The Road to the Wedding Cake

by Veronica

It was a great honour to be asked to make my son's wedding cake ; but was I equal to the task? Here I have charted my progress from normal mum/ mom cook to wedding cake maker.

"Are you sure you want me to make it ? I don't want to spoil your day. Wouldn't you want someone else to do it? "

The answer was no. They wanted me to do it.

I have done my own baking for years; everything from loaves to cakes to biscuits to desserts. The difference is that my family have always eaten everything I make even when it doesn't turn out perfectly , food is money ; money's food. Eat it ... and they do.

A wedding cake however, is rather different. It is a centrepiece of a wedding, half the guests won't even know me and won't have any loyalty to telling me it's marvellous when it isn't. Plus a disaster could spoil their day.

OK ! No pressure. The main problem was I had never decorated a wedding cake or indeed any special cake, before in the whole course of all my life.

What was I going to do ?

The cupcakes
The cupcakes
I had never done this before.

"Never was there a more expensive wedding cake."

My husband is very down to earth and practical and after adding up all my costs for this declared ,

"Never was there a more expensive wedding cake!"

I needed first of all a new oven/cooker. My cooker was quite old; good enough for us but not equal to the task.

Step 1

We bought a new cooker for a few hundred pounds.

Step 2

My youngest son booked himself and me on a cake decorating course. This was the best money we spent.  The lessons were done by a baker and she only takes up to a maximum of four pupils at a time. In our class there were just the two of us. My youngest son was keen to help make his brother's wedding cake.

Our first efforts were doing proper decorating on cupcakes. Here are my efforts. The teacher taught us how to fill them with jam, how to do a tall 99 swirl and how to do a rose and then how to bi-colour a rose and how to dome the fondant.

I have done so many of these since doing the course.

See the pictures for my efforts. I had never even attempted this before and there I was committed to doing a wedding cake! For my son!

This was a long way though from decorating a wedding cake but I had to start somewhere.

in a PROPER box
in a PROPER box
How good is that!
the domed cupcakes are in pink
the domed cupcakes are in pink

Step 3

I had to have the right equipment. Well I couldn't make it without the right tools, could I ? The purchase of everything I would need was quite substantial.

I now have every size of rolling pin, embossed rolling pins, icing nozzles, cake lifters, icing bags, food colouring gels, cake boards, boxes, edible icing dust, cutters.

Here are a few of my tools;  icing spacers, colouring gel, nozzle and various rolling pin including embossed ones and a cake lifter.

a few of my tools
a few of my tools

Step 4

Next we made a simple celebration cake. We learned how to cover a cake, colour the icing and make roses.

My son is very clever at making things and is a perfectionist. Here he is making his celebration cake. He coloured the icing grey and made white roses for the top and trimmed with red ribbon. The roses are made of fondant icing. They look real though don't they!

My youngest son decorating his cake
My youngest son decorating his cake

Step 5

Once the course was finished we needed to practise. And we have done as we didn't want to forget and lose our newly gained skills.

 The first main practice though was for the Christmas Fair at Church. I did "Guess the weight of the cake " and we made a winter wonderland cake.

In the space of a few months, we had gone from being beginners who had never done proper cupcakes to icing a winter wonderland.

I covered the cake and my son coloured the icing and made the Santa hats, leaves, snowmen everything. It was a huge hit at the Church Fair. I could not believe how far we had developed.

WInter Wonderland
WInter Wonderland
from cupcakes to this in a few lessons

The birthday cake

My son then made his son's birthday cake. My grandson loves cars and Lightning Mc Queen  is his favourite. My son therefore made him a  Lightning McQueen cake, colouring the icing , moulding the cake for his boy.

the birthday cake practice
the birthday cake practice

The next practice cakes

We have done two practice cakes now and are confident about what we want to do for the real wedding cake two tiers. I have bought everything I need .

Here are the practices. We have made lilies, roses, daisies and chrysanthemums out of icing for the practice cakes.

When the wedding is done in three weeks time, I shall post a photo of the actual cake as it would be unfair to the lovely bride and groom to do so beforehand.

