Individual Wedding Cakes

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Mini Wedding CakeThese amazing individual wedding cakes are so much easier and elegant than the smaller ones that are covered in buttercream or fondant. Most individual wedding cakes are so small they consist mostly of buttercream and/or fondant.

I designed and my bakery produced about 175 of these little wedding cakes for a luncheon involving the media, wedding planners, florists and others associated in producing weddings.  We did this white cake filled with raspberry buttercream and a chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache.  To say they were a hit was an understatement.  There are any number of combinations of these two cakes and filings that can be used.

I am including the chocolate cake layer recipe also so you can make a chocolate version of the individual wedding cakes.

I found this petit four cake layer a very long time ago in a newsletter about chocolate.  It is the perfect layer for a petit four.  It stays perfectly flat and tastes wonderful.  It also cuts beautifully without crumbs when cold but should be served at room temperature.  These three layer cakes are nothing more than unfinished petit fours cut in 1,2 and 3 inch squares that are stacked together.  You can see at this point just how doable these miniature wedding cakes become.

While the cake layers are easy enough to make they are extremely thin – 1/4 inch at the most. Follow the instructions below and it will be possible to release the cake layers from their pans and put them on the layer below in one fell swoop.   The cake and the buttercream can be made ahead and simply assembled when needed.  The entire cake can be frozen if properly protected.

At the shop, we used 3 types of raspberry to get enough flavor into the buttercream. Because these ingredients aren’t available to the consumer market, I waited until I could find the ingredients that would bring a strong  raspberry flavor to the buttercream.  By combining freeze dried raspberries with seedless raspberry jam the pop of raspberry flavor really comes through.  Freeze dried fruit can be found in any number of places.  However the pricing is amazingly different.  The best price I found in S. Louis was Trader Joe’s. Freeze Dried Raspberrieswedding-cakes-freeze-dried-raspberries.jpeg The most expensive was REI – I’ll never buy from the again.

The top of each of the individual wedding cakes can be decorated as you see fit.  To finish the cakes I used miniature white chocolate curls for some and small piped flowers for others.

White Petit Four Layer – using the ingredients below, how to photographs can be seen at the Tri-Chocolate Pate blog.
3 cups cake flour (300 grams)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened (170 grams or 6 ounces)
2 1/4 cups sugar (450 grams or 16 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
6 eggs, divided
2 cups milk
6 tablespoons sugar (75 grams or 1 1/2 scant ounces)

Lightly spray three 1/2 sheet pans (a half sheet pan is 18×13″)  and line with parchment.  Do not spray the parchment.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to mix. Set aside.

Cream the butter, 2 1/4 cups sugar, vanilla and almond extracts until light. Add the egg yolks and beat until well mixed.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing on low. When adding the milk, the batter may curdle or be on the verge of curdling.  Just continue because after you add the all flour it will come together.

In a clean mixing bowl, whip the egg whites to the soft peak stage. Slowly add the sugar and beat to medium peak stage. It is preferable to under beat rather than over beat the whites.

Fold into the batter.

Divide one third of the dough into each pan (525 grams or 18.40 ounces). Spread it evenly into the prepared pans (it will be very thin) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until set and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely.

Assemble as soon as the layers are cooled or freeze the layers in their pans if possible.

Batter weights 1575 grams or 55 1/4 ounces.

Chocolate Petit Four layers
Reduce cake flour to 2 1/2 cups (250 grams or 9 ounces) and add 1/2 cup unsifted dutched cocoa. All the rest remains the same.

Raspberry Buttercream 
1.2 ounce package freeze dried raspberries
1 Recipe Italian  Buttercream
1/2 cup Raspberry jam or preserves, seedless

Prepare the Italian Buttercream as called for in the blog omitting the vanilla and almond extracts. 

Place the raspberries in a blender Freeze dried raspberriesand powder them. Powdered freeze dried raspberriesThere should be abut 1/2 cup.Powdered freeze dried raspberriesWhen the Basic Italian Buttercream is completed add the powdered raspberries, beating well.Powdered freeze dried raspberries added to Italian ButtercreamBeating raspberries into buttercreamAdd the jam, mixing completely.Adding raspberry jam to buttercreamRaspberry buttercream finished

Yield 1125 grams or approximately 2 1/2 pounds.

1 Recipe Italian ButtercreamMake as called for. Although one half of this recipe is to be used, it cannot be cut down any further and maintain it’s quality.Italian buttercream

Assembly
3 half sheets white cake
1 Recipe Raspberry Buttercream
I Recipe Basic Buttercream
Miniature white chocolate curls, optional

