Wedding Cake, Cupcakes, Cookies and other party goodies

My son and his wonderful bride were finally getting married and I, of course, needed to make a cake and fun wedding stuff.  I’ve never claimed to be a pro at any of this but I always try and do my best. I think that is all anyone could really ask for.

Since their colors were black, white and red I wanted to make the cake to match.  I decided to do a 2-tier cake (8″ & 12″ rounds).  I was making some red velvet cupcakes (more below) so I thought I would make a little red and white zebra print for the cake. I thought that would be fun when they cut into the cake.  I made 2 batches of cake…white and red velvet.

I greased and floured my cake pans then put in a large scoop of white cake mix in the middle of the pan.  Then I added a large scoop of red velvet cake mix on top of that.  Then another large scoop of white on top of that and kept repeating till I got to the level I needed. I carefully put my cake pan into my pre-heated oven and baked.  I repeated this with each cake pan. When the cake bakes and sets it will rise up wavy so when you cut the cake it will have that zebra look.

This was from a practice cake I did a few months before the wedding to get an idea of the flavor of the 2 kinds of cake mixes.  Usually this is done with one kind of white cake then food color is added.  This was 2 different types of cake so I wanted to make sure this would work OK. The red velvet was a little thicker than the white cake so, when doing this for the wedding, I used more white cake (2:1 ratio) to keep the red from dominating the stripes.

Once all my cakes were baked and cooled I started stacking.  I put one of my 12″ cakes on a plastic cake disc.  These are used to add columns but I like it because it’s hard and I can move the cake around.  Plus I can get my hands under it because of the little “feet” where the columns would go.  I shaved off some of the top of the cakes to be less rounded.  I made my frosting and frosted the top of one 12″ cakes then added my second 12″ cake.

I did the same thing with my 8″ cakes but had those on a 8″ plastic disc.  I took some wooden cake dowels and cut them to the height I needed to be just a tag bit below the top of my stacked 12″ cakes.  The weight of the top cakes will push down to rest on the dowels.  I frosted (crumb coated) each cake (12″ stacked and 8″ stacked).  Then stack the 8″ on top of the 12″ cakes.  Taking more frosting and using my same frosting tip as my rose cupcakes (Wilton M1), I began making rosettes around and on top of both cakes.  To fill in any gaps I made small flowers and added silver dragees.

All that was left to do is add the cake topper and some royal icing roses and some of the chocolate leaves.  Since there was that little gab between the bottom of the cake and the cake stand (because of the little column feet) I took some fern left over from the bouquets and boutonnieres I made and taped them to the cake stand. It added that nice color and texture.

Of course, I needed to do some cupcakes.  Not sure why, I just did.  I have 2 matching cupcake stands that hold 13 cupcakes each.  I decided to make 24 cupcakes (12 red rose and 12 white with sugar crystals).

I made half my cupcakes red velvet and half yellow cake.  The yellow cake is gluten free.  I used silver foil wrappers to bake them in.  Not only does the silver match the rest of my colors, but the foil wrappers won’t bleed through when they get baked.  Since you just have to have cream cheese frosting with red velvet I made enough for all the cupcakes.  I took a little more than half and tinted red.  I was going to be using more of the red frosting when I decorated half of the cupcakes.

To make my rose cupcakes I started by using a large flower/star pastry tip (Wilton M1) & filled my piping bags with the red frosting.  Starting in the middle of the cupcake, squeeze the frosting then slowly move around the top in a circle.  This gives the look of a rose.  I used some red edible glitter and lightly sprinkled on the top.

I had some candy molds of leaves so I made enough leaves for the cupcakes and the wedding cake.  These were deep for making filled chocolates so I just filled them enough to get the shape of the leaves without making them too thick so they wouldn’t be too heavy.

To give the leaves a little contrast I took some brown edible dust and lightly dusted them to help show the veins.

And those were inserted into the the cupcakes and ready to go.

My other cupcakes were going to have the rest of my cream cheese frosting that was left white.  I frosted my gluten-free cupcakes with a angled spatula then dipped them into a bowl of sugar crystals.  I had a candy mold of scripted letters that were about 2 inches.  I took the letter “V” (for the Bride and Grooms last name) and used black melting chocolate to make enough letters for all my cupcakes.  I make a few extra since they were fragile.

After the letters were set I took some more black chocolate and added some little pearls to the V’s to dress them up a little.  These were added to the cupcakes.  And I put a little red flower to add some color to the cupcakes.

Now for some cookies.  I put the recipe for the one I like to use below. I use Wilton’s meringue power because I don’t like using eggs in my edible royal icing.  The recipe is inside the top of the container when you open it.  I have cookie cutters of a wedding cake and a wedding dress.  I made some sugar cookies and piped on royal icing to decorate.  I used tiny white pearls, silver pearls, silver sugar crystals and white sugar crystals, red and white sugar flowers to make different kinds of designs.  This is where you just have fun with it.  You can match the Brides dress and cake or, like me, just did different designs.

I wanted more goodies for people to munch on and to put in their goodie bags to take home with them.  I wanted to do some chocolate dipped Oreo’s.  I made half of these in regular Oreo’s and half using yellow gluten free sandwich cookies.  I used 3 colors of chocolate; black, white and red.  I took a bag of melting chocolates and microwaved for 1 minute, stirred and microwaved another 30 seconds.  Using a fork I dipped my Oreo’s in the melted chocolate, tapped the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate, and placed on some wax paper.  Be sure to dust off the cookies before dipping so the crumbs don’t get in your chocolate.  The black chocolate isn’t an issue but the white chocolate can get freckled with little black dots after dipping the cookies.  If you are going to add sprinkles or other decorations, after you dip each cookie, immediately add your decorations while the chocolate is still wet.  Chocolate sets fast, especially if your kitchen is cool due to outside weather or AC.  Have everything laid out and handy to decorate.

