I have been playing with the idea for a really long time. See, I am not a baker. I can cook really well – roasting, grilling, pasta, salads, soups. But I just cannot get the hang of baking. I think it has a lot to do with my low patience level. Anyway, when it came to trying to help my readers create a big wedding on a small budget – when it came to the cake, I was stumped.
So, I started thinking. When I want a cake for something in my currant life – what do I do? Well, I either buy one from the store or I make it from a box. And you know what? I LIKE the box mix cakes. I think that they taste good (and preservatives) and they are really easy to make. So I wondered…
Why couldn't someone make their entire wedding cake from a box mix?
Okay. I did the absolute most basic cake (a couple of layers, no fillings, no frosting decorations) but I still think it is lovely and contemporary. I followed this recipe to make the cake (it uses a box mix and several ingredients from the pantry to enhance them) and this one to help with the actual assembly of the tiers. I also use frosting from a can instead of homemade (use a combination of this method and this method for super easy application). I finished it off with ribbon and silk flowers (fresh would be great but this is rural Alaska and…no.).
A few tips:
1. Do each tier separately. I mixed up a batch of 3 all at once and it was tricky. Stirring it was really hard and then the baking took forever and some of the tiers were a bit brown. Better to handle each one on it's own and then move on to the next. The great part? Each tier can be refrigerated for up to 2 days without sacrificing the quality.
2. Only fill each cake pan 2/3's full! Otherwise, your cake will resemble a puffy mushroom.
3. Make your first slices (or skins) while the cake is still in the pan – it provides a built in level!
4. Crumb cake layers are supposed to be super, super thin. Melt your frosting in the microwave (in 10-15 second increments) to get a smooth, thin consistency.
5. Use straws and cardboard to create the tiered levels. Super easy and super cheap!
6. Ribbon and flowers can hide a multitude of sins. Use a cotton swab to help secure the ribbon to the cake via extra frosting…and use cotton swabs to clean up the excess frosting that happens when you are adhering the ribbon to the cake!