Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wedding Planning - Post #12 - Wedding Cake

I've been looking forward to this for a long time.  Last June, one of my very good college friends got married.  I actually hosted her baby shower this past March.  The wedding was gorgeous and we had such a great time.  One of the things that sticks out to me about their wedding was their cake.  I don't know how many weddings I've been to in my lifetime but I definitely know I don't remember their cakes, except this one.  As soon as we were engaged I knew I wanted to use the same bakery for our wedding cake.  Enter Gabriel's.

Gabriel's is located in Marietta, not at all close to our house by the way, and the owner is actually the cousin of chef Paula Deen.  According to their website, Gabriel's started in the owner's kitchen and has now grown to 3x their size and they serve not only desserts but breakfast, sandwiches and soups & salads, too.

Over the weekend we went to meet with the wedding cake specialist, Pam, to discuss what we were looking for and to pick some cake flavor options.  I knew all along that I wanted to replicate Jenn's wedding cake from a year ago, but if we got to try other options, I'm down for free cake.   We decided that we wanted a two-tier cake, 7 inches on the bottom, 5 on the top.  That gives us two different cake flavors to pick, one was already decided - Strawberry with Strawberry filling.  After we decided that we wanted a two-tier cake we got to choose how we wanted it to be decorated.  We scrolled through dozens of pictures of wedding cakes that they'd created in the past to pick a piece here and a piece there for our unique cake.  I don't want to give anything away, but Stephen's layer is 100% him and my layer is 100% me.  I'm going to ask our friends and family at the wedding to try to figure out who picked what layer.  It should be pretty easy.

Then it came time to pick the cake, filling and frosting flavors.  If you click here you'll see how hard this decision was for us.  It wasn't just picking between chocolate or vanilla, this was complicated.  What I found incredibly surprising is that Gabriel's gives everyone who comes in to order a wedding cake THREE, two layer, 7 inch cakes of their choice.  This is before any deposit is put down on a cake and there is no obligation to order our cake from them after we taste the cakes.  (However, to reserve your date, you must put down a deposit.  If you're getting married on a Spring or Summer Saturday, I'd recommend putting down a deposit.)  

With about 5 minutes of discussion behind us, we decided on the following three cakes:

Hummingbird cake
Pecan filling
Cream Cheese Mix frosting (cream cheese and butter cream mix)

Double Fudge cake
Old Fashioned Cooked Fudge filling
Vanilla Butter Cream frosting

Lime flavored cake
Lime Curd filling
Cream Cheese Mix frosting (cream cheese and butter cream mix)

Here they are in all their glory.

Yes, there was a mishap in transport of the cakes.  The Key Lime cake tipped and the top layer broke.  That doesn't mean any of the taste was ruined.  No worries!

Remember, there are two of us at our house - now we have 6 layers of cake.  What do you do when you have too much cake at your house - invite people over, which is exactly what we did.

We each invited a friend to come over to help us finish off the cake.  We should have invited 5 more each.  The cakes are so delicious and heavy that not one of us was able to finish all 3 slices of cake that were cut.

That's as far as I got with my cake.  Yes, we also had milk but the wine glass looked better in the picture.  

The Key Lime cake was so unique and refreshing, I've never had anything like it.  The Hummingbird cake was pretty similar to a Carrot Cake which is one of my favorite cakes ever.  There are no words to describe how great the Chocolate cake was.  It was so dense and tasted so much like fudge, I was in Heaven.  Those two things also made it very difficult to eat - in a good way.  

Ultimately it's Stephen's decision what flavor he wants for his layer of cake.  I've already decided that I want a Fresh Strawberry cake with Strawberry filling.  We both decided that the frosting mix of cream cheese and butter cream is the way to go.  (All layers have to have matching frosting.)

For all you brides out there in Atlanta, go check out Gabriel's.  They were easily our choice for bakery for our wedding.  We don't even feel like we need to contact another bakery to price check, Gabriel's cakes are that good.  They are even going to deliver our cake to us from Marietta to Midtown, for $75, but that's totally worth it on a Friday in Atlanta.  

Side note - after we met with Pam we decided to have lunch while we were there.  Without a discussion we easily decided on the Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Bacon.   How could you not?  Best decision I made all day.  

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