But it bothered me that I couldn’t do this wedding, so after a while, I thought CUPCAKES! I didn’t want cupcake holders or row upon row of cupcakes on a table. I wanted a wedding cake! So here’s what I came up with. We took square styrofoam rounds in 8, 12, 16, and 20 inch sizes 4 inches tall. These were coverd in white satin and hot glued together making sure the edges were evenly spaced so the cupcakes would sit on them. They could also be covered with fondant if you wished.
I went online to find good looking paper cups for the cupcakes in the colors of the wedding which included pink. These added color and continuity to the cake just as the decoration on a wedding cake would.
I chose 5 different flavors from the many we made at my shop. There was a chocolate with vanilla buttercream, yellow cake with spirited chocolate buttercream, coconut, chocolate with peanut butter buttercream and a lemon with a lemon filling and lemon buttercream. I tinted the coconut buttercream pink and rolled the buttercream in flaked coconut to provide color and texture. The lemon was sprinkled with sugar crystals and the peanut butter were sprinkled with real chocolate sprinkles. Two brands are Decoratifs by Guittard Chocolate or Vermicilli by Cocao Barry. These are well worth seeking out as they are so superior to the cocoa version in both looks and flavor that most stores sell. (When I first opened my shop 25 years ago, it took me forever to find these. I had seen them, but couldn’t track them down. Finally, when I switched my chocolate to Guittard, I found these – and used them for over 20 years!) These simple decorations added to the look of the cupcakes but kept the overall look of the cake unified. However, any flavors of cupcakes will do.
I also made a 6 inch cake topper so the bride and groom had a cake for the traditional first piece of cake photo. I finished the topper with flowers and placed it on the top of the cake.
When setting the cake up, I had no idea what I was going to do. All I knew is I came with 10 boxes of cupcakes, a topper and flowers. How I was going to assemble them, I didn’t know. I baked the cupcakes in regular white holders and placed each cupcake in the decorative holder on site. This kept the look constant so the chocolate cupcakes didn’t darken the holders making a splotchy look. I decided that each layer of the cake starting with the first layer on the table needed to be one kind. The cake including those set at the base on the table held about 100 cupcakes. The remainder were set around the cake in an octagon. Space was left between the cake and the cupcake display so the cake would stand out and not be garbled with all the cupcakes around it.
In the end, I felt I accomplished what I set out to do. While I certainly would have preferrerd to have my bakery with 4 professional ovens, two large freezers, lots of refrigeration and mixers ranging from 5 to 60 quarts, it is doable in a tiny kitchen with one stove and one 5 quart mixer. Not easy, but doable!! I made 300 cupcakes for 150 guests in, I might add, 100 degree weather.
Here are some additional photos of my weekend of baking, frosting and packing to ultimately come up with my Cupcake Wedding Cake.
I thought this was interesting. The three dark colored cupcakes were made with dutched cocoa. The lighter colored chocolate cupcakes – same recipe – were made with Hershey’s regular cocoa (not their dark version). There was a like difference in the baked cupcakes also but with all the buttercream on top, I couldn’t really taste a difference.
Uniced and boxed cupcakes waiting to be finished. I had limited cooling space, so after the cupcakes were cooled, I moved them into boxes so they could be stacked until I could finish them.
After the cupcakes were finished, they were placed back in the boxes and stacked on the breakfast nook table..
When I couldn’t stack anymore on the table, they overtook my house – box after box.
The box tops were kept far away so I didn’t pack the cupcakes in the tops instead of the bottoms. (I’ve been known to do this, especially when tired.) There’s a lot of frustration trying to put the two together that way. And having to pack twice was not appealing.
Here are some additional views of the finished cake and table.