A Sea Ranch Wedding

I had the honor to make a wedding cake for a friend, Maggie. I worked with her for two years, and during those two years I made a large number of cakes of which she grew very fond. We toyed with the idea of me making her cake early in her engagement, and as time passed it seemed more and more likely it would happen. We did a taste test with her one and only, Ben, and he was sold! I was so happy he agreed because Maggie and I had been dreaming up ideas during early morning office chats and I was getting really excited about the cake.

She picked the same flavor she requested for both her birthday cakes, Coconut Cake with Lemon Curd Filling, and in the last month added Carrot cake to the mix as well. Carrot Cake is one of Ben’s favorites. I was ecstatic because these are hands down two of my favorite cakes and I had a pretty great idea of what the cake was going to look like. It might sound funny to people who are not visual, but you have to imagine what your finished product is going to look like before you start. When Maggie added the carrot cake layer, we lucked out since carrot cake pairs with cream cheese frosting and would taste fine with shredded coconut. Since Maggie’s wedding was kind of rustic, we decided to use a redwood round for the cake base. I was surprised to find so many wedding cakes with tree stumps as bases on a random google search! The coconut flakes contrasted nicely with wood base, and smooth succulents contrasted all of the texture nicely. Overall, the finished cake matched my vision pretty well.

Her wedding was small so we didn’t need a gigantic cake, and it had to travel all the way to Sea Ranch from San Francisco. Traveling with cakes is a scary adventure. The first wedding cake I ever made almost became a disaster in the back of my car. I stress the almost and praise the Lord it didn’t! Since then, my cakes travel un-stacked and I assemble and finish on site. It may take more time, but my mind is mostly at ease. The cake was pretty happy in the trunk even though it didn’t get to enjoy the gorgeous drive through happy cow country and highway 1. I’d never been to Sea Ranch before that weekend. Sea Ranch is a strange but beautiful little community. There is no grocery store or gas station, it’s basically a little resort town where people own and rent vacation homes (some designed by well-known architects). October and April are probably the best months to travel there since there is less fog and little rain. It was a gorgeous day and they couldn’t have asked for better weather for their wedding!

I’m lucky to have a husband who is a talented photographer. Michael stepped in and out of the lodge, taking photos and sharing his opinion every so often. His pictures are always better than mine, and my cakes are better than his. Actually, I don’t think he’s ever made a cake, but I’m guessing this statement is true. While I was decorating this cake I reflected on the week. It was the most calm I’d ever been making a wedding cake, and I truly enjoyed it.

Thanks again Maggie for the opportunity to bake for you and contribute to your memorable day. Best wishes to you in your marriage!

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