Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wedding Cake & Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting

It has been a while since my last post. Have I abandoned my little cooking blog in pursuit of other things? Never. I have been concentrating all of my efforts on my biggest culinary undertaking yet. That's right. I baked a wedding cake! And there it is in its 100 lb. glory. I'm not kidding it probably weighed that much! After months of conceptualizing, countless shopping trips for hardware and ingredients, only one teeny, tiny emotional meltdown, and a solid week of kneading fondant, whipping three kinds of buttercream, beating two kinds of cake batter, and hours, hours, HOURS of rolling and ruffling thin strips of fondant, I'm exhausted, proud, and I wish I could do it all over again!

The top and bottom tiers are chocolate cake with Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting. The cake is rich, dense, and oh so chocolatey, but the Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting is sublime. I'm surprised any made it on the cake as I could not keep "taste testing" it while making it. I baked the Vanilla Buttermilk Cake from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes cookbook for the middle tier and slathered my favorite Salted Caramel Frosting between the layers. The buttercream used for the crumb coat was Martha Stewart's Vanilla-Buttercream Frosting. The woman is a wedding cake wizard, so I knew her buttercream would be amazing. For the final step, the fondant, I was a little nervous. I do not like fondant and I usually take it off my cake at weddings. I baked my heart and soul into this cake, so I wanted the wedding guests to enjoy every bit of it, even the fondant. For that reason, I made my own fondant out of miniature marshmallows. Once melted and mixed with powdered sugar, the mini mallows for a sugar dough that behaves just like fondant but tastes a million times better! Also, I'm a baking snob so the idea of using boxed cake, canned frosting, or fondant from a tub was just NOT going to happen. The marshmallow fondant was worth the extra step.

The bottom tier of this cake was 16 x 16 x 4". I didn't realize how large of a cake that was until I bought the pan! As you can see, the pan fills up my entire oven. I used a heating core (that's the cone shaped thing in the center of the cake) to make sure the center of the cake baked at the same rate as the outside of the cake. When I baked the first layer of the monster chocolate base layer, I overfilled the pan. Can you guess what happened? I came to check on the cake's progress 30 minutes into baking, turned on the oven light, and saw streams of chocolate lava erupting from my pan and dripping onto the bottom of my oven! I started laughing. I think I was too stressed out and horrified to have a meltdown. After all, mistakes in the kitchen are never the end of the world. That's how you learn and improve!

After all the layers were baked (six total), frosted, and crumb coated with the vanilla buttercream, I covered them with a layer of marshmallow fondant and started making the ruffle detail. Using my pasta roller (very resourceful right?) I rolled out thin strips of fondant and attached them to the side of the cake. As a first time wedding cake decorator, I liked the idea of these ruffles because they don't have to be perfect. It's random elegance.

My sisters made the ribbon rolled roses out of gum paste. The wedding colors were ivory, brown, and green. Originally, the roses were going to be made of modeling chocolate, but we decided the brown would be too much of a contrast to the light ivory fondant.

We drove very very slowly to the wedding venue and set up the cake. I was so relieved it was all over and that the cake had made it safely! I had nightmares about dropping the cake on the way into the reception hall! But, there were no hiccups and everyone LOVED the cake. I had some for breakfast this morning. It's still good:)

Out of all the recipes used in this massive dessert, the Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting is my absolute favorite.  Use it to frost smaller cakes, cupcakes, graham crackers, or in between homemade Oreos!

Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from cupcake project


1 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature ( i used neufchatel cheese)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1 sleeve Oreo cookies, about 15 cookies


Pulse the Oreos in a food processor until the cookies are broken into pieces roughly the size of dimes.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter on high speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar gradually until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Fold in the Oreo crumbs.

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