Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Anniversary Cake Project: I did it!

Additional installments of the Anniversary Cake Project:  lemon cake, lemon curd, lemon butter-cream icing

Ta-da!  Success!  I can hardly believe it!  I guess my Hermione Granger moments paid off, as all of my research really did help me create a tiered cake!

I brought the cake to my parent's church in the separate layers as you saw in the most recent post regarding the lemon butter-cream icing.  Here is a great trick for when you have to transport cake:  You know the shelf liner you can use in your kitchen shelves and drawers that is sort of foamy and comes in a roll?  I think a variety of brands make it.  Anyway, cut a square or strip of it and place it under whatever the cake is sitting in (a box or plate or whatever), so it is between the box and the car floor.  For example, I used many copy paper box lids for transport.  So, I put a piece in a box lid underneath the square cake board that held the 9-inch round cake.  Then I put another piece on the floor of my sister's trunk, and put the box lid on top of that.  Now the cake was safe from sliding around inside the box, and the box was safe from sliding around in the car!  All of my layers were carefully put into the car and we all said a bunch of prayers on the way to church!  Appropriate, right?

At church, I set everything out and took some deep breaths before attempting to stack the tiered cake.  I used a flat metal spatula, wiggled it under the cardboard circle under the 6-inch layer and gently placed it onto the center of the 8-inch square cake, right over the support straws.  I touched the cake a bit with my fingers but made sure it was at the very bottom where I planned to put the ribbons.  I did the same thing for the  4-inch layer.  When it was all stacked, I stood back and took some more deep breaths! 

I had prepared the satin ribbon in advance.  Since butter-cream is made mostly of butter and shortening, if it actually touched satin ribbon, it would leave ugly grease spots.  No good!  So I cut the ribbons to appropriate lengths for each layer, then used double-sided tape to stick waxed paper to the back.  The waxed paper was cut to be the exact width as the ribbon, 1 1/2 inches.  That took some work but it wasn't so bad.  I rolled up each ribbon, attached a little tag notating which cake layer it was for, and put them together in a little bag to bring to the church.  At church, I just had to unroll each ribbon, gently place it around the bottom of a cake layer, and pin it into place using a straight pin.

So far, so good.  Time for the roses.  I cut the stems of the roses I intended to stick into the cake very short and wrapped them in plastic wrap.  You don't want whatever liquids that are on the inside of a flower to get into the cake.  Then I stuck the stems into the cake to secure them.   For the roses that are on the tops of the cakes, I just cut the stem all of the way off and put a tiny square of plastic wrap under the bottom of the rose before sticking it into the icing on the cake.  They stayed put!

My sister and I!

I had my parents cut the first piece of cake together, just like they did 50 years prior.  Sorry for the blurry picture... I wasn't behind the camera and I have no idea what happened!

You might notice the green punch next to my dad.  That is known as Miller Punch.  My sister made up the recipe and we use it for all events where punch is offered!  It's a secret family recipe!  Don't tell anyone....

Miller Punch
2 small containers lime sherbet
1 2l bottle of lemon-lime soda
1 large can of frozen limeade concentrate
1/2 large can of frozen lemonade concentrate

Prepare limeade and lemonade using the lemon-lime soda to replace MOST of the water.  You might use a bit of water depending on how zippy you want it to be.  Scoop the lime sherbet into a punch bowl.  Pour the lemon-limeade over the sherbet and serve!

To mix things up a bit (or to get a pink punch if that is desired) you can also use raspberry sherbet and pink lemonade.  Also very yummy!
Printable Recipe

Back to the cake!  I estimate that there were about 60-70 people at my parent's reception and I miraculously made the right amount of cake!  I sliced the cakes into pieces about 1 inch wide and about 3-4 inches long.  I did not use the concentric circles method of cutting cakes.  I find that too tricky.  I just cut slices as if the round cakes were actually square, slicing off about an inch at a time.  I saved the top piece for my parents, so that was not consumed.  In the end, I had a little less than 1/2 of the 8-inch square cake left.  In my opinion, this turned out perfectly!  We could have fed a few more people but had enough to take home and have leftover cake a couple of times.  Phew!

Are you wondering about how the cake tasted?  Delicious!  I wished I had gotten it out of the refrigerator a little bit earlier, as the cake part wasn't quite at room temperature, but it was pretty close.  The cake had a great texture, very lemony and light, the curd had a good tang and the butter-cream was zippy!  If you didn't like lemon, this was the wrong party for you, that is for sure!  My sister and I joked that we were preventing scurvy in our guests!

I did freeze that top layer of cake for my parents.  I don't know how good it will turn out, but here is what I did:  I stuck the cake as-is into the freezer (without the roses, obviously)  to get it somewhat frozen before wrapping in any way.  After about 6 hours, I took it out and wrapped it 3 times in plastic wrap.  Then I stuck the cake into a freezer zip-lock bag and sucked the air out of the bag with a straw.  I put this bag into another freezer bag and used my straw trick again.  The point is to get as much air out of the bags as possible, as any extra air will dry out the cake.  Ideally, you should put the cake into some sort of box to protect it from other things in the freezer, but I could not find one.  My parents will just have to be careful in their freezer! 

I really can't believe how great these cakes turned out!  It was a great learning opportunity for me and I really enjoyed putting it all together.  Something to check off of my bucket list!


  1. Sister, You did an AMAZING JOB! You have become a fabulous baker! I am soooo proud!

    1. Thanks, Sister! You are a great influence on me!

  2. Beautiful cake!! Great idea to use wax paper behind the ribbon ~ I did this once and yes, grease spots did come through! Thanks for the tip.

    1. You're welcome! Thank you for visiting!


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