It has been awhile since I designed and created a wedding cake. When my sweet little punks were less mobile I spent many weekends building massive edible sculptures that were destined to be destroyed and enjoyed.
Some were covered in chocolate with torched meringue flames. Others were teal and intricately decorated with chocolate damask. Many were as simple as a luscious covering of Italian buttercream speckled with vanilla bean and fresh flowers.
This past weekend I emerged from my wedding cake retirement and created a four-tiered cake for a very dear friend. The wedding was flowerless with a winter woodsy theme.
The bride is the embodiment of grace and femininity. The groom is a hunter – more comfortable in camoflauge than a tux. For her there was gold and ruby red cranberries. For him there were antlers and pheasant feathers. Together they created a wedding that was stunningly beautiful and deeply meaningful.
I covered the layers in white fondant then hand painted the tiers. I wrapped the base of each cake with brown satin ribbon and gold pearls. The branches bordering the cakes are covered in chocolate and dusted with edible bronze. The top tier was adorned with pheasant feathers, cranberries and gold antlers sculpted from gumpaste.
On the inside a deep, dark chocolate cake and layers of tangy cream cheese frosting. I can not believe I haven’t shared the recipe for this cake here before. It’s a shame really. After all this time I have been holding out. Well, no longer my friends.
After you read this post you can have a cake in the oven in five minutes. Hurry. I’ll time you.
Dump and Stir Chocolate cake
adapted from “In the Sweet Kitchen” by Regan Daley
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tbl. canola oil
1 tbl. white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 packet Starbuck’s Via Instant coffee or 2 tsp instant coffee
1 cup cool water
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking soda in an 8×8 (or 9×9 – reduce baking time by 5-7 minutes) pan. Add the remaining ingredients then stir to combine.
Place the pan into a pre-heated 350* oven for 30 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool. Frost with your favorite chocolate, vanilla or cream cheese frosting.