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Sunday 23 January 2011

Winter Wonderland Cake

Cake is a very important part of my life, not a single week goes by without me eating cake and on days I'm not eating it, I'm thinking about it.

 I've been pondering how to describe my wedding in my blog and have finally decided that rather than going into all the details of the year long planning process, just to feature some of the highlights; starting with the cake!
Is it 4'o'clock yet?
Choosing my wedding cake was therefore a very special thing. I'm going to refer to it as 'my wedding cake' because I don't think Matt would have noticed if there had been a wedding cake or not. Some men just do not appreciate cake, it's wasted on them and as such, he didn't get involved in it. And so back to my cake......rather than looking at recipes I googled cake images, that's when you really discover the possibilities (as well as watching various cake reality shows that crop up on my cable channels...and there's at least three set in US bakehouses where they create huge themed masterpieces like zombie graveyards and a stage of male strippers modelled from sugarpaste...just one of the many episodes I witnessed!)
My sister Jolekha, the domestic goddess of the family who bakes all our cakes said early on I should buy one, making one wasn't worth the risk. 
Move over Nigella, my sister means business!
I disagreed, the last thing I wanted was a tier of three sponges from Waitrose, and quite frankly I couldn't stomach the idea of wasting so much money on something that's on show just for a few photos and hardly gets eaten by going to a wedding cake maker.
Talking to a couple of cake loving friends (one who likes pimping sponge mixes and one who's more of a visual decorator) I fell in love with the concept of having a snowscene cake that looked like a winter wonderland. Neither of us had any idea how it would work or look but once the vision was in my head that was that!
The starting point was a trip to Party Party, an amazing store in Hackney, East London. the downstairs floor is made up of party essentials and fancy dress costumes while upstairs it's a baker's paradise with tins, trays, boards and cake cakes in every shape and size imaginable, edible glitter, sprinkles, toppers, flowers, paints, pens...basically everything you need to make and decorate an amazing cake. I even picked up evergreen trees and plastic holly springs.
These were transported back to Janine's house where we spent a Sunday afternoon experimenting. The sponge was chosen by Laura - Angel Food cake, an amazing, light fat free cake you can only buy in the US! (Luckily she was jetting off there a few weeks before the Big Day where she filled her suitcase with packet mixes and huge edible confetti which when placed inside, gives it a speckled rainbow effect. For our testing day she managed to buy a pack online from an American food store.)
We tested different types of icing for coverage (it needed to be thick and white, but not royal icing.) Sponges were baked in different sizes and cut up to create a bumpy mountain setting.

I also purchased a set of snowflake shaped icing cutters and we tested making snowflakes from blue icing, which were detailed with irridescent glitter and edible marker pens. We over did it a bit with the blue sprinkles:

Overall, it kind of worked, but with so much else for me to get organising I left in in their hands.
On the morning of the wedding as I was getting glammed up, Janine and Laura set to work on creating my dream cake:
Janine applying frosty icing

Laura and Janine sprinkling the bling

Toned down snowflakes!

Positioning the couple

I didn't see the final design until I walked up the aisle where it was waiting to be cut, after the ceremony. It looked absolutely amazing! 
Every single aspect was special from the 'alternative' couple at the top, made from Christmas decorations to all the wonderful animals. 

Coming it at under £100 ingredients and decorations included(for over 150 guests) it was also great value. 
I recommend you consider attempting a homemade wedding cake, it feels really good knowing it's a one off, never ever to be created again! Also you feel the love of the making of it so much more than asking a stranger to do it. You don't need to be good at cake making....the sponges here were made from packet mixes, where you just add water and the decorating, like most crafting has NO RULES! Simply go with the flow. No guest will turn their nose up at your cake because it's homemade and if they did, then they shouldn't be invited...it's your day so make sure you get the cake you want!...........and yes it tasted very good (though a little sweet) too!


  1. You done a fantastic work! i like your stuff, it was so nice.
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  2. This cake is very beautiful. I'm loving the idea of printing a quote on the wedding cake. This cake would definite be enjoyed be everyone. Even though by children’s and young also.

  3. Congratulations on your wedding! Looks fabulous and love that it's crafty and handmade. Love the gifts!