First, a note on Father's Day. I am really blessed - I have a great dad. I think I probably take him for granted sometimes. I guess it's easy to do because I know he'll always be a strong support in everything I go through in life. He's proven it time and time again, and it's something I am so thankful for. I definitely get my love of reading from him, and my taste in books. Also, my sarcasm . . . and possibly my lack of patience, haha. It's a great feeling to know I can always call with any problem, and that I'll get honest advice and helpful advice.
Let's not forget about the father of my own boys! I have the world's greatest husband. Dusty is such a wonderful dad. He loves our boys so much and is so attentive to them. I rarely have to ask him to help out with them - he just does it . . . and he enjoys every minute (well, for the most part - there's the occasional tantrum from Asher that's not very fun, and the nights when Aiden refuses to sleep for more than an hour at a time). But, if I do ask for help with something, he never complains. He loves playing with them, and he loves cuddling them - he's the perfect mix. Asher, Aiden, and I are so very blessed to have him.
Personally, I'm thankful that there's a day honoring dads everywhere. I know it's something I should do every day, but it's nice to have a reminder so I really take the time to thank them for everything they do that I often don't remember to say on a day-to-day basis.
Ok, back to weddings.
Last summer I made my first-ever wedding cake for my sister's wedding - LOTS of pressure! Not from her, just from myself. A wedding cake? That's a big deal - everyone looks at it, take pictures of it, watches the bride and groom cut it, etc; I was honored that she and her husband trusted me to do it. I wasn't worried about taste, but I was worried about appearance because decorating isn't my strong point. I'm more of a "Who cares what it looks like as long as it tastes good" kind of girl. Needless to say, that approach doesn't work with a wedding cake. BUT, I think it was a success. They were happy with it, and that's what mattered most to me.
|Looks like they're enjoying it, right?|
For the cake, I used this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, courtesy of foodnetwork.com.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using an electric mixer, beat the cake mix, water, egg whites, melted butter, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a large bowl for 2 minutes, or until the batter is well blended. Pour batter evenly in greased and floured 8 inch cake pans. Bake the cakes until they are very pale golden on top, about 24 minutes. Cool cakes in the pans for ten minutes, then cool completely on a cooling rack. You can find the original recipe here, which with the raspberry cream is deeeeelicious.
**Side note - this obviously isn't a "from scratch" cake, but the added ingredients give it great flavor, it holds up very nicely when decorating, and is super moist.
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
4 c. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla extract (if you really want frosting to be as white as possible, use clear vanilla)
1/4 tsp. butter flavoring
1-2 T milk or cream
Beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Slowly add in powdered sugar and flavorings and beat for 1-2 minutes on medium speed. Add the milk, and beat on medium/high speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. At this point, you can determine whether you want a thinner or thicker consistency and add more milk or powdered sugar to achieve what you'd like.
Assembling the Cake
Place one cake layer on plate or serving dish.
Spread with 1/4 c. of seedless raspberry jam, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge.
Mix 1/3 c. of toasted, slivered almonds with approximately 1/2 c. of frosting, and spread over jam layer.
Place top layer of cake on the frosting.
Frost and decorate as desired.