Wedding Cake in a Jar — this will change your life!!
I am in love with this dessert! Yes, I think I want to marry it. I mean, who doesn’t LOVE wedding cake?? This girl sure loves a good piece of wedding cake!
I began dreaming of putting all of the perfect wedding cake elements into a little jar several months ago, when I started planning my cousin’s wedding shower. I immediately knew what type of wedding cake I would assemble: MY wedding cake.
Almost 15 years ago, and I still remember it’s perfection. Moist, perfectly sweet ((but not too sweet)) white cake filled with a yummy lemon curd, covered in the most perfect vanilla buttercream, topped with a beautiful mix of fresh seasonal berries.
Now, as many of you know, I am NO cake decorator. So, the beauty above will never come out of my kitchen and I am OK with that! But that doesn’t mean I can’t make something just as tasty!!
So, here is what I did. Earlier in the week, I made THE MOST PERFECT lemon curd, thanks to a recipe from Alton Brown. You can view the recipe HERE.
I doubled Alton’s ((oh, yes, I feel like I can call him by his first name after attending his Alton Brown LIVE show in OKC earlier this month — but if I saw him in person, I would freeze and stutter!!)) recipe, acting on this one truth: You can NEVER have too much lemon curd. Lots of zesting, juicing and egg separating is totally worth it when I know what is coming at the end!
Alton’s recipe instructs the reader to combine the yolks and sugar BEFORE placing the mixture on the heat. ((check))
Then mix in the zest & juice. Finally, place the metal bowl of yolks, sugar & lemon over the pot of boiling water and whisk until thickened. I think this step took about 20 minutes because I doubled the ingredients.
Before adding the butter, I chose to strain the mixture. Straining was not an instruction included in the recipe — but it DEFINITELY needs strained.
Do you see what I see?? Mainly zest. I sure hated to throw it away, so I gave each of the boys a giant spoon full. They winced and their eyes watered — in a good sour bomb, cry baby, war head sort of way. It was a hoot! And – hello vitamin C!! Now they are healthy as little solider horses.
Back into the double boiler ((with no flame)) and butter added. People this is heaven.
Just look at this quart of perfection. Mouth-watering, golden gorgeousness.
told asked mom to make 2 White Texas Sheet Cakes ((just the cake — the best white cake I have EVER eaten, trust me)). That, my friends was my first mistake. She took this as an opportunity to yank my chain, texting ((which is a recent talent she has acquired)) me a message saying she had no almond extract, but used pineapple juice instead & it will be fine.
As I read the words, my eyes bulged and my throat constricted. I was on my knees planting spinach in my garden, dirt practically up to my elbows, when I received her text. I quickly responded while muttering “things” to myself.
She is something and yes for some reason, this cake DOES bring out the jokester in her — just read about her initial elaborate trick HERE. How do you like her use of emojis??
With the cake and curd finished, it was time to move on — buttercream. Not just any buttercream though. I needed to create the perfect Wedding Cake Buttercream ((WCB)). WCB is serious business. I mean it set the entire tone of the wedding and very possibly the marriage. Really, it is a life & death issue. “IT-HAS-TO-BE-PERFECT” — I yelled these words at my inner self as I began gathering the ingredients.
For my WCB, I used the usual suspects: pure cane powdered sugar, salted butter & salt. Instead of milk, I used ((almost the entire carton of)) heavy whipping cream & started with the plan of using only almond extract.
I used chilled butter and whipped it for 30 seconds before adding the powdered sugar.
Then I decided to use half vanilla// half almond extract as the flavoring. This was a good decision — it was perfectly flavored.
Next came the cream. I wanted a thick, fluffy, spreadable buttercream — and cream is the ticket to get there.
What I don’t have pictured is adding about 3 T of whole milk, it was just a little too thick.
I am forcing myself to share my secret to reaching WCB perfection — it is a good secret. I don’t want you to be in the dark about these important buttercream things, so I compel myself to let it be made known. Sugar – the secret is sugar. Pure, granulated cane sugar.
Add 2 T of sugar while whipping the buttercream on high. Once incorporated, turn the mixer off and taste. You will want to wet yourself – it is just that good. I am not kidding, you have been warned.
Now, I know I have been talking a lot and yes, there are several steps. But, that is just how it is in the wedding world — so hang in there. It’s worth it. It is time to assemble the cakes in a jar.
The cakes need to be completely cooled before cutting – or else, you may cry. Save the tears for the I do’s and cool the cakes, or better yet make a day ahead. Jelly jars are the perfect serving size, so find a ring cutter that will allow the cake layers to slide right into the jar and start cutting.
Now you need to know – there will be cake waste. That is okay AND it is also okay to freeze the unused bits OR throw them away ((gasp)). I would like to encourage you NOT to yield to the urge to eat the remnants. Especially don’t make yourself cute mini taste-tests. That can be VERY pants-tighteningly dangerous, I would imagine.
Put a nice dollop of WCB in the bottom of the jar. Well, we could just stop here – because this buttercream is just that good.
But the cake is just so good too. So add a cake round.
Oh, and that buttery lemon curd — it makes my heart flutter so.
And, don’t be stingy with the curd! A nice heaping tablespoon is a good amount.
One more layer of cake.
One remaining delicious dollop of WCB tops the last cake round. Then, you need to find the cutest little helper money can’t buy to help top the jar cakes with a beautiful blend of seasonal berries.
I don’t know about you — but “I do!”.
- 1 1/2 sticks chilled, salted butter
- 1 lb of pure cane powdered sugar
- 1 hearty t vanilla
- 1 hearty t almond extract
- 1 to 1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream*
- 1/2 t fine grain sea salt
- 2 - 3 T whole milk*
- 2 scant T granulated pure cane sugar
- 50 blackberries ((less than 1 pint))
- 50 raspberries ((less than 1 pint))
- 100 blueberries ((less than 1 pint))
- Place butter in a stand mixer, and whip on medium for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar & 1 c of cream, mix on low to start and bring the speed up to high. Whip until the ingredients are incorporated, stopping to scrape the edges. Add extracts, salt, remaining cream & milk if necessary to reach desired consistency* whip on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Add granulated cane sugar and whip for 30 seconds.
- Refrigerate until ready to use or assemble cake in jars immediately.
- Lemon Curd**
- Double the recipe, follow instructions as directed with this exception: strain the mixture before adding the butter.
- White Texas Sheet Cake**
- One cake ((the smaller 15" version)) will yield 30 cake rounds. If you want to make more than 15 jar cakes, you will need to make 2 sheet cakes ((I used 2 cakes to yield 24 cakes in a jar)).
- Use a round cutter to cut out cake rounds ((I used a 1.25" cutter)) from a cooled cake.
- For assembly, place a heaping tablespoon of wedding cake buttercream in the bottom of each jar, top with a cake round. Add a heaping tablespoon of lemon curd on top of the cake round and top with the final cake round. Repeat until all of the jars are filled from the bottom up with this pattern
- Using a piping bag and a large open tip, pipe buttercream on the top layer of cake. Start by going around the outer edge and work your way to the inside. Finish with a cute peak.
- Refrigerate until ready to garnish or garnish and serve within 2 hours.
- For the berry garnish, place 4 blackberries and raspberries & 6-8 blueberries on top (or whatever berry combination suits your taste).
- Serves 24
- *Add cream and milk in smaller increments in order to keep from using too much -- we don't want runny buttercream.
- **Links to curd and cake are in the body of this post, please click on them for full details.