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Cakes & Desserts Wedding Ideas

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    Photos By: Victoria Hudgins   Give your cake, signature cocktail or desserts a bit of bling with these easy-to-make toppers. They can be made in miniature for individual servings, in large form for a cake or in a stack of sizes for a substantial presentation (my favorite)!     You will need: textured gold ribbon liquid fabric stiffener binder clips or clothespins wax paper a small craft hole punch lollipop sticks     First, cut the ribbon at increments double the size of the heart you'd like to make.     Fold the ribbon segment in half and dredge into the liquid fabric stiffener (do not use the spray, it must be liquid for thorough saturation).     While the ribbon is still wet, mold into shape and clip the top edges of the heart together. Lay the newly formed hearts out to dry on wax paper. It helps to gently move the hearts every few hours while they dry so that you don't end up with a puddle of film to remove afterwards.     Once dry, remove the clips. Use a small craft hole punch (a regular, household punch will be too large) to make a hole at the bottom of each heart. Gently insert a lollipop stick into the hole to finish the topper off.     Place this fabulous embellishment on your cake, dessert minis, or in a drink for a pretty display!      

     

    6
  • Photos By: Cory O'Brien

    Erica O'Brien, of Erica O'Brien Cake Design, is frequently asked about the chevron technique, one of the hottest design trends this wedding season. Here, she shares her method.

    Materials: Water Tapemeasure Paper Cornstarch Fondant in the color(s) of your choice (We used a citrus-inspired palette here.) Xacto knife Scissors Food-use only paint brush A pen A rolling pin Fondant board

    Measure cake's circumference. Determine the size of the chevron by dividing circumference into even segments the size of your choosing, usually around 1" to 1.5". For example, our cake had a circumference of 26". We determined that each segment would be 1.3" for a total of 20.     Create chevron template. Measure segment size on paper and mark with pen.     Holding paper horizontally (landscape), fold into accordian so that each fold measures the same size as the segment.     Keep folding even segments....     Each of our folds measured 1.3"     Cut paper at an angle.     For a deeper chevron, angle scissors more vertically. For a more shallow chevron, angle scissors more horizontally.     Using the same angle as first cut, cut the other side of the paper. For a wider chevron, move scissor further from first cut. For a narrower chevron, move scissor closer to first cut. Unfold. Your chevron template is complete.     Roll fondant thinly.     Place template on fondant and carefully cut with Xacto knife. Avoid paper sticking to fondant by rubbing it with cornstarch.     Remove excess fondant.     Use template to gently score cake to guide placement of fondant chevron.     Use water to wet cake.     Apply fondant chevron to cake.     Continue pattern around entire cake.       Lay the second color directly above the first.   (Optionally, used the template to guide placement of another row evenly spaced above first row).     Repeat with additional colors.     For a finishing touch, add fresh flowers, or use sugar flowers like the ones seen here.     Photos By: Cory O'Brien
    5
  • Project By Erica O'Brien & Photos By Brooke Allison Photography

    Re-create this stained glass monogram with cookie cutters, lollipops, and these instructions from our cake expert!

      One recipe for stained glass cookie dough(Makes more than enough for one cookie and quite a few extras).    Materials: Rolling pin  Letter cutters in various sizes  Heart-shaped cutter (large enough to accommodate letters)  Mallet or hammer  Lollipops or hard candy in the colors of your choice  Small plastic bag  Silpat or other non-stick baking sheet liner  Baking sheet   Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Working on Silpat or non-stick baking sheet liner, roll out dough approximately ¼” thick.     Cut dough using heart-shaped cutter. Remove the excess (It can be frozen for future use).     Using letter cutters, cut out monogram from dough. Place on baking sheet and freeze for 15-20 minutes to firm.     Bake in pre-heated oven until dough is partially, but not completely, baked and just barely beginning to turn golden, about 5-7 minutes.     While cookies are baking, place lollipops or hard candy into small plastic bag. Use mallet or hammer to crush candy into very small pieces.     Fill cavities with crushed candy until it is slightly above the cookie line, taking care not to get any crushed candy on the cookie part.     Return to oven and bake until candy is just melted, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.     Wet a small piece of fondant until it is very sticky. Gently adhere to cookie in several spots, avoiding candy part, and use to affix cookie to cake.

