Throw Your Own: Of Cakes and Plates

Shouldn’t your wedding be as unique as the two of you?   My thought was to create wedding cakes based off dinnerware patterns you can register for that would inspire you to look at your own registry dinnerware to create a wedding cake tailored to you both.   What made this even more fun was it allowed for interesting cakes inside – aren’t we all tired of vanilla, yellow or chocolate cakes?  The recipes presented can be paired down to make regular cakes for everyday occasions or scaled up to create larger masterpieces than what you see pictured.    It was my goal to try and cover several taste styles.  From clean and simple with the Eva Zeisel ‘s Century dinnerware paired with an Orange Poppy Seed cake and Olivia Barry’s Spool collection transformed into a Coffee Cardamom cake – to patterned and colorful with Ralph Lauren’s Ethan English creamware transformed into a Tweed cake with Vanilla & Chocolate Buttercreams swirled together and Sagaform’s Retro collection which when cut open reveals a Blueberry Buttermilk cake iced in a decadent Blueberry Jam Buttercream.  I hope you enjoy them and are inspired as much as I enjoyed creating every single crumb.

Photography by Jesi Hoolihan Photography

Photography by Jesi Hoolihan Photography

Orange Poppy Seed Cake w/Orange Blossom Buttercream

My inspiration for this cake came from the Eva Zeisel Century Tabletop Collection. I love the lines and whimsy of each piece. It was important for me to have the cake’s appearance be subtle, yet the flavor be the big profile. So here orange is paired with poppy seeds to bring your full attention forward. I loved using the gravy boat as the cake topper – to me, it’s a celebration of Eva’s work. This recipe makes a two-layer cake, so you can double, triple or quadruple to make this as high as you want. I tripled this recipe to make a two-tier, three-layered cake using oval cake pans from Wilton and doubled the frosting recipe. The two middle-sized oval pans were used to create this cake.

Cake:
1 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
6 eggs
1.5 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Zest of two (2) oranges
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup poppy seeds
4 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep pans by spraying them with Bak-klene, lining with parchment, and spraying again with Bak-klene.

Cream butter and sugar together, scraping bowl if necessary to ensure everything is combined. Add eggs, one at a time, continuing to scrape bowl and ensure even distribution. Add buttermilk, vanilla bean paste, baking powder, salt, orange zest, orange juice, and poppy seeds – mixing on low until well combined. Finally add the flour and mix on medium low until mixture begins to appear smooth and no lumps.

Divide batter evenly between baking pans, making sure they all are the same batter height on the inside edge. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your pan – checking middle of cake with a tester to ensure it comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan. Wrap with plastic wrap and place into refrigerator to chill so you can form into layers and and assemble with icing (recipe below).

Frosting:
1 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Zest of 2 oranges
1 tablespoon orange blossom flower water

Combine ingredients in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Begin to mix the ingredients on low until they have come together, then switch to high and beat for ten minutes, spread onto chilled cake.

Photography by Jesi Hoolihan Photography

Photography by Jesi Hoolihan Photography

Coffee Cardamom Cake w/Coffee Cardamom Butter-cream

Cardamom is a spice I remember fondly from my childhood, growing up in a Scandinavian household. Here I took this familiar spice and created a cake by blending it with instant espresso, nutmeg, and fresh-ground pepper. The recipe below is for a tiered wedding cake (4×6 & 4×10), yet you can easily halve this recipe and create a single-layer cake for yourself. You will get roughly 14 cups of batter – I put 1 cup in each 6 inch pan, and 2.5 cups in each 10 inch pan.  Olivia Barry’s Spool Dinnerware was the inspiration for the cakes overall design which was created by running a small icing spatula over the outside of the cake to mimic the pattern on the dinnerware.

Cake:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3.5 cups sugar
8 eggs
2 tablespoons ground cardamom
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3.5 cups whole milk
6 cups cake flour

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare baking pans by spraying them with Bak-klene, lining with parchment, and one more spray of Bak-klene to ensure release.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together, scraping the bowl to ensure the butter is completely incorporated into the sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time ensuring they are combined by scraping the bowl with a spatula. Add cardamom, espresso powder, pepper, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt – mixing again to ensure even distribution.  Add milk and beat again to incorporate, followed by the cake flour.  Divide batter between pans, making sure top of batter is sitting at around the same height in all of the pans.  Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your pans – checking the smaller ones first with a toothpick – removing from oven when toothpick comes out clean.

Remove cakes from oven as they are done and allow to cool, then cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well-chilled, roughly 6-8 hours or overnight. Once chilled, the layers are ready to frost.