Here's the practices though, a labour of love of course. But see how far I have come in 8 months.

icing roses
icing roses
a practice cake
a practice cake
practice cake
practice cake

Watch out for the real thing in three weeks !

Will I manage it ?


3rd April rose practice
3rd April rose practice

The cake

all boxed up and ready to go
all boxed up and ready to go
13th April

2 wedding cakes

My youngest son, who helped make the sugar roses pointed out that as we were transporting the cakes 240 miles, that we should decorate 2 identical cakes in case of mishap. We didn't have a mishap;  but we had two gorgeous cakes.

See below the final thing.

This is one of the 2 final cakes
This is one of the 2 final cakes
for the day.

Baptism cake

I am in great demand now! Hot on the heels of my son's wedding cake 2 weeks ago, my cousin asked me to do the Baptism cake for his grandson's Baptism tomorrow.  I have just finished it.

There are 12 big stars for the 12 Apostles and 12 roses for the 12 fruits of the Spirit, footsteps to follow the Way.

Baptism cake for my cousin's grandchild
Baptism cake for my cousin's grandchild
I will leave it to set over night.

July 29th 2016

The latest wedding cake

Who would have thought that about 12 months ago I had never done any icing?

My niece/god-daughter asked me to do her wedding cake  similar but not the same to my son's. The wedding is tomorrow and she is delighted with her cake. I did two chocolate ganache cakes for her too.

Time for a break from cake decorating though I hope. The thought of messing up and spoiling someone's day is too stressful.

I hope you like my cake styles.

My niece's wedding cake July 30th 2016

latest wedding cake
latest wedding cake


Marmelade wedding favour
Home made marmelade in useful jar as a wedding favour
Home made marmelade in useful jar as a wedding favour
Updated: 07/31/2016, Veronica
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Veronica on 07/31/2016

Yes it all went well and the cakes seemed to be successful. I have up loaded a photo of the marmalade which came in a great little jar which can be kept for afterwards. As you say......What a great idea .

The Beswicks are all very practical people.

Mira on 07/31/2016

What a great idea to have marmalade s wedding favors :). I hope you too have fun at the wedding today :)

Veronica on 07/30/2016

Infact our youngest brother has made his own homemade marmalade as wedding favours for today. I always helped with the preserves at home and make all my own jams and red onion marmalade now.

frankbeswick on 07/30/2016

I think that home baking was more than just an Irish tradition, it was common all over. I do say, though, that we were raised with a philosophy that you should be self-reliant and that home-made is best, as far as possible. I have carried on this tradition with home grown vegetables, and you have concentrated on home baking.

I do recall a time when you were rather small, helping mother with her home made marmalade. That was very good stuff indeed.

Veronica on 07/30/2016

The baking isn't the problem for me. I was brought up in the Irish tradition for home baking. It is decorating them to such a high level that was the issue. But I have overcome that in a short space of time you see. I have quite literally come from icing cup cakes to wedding cakes. My youngest son made the flowers above out of icing sugar.

I have done two chocolate fudge cakes for tomorrow too.

frankbeswick on 07/29/2016

I should have realized that you would be baking the cake for tomorrow's wedding. I am looking forward to eating my slice. It is good to know that you continue our mother's skill of baking lovely cakes.You were well taught and learned your lessons thoroughly.

Veronica on 07/29/2016

The latest cake which is for tomorrow for our niece's wedding is pictured above.

Who would think I hadn't iced a proper cake before 12 months ago.

Veronica on 04/30/2016

Thank you, Mira. The cake was successful today and people were interested when I explained what I had designed. I think it lifts the cake from a cake to being a Baptism Cake.

Mira on 04/29/2016

It's nice how you included a bit of symbolism on the cake. Had never seen a baptism cake before!

Veronica on 04/29/2016

I am in great demand now! Hot on the heels of my son's wedding cake 2 weeks ago, my cousin asked me to do the Baptism cake for his grandson's Baptism tomorrow. I have just finished it. Picture above.

There are 12 big stars for the 12 Apostles and 12 roses for the 12 fruits of the Spirit, footsteps to follow the Way.

10 months ago I was clueless about cake decorating.

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