On my walk to work yesterday morning, I noticed a young couple who were obviously lost. I had the feeling they were tourists (the confused looks on their faces was the first clue), but they weren’t doing the normal, annoying touristy things (you know, standing in the middle of the sidewalk with a map the size of North Dakota folded out and obstructing everyone’s view). I was about to go over and offer assistance when a man beat me to it. This guy looked like the typical DC lawyer: impeccably dressed, briefcase in hand and a cellphone glued to his ear. But he still stopped and helped this couple find their way. It was one of the nicest gestures I’ve seen in a while and put me in the mood to make these cupcakes.
So why are they called Wedding Cake Cupcakes you may ask? Well, are you sitting down? You sure? Okay…well, I’ve offered to make Liz and Patrick’s wedding cake. Yes, you heard me correctly…I’ve OFFERED to make a wedding cake. There are two reasons for my madness: one, I love those guys to bits and two, I have over a year to prepare for said cake. Besides, their tastes are simple: an elegant three tier, square cake with buttercream frosting (something I’ve already made – with fabulous results – for a Daring Bakers challenge), NO fondant and elegant (but fairly manageable) decorations. In fact, Liz loved the cake Deb made for her friends at Smitten Kitchen. I’ve already gotten great tips from both Deb and my food blog mentor Joy and I really feel I can make something beautiful.
Because I am taking this task very seriously, I had a “tasting” at my house for Liz and Patrick to sample the cake I was proposing for their big day. I used Deb’s recipe from her own wedding cake project (and will refrain from reposting here…click the link for the recipe) and made cupcake versions. Why cupcakes? Because it also happens to be a co-worker’s birthday this Labor Day weekend and I wanted to send him off with some lovely treats.
Liz happened to be at my place doing a bit of wedding planning when I was making the cupcakes. And let me tell you, the girl loves cake batter. Luckily for her, there was a LOT of it to go around. In fact, the recipe made 32 cupcakes (yes, you read that correctly)! But let me tell you this: this was hands down the BEST cake I’ve ever baked. It was moist and fluffy but still a very substantial cake with a delightful vanilla flavor. Even better, it was a snap to make! This recipe has replaced my other “go-to” cake recipes…actually it smacked the other recipes around until they were a bloody heap in the corner. When I presented a cupcake to Liz for her opinion, a look of sheer bliss fell over her face. Patrick was equally sold, so ladies and gentleman, may I present the cake layers for THE wedding of 2009!
Since this is such a big endeavor, I will be practicing and working on the various components of the cake for the next year. For example, I suck at icing a cake…seriously, it looks like a blindfolded kindergarten student frosted most of my cakes. So to ensure the wedding cake doesn’t look like a school craft project, I plan on doing “trial runs” that I will of course chronicle here. During some of these posts I may cry, beg for help or even threaten to throttle someone, but I wouldn’t dare go through this without you guys! I hope everyone has a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!