To remove the cake layer from the pan, cover the top of the layer with film. wedding-cakes-cake-layer-in-pan-covered-with-film.jpegPlace a cake board over the top of the pan andwedding-cakes-layer-covered-with-cake-board.jpeg flip it over onto the board.  Layer of cake turned over onto cake boardThe layer will be very thin and it is important to gently remove the parchment. Carefully pick up the parchment on one corner of the short side.  Keeping the paper close to the layer pull it back slowly on the diagonal removing it only to the center of the layer.  Removing parchment 1Go to the other corner on the opposite side of the layer you started on.  Removing parchement 2You should have half of the parchment removed to the center.  Parchment being removed 3Release the other side in the same manner.  Removing parchemtn 4wedding-cakes-removing-parchment-5Removing parchment 6Then gently remove the parchment.  Removing parchment 7Removing parchment 8To move the layers, pick the cake layer up using the film on one long side.  Quickly lay the layer cake side down..  The cake layer will be right side up at this point.  Gently remove the film. (The photos show the top layer being lowered onto the layer beneath it.  However, the technique is the same for all 3 layers.)Lowering cake layer onto cakeLowering cake layer onto cakeTop layer on cakeSpread half of the raspberry buttercream evenly over the first layer. Raspberry buttercream on first layer of cakeSpreading raspberry buttercream on first layer of cakeTake off any excess and smooth out.  Raspberry buttercream spread on first layerPlace the second layer of cake over the buttercream, using the same film technique above lining up the long and short edges of both layers of cake before lowering it over the buttercream below.  Spread with the remaining raspberry buttercream.  Remove any excess.

Place the last layer of cake over the buttercream.Last layer of cake on topPlace a piece of parchment on top and press the layers down lightly to make sure they all adhere to each other and the layer is flat.  Smoothing the top layer of the wedding cakesSmoothing top layer of wedding cakes 2Smoothing top layer of wedding cakes 3Remove the parchment and top the cake with half of the Italian buttercream, smoothing it out.  Chill the cake before continuing.Italian buttercream on top of wedding cakes 1Top layer of Italian buttercream speed outLet the cake layer sit at room temperature for about 20 to 25 minutes, depending upon the temperature of the room. You want the buttercream to softened a bit but still remain firm.  If you try to trim the edges while the cake is cold, the buttercream on top will crack and you will not get a clean cut as shown in the photos.  Trim the barest amount of cake from all the edges.  A sawing motion, will keep the cake from having a “squashed” look.  You should have a 15″x11″ trimmed cake.Trimming side of wedding cake layerTrimmed sides of wedding cakes

From the long side cut a 3″ slice off and divide into five 3″ squares. Three inch slice cut from wedding cakesRemove them to a clean board.  Cut another 3″ slice off and repeat the five 3″ squares for a total of ten 3″ squares. Add them to the clean board.Ten three inch squares of wedding cakes

Next cut a 2″ slice off and divide into seven 2″ squares.     Two inch layers cut for wedding cakes

Cut three more 2″ slices from the remaining cake.  Add all of these to the board with the 3″ squares.Last three layers cut for wedding cakesCut ten 1″ squares from the remaining cake. 1%22 markng 2Add these to the above board.  Refrigerate until firm. They must be set to work with them at this point.Cut and ready to assemble for wedding cakesPlace a small amount of buttercream in the middle of a 3″ square.  Dot of buttercream on bottom layerSeat a 2″ square on top of the buttercream.  Second layer of wedding cake onRepeat with the 2″ square and seat a 1″ square on top of it.Third layer of wedding cake on

Seal the edges with basic buttercream.  I used a #5 small ateco tip for these.Sealing edges with buttercreamThree tiered min-wedding cake finished

Finish the top with chocolate curls or piped flowers as desired.  Refrigerate the cakes.  The cakes can be frozen to hold them.

Here are additional photos of the cakes used for the function.  You can see we varied the tops with chocolate curls and piped flowers.Table setting with Mini Wedding cakesTable setting of Mini-Wedding Cakeschocolate-mini-wedding-cake-with-curls.jpegChocolate Mini Wedding Cake with piped flower

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12 thoughts on “Individual Wedding Cakes

  1. eileen

    I have been admiring the photo on your website and waiting for the post. I cannot wait for the opportunity to try this! eileen

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Thank you Eileen. The cake layers are the only tricky point because they are so thin. Other than that you are a few steps away from these little lovelies.

  2. ellen

    This is just amazing. For years I’ve been searching for a way of making raspberry flavour really intense, and I do have some freeze-dried powdered raspberries. I also make my own jam with much more fruit and less sugar than commercial jam. I can’t wait to try this. Your technique could go for any sort of celebratory gathering, wouldn’t necessarily have to be a wedding, would it?

  3. donte

    These are amazing Helen!

    What I’d like to know:
    You mention “sheet pan” and I have never understood the terminology (Full Sheet, Half Sheet, Quarter Sheet). For this recipe, the pan sort of looks 9×13’ish. Is this a Quarter Sheet pan?

    Donte

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I have added this information to the recipe. A half sheet pan is 18×13 inches with rimmed sides. A full sheet is 26×18 and a quarter sheet is 9×13. Hope this helps.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Thanks Manisha – I have wanted to post this for a while but it was a lot of work. Took me longer than I thought. I know you will find ways to use the raspberry buttercream.

      1. Manisha

        Helen it is difficult to find freeze dried raspberries here. Could I use frozen ones or seedless raspberry preserve in buttercream???

        1. hfletcher Post author

          Hi Manisha – It has to be the freeze dried to get the pop of flavor. It takes a pound of fruit to yield that small amount of powder. Go online – you will find a lot of places that that sell the freeze dried. The buttercream is fortified with seedless red raspberry jam but the freeze dried add a lot of flavor. Hope this helps.

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