I made this cake for a good friend’s wedding, in which I was also a bridesmaid. It was my first wedding cake and had to feed 130 people and hold up to August heat at an outdoor wedding! Talk about stress!
I made all of the flowers out of royal icing 2-3 weeks before the wedding. I tried to let each flower dry such that the petals would curl upwards. The sunflowers needed a little extra support since I was worried they would be too heavy and fall off the cake in the heat. After making them, I flipped them over and piped a green royal icing base, then stuck a thin dowel/long toothpick in them. I broke a ton of sunflowers this way since the petals curled up and I was putting pressure on them upside-down. This did not end up being an issue because I made about 25 and only used 8! I made at least 100 of the small and medium red flowers, and used very few. Now I have extras for cupcakes.
The cake and buttercream frosting was completely homemade- one vanilla layer (14″) and two chocolate layers (10″ and 6″), plus an extra chocolate sheet cake to get the right number of servings. The 6″ layer was used for the anniversary cake. I made all of the cakes two days before the wedding and crumb coated them, then put them in the fridge overnight. The day before the wedding, I made many batches of icing and got to work frosting the cakes as smooth as possible and putting on the swags before the rehearsal that afternoon. I left the tiers unassembled but with the dowels already in.
On the morning of the wedding, I brought all of the tiers over and refrigerated them until I had time to assemble it. All I had to do was stack the cakes, add the shell border, and arrange the royal icing flowers on the cake. The bird topper was made by a mother and was not edible.
The whole process was around 17 hours of work and exhausting, but everyone loved the cake and it tasted GREAT! (photo by Tory Hanke)