Piped Pearl Cake with Purple Sugar Rose at Sahalee Country Club

Lucia and Danny were married last Saturday at the gorgeous Sahalee Country Club. Shortly after I arrived, the bride's father, the photographer, and the videographer gathered near the doors to the ballroom in anticipation of Lucia's first appearance in her gown and veil. I loved this idea, of a "first look" between the bride and her father (and not just between the bride and groom, which is becoming increasingly popular). They both cried and laughed, and it was really sweet that I happened to be assembling the cake in the ballroom at that moment and was able to witness it all.

The couple's four-tiered cake served 150 guests, and each tier (which was covered with a thin layer of white fondant) was piped with hundreds of tiny white Royal Icing 'pearls'. I used a slightly damp paintbrush to go back over each piped dot to flatten that annoying little peak that appears when the piping nozzle is lifted away -- it's time-consuming, but the result is a perfectly round, smooth pearl without a pointy tip. Much better!

I created the enormous sugar rose (5" in diameter) using gumpaste tinted deep purple, to coordinate with the bridal color palette (purple, white, and silver). The sugar leaves were created with pale green paste that was then handpainted with moss green edible gel color to create the slightly waxy sheen that real rose leaves have.

The servings were divided between coconut cake with milk-chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream, vanilla buttermilk cake with cream cheese and lemon curd, and gluten-free coconut cake with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. (In fact, the top two tiers of the cake were entirely gluten free.) Also, per Lucia and Danny's special request, I tinted the cake batter purple, as a fun surprise for their guests.  I wish I could've seen the cake slices all plated (perhaps Lucas Mobley will send me a photo), but the interior of the cake really was a gorgeous shade of lavender.

A friend of the couple created a polymer clay topper for them, of two snails dressed as a bride (with blue eyes like Lucia's, and a sweet little veil) and a groom (complete with top hat and bow tie!).

Here's another shot of the adorable snail topper, made by the couple's friend (isn't it sweet?!):

Finally, for the couple's vegan guests, I baked a dozen dark chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting (tinted purple), topped with vegan chocolate pearls. After much experimenting, I think I've got the recipe for vegan chocolate cupcakes perfected -- I'm not vegan, but they were moist and very chocolate-y... indeed, ridiculously good. And, while real butter is a non-negotiable ingredient in the rest of my baking, you'd never tell that the 'butter' in the frosting was Earth Balance...!

Congrats to Lucia and Danny!