     

    Project By Erica O'Brien & Photos By Brooke Allison Photography

    1
  • Project By: Erica Obrien

    Photos By: Cory Obrien     Supplies: Here's what you'll need (clockwise from left): food-use only ruler small sprinkles or nonpareils (available at most crafts stores) piping gel (available at most crafts stores) tapemeasure small flexible cup petal dust in desired shade (we like Crystal Colors brand) food-use only paintbrush ziplock bag     Step One: Remove shaker cap from sprinkles.     Step Two: Empty into ziplock bag.     Step Three: Pour a small amount of petal dust into bag. (Remember you can always add more, so start with a little).     Step Four: Shake the bag until dust is evenly distributed and desired depth of color is achieved.     Step Five: Using tapemeasure, determine the spacing and width of stripes.     Step Six: Dip paintbrush in piping gel.     Step Seven: Using ruler as a guide to acheive a straight line, brush a generous amount of piping gel onto cake with short, even strokes.     Step Eight: Repeat on the right side of line.     Step Nine: Empty colored sprinkles into small cup.     Step Ten: Gently pour sprinkles onto cake.     Tip: You will have many extra sprinkles. Pour onto a sheet of parchment creased in the middle and pour back into small cup. Repeat process until all lines are finished.     Enjoy your chic, striped creation!  
    7
  • Photo By: Michael Bautista for Kathy Chong

