{fancy shmancy} Kayak Wedding Cake

My friends got married on a mountaintop in Israel, and had a little local shindig to celebrate the nuptials stateside. I offered to make a wedding cake for the party, and they gave me absolutely NO guidance. These folks are avid kayakers, backpackers, skiers, and mountaineers- but of all those, kayaking is definitely their #1 love. Furthermore, they met on a kayaking trip. So this was a no-brainer: I had to surprise them with a kayak wedding cake!

Of course, I had to make the cake delicious as well as beautiful, because it’s totally stupid to make a cool-looking cake that tastes only so-so. I made a double recipe of hazelnut brown butter cake from Smitten Kitchen and a brown sugar buttercream from Epicurious. I divided the batter between a 5 inch pan and a 10 inch pan. The hazelnut brown butter cake was great to use for this project, because not only was it delicious, it was also dense and heavy, so it really helped everything stay in place. I chose the brown sugar buttercream because I wanted dirt-colored frosting but didn’t fancy chocolate.

As to the decorations, my goal was to make the cake as naturally tasty as possible- meaning no gum paste or real flowers or other such nonsensse. Hence, I used marzipan for the kayaks, leaves, and flowers. (You might be wondering why I opted to make the kayaks in such ugly colors, but I felt it important to faithfully represent the neon hues of each of their real-life kayaks.) I used whole hazelnuts for the boulders, and ground pistachios for the gravel. The blue icing was just the brown sugar buttercream dyed and marbled with 2 shades of blue.

TIP: if you’re marzipan-challenged or even just really lazy, the calla lily is by far the easiest flower to pull off. Roll out a thin snake. Flatten a colored piece into a circle. Wrap circle around snake and pinch off at the bottom.

Now I KNOW I could have made those flowers thinner and more perfect, but to be honest, I’m a little attention-challenged. And impatient. But I swear no one noticed the extra thick petals. I’m all about the gestalt anyway, know what I’m sayin’? Plus when you’re getting a surprise kayak wedding cake for free, you really can’t expect me to give myself carpal tunnel over the frickin’ calla lilies. Thought that counts and all that.

In conclusion, this was a super-fun project, and if I could go crazy like this with other wedding cakes and also make them somewhat imperfectly with no negative consequences, I would most definitely be more amenable to making them! So keep that in mind if you’re planning to ask for one… 🙂

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2 Responses

  1. Kelly says:

    So excited to get this idea from you! My brother and his girl are getting married in August in CA.. They met at a river outfit and they too are crazy paddleheads! They asked me to do the cake… Hitch? We live in CO, and I have been trying to figure out the best way to make, transport and present the cake, while traveling across the country with our 3 boys dogs and a camper! lol I think I could recreate this in doable steps.. bake, freeze here, do frosting ahead of time and have all the decor made and in the fridge on the way! Assemble the day before! I love all the natural elements of this cake! I think they will too! THANK YOU FOR SHARING! I plan on doing some fun waterish cupcakes to accompany and am totally thrilled now to do it all! 🙂