Frosting:
1 lb. butter
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon ground cardamom

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, turning mixer on low until ingredients have come together – then turn on high and beat for ten minutes. Frost chilled cake and place back into refrigerator to set until you are ready to enjoy, then make sure you remove cake from refrigerator 2-3 hours before you want to eat so the butter can come to room temperature and relax. Enjoy!

Photography by Jesi Hoolihan Photography

Photography by Jesi Hoolihan Photography

Ethan Tweed Cake

I am always inspired by the world around me, and this recipe is no different. As a dinnerware collector, I love to see all my patterns sitting behind the glass doors in my kitchen and pantry. So I decided to create cakes based off some dinnerware collections I own, and hopefully it will inspire you to think about using the pattern you have registered for your wedding day to translate into your cake.

This recipe makes 4-6 inch and 4-9 inch cakes – it can easily be translated into 6-8 inches or halve the recipe to make one cake. This also applies to the frosting recipe. I grate the chocolate on a Microplane box grater, with a glove on so the chocolate doesn’t melt since I have hot hands.

Cake:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups sugar
10 eggs
4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup vanilla-bean paste
1/4 cup baking soda
2 teaspoon salt
4 cups all purpose flour
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, grated

As with any baking, make sure you prep your pans with Bak-klene and parchment. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer on medium, cream the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs – one at a time. Turn the mixer on low and slowly pour the buttermilk in, letting the mixer run until well combined. Turn mixer off and add vanilla-bean paste, baking soda and salt. Turn mixer on low and mix for 1-2 minutes, then turn off and add flour. Turn mixer back on low and mix until well combined, scraping bowl if necessary. Add grated chocolate and mix until just combined, turn off mixer and remove paddle – mix with spatula to ensure all of the ingredients are incorporated.

Place 2 cups batter into each of the 9 inch pans and divide the remaining between the 6 inch pans (roughly a little over 1 cup in each). Place into oven and bake for 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through if necessary. Remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and place into refrigerator to fully chill.

Frosting:
3 lbs. unsalted butter, room temperature
1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
12 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, beat the butter, whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean paste for ten minutes. Assemble chilled cake layers and frost outside, leaving a thin coat – then refrigerate until well-chilled. Divide remaining icing in half and add chocolate to one, mixing well to incorporate. In 12 inch or larger icing bags, add chocolate icing to one bag, and vanilla to another – then place both bags inside a larger bag that has been fitted with 1M tip – this is what will create the swirl effect. Starting at the bottom of the cake, pipe swirls in a counter-clockwise motion going up the side of the cake – repeat until you have gone all around the circumference of the cake. Place back into refrigerator to chill. Assemble cake towers and allow cake to sit at room temperature for at least four hours before cutting.

Photography by Jesi Hoolihan Photography

Photography by Jesi Hoolihan Photography

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake w/Blueberry Jam Butter-cream

What an interesting cake for the Spring and Summer time! Although the photo for this recipe is a wedding cake, it is because it has been tripled.  A two-layer 8 inch cake was converted into a 6 inch and 10 inch cake, then frosted with a vanilla butter-cream and covered with marshmallow fondant that has been painted to match Sagaform’s Retro dinnerware pattern.

Cake:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1.5 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2/3 cup milk
3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups fresh blueberries

Mix 1/2 cup of the flour with the blueberries. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep baking pans with Bak-klene and place parchment inside, then spray again with release to ensure the cakes come out effortlessly. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each egg is fully incorporated, scraping bowl if necessary. Add baking powder, salt, vanilla bean paste and milk, mixing again to combine. Add flour and mix well. Remove bowl from mixer and add the blueberry/flour mixture, folding gently with a spatula to ensure they get combined. Divide between the two pans so they both are evenly filled up to the same point on the side walls. Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on size of the pan, then remove from oven and allow to cool fully before removing from pans.

Blueberry Jam Butter-cream Frosting:
1 lbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup blueberry jam

Combine ingredients in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Begin to mix the ingredients on low until they have come together, then switch to high and beat for ten minutes. Spread onto chilled cake.

Marshmallow Fondant:
16 oz. bag miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup shortening
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon clear vanilla
2 lbs. powdered sugar, plus more for kneading

Place marshmallows and water into a microwave safe bowl and cook for 1.5 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir using a spatula until the marshmallows have almost completely melted and come together. Add to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, along with the vanilla, shortening, and powdered sugar. Turn mixer on and mix until ingredients have come together – you can’t over mix, so don’t worry. While ingredients are mixing, sprinkle your counter with powdered sugar and when the fondant is all together, remove from mixer and place onto powdered sugared counter. Begin to knead the dough until it is no longer sticky and when you pull it apart, almost resembles taffy. Another test is to press two fingers into the dough and it will feel almost like bread dough – but not that soft. Cover twice with plastic wrap and allow to sit on your counter until you are ready to roll out and cover your cake.

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