    If you're planning to DIY your candy or dessert table, but you also want it to be aesthetic eye candy, consider a monochromatic display that complements your color palette.     In honor of the lush warm weather, we went with colors that reminded us of sunny spring days – whites, peaches, yellows, and pinks. We wanted to keep the table bright, yet still soft and delicate, so we made sure to maintain that theme in all our choices.     With your visual goals in mind, picking the candy is the fun part! Consider sweets of different shapes and sizes, to vary the display. These sumptuous sweets were made by Fiona's Sweet Shoppe.     Collect cake stands, dishes, and other items- not only to hold the goods- but also to give the table layers, height, and dimension.     Typical candy tables attempt to recreate a chocolatier's counter or the endless rows of jars in a candy shop. These inspirations can help produce some stunning displays.     It takes a lot of candy to fill up an entire table but if you think ahead, you can also avoid waste. Although vast amounts of white gumballs may look impressive, consider how much will actually be eaten. Plan to buy amounts that your guests will actually eat or be happy to take home.     Think outside of the candy box! Thin cookie sticks dipped in white chocolate added a vertical component to our display.     Add a few non-edible embellishments to give the table extra pizazz. Florals by Nancy Liu Chin Designs.     Embrace experimentation and test out various display layouts to play with height and depth. Juxtapose stacked cake stands, medium jars, and trays on top of a flat tablecloth to create very simple and clean lines, as shown here. Or, add height by placing boxes underneath the tablecloth.     Cute little paper goodie bags can be fun for guests to fill up and save for later, while small plates provided by your reception venue may be a more eco-friendly option.     Candy tables can truly be a visual and edible delight, just keep it simple and have fun with it!     Photo By: Michael Bautista for Kathy Chong
    4
  • Perfect for an informal summer wedding, this DIY uses just two easy-to-find ingredients!   Projec By: Erica OBrien Photos By: Val McCormick      What You'll Need: One package (or more, depending on size of cake) Sunkist Fruit Gems, sharp knife, food-use only paintbrush, corn syrup.     Step One: Open packaging and sort fruit gems.     Step Two: Holding fruit gem on flat side, carefully slice in half horizontally as evenly as possible.      Step Two (cont).  The inside will be very sticky.     Step Three: Arrange fruit gems cut-side up and allow to dry until less sticky and easier to handle.     Step Four: Dip paintbrush in corn syrup and brush on cut side of fruit gem.     Step Five: Press gently onto side of cake. Hold in place for a moment.     Step Six: Arrange fruit gems on cake until desired pattern is achieved.      
    4
  • A sweet addition to any dessert table!   Photos By: Caroline Drake   Bringing a sweet menu to your wedding doesn't have to be expensive or very difficult. Cream puffs are perfect to serve at weddings, and bring the right amount of fancy, but are actually very easy to make!   The best part is that you can make them in advance, and easily put them together for the big day!     Pastry Cream Ingredients: You will want to make the filling first, since you need to refrigerate it for at least a few hours or overnight to set. We adapted a recipe from Baking Illustrated. 2 cups half-and-half ½ cup sugar (divided into 6 tablespoon, and 2 tablespoons) Pinch salt 5 large egg yolks 3 tbsp. cornstarch 4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces 1½ tsp. vanilla bean paste (this makes such a difference if you can find it!)   Pastry Cream Recipe Instructions:  Heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.  Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds.  Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.     Pastry Cream Recipe Instructions: When the half-and-half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture to temper, whisking constantly.  Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Return the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds.  Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla.       Pastry Cream Recipe Instructions: Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.     Pâte à Choux Ingredients: 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces 2 tbsp. whole milk 6 tbsp. water 1½ tsp. sugar ¼ tsp. salt ½ cup (2½ oz.) all-purpose flour Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 425° F.      Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: To make the pâte à choux, whisk the eggs and egg white in a liquid measuring cup.  You should have ½ cup (discard the excess).  Set aside.  Combine the butter, milk, water, sugar and salt in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice.  When it reaches a full boil and the butter is fully melted, remove from the heat and stir in the flour until incorporated and the mixture clears the sides of the pan.  Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, using a smearing motion, until the mixture is slightly shiny, looks like wet sand and tiny beads of fat appear on the bottom of the pan (the mixture should register 175-180° F on an instant-read thermometer. Takes about 5-10 minutes on LOW heat.     Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Immediately transfer the mixture to a food processor and process with the feed tube open to cool slightly, 10 seconds.       Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: With the machine running, gradually add the reserved eggs in a steady stream.  When they have been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then process 30 seconds more until a smooth, thick, sticky paste forms.     Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain tip with the pâte à choux.   Pipe the paste into 1½-inch mounds on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 to 1¼ inches apart (you should be able to fit 24 mounds on the baking sheet).       Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Use the back of a teaspoon dipped in water to even out the shape and smooth the surface of the piped mounds.     Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Bake for 15 minutes (do not open the oven door during baking).  Reduce the oven temperature to 375° F and continue to bake until golden brown and fairly firm, 8-10 minutes longer.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven.   Use a paring knife, cut a ¾-inch slit into the side of each puff to release steam; return the puffs to the oven, turn the oven off, and prop open the oven door with the handle of a wooden spoon.       Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Dry the puffs in the turned-off oven until the centers are just moist (not wet) and the puffs are crisp, about 45 minutes.  Transfer the puffs to a wire rack to cool completely.  (At this point the puffs can be stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours or frozen for up to 1 month in an airtight plastic bag.  Before serving, crisp in the oven at 300° F – 5-8 minutes for room temperature puffs, 8-10 minutes for frozen puffs.)     Cream Puff Assembly: To fill the puffs, use a bread knife, and carefully cut the puff in half.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch plain tip with the pastry cream.      Cream Puff Assembly: Pipe some of the pastry cream onto the bottom half, then place the top on the pastry cream, and sift powdered sugar onto the top. Repeat to fill all the puffs.     This recipe will make about 24 small cream puffs. Such a simple treat to make, that will "wow" your guests!  
    6
  • Project By: Erica OBrien  Photos By: Val McCormick    Necco wafers are given a glamorous makeover in this easy DIY.     Ingredients light corn syrup, Necco wafers (quantity will depend on size of cake), paint brush, edible gold glitter     Step One Carefully unwrap package and select the colors that you'd like to use. For this project, we selected pastel pink and mint green. Use all the colors or select only some. (Bear in mind that you will most likely need to purchase multiple packages.)     Step Two Dip paint brush in corn syrup and brush over half of smooth side of a wafer (the side that does not say Necco)     Step Three Dip into glitter. Allow to dry.     Step Four Determine the design you'll create with the wafers.  We positioned four rows of wafers, stacked in vertical columns, with the glitter-dipped wafer positioned in the third row from the bottom.      Step Five To apply wafers to the cake, brush the corn syrup on entire Necco side of wafer.     Step Six Gently attach to cake, holding in place for a few seconds.     Step Seven Position your wafers in precise rows and columns to achieve a clean, professionally designed appearance.      Step Eight Apply glitter-dipped wafers in the same way.  Continue attaching wafers to cake until desired pattern is achieved     Ta-da!  Making your own ultra-modern, glitter-infused cake is as easy as that.      
    7
  • Project By: Victoria Hudgins Photos By: Pictilio     Make a celebratory statement by topping your wedding cake and desserts with these bright and festive pinwheels. Make them large or small, individually or in mass to design a colorful element that fits your day perfectly.     Make the pinwheel cake toppers by using origami paper (or thin scrapbook paper cut into squares)- each pinwheel uses three squares.     Step One: Accordion fold the paper squares back and forth, then fold each section in half and crease.     Step Two: Combine three sections together to create a round. Glue the outside edges together to connect.     Step Three: Turn the pinwheel over and glue a wooden skewer to the backside of each. Let dry.     Step Four: Top cakes, pies, and desserts with the pretty toppers!
    5
  • Project and Photos by: Erica OBrien

