Last weekend, I was blessed to be able to provide the wedding cake for a dear family friend in Louisville, Ky. The beautiful bride and her handsome groom have a wonderful, unique style that is evident in everything they do, so – of course – the wedding cake had to be just right!

The bride and her mother and I discussed the cake’s elements a few months before the wedding, and I created a rough sketch of my idea for them. The bride loved the vintage lace appliqué look so popular on cakes right now, as well as delicate fondant ruffles. She had chosen a muted pastel color scheme, and wanted to incorporate rosy peach and cream elements in the cake’s design. Fortunately, they loved my sketch, so I started preparing.

All these elements were new to me, but also techniques I had been wanting to learn. First, I scoured the internet for lace appliqué silicone molds. I found the perfect ones at Country Kitchen Sweet Arts. I then put a cake decorator’s best tool (aka Pinterest) to work figuring out how make the beautiful ruffled tier. Of course there was a video on YouTube!

Next were the flowers. I had never attempted anything beyond basic buttercream and fondant roses and I have very limited knowledge of anything floral — live or sugar. But I knew I loved peonies, and they were the perfect shape and color for this cake, so I set out for a great tutorial (and the necessary supplies). There are many wonderful tutorial videos and blog posts out there, and I kind of used a combination of them. I found my cutters,  veiner and petal dust at CKSA too!

About a week before the wedding, I began making my peonies. Starting with a light peach gumpaste, they slowly began taking shape, growing more frilly and lifelike with each step. This was promising!

Two days before the wedding, I started baking. The bride and groom wanted to keep the top tier for their first anniversary, so total servings were approximately 165, to have enough for all their guests. I baked all day long, making two 6-inch rounds (white velvet), four 8-inch rounds (white velvet cappuccino), three 12-inch rounds (white velvet) and two 14-inch rounds (double chocolate). Oh yeah, and eight batches of vanilla buttercream. WHEW!

Then, I had to pack up everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) and make the 4.5 hour drive across Kentucky to Louisville.

On Friday, I left my sister’s house and drove out to the “farm house” (closer to the wedding venue) where I would be finishing the cake. Fortunately, there was a lot of counter space and an empty refrigerator for all of my supplies. I worked most of the day crumb coating, smooth-icing and covering the cakes in fondant before I had to stop for the wedding rehearsal. Did I mention I was also singing in the wedding?

After a great rehearsal dinner, surrounded by bridesmaids and rocking out to Adele, I began covering the crumb-coated cake tiers with fondant. My artsy-craftsy sister assisted with the fondant lace appliqué pieces while I rolled out the huge balls of fondant with my awesome Mat from SweetWise. [Side note, this cake would have been almost impossible to cover without this awesome tool! I highly recommend it!]

Vintage Lace & Ruffles in-progress

Early the next morning, while the girls all got prettied up, I made the fondant ruffles, attaching them to the bottom tier with tylose glue. Then, using my CakeStackers (ANOTHER awesome tool) I began to stack up the tiers and prepare the cake for transporting to the wedding venue. Once the two bottom tiers were stacked and ready to go, I loaded my car with all the supplies needed to complete set up on-site.

After a cautious 45-minute drive, I arrived at the beautiful wedding site and completed the set-up on the beautifully-arranged dessert table. Last step was adding the shimmer dust to the gumpaste peonies and arranging them on the tiers.

I am extremely happy with this final cake and so glad I was able to share in Ben & Kaitlin’s special day! Best wishes for a long and happy life together!

~ Emily

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