3 dozen eggs
4 pounds of butter
4 cups of sugar
4 pounds of sour cream
4 cups of oil
8 pounds of raspberries
8 pounds of fondant
8 cake mixes + 8 packets of pudding mix
24 cups of powdered sugar
6" cake pans
9" cake pans
12" cake pans
16" cake pans
1. Stress out
2. Go shopping at 4 different stores to purchase all the required ingredients for the best price you can find them. Make sure one of the places is the only cake store in Chicago, a 50+ minute drive away from home, to buy a 20 pound pail of fondant for $73.
3. Stress out.
4. Spend 5+ hours making 15 fondant roses. Revel in their beauty.
5. Bake. Bake. Bake. Bake. Bake. Bake. Bake. Bake. (Literally, 8 batches of cake)
6. Stress out... and vow to never do this again.
7. Make 15 cups of the most delicious raspberry filling ever (recipe below) and 16+ cups of overly sweet American style buttercream frosting. Split, fill, and frost the cakes.
8. Knead 8 pounds of fondant until your knuckles are raw to color it a deep ivory shade. Cover cakes with said fondant.
9. Drive said cakes to my uncle's awesome wedding banquet hall and assemble cakes on site. Complete decorations.
10. Be proud of the most amazing, elegant, and relatively flawless fondant cake you've ever made.
(You can click on each photo to enlarge it if you like. But please do not judge the flaws in my photography...)
And now, for the recipes and tips. I decided to use box mix for the cake since there was just too damn much to bake. But I doctored it up to make the best chocolate cake you've ever have from a mix. I also decided to make my own raspberry filling from scratch to make up for the fact that I wasn't making the cake from scratch.
I can't even describe to you how delicious the raspberry filling was. Tart and sweet and fresh tasting! And with a perfectly thick consistency it doesn't ooze out the sides of the cake. And it doubles as jam in your PB&J sandwiches!
I reduced the amount of sugar called for in the original recipe and pureed my raspberries in the first step. If you want your filling to have fruit chunks it in, I'll copy the Cake Boss recipe (as-is) below.
Also, I used ~1.3X this recipe (16 oz of raspberries) for a single 9" cake-- it all depends on taste. Check out my recommendations below for how much filling I used in this wedding cake.
12 oz frozen unsweetened raspberries, or any other fruit, thawed
1/3 cup sugar, or more to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
2 heaping TBSP cornstarch, dissolved in just enough water to make it pourable
2 TBSP raspberry liqueur such as Razzmatazz by DeKuyper, optional (I did not use this, but wanted to include it in the recipe if you wanted to try it out.
Directions for a smooth raspberry filling
1. Thaw frozen raspberries in refrigerator or in the microwave.
2. Puree the raspberries in a food processor or blender. Strain them through a fine-mesh strainer to remove all the seeds. Place raspberry liquid in a medium sized saucepan.
3. Add sugar, lemon juice, and dissolved cornstarch to the raspberries and cook on medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens.
4. Remove from heat and cool until warm to the touch. Add raspberry liqueur, if using, and chill in the fridge for at least a few hours. Filling keeps in the refrigerator at least a week, and I'm sure it'll freeze pretty well too.
Filling amounts for cakes*
I figured these out by making an 8" tester cake and determining that I liked 1.5 cups of filling in the entire 8" cake (split evenly between layers). I then used old school math to figure out the surface area of 6, 9, 12, and 16" cakes in proportion to the 8" cake and multiplied the amount of filling accordingly.
6" cake: 0.85 cups filling
8" cake: 1.5 cups filling
9" cake: 2 cups filling
12" cake: 3.5 cups filling
16" cake: 6 cups filling
*Note: I split my cakes and used 1/2 the filling on two layers with a thin layer of buttercream frosting in between the other layer. Feel free to split the frosting into thirds and use in between all layers of cake if you don't want to use any frosting.
For the 16" cake I didn't want to split the layers, so instead baked up 3 separate cakes (1 box mix per 16" layer). So for that I just had cake, filling, cake, filling, cake (and no frosting in the middle).
Directions for a chunky raspberry filling (from Cake Boss)
Note: I didn't try the recipe this way, but I'm sure it works great.
1. Thaw raspberries and strain juice from berries. Add enough water to the juice to get 3/4 cup of liquid.
2. In a small saucepan, combine raspberry juice/water, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat, set aside.
3. With a fine wire strainer, use a spoon to press the raspberries so that the seedless pulp falls into a bowl below. Strain enough pulp to get between 1/3 - 1/2 cup of pulp. *You can skip this step and just use the whole berries, but people at weddings and parties don't like to pick seeds out of their teeth.
4. To the cooled mixture in the saucepan, add 2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur and the raspberry pulp. Stir well and refrigerate a few hours or overnight. Keeps in the refrigerator for at least a week.
If you're filling a cake with jam, you can't just put the filling on the cake. If so, your filling will ooze out the sides of the cake and you'll have a giant mess on your hands. What you have to do instead is create a dam using buttercream frosting to keep the filling in place.
Step 1: Pipe a thick buttercream dam around the edges of the cake. Add your filling on top of the cake.
Step 2: Gently spread the filling to the edges of the cake, taking care to not disturb the buttercream dam.
Step 3: Take a photo of your hand in front of the giant 16" cake to demonstrate how monstrous the thing is!