    Fortune cookies are a sweet and easy way to create edible keepsakes for your wedding cake. You can easily print your own messages, or ask your stationery designer to match your invitation suite. This is a fun activity in which couples can participate together. Here, our bride and groom both chose messages that had special meaning for them, and our stationery designer, Roseville Designs, created fortunes using two different fonts (script for her; print for him).

    What You'll Need:

    Fondant in the color of your choice Board for rolling Rolling pin Cornstarch to prevent sticking Round cookie cutter in the size of your choice Fortune cookie messages Personalized messages on paper cut to ½” high x 3” wide  

    Instructions:    Lightly dust rolling board with cornstarch.     Knead fondant until soft and gently press to flatten on rolling board.      Roll fondant until thin.      Cut fondant using round cookie cutter.      Place fortune in center of fondant round.      Carefully fold fondant in half until edges meet.      Pull sides in (away from folded edge) until they meet.        Make as many fortune cookies as desired.      Arrange fortune cookies on cake. Eat the fondant and save the fortunes forever!       Here's the full invitation suite by Roseville Designs with fortunes and fortune cookies!     
    2
  •  

    Photos By: Victoria Hudgins   Give your cake, signature cocktail or desserts a bit of bling with these easy-to-make toppers. They can be made in miniature for individual servings, in large form for a cake or in a stack of sizes for a substantial presentation (my favorite)!     You will need: textured gold ribbon liquid fabric stiffener binder clips or clothespins wax paper a small craft hole punch lollipop sticks     First, cut the ribbon at increments double the size of the heart you'd like to make.     Fold the ribbon segment in half and dredge into the liquid fabric stiffener (do not use the spray, it must be liquid for thorough saturation).     While the ribbon is still wet, mold into shape and clip the top edges of the heart together. Lay the newly formed hearts out to dry on wax paper. It helps to gently move the hearts every few hours while they dry so that you don't end up with a puddle of film to remove afterwards.     Once dry, remove the clips. Use a small craft hole punch (a regular, household punch will be too large) to make a hole at the bottom of each heart. Gently insert a lollipop stick into the hole to finish the topper off.     Place this fabulous embellishment on your cake, dessert minis, or in a drink for a pretty display!      

     

    6
  • Photos By: Cory O'Brien

    Erica O'Brien, of Erica O'Brien Cake Design, is frequently asked about the chevron technique, one of the hottest design trends this wedding season. Here, she shares her method.

    Materials: Water Tapemeasure Paper Cornstarch Fondant in the color(s) of your choice (We used a citrus-inspired palette here.) Xacto knife Scissors Food-use only paint brush A pen A rolling pin Fondant board

