring all the ingredients to room temperature in order to prevent the batter from seizing. Or when they say "cream the butter and sugar" they really mean beat those suckers for 5-10 whole minutes. Who knew? (I guess those of you who have families that bake things from scratch rather than boxes.)

It took me 31 years to realize I am a baker, not a cook. When I mentioned my revelation to my new friend, Stephanie, she said, "Yeah, I could have told you that based on your personality."

At least being Type-A has its benefits, right?

Anyway, if any of you are looking for a delicious cake recipe (perhaps to make your own wedding cake?), this one is great! (Be sure to click on the images to read the basic cake-baking directions first.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Butter the cake pans and line the bottom of each with parchment paper
  3. Butter the paper and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess
  4. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and keep them in separate bowls
  5. Sift and then measure 3 cups cake flour
  6. Stir in 4 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt (use 1/4 teaspoon if using salted butter)
  7. In another bowl, beat until light and fluffy: 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter and 2 cups sugar
  8. Cream until light and fluffy
  9. Beat in the 4 egg yolks, one at a time and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. When well mixed, add the flour mixture and milk alternately, starting and ending with one third of the flour
  11. Stir just until the flour is incorporated
  12. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks
  13. Stir one third of the egg whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest
  14. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (30-40 minutes)
Bon appetit!

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Ms Bear Cub said...

I'm also 100% a baker. sometimes a cook, but always a baker!
My sister & I are making the cakes for my wedding! I'll let you know how that turns out ;)
(I don't doubt it will be tasty, at the very least!)

The Thirty-Something Bride said...

After several trials runs, I actually found a baker we could afford and we have a "cake buffet" of sorts.
However, I tried several different recipes from Wilton's as well as from friends.

Yes, all ingredients at room temp is key (eggs too!). I have also found that using cake flour creates a much lighter, tastier cake. I highly recommend it! I blogged all about this a few months ago when I was in my trial and error cake phase!

Katie said...

I have this book on my coffee table. It's amazing. I was so surprised to see the cover on your site.
I'm 100% baker too. I likes me some rules.

Rachael Eisner said...

A-type=baker. Anyone else=cook. HOWEVER. Meats are a whole different story. Personally I think that bakers make the best meat dishes. They actually WATCH the meat to make sure it comes out. As opposed to cooking the crap out of it and wondering why their roasted chicken tastes like sandpaper. ;)

Wait till you can separate two eggs at the same time. That is what I call a proud baking moment. Do it WITHOUT dropping any goldfish. =)

megan said...

funny, i was just looking yesterday for a good recipe for my friend's baby shower. this one might be it.

btw, i also prefer baking and limit my cooking to italian dishes only. i am also a quilter but i hate to follow strict rules and lists. none of this seems like it could fit into a "type" but now i guess i'm going to have to go see what my personality type is...

love-v said...

If you are a fan of recipes like that, you should look into the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Cookbook. It is awesome and contains the recipe Trevor used when he baked our amazing wedding cake. He knew he wanted a chocolate flavored cake and he got one. They have step-by step instructions and the best part is that they recommend ingredients that they have tested out for you. I'm a baker and a huge fan.

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