Welker Square Offset Wedding Cake

September 26, 2013

Last month, I had the opportunity to create a wonderful and meaningful cake for my co-worker and his fiancĂ©e.  The cake was simple, yet elegant, with a touch of fun.  When it came down to the decoration, I had free reign as long as the cake was offset and that their children were incorporated in the design.  The offset cake symbolized their journey together, and their children were, of course, an important part of their lives.  They were two individual families that will be joined as one on that special day.

My preparation for this cake began a week prior to the wedding when I sculpted the bride and groom cake toppers.  With their photos in hand, I began shaping the couple out of tinted gumpaste starting with the legs.  The legs were created first and allowed to dry a few days before I built on the torso, neck, and then the head and face.  I made sure that each added part were almost dried before moving on. The added weight would make the toppers slouch if the parts were still pliable.  Who would want a slouchy bride and groom on their cake?!  Once the body was completed, I added on their suit and wedding dress.  I rolled out thin sheets of gumpaste, and cut them out as if I would with real clothing, piecing on the back and seamed with the front.  The wedding dress was cut out as if it were an apron and wrapped around from the front to the back to form a halter style.  Sugar sprinkles were then attached with simple syrup to represent the sequins on her dress.  Once I was happy with the clothing, arms were added and attached in position.  The final step is also an important step.  No matter how general or unlike the real person the toppers may be, the perfect hair makes them recognizable and personal.  I rolled out gumpaste that matched their hair colors, and pieced them together on their heads.  I used different veining tools to give them movement, texture, and curls.  Now they look just like them!

Toppers done, and it's time for the cake... lots of cake.  The cake was made up of 4 offset square tiers, rotated to the left until the corners almost met the edge of the one below.  Each tier consisted of one layer of chocolate and one layer of vanilla cake, sandwiched around a layer of rich buttercream.  These were then all iced in buttercream, alternating a smooth finish with one covered in large roses.  I love covering whole cakes in large buttercream star tip roses.  It is a simple technique that looks so dramatic.  To incorporate the kids into the design, but keeping with the elegance of the cake, I created printed edible images of the kids in the coral accent color.  I edited the images in Photoshop to remove the background, and then laid them out in Illustrator with decorative borders to compliment the overall design of the cake.  I wanted their images to be part of the cake, not take away from elegance, or take away from the toppers.  The edible images were attached to the buttercream on the bottom tier before it crusted over.  I then pipes scallops along the edges.  I finished off the cake with dots of  coral in between the roses, and a simple scroll to tie in their wedding colors.  The same treatment was duplicated on two sheet cakes that I also baked for extra servings.  That is a great way to feed a large number of guest without having to pay for a super huge wedding cake.

Congrats to the S and N!

Mexican Concha (Shell) Recipe

September 13, 2013

 Whenever I walk into a panaderia, the warm inviting smell of cinnamon and sugar always lead me to these buns.  They are warm and soft, pillowy and comforting.  Yes, comforting.  When the sugary topping dissolves on the taste buds, and instantly a smile comes across my face.  And with that smile, I decided to try my hand at these delicious shells.  Baking bread is definitely different from baking cakes... you have to let it grow ( or rise in this case ) and knead it with love.  I was so proud of my first batch of Conchas that I decided to share this with you.  Please let me know what you think.  Enjoy!


    • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
    • 1/2 cup warm water ( 105 degrees F to 115 degrees F or 40 to 46 celsius)
    • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk ( scalded, then cooled)
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup butter, softened
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg
    • 3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour

    Flavored Topping Dough

    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup butter or 1/4 cup margarine
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest


1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl.
2. Stir in milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour.
3. Mix until smooth.
4. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface.
6. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
7. Place in a large greased bowl, then turn greased side up.
8. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 1/2 hours. (Tip: The longer you let it rise, the soft the bread.)  While this is rising, prepare Flavored Topping Dough.
9. The dough is ready if it leaves an indentation when touched.
10. Punch dough down; divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball; place on greased cookie sheet.
11. Divide the three flavored dough into 4 equal pieces.
12. Pat each piece into a 3-inch circle. Place 1 circle of Topping Dough on each ball of bread dough, shaping it down over the ball.
13. Make 5 or 6 cuts across the topping, using a table knife, to form a shell pattern.
14. Cover and let rise until double — about 40 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 celsius). Bake buns until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Flavored Topping Dough

1. Beat sugar and margarine until light and fluffy.
2. Stir in flour until mixture is the consistency of thick paste.
3. Divide into 3 equal parts.
4. Stir cinnamon into one part, vanilla extract into one part and orange peel into one part.



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