    Measure cake's circumference. Determine the size of the chevron by dividing circumference into even segments the size of your choosing, usually around 1" to 1.5". For example, our cake had a circumference of 26". We determined that each segment would be 1.3" for a total of 20.     Create chevron template. Measure segment size on paper and mark with pen.     Holding paper horizontally (landscape), fold into accordian so that each fold measures the same size as the segment.     Keep folding even segments....     Each of our folds measured 1.3"     Cut paper at an angle.     For a deeper chevron, angle scissors more vertically. For a more shallow chevron, angle scissors more horizontally.     Using the same angle as first cut, cut the other side of the paper. For a wider chevron, move scissor further from first cut. For a narrower chevron, move scissor closer to first cut. Unfold. Your chevron template is complete.     Roll fondant thinly.     Place template on fondant and carefully cut with Xacto knife. Avoid paper sticking to fondant by rubbing it with cornstarch.     Remove excess fondant.     Use template to gently score cake to guide placement of fondant chevron.     Use water to wet cake.     Apply fondant chevron to cake.     Continue pattern around entire cake.       Lay the second color directly above the first.   (Optionally, used the template to guide placement of another row evenly spaced above first row).     Repeat with additional colors.     For a finishing touch, add fresh flowers, or use sugar flowers like the ones seen here.     Photos By: Cory O'Brien
    5
  • Project By Erica O'Brien & Photos By Brooke Allison Photography

    Re-create this stained glass monogram with cookie cutters, lollipops, and these instructions from our cake expert!

      One recipe for stained glass cookie dough(Makes more than enough for one cookie and quite a few extras).    Materials: Rolling pin  Letter cutters in various sizes  Heart-shaped cutter (large enough to accommodate letters)  Mallet or hammer  Lollipops or hard candy in the colors of your choice  Small plastic bag  Silpat or other non-stick baking sheet liner  Baking sheet   Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Working on Silpat or non-stick baking sheet liner, roll out dough approximately ¼” thick.     Cut dough using heart-shaped cutter. Remove the excess (It can be frozen for future use).     Using letter cutters, cut out monogram from dough. Place on baking sheet and freeze for 15-20 minutes to firm.     Bake in pre-heated oven until dough is partially, but not completely, baked and just barely beginning to turn golden, about 5-7 minutes.     While cookies are baking, place lollipops or hard candy into small plastic bag. Use mallet or hammer to crush candy into very small pieces.     Fill cavities with crushed candy until it is slightly above the cookie line, taking care not to get any crushed candy on the cookie part.     Return to oven and bake until candy is just melted, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.     Wet a small piece of fondant until it is very sticky. Gently adhere to cookie in several spots, avoiding candy part, and use to affix cookie to cake.

     

    Project By Erica O'Brien & Photos By Brooke Allison Photography

    1
  • Project By: Erica Obrien

    Photos By: Cory Obrien     Supplies: Here's what you'll need (clockwise from left): food-use only ruler small sprinkles or nonpareils (available at most crafts stores) piping gel (available at most crafts stores) tapemeasure small flexible cup petal dust in desired shade (we like Crystal Colors brand) food-use only paintbrush ziplock bag     Step One: Remove shaker cap from sprinkles.     Step Two: Empty into ziplock bag.     Step Three: Pour a small amount of petal dust into bag. (Remember you can always add more, so start with a little).     Step Four: Shake the bag until dust is evenly distributed and desired depth of color is achieved.     Step Five: Using tapemeasure, determine the spacing and width of stripes.     Step Six: Dip paintbrush in piping gel.     Step Seven: Using ruler as a guide to acheive a straight line, brush a generous amount of piping gel onto cake with short, even strokes.     Step Eight: Repeat on the right side of line.     Step Nine: Empty colored sprinkles into small cup.     Step Ten: Gently pour sprinkles onto cake.     Tip: You will have many extra sprinkles. Pour onto a sheet of parchment creased in the middle and pour back into small cup. Repeat process until all lines are finished.     Enjoy your chic, striped creation!  
    7
  • Photo By: Michael Bautista for Kathy Chong

