Saturday, July 4, 2009

Cake Buffet

cake buffet from snippet & ink

I feel the need to say "I love you like a fat kid loves cake," and since I don't think I can have a placard with that on our dessert table...I'm getting it out of my system now. Garrett and I had talked a little bit about cakes and we'd both decided that we didn't want anything super fancy. Garrett's a minimalist (unless you see our bookshelves) and I prefer simple to really ornate. I like the look of fondant but not the taste. I love buttercream. I like clean, simple, but not perfect. And finding a vintage cake topper with a blonde bride and brunette groom that I liked was just not going to happen. I have little patience for ebay. So, we talked about doing a really simple cake. Something 3 tier or thereabouts, simple white frosting, bam.

But I'm sure some of you other brides can relate... Garrett's not crazy about making decisions wedding things. I was trying to find a fabric in our color scheme at a fabric store that was going out of business and I drove Garrett crazy. I couldn't make up my mind at all and wandered around like I do in grocery stores, aisle after aisle. I ended up going home with nothing. And the store wasn't really close by. Oops! Even though Garrett loves cake, the idea of going to taste testings and talking price and picking something's exhausting. I'd considered making my own cake before, like some other bride bloggers I've seen, decided I had lost my mind, and moved on. But the more I see the whole "cake buffet" idea, the more I think it could work for us. My sister loves baking. One of Garrett's cousins used to run a bakery and has lots of supplies (plus, her daughter Megan, who reads my blog and is now a good friend of mine, has offered to maybe come down early to help me with things like flowers or cakes). Linden, one of my bridesmaids, has offered up some delicious recipe of her grandma's... We might be in business. I've made a few mean pound cakes in my day and if nothing else I think I could manage that.

Plus, we're looking at our reception as a party at this point. We're not going to be stressing out the day of and I don't think we'll be heading off for a honeymoon the next day or anything, so I just want to have fun!

this one is from a navy & yellow wedding (our colors!) that I love! It was featured in Southern Weddings' blog and the photographer is Sarah Maren. I like that they had a candy buffet on the ends of the cake buffet.

So from you, what are your favorite kinds of cake, do you have any favorite recipes (for frosting too!), what would you be most excited to see at a cake buffet? Oh, and any tips on petit fours? Garrett loves them.

Some thoughts of mine: strawberry cake, a butter cake, some kind of chocolate (maybe mousse-ish?), lemon?, pound cake, linden's sour cream cake with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting...


  1. Ok, i'm so so down with this idea.

    i have this really good cinnamon cream cheese frosting that i make that is amazing.. maybe on a spice or apple cake? also, i have a recipe for a champagne cake that i haven't tried yet.

    and strawberry cake...i make this thing with a box mix and strawberry jell-o and cool whip frosting that is AMAZING but its a sheet cake and not as pretty for a buffet..actually it might be a weensy bit white trash.

    mayeb you could see if anyone had any vintage-y cake toppers around and they could bring them and have a different little mismatched one on every cake. OR to go along with the teapots and tea cups...what about a little dollhouse sized tea set on every one?
    something like this-

  2. ...oh, and that was me. not nick. clearly.

  3. My suggestion is pretty simple. There are only three main families of cake batter (as in the standard flour based cakes, we aren't even going into custard based or gelees) and they all produce different textures, mouthfeels and all use different procedures. Taste test each one of the batters; only a small portion though, an once maybe. Decide which one has the best texture and mouth feel. Then comes the fun part.

    Do the petit fors or a cake buffet, except just come up with a list of flavors you want. Ten should do nicely. Each cake should have about 4 oz of cake as in the actually cake. So make enough batter for 1 and 1/8 of your guest list and divide the batter into groupings to be mixed with your favorite flavors. Once incorporated all the batter can be frozen ahead of time or baked in the larger muffin 1/2 sheet tray tins.

    Then come up with frosting flavors that can match all of your cakes. Do the same for your fruit, sugar and chocolate truffle garnishes.

    As your cakes come out of the oven mix and are comletely cool; two-torte each one. Spritz each piece of the torted cake with a flavorful multi purpose simple syrup.

    Then mix and match all of your garnishes, frosting and any other jams or gels with your cakes. Or have an ordered file of one type of each. Go crazy with it. The affect is dazzling. This is the approach I have done for catering weddings before so it works out well because guests can pick choose and share.

    It isn't nearly expensive when you want to look at a single cake. Especially if you can get some friends help you put it together. The actual cake, frosting and garnish making should be done by some one who has a little experience and equipment. The assembly process should be done by a large group of people, foodies if you can get your hands on them.

    If you needed help with it I would be glad to some insights or whatever information you need.

  4. Sorry had another idea.

    Custard cakes. So a custard is a simple yet vastly rich medium to deliver flavor. So same idea as before but uses custards in a prearranged shape (triangles are kinda neat). So come up with a list of twenty flavors that distinct but go well together. Make a large batch of a basic custard recipe and divide and mix it into flavors. Before it cools transfer to sheet pans lined with plastic wrap and freeze.

    When you pull them out stack layers of custard on each other and cut into cubes or rectangular prisms or triangular prisms and plate for the buffet.

    No icings needed. You can mix fruits, chocolates, alcohols or whatever into each custard mix with moderation before they cool. You can also put different items in between each layer. The possibilities and the ranges of color are endlessly beautiful.

    Sorry got carried away.


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