Maggie and Steve’s Ultra Chocolate Wedding Cake (and how I assembled it)

This weekend I had the greatest honor and pleasure of making the wedding cake for my friend Maggie and her wonderful husband Steve. She is a fabulous midwife and delivered my two boys. It is an understatement to say she went above and beyond for me during my pregnancies and births. Maggie is the type of person who brings joy and love to everyone who has the good fortune to meet her. It meant so much to me when she and Steve asked me to participate in their special day.

Steve is a chocoholic and they decided to break with convention and go with a tower of over-the-top chocolate. I couldn’t agree more! I, of course, started with my Devil’s Food recipe and added a deep chocolate ganache-fudge icing.

I built four layers (11-9-7-5 inches) by layering the cake with the ganache.

Then I had to add dowels to the bottom 3 layers to support the weight of the cake once I stacked it all together. Start by sticking long, thick wooden dowels into the cake. I like to err on the side of caution and add more than many might think necessary. I learned this the hard way! ;(

When you pull the dowel out of the cake it will have a line of chocolate, this is where you want to make your cut. The dowel should be just at the surface of the cake.

Here are all of the layers with their dowels. The top layer doesn’t need them, it won’t be supporting anything.

Once I am at the wedding site I stack the layers. Some people travel with the cakes assembled, but I find that WAY too stressful.

This cake was well chilled when I delivered it, so once the layers are placed carefully on top each other I was able to move it slightly into place. If your icing is soft you want to make sure you line everything up before placing the layers.

Once everything is together and lined up you can start decorating. You can see that the layers were built on cardboards.

I piped a simple ganache bead around each layer to cover the cardboard,

and the base.

Here is my husband lifting the finished cake onto the silver cake stand. I had to turn my back while he hoisted it up there, because it made me so nervous. I’m incredibly lucky that he has always been willing to deliver and help me set up the cakes. Now you know one more reason we’ve been married for 17 years!

Maggie’s friends Kim and Lisa (both master gardeners) grew and set up all of the flowers. The wedding was gorgeous.