Gardenias buds start with three interior, and five exterior petals, then to make the full size flowers we add another seven petals around the edge. To make the giant gardenias we added 5 - 7 wired petals (wired in order to make adjustments on site, and for weight and structure). Total we made 12 full size gardenias, 7 buds and 2 giant gardenias, totaling 280 petals!Along with matching waxy green gardenia petals which were made of gumpaste tinted green, then airbrushed for dimension and shine.For you bakers out there: the gold was made of 2 containers of Old Gold, 1 container of Apricot Sparkle and 1/3 container of Moonstruck for a more rosey, antique gold. There was a gold rope at the base of each tier, gold loop accents on the cake and small sprays of gold pearls. Each tier was covered in marzipan instead of fondant. The bride's affinity for marzipan was worth any additional challenge we faced with this new tasty but fickle ingredient. This is my friend Shaler who stopped by our Orlando bakery just as we were assembling the cake. The cake was actually in two pieces. The two bottom layers were real, and the top 5 were faux. In this case, we decided to do this for the efficiency of the cake service to the couples 600+ guests, but in the end we were happy to have 5 lighter tiers to assemble.
An then some images of the final assembly in our shop. When we first put the flowers on the cake, the realistic off white color of the gumpaste was too stark of a contrast on the marzipan covered cake. A little ivory shimmer added to the petals softened it just enough that the gardenias could still have their signature off white color, but also blended with the overall design of the cake.
The completed cake on site in the reception hall at the T.Pepin Hospitality Center in Tampa. We hope to have many more weddings at this stunning new venue!
Here is a little video that my pastry chef and assistant Megan took. Thank goodness for her brand new iPhone! You can turn the volume off (oy, my voice sounds weird).