Hunter Green Scrollwork Cake

My final wedding cake delivery for last weekend was yesterday, to the magnificent Golf Club at Newcastle. (If you're curious, you can see the club's St. Andrews Ballroom in this video on Vimeo -- though it's not footage of Amanda and Kenrick's wedding.)

The sun even came out (for a few hours, at least!), and the view from the ballroom was breathtaking -- the Space Needle, downtown Bellevue, and the two bridges, among other sights, were all clearly visible in the distance. 

The 6"-8"-12" fondant cake had a double-height middle tier (essentially two cake tiers of equal diameter, stacked and then covered in a single sheet of fondant). Inside was Classic Banana cake with cream-cheese frosting and fresh sliced organic strawberries (top tier), and for the middle and base tiers, Marble Vanilla-Chocolate cake with truffle cream filling (Swiss meringue buttercream mixed 50-50 with dark chocolate ganache). The cake sits on a fondant-covered cake board painted with edible gold luster dust; it served 80-90 guests generously and was about 20" tall.

Amanda and Kenrick met me for a consultation last Fall, and we based the cake design on the striking scrollwork pattern that appears on the couple's wedding invitations. The cake also incorporated their color scheme of hunter green, gold, and Empire red. I took these shots before the cake was dressed with a topper of fresh red orchids (along with some gold gumpaste leaves that I made for the florist to intersperse among the blooms). At some point, I really hope to get some professional shots of the cake with its floral topper.

The larger scrollwork shapes and monogram initials ("A" and "K") were entirely handcut from hunter green gumpaste (I made an enlarged template from the invitations, and used an X-Acto knife to get clean cuts), and the more delicate scrolls and curlicues were handpainted with edible gel color (I mixed Americolor leaf green with Wilton black). For my fellow cake designers: the trick with handcutting gumpaste is to let your (very thin) sheet of gumpaste dry for 5-10 mins before applying your X-Acto blade. There'll be less distortion and drag, and you won't want to pull your hair out (at least, not as much). Also, use a NEW blade for each project; I know it's wasteful but they're about 10c a piece, and it makes things a whole lot easier.

A couple things about this cake could've been terrifying -- covering a "double-barrel" cake tier (almost 9" tall!) with a continuous sheet of fondant, for one thing, and handpainting in dark-colored edible paint on a white surface, for another (no room for error!). However, I like to think that after having made a few wedding cakes (just a few now, really!), I am less tentative and more likely to take nerve-wracking things in my stride. Honestly, the outcome of this cake surprised me; I was giddy with excitement when setting it up, so delighted was I that the double-tier was successfully covered in fondant, that the edges of every tier were crisp, and that the dark green decor was so clean. I'm a perfectionist, so it's hard for me to stop fussing with things or declare that a cake is finally "done" -- there's always room for improvement!  But I loved this cake. I know I'm a relative newbie in this business, and am certainly no Evil Cake Genius (I love you, Robin Martin, you are the best!), but I feel like I'm making progress all the time.  

Hearty congratulations to you, Amanda and Kenrick!