Peacock Cake

I just returned home from a beautiful reception at the Laurelwood Golf Course in Eugene this evening.  The bride is amazingly creative and is keen on do-it-yourself events -- today was no exception, and her artistic, handmade touches were featured throughout the decor.  Congratulations, Cassie and Grant!

The couple's wedding cake was three square tiers, stacked, with a double-height middle.  The 12-inch base tier was dark chocolate sponge with mint buttercream filling, the 10-inch middle tier was lemon sponge with lemon syrup and blackberry cream filling, and the top tier was rich pound cake with Kahlua syrup and mocha buttercream (flavored with milk chocolate and espresso).

What follows is a little design story, from inspiration to final product.  Cassie's brief was a color palette of hunter green, navy blue, eggplant, and some aqua; peacock feathers everywhere; and hand-painted 'lace' inspired by a cake she'd seen online (and by another cake on our website). 

With all that in mind, I made a sketch for Cassie and Grant, which they approved right away.  That was a few months ago.  Two days ago, I baked, leveled, torted, and filled the cakes -- eight square pans in all.  Yesterday, I covered the tiers in white fondant and let them settle overnight.  This morning, I spent a few hours in the cake studio, stacking the cake, carefully sealing the joins between tiers with white fondant, and painting the design.   I used an edible marker to sketch out the design freehand, then I painted the cake freehand with food color gel mixed with grain alcohol (which evaporates, leaving the color behind).  Finally, I piped over some sections with black royal icing.  Here it is, in the studio:

And here it is, set up at the venue. It has a topper of fresh spider mums, eggplant calla lilies, and real peacock feathers, arranged by Cassie's florist.