I used some red royal icing hearts and little black, white and red bows to put on my cookies.  I put those in the center of the cookies then sprinkled with my mini pearls and silver dragees.  I took a parring knife and trimmed off any excess chocolate.

Since everything is dipped in chocolate or frosting, and to keep from having to tell people over and over which is which, I made a large sign in the same design as I did with the wedding invitation. I fixed a card with most everything that I had.

Then printed it the same way like the invitation but on the larger tabloid 11×17 card stock.  I took thicker red ribbon and wrapped the card then added my smaller card with all the food items.  This make it nice since I had a few people who were gluten free and just wanted to play it safe with any nut allergies.  This was put on a large black easel close to the dessert table.

I’ve noticed that chocolate covered (large) pretzels are popular these days.  I usually make the little twisted pretzels but thought I would do these larger ones.  The ones they have for sale are only dipped half way.  I worry about the pretzel getting stale so I dipped mine all the way.  Using the same method and chocolate as the Oreo’s, I dipped my pretzels, placed on wax paper and sprinkled with tiny candied hearts.

When I set the places at the table I wanted to to have a chocolate rose on each plate. Taking one of my chocolate candy molds I made enough for all of my guests.  These molds have a groove to insert a stick.  I made my roses with red chocolate.  To make it easier to fill the molds I took some red chocolate and put it in a ziplock bag.  I microwaved the bag for 1 minute, kneaded the bag and microwaved for another 30 seconds.  I kneaded the bag more to make sure there were no solid pieces.  I cut a small tip out of the corner of my bag.  Don’t make the hole too big because melted chocolate is runny and it could pour out too fast to control.  I filled each of my molds to a little less than what I needed, then lightly tapped the mold on the counter top to make sure all the groves were filled in and the bubbles rose to the top. I added the stick and a little more chocolate to cover the stick. Those went into the freezer for about 5 minutes then turned out onto some way paper.

Let the chocolate roses come back to room temperature to keep them from getting the inside of the bags wet when thawing.  One way I thought about putting these together is taking green silk leaves on wires, clear candy bags and ribbons and tied everything up.

I slipped on a candy bag and used 2 silk leaves on each stem to help close the bag.  Then, taking some thin red, black and white ribbon, tied bows to help hide the wire and make it look nice.

But, I was able to find some ribbon I could put the kids name on it so I went that way.  The ribbon is white with their names in silver with double hearts.  Really cute.  These are going to be slipped into black napkins with a silver napkin ring so I thought this one ribbon would look better.

I made the little tags and tied them to the rose.  I used the same background design I used throughout the wedding and added a little rose in a watermark design.  These were printed on cardstock about 1″ x 1.5″ and tied on with thin black silk ribbon to the rose.  Thought it was a nice little touch.

To have even more goodies to munch on and to put in the goodie bags I decided to make some little chocolate cups.  I found some mini foil red, foil sliver and back and white Damask cups.  I used milk chocolate with pecans that went into the red wrappers with silver beads, Craisins and macadamia nuts with white chocolate in the damask wrappers and black and red sprinkles and some honey peanuts with red chocolate in the silver wrappers with white candy pearls.  This is fairly easy to do.  Melt a bag of chocolate in a bowl the same way as you do to dip the Oreo’s.  Then add the nuts (or marshmallows or anything you want) to the melted chocolate and mix to coat.  I like having a lot of nuts but you can add less and have more chocolate with a few nuts.  I spread out my candy cups on my counter then took a small spoon and filled my cups.  I filled about 10 cups at a time to make sure I had time to add my sprinkles before the chocolate set.  I put these into an airtight container till it was time to put them out on the table at the wedding.

And for the fun of it I had some M&M’s made at http://www.mymms.com/utility.aspx.  I picked the 3 colors I was using, black, red and white.  Then picked out the “Just Married” design the had.  Of course, I needed to have their names and you just can’t have M&M’s without having their picture on them.  I order the little frame that had little bubbles to put the M&M’s in but bought a nicer frame and put that out.

Sugar Cookie Recipe (for 35+ cookies)

  • 1 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla  (can use 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 almond)
  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

In a large bowl combine butter with sugar, eggs, vanilla; beat using an electric mixer on high until light and fluffy.

In another bowl combine flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the butter mixture until well blended.

Wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

Set oven at 400 degrees

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Roll out cookies between 2 sheets of parchment paper to ½ inch thickness.

Cut out cookies and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Stick whole cookie sheet in freezer for 3 – 5 minutes.  Remove cookie sheet from freezer and put in pre-heated oven.

Bake about 8 – 9 mins.

Wedding Cake Icing

  • 1 cup shortening (can use ½ cup shortening and ½ cup soften butter but won’t be true white)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon clear vanilla extract (I usually use 2 teaspoon vanilla and omit the almond)
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup water
  • 8 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Mix shortening, water, vanilla, almond extract and HALF of the powdered sugar with a mixer for 8 – 10 minutes (it’s very important to mix this long)

Add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat just enough to mix in.  What the consistency of the frosting when adding the powdered sugar.  You may not need all of the second half if it reaches the thickness you want.

Add additional water for desired consistency.