Since my birthday was coming up shortly before Linda’s wedding, and since I volunteered to make her wedding cake because I’m slightly nutty, I thought I would make my birthday cake and use it as practice. You know, what a great idea, making two large intricate cakes within a week or so of each other. Sometimes I really doubt my sanity. Thus, my cake is now affectionately named Bane of My Existence #1, and I am looking forward to Bane of My Existence #2 this week.
The bottom layer of the cake is actually a fake styrofoam block, because I really didn’t want to make a lot of cake that nobody would eat, and then I’d have to store in my freezer and slowly eat through and watch as my clothes stop fitting me. I also thought it was a genius idea since I could then start on decorating it much earlier and I’d only have to do the top edible layer closer to the date. WRONG! Of course I managed to twiddle my thumbs and waste away time that I could be working on the cake, until last Thursday when my birthday was looming around the corner I had a slight panic attack. Then I began working on it – at 6:57pm when I woke up at 3:40am that morning to drop off Alex at the airport.
The bottom layer is an actual eyelet design. The inspiration came from Martha Stewart and I was clearly over-ambitious on what my limited skills could do. I totally underestimated how difficult it was to add on the extra strip of fondant, but at that point I was still very optimistic and time was still on my side. So I did it, and it turned out pretty OK only after I applied all the royal icing decor on the layer…before that, the edges were pretty grotesque and uneven.
Now, the top layer was a bit more complicated. I wanted to do something just as visually appealing inside as it was on the outside, and since strawberries are just coming into season, I did alternating chocolate and strawberry layers with white chocolate buttercream. Local strawberries weren’t available to me, though, until Saturday morning at St. Lawrence Market…so I literally made the cakes on Saturday night and didn’t start on putting it all together until Sunday morning at 7:00am. The brunch with the cake was at noon. I’m a good time manager…yeah.
So as you can see, the top layer didn’t get the extra special treatment with the eyelet. Somewhat intricate icing patterns was all I could manage, considering I only had an hour to ice the top layer before I had to get ready and leave. I think I did alright for an hour’s worth of attention, though.
The inside lived up to the pretty-ness I had hoped for, but I must admit, fresh strawberries just didn’t add as much flavour to the cake as I had hoped they would. This is where fake flavouring would have made a bolder statement, but I guess fresh and natural is always better than fake flavours. The chocolate cake recipe wasn’t my usual one, but just as delicious and worked better for a layer cake. I added a shot of Bailey’s rather than vanilla extract or coffee, and it definitely jazzed up the flavour of the cake!
All in all, aside from my complaints, I think this cake was a pretty good accomplishment for my 25th birthday cake.
Very pretty! I’m impressive…and kind of hungry now! haha
um, yeah it is! super impressive and pretty and obviously you are amazing! i love the layers!
AMAZING!!!! I am so impressed..I am sure it tasted as good as it looks. Happy belated b-day by the way :)
You are amazing,
I love this cake! I am going to take it to my baker to see if she can use it as the template for my wedding cake
Do you have the photos of the one you made for the wedding?
Hi Sarah, the next post is the wedding cake I made my friend. Good luck!