Thursday, May 19, 2011

Our Cake

As I've mentioned in an earlier entry, we aren't having the 'traditional' wedding cake so to speak.

With our wedding being quite non-traditional all the way round, ie:

  • Surprise wedding
  • We're driving to the ceremony together
  • Not having a sit down meal, canape & soup station instead so people will mingle

it's probably not a huge shock to read our cake isn't the 'norm'.

We are going with a cake table, where we will have 5-6 of our favourite cakes (cheesecake, pavlova, lemon meringue, chocolate ripple, mango cake), made by our mums, sisters, on cake stands, then in the middle we will have a taller stand with a 2 tier 'wedding cake.

The style of cake we wanted isn't the norm so to speak either, we didn't want a really formal wedding cake, with royal icing etc, we wanted something more informal.

So this is the style we've decided on:

Soft buttercream cake (photo source)
I am heading to the Sydney Flower Market with our florist (daughter of a friend) on the Wednesday before our wedding, and will pick out fresh flowers then to use on top and on the middle layer.  It won't be as many as this photo, but this is the inspiration.

Below is how we hope the table will look on the day, or there abouts!

The cake table look we're going with (photo source)
As with just about anything that includes the word wedding, the quotes I obtained from cake shops to make our cake were scary, ranging from $350 - $440, plus delivery, plus flowers!

As I've probably mentioned a few times, we're paying for our wedding 100% ourselves, so budget is definitely high on our agenda. $500 (cake plus flowers) for a cake just seemed ludicrous.

However this is where I've been lucky, or resourceful perhaps, I met with the lady who is helping us decorate the hall (a retired lady who does it as a hobby), she lives in the town next to us, and mentioned that one of her friends does cakes on the side, and gave me her contact details.

We were a tad sceptical, thinking that maybe it would be a fruitcake making lady who would baulk at the thought of a buttercream cake filled with 'weird' flavours.  So when I went to meet her last night I wasn't overly confident.

Well my lack of confidence was definitely misplaced, the lady bought out an album of cakes she has created, and there were some lovely ones, she's very talented.

She was a bit shocked with our surprise wedding concept (quote "I'd kill my daughter if she did that", oops!), but once I'd explained the relaxed style of wedding, she came round a bit, and was excited about our cake choice.

I was a bit nervous asking about using flavoured ganaches, but she said if I could get her the recipe she'd be fine.  Yay!

So our choices:

Bottom Tier (Mr Mel) - Chocolate cake with jaffa ganache
Top Tier (Me) - Vanilla (or maybe coconut or lemon) cake with rosewater ganache

The recipe I found for the rosewater ganache looks simple enough, I'm sure our cake lady will be fine:

White Chocolate and Rosewater Ganache (recipe source)

      • 150g White Chocolate
        • 100ml Thick Cream

    • 2-3 drops Rosewater essence
      1. Heat cream in small saucepan over medium heat. When close to boiling, remove from heat and let rest for 30 seconds or so before pouring over white chocolate.
      2. Mix well, making sure the chocolate is melted. Add the rosewater and stir well.
      3. Place mixture in a piping bag, seal and leave in fridge for 10 minutes to thicken.

      The recipe for the Jaffa ganache looks simple also:
  • Jaffa Ganache (recipe source)

    200g Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 200ml Thick Cream
    1 tsp grated orange rind1 tsp orange juice (we might swap in a splash of cointreau)
    1. Pour about 1 1/2 cups of water into a small saucepan and place a heatproof bowl on top.
    2. Place the chocolate in the bowl and continue to mix until almost completley melted then add the cream and stir until combined.
    3. Take bowl off the heat and stir in the orange juice and rind and set aside to cool stirring every few minutes until ganache is thick and spreadable.

And the best thing of all, the cost, would you believe $120 including delivery, plus whatever flowers I buy she'll put on for me, for free!!!!!!!!!!    


I sooooo love all the savings we've made through research and word of mouth, sure it would be so much easier to just order everything off the shelf so to speak, and be done with it.  But so far I think we've saved about 1/3rd costs across the board, from hiring the venue, through to dress, catering, cake, flowers etc, all through being willing to put in some hard work and not take the easy route.

Yay! Although I may be speaking to soon, as this Sunday is 'DIY Bunting Day' cue the Jaws, scary, full of dread music!


  1. Awesome! I had buttercream made by a sweet old gal too and it was perfect and lovely. You won't regret it. x

  2. Thanks :) Happy to see another butterceam success! I'm loving that it will be 'home-made' to a degree, well more home-made than from a big shop anyway :) Thanks for your comment.

  3. Sounds lovely!! $120 is great. I managed to find a local lady to do our wedding cake and she's charging $100. Our wedding cake is going to Black with Burgundy scrolls..very different. lol(Chocolate flavour) Good Luck for Sunday Bunting can do it! :-)

  4. Thanks Vi, we are very happy with the cost, yay! Well done on your bargain too, it's amazing what you can find with a bit of research isn't it! Black with burgundy scrolls sounds lovely, is black & burgundy your colour scheme for the day? Yes bunting awaits, shall report on it post Sunday!!

  5. Hey Mel, Our colour scheme is Black, Burgundy & Ivory. We found Black & Burgundy was a little too dark, so ivory breaks it nicely. :-) I am wedding obsessed at the moment, there is so much to do. lol But it sure is fun hey!

  6. Hi Mel, it sounds like the plans are coming along well. I like the sound the cakes and the wedding cakes. I wish I lived closer to you as I would love to help with the bunting. I have never made any but they look simple and I am going to make some for decorating the house.
    The pictures will look lovely to I am sure. Going natural sounds great, that is my idea of a good wedding too. Be happy Mel, and the pictures will show that.

  7. Your colour scheme sounds lovely Vi, very striking

  8. Thanks Jan, yes plans are coming along well, very happy with the savings made on the cake too, yay!
    I started on the bunting yesterday and it's very easy, and quite relaxing :) Very sweet to want to help, thanks :) Definitely do some for your house, I think they would bring a smile to every day.
    Thanks for your comments re natural photos, it's us, we'd feel even more awkward if having to pose everything!


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