    If you're planning to DIY your candy or dessert table, but you also want it to be aesthetic eye candy, consider a monochromatic display that complements your color palette.     In honor of the lush warm weather, we went with colors that reminded us of sunny spring days – whites, peaches, yellows, and pinks. We wanted to keep the table bright, yet still soft and delicate, so we made sure to maintain that theme in all our choices.     With your visual goals in mind, picking the candy is the fun part! Consider sweets of different shapes and sizes, to vary the display. These sumptuous sweets were made by Fiona's Sweet Shoppe.     Collect cake stands, dishes, and other items- not only to hold the goods- but also to give the table layers, height, and dimension.     Typical candy tables attempt to recreate a chocolatier's counter or the endless rows of jars in a candy shop. These inspirations can help produce some stunning displays.     It takes a lot of candy to fill up an entire table but if you think ahead, you can also avoid waste. Although vast amounts of white gumballs may look impressive, consider how much will actually be eaten. Plan to buy amounts that your guests will actually eat or be happy to take home.     Think outside of the candy box! Thin cookie sticks dipped in white chocolate added a vertical component to our display.     Add a few non-edible embellishments to give the table extra pizazz. Florals by Nancy Liu Chin Designs.     Embrace experimentation and test out various display layouts to play with height and depth. Juxtapose stacked cake stands, medium jars, and trays on top of a flat tablecloth to create very simple and clean lines, as shown here. Or, add height by placing boxes underneath the tablecloth.     Cute little paper goodie bags can be fun for guests to fill up and save for later, while small plates provided by your reception venue may be a more eco-friendly option.     Candy tables can truly be a visual and edible delight, just keep it simple and have fun with it!     Photo By: Michael Bautista for Kathy Chong
    4
  • Perfect for an informal summer wedding, this DIY uses just two easy-to-find ingredients!   Projec By: Erica OBrien Photos By: Val McCormick      What You'll Need: One package (or more, depending on size of cake) Sunkist Fruit Gems, sharp knife, food-use only paintbrush, corn syrup.     Step One: Open packaging and sort fruit gems.     Step Two: Holding fruit gem on flat side, carefully slice in half horizontally as evenly as possible.      Step Two (cont).  The inside will be very sticky.     Step Three: Arrange fruit gems cut-side up and allow to dry until less sticky and easier to handle.     Step Four: Dip paintbrush in corn syrup and brush on cut side of fruit gem.     Step Five: Press gently onto side of cake. Hold in place for a moment.     Step Six: Arrange fruit gems on cake until desired pattern is achieved.      
    4
  • A sweet addition to any dessert table!   Photos By: Caroline Drake   Bringing a sweet menu to your wedding doesn't have to be expensive or very difficult. Cream puffs are perfect to serve at weddings, and bring the right amount of fancy, but are actually very easy to make!   The best part is that you can make them in advance, and easily put them together for the big day!     Pastry Cream Ingredients: You will want to make the filling first, since you need to refrigerate it for at least a few hours or overnight to set. We adapted a recipe from Baking Illustrated. 2 cups half-and-half ½ cup sugar (divided into 6 tablespoon, and 2 tablespoons) Pinch salt 5 large egg yolks 3 tbsp. cornstarch 4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces 1½ tsp. vanilla bean paste (this makes such a difference if you can find it!)   Pastry Cream Recipe Instructions:  Heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.  Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds.  Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.     Pastry Cream Recipe Instructions: When the half-and-half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture to temper, whisking constantly.  Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Return the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds.  Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla.       Pastry Cream Recipe Instructions: Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.     Pâte à Choux Ingredients: 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces 2 tbsp. whole milk 6 tbsp. water 1½ tsp. sugar ¼ tsp. salt ½ cup (2½ oz.) all-purpose flour Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 425° F.      Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: To make the pâte à choux, whisk the eggs and egg white in a liquid measuring cup.  You should have ½ cup (discard the excess).  Set aside.  Combine the butter, milk, water, sugar and salt in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice.  When it reaches a full boil and the butter is fully melted, remove from the heat and stir in the flour until incorporated and the mixture clears the sides of the pan.  Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, using a smearing motion, until the mixture is slightly shiny, looks like wet sand and tiny beads of fat appear on the bottom of the pan (the mixture should register 175-180° F on an instant-read thermometer. Takes about 5-10 minutes on LOW heat.     Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Immediately transfer the mixture to a food processor and process with the feed tube open to cool slightly, 10 seconds.       Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: With the machine running, gradually add the reserved eggs in a steady stream.  