Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Baking for a Wedding

After endless recipe testing and tasting, dozens upon dozens of practice cupcakes and cookies, and many pounds of butter whipped into frosting perfection, the big wedding day has come and gone. And what a day it was! I took the Friday before the wedding off to bake all day. and I don’t think I’ve had so much fun in a long time. Standing on your feet in a kitchen mixing and measuring and cleaning for 8+ hours is exhausting, but so unbelievably rewarding. I’ve never baked so much in such a concentrated amount of time, but this weekend solidified in my mind the fact that I was born to bake. There is nothing I’d rather do with my time than produce perfect pastries, so it’s now my life mission to find a way to make it work. But back to the wedding! I ended up making 102 cupcakes, and 84 cookies… plus a petite but pretty 3-tier chocolate cake, and about 20 cups of chocolate and vanilla buttercream.

I baked the cupcakes and cake on Friday, figuring they could stand to rest until Saturday without getting dry, and spent Saturday morning whipping buttercream and baking off Strawberry Shortcake cookies. The only hurdle I came upon was when I realized with only an hour and a half before I needed to be out the door that I was going to be short on cookies – and had run out of strawberries! (I tripled the recipe, so it should have made over 90 cookies… but I only got a measly 64?!) Luckily there were blueberries in the freezer, so I adapted the recipe a bit to accommodate blueberries instead of strawberries, and the crisis was averted. I was surprised to find I preferred the blueberry shortcake cookies over the strawberry, and actually preferred the look of the platter with all of the blueberry cookies intermingled with the strawberry. Sometimes mistakes make for a better outcome! (The photo below shows only some of the ingredients I used… when all was said and done, I’d gone through more than 2 dozen eggs and about 10lbs of butter!)

I transported all of the cupcakes, cookies and cake layers “undressed” from my parents home in Western Mass all the way to Manchester Mass, stopping once to paint my nails at a rest stop (sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!), and then again to pick up my wonderful boyfriend and date to the wedding! There was a boatload of traffic headed from Boston to Manchester so I was a ball of nerves in the car, but we still arrived with just enough time to take care of all the frosting and decorating. When we got there, I got straight to work assembling and icing the cake, and once that was finished, I got to work on the cupcakes. I made chocolate cupcakes and the accompanying vanilla buttercream frosting from the Flour cookbook, and vanilla (yellow buttermilk) cupcakes from Martha Stewart with the chocolate buttercream from the Flour cookbook (that goes with the midnight cake – which was the wedding cake!). The cake went together easily, and the cupcakes took no time at all. Everything was in the fridge to prevent melting, and I was dressed, made-up, and into the church with 5 minutes to spare before the ceremony began. We were saved seats in the second pew from the front of the church, and I had a few moments to greet the family and close friends of the bride and groom before the music started and we took our seats.

May I note, said wonderful (and handsome and funny and fantastically amazing) boyfriend was by my side in the kitchen the whole time I was decorating! He also played an integral role in putting the finishing touches (pearl sprinkles) on the cupcakes between the ceremony and reception, and was quick to lend a hand the whole day. Thanks Kevin!

After the ceremony was over and the church had cleared out, we “borrowed” a couple of small bouquest of flowers to decorate the cake with. The transformation from plain old wedding cake to something totally special was amazing with the addition of flowers. I was so proud of the end result! The pearl sprinkles we added a lot to the cupcakes made them look classy and elegant, and when everything was said and done – cake was out on display, cookies were being passed as hors d’oeuvres and cupcakes were awaiting their presentation – I was beaming.

Kevin and I had a few free moments after all of the decorating was done but before the bridal party returned from their photoshoot, so we stepped outside and enjoyed the fresh air. It was a warm day, but so beautiful!

I was lucky to not only be the baker for this wedding, but also a guest, and I had such a fantastic time throughout the course of the evening. The company was great, the food was incredible (it was catered by Machu Pichu in Cambridge!), and everyone just seemed so relaxed and happy. The open bar loosened me up enough to dance my bum off so I had some very sore feet the next day, but I don’t think I ever wiped the smile off my face.  The bride and groom were a stunning pair, and their love and affection was so evident, and almost contagious! They seemed so genuinely happy and in love the whole evening, and seemed also to enjoy their few bites of cake!

I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity, and so grateful to the bride and groom Rene and Lumina for allowing me to be a part of their big day! Many thanks go to Cindy, one of my best friends from college, for introducing me to her brother and his fiance, and for suggesting that I be the one to bake all of their yummy goodies! It was an experience I will never forget, and hopefully just the beginning of my “professional” baking career. Shortly after the wedding, my best friend since the age of 6 asked if I’d do her wedding cake next summer – for 150 people! Needless to say, I already can’t wait. 🙂

8 Responses to “Baking for a Wedding”

  1. Megan says:

    Taryn I am SO impressed!! These are beautiful! I absolutely love your 3-tier cake! Seriously, open up shop. 🙂

  2. wow that is stunning, I love the cup cake awesome!

  3. That is sooo awesome that you baked all these beautiful treats. Congratultions! Great job, and you should definitely pursue your baking dreams!

  4. Eric says:

    Hey T-Time,

    Your cakes…are the best cakes.

  5. So when you open up your bakery can I come work for you please? Those look AMAZING!

  6. Liz M. says:

    Those look so beautiful! Though not mentioned, your red velvet cupcakes are pretty darn good too.

  7. Lumina says:

    Gracias gracias gracias Taryn (and Kevin)!
    Our guests were RAVING over the cookies at Cocktail hour. You were so creative with the blueberries! And the CAKE. I wanted to just bury my face in it. It tasted like heaven. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of your work. You were our magic cake fairy. Thank you to the moon for your talent and love! ~ Love from the Happy Bride Lumina

  8. Rene says:

    Taryn, your cake, cupcakes and cookies left a great taste in our mouths. Lumina and I are so happy to have you as our baker. You did an incredible, outstanding, super amazing job. All the guests gave us so many great reviews and compliments for the perfect sweetness and texture of the cupcakes. May this be the start of your next career, pleaseee. You have such a talent. Can’t wait to visit your bakery. Muchas Gracias y mucho Amor, Rene, the broom, I mean groom 🙂


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