Wedding Cakes: Tips for making a wedding cake from a favorite recipe.

Three tiered wedding cake decorated with diamonds, isolated on whiteI recently got an e-mail from Joan saying, “Our family loves your gingerbread recipe. In fact, my daughter is getting married and I will be making your recipe as their cake.  There will be 150 people.  Any tips for making this quantity?”

When I make this recipe for a crowd, I use the prescribed 13- by 9- by 2-inch pans and cut it in rectangles, but it could easily be made in any shape tiered wedding cake pans or, for really easy serving, as cupcakes. Ten times the recipe should serve 150 people but I would suggest having enough ingredients in-house to make a bit more just in case you need it.  If you are using wedding-cake pans, the information that comes with the pans should tell you about how many cups of batter you need for each layer. Each tier will be made of two 2-inch high layers frosted together. My recipe should make about 10 cups batter. Here is a link to a chart that will give you an idea of the amount of batter needed to make 2-inch high layers of different sizes and shapes.

This is a pretty large recipe so it would be best to do a single recipe at a time. However, you can prep some of the ingredients ahead to save time. It is perfectly fine to mix the ground spices with the flour rather than adding them to the molasses mixture, so a day or so before baking, you could prepare 10 plastic bags each containing 3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
, and 1/4 teaspoon table salt. The night before baking you can prepare 10 bags each containing 2 cups sugar and 
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
 thoroughly mixed together. The ginger can be peeled, sliced and pulsed in a food processor to chop just before you start baking. When you start baking you only have to measure butter, eggs, molasses, soda, vinegar, and milk, the rest is ready.

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