When they have been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then process 30 seconds more until a smooth, thick, sticky paste forms.     Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain tip with the pâte à choux.   Pipe the paste into 1½-inch mounds on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 to 1¼ inches apart (you should be able to fit 24 mounds on the baking sheet).       Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Use the back of a teaspoon dipped in water to even out the shape and smooth the surface of the piped mounds.     Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Bake for 15 minutes (do not open the oven door during baking).  Reduce the oven temperature to 375° F and continue to bake until golden brown and fairly firm, 8-10 minutes longer.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven.   Use a paring knife, cut a ¾-inch slit into the side of each puff to release steam; return the puffs to the oven, turn the oven off, and prop open the oven door with the handle of a wooden spoon.       Pâte à Choux Recipe Instructions: Dry the puffs in the turned-off oven until the centers are just moist (not wet) and the puffs are crisp, about 45 minutes.  Transfer the puffs to a wire rack to cool completely.  (At this point the puffs can be stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours or frozen for up to 1 month in an airtight plastic bag.  Before serving, crisp in the oven at 300° F – 5-8 minutes for room temperature puffs, 8-10 minutes for frozen puffs.)     Cream Puff Assembly: To fill the puffs, use a bread knife, and carefully cut the puff in half.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch plain tip with the pastry cream.      Cream Puff Assembly: Pipe some of the pastry cream onto the bottom half, then place the top on the pastry cream, and sift powdered sugar onto the top. Repeat to fill all the puffs.     This recipe will make about 24 small cream puffs. Such a simple treat to make, that will "wow" your guests!  
    6
  • Project By: Erica OBrien  Photos By: Val McCormick    Necco wafers are given a glamorous makeover in this easy DIY.     Ingredients light corn syrup, Necco wafers (quantity will depend on size of cake), paint brush, edible gold glitter     Step One Carefully unwrap package and select the colors that you'd like to use. For this project, we selected pastel pink and mint green. Use all the colors or select only some. (Bear in mind that you will most likely need to purchase multiple packages.)     Step Two Dip paint brush in corn syrup and brush over half of smooth side of a wafer (the side that does not say Necco)     Step Three Dip into glitter. Allow to dry.     Step Four Determine the design you'll create with the wafers.  We positioned four rows of wafers, stacked in vertical columns, with the glitter-dipped wafer positioned in the third row from the bottom.      Step Five To apply wafers to the cake, brush the corn syrup on entire Necco side of wafer.     Step Six Gently attach to cake, holding in place for a few seconds.     Step Seven Position your wafers in precise rows and columns to achieve a clean, professionally designed appearance.      Step Eight Apply glitter-dipped wafers in the same way.  Continue attaching wafers to cake until desired pattern is achieved     Ta-da!  Making your own ultra-modern, glitter-infused cake is as easy as that.      
    7
  • Project By: Victoria Hudgins Photos By: Pictilio     Make a celebratory statement by topping your wedding cake and desserts with these bright and festive pinwheels. Make them large or small, individually or in mass to design a colorful element that fits your day perfectly.     Make the pinwheel cake toppers by using origami paper (or thin scrapbook paper cut into squares)- each pinwheel uses three squares.     Step One: Accordion fold the paper squares back and forth, then fold each section in half and crease.     Step Two: Combine three sections together to create a round. Glue the outside edges together to connect.     Step Three: Turn the pinwheel over and glue a wooden skewer to the backside of each. Let dry.     Step Four: Top cakes, pies, and desserts with the pretty toppers!
    5
  • Project and Photos by: Erica OBrien

    Fortune cookies are a sweet and easy way to create edible keepsakes for your wedding cake. You can easily print your own messages, or ask your stationery designer to match your invitation suite. This is a fun activity in which couples can participate together. Here, our bride and groom both chose messages that had special meaning for them, and our stationery designer, Roseville Designs, created fortunes using two different fonts (script for her; print for him).

    What You'll Need:

    Fondant in the color of your choice Board for rolling Rolling pin Cornstarch to prevent sticking Round cookie cutter in the size of your choice Fortune cookie messages Personalized messages on paper cut to ½” high x 3” wide  

    Instructions:    Lightly dust rolling board with cornstarch.     Knead fondant until soft and gently press to flatten on rolling board.      Roll fondant until thin.      Cut fondant using round cookie cutter.      Place fortune in center of fondant round.      Carefully fold fondant in half until edges meet.      Pull sides in (away from folded edge) until they meet.        Make as many fortune cookies as desired.      Arrange fortune cookies on cake. Eat the fondant and save the fortunes forever!       Here's the full invitation suite by Roseville Designs with fortunes and fortune cookies!     
    2

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