68 comments

  1. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 7:38 am

    I have no experience baking my own wedding cake but I’m sure there are ways to pull it off!! I was not a very good decision maker either but once you make decisions it feels so good to be able to move on to the next thing. Enjoy this exciting time :) This cake looks splendid.

    • tworedbowls says:

      August 13, 2014 at 11:55 am

      You’re so right! Every time we sign something and finalize it, all the indecision goes away and it feels like the right call — definitely the best part. :) Thanks, Leah!

  2. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I am getting married in May, and I’ve also been thinking about making my own wedding cake. Fortunately, I should have the week leading up to the wedding off (along with some help from my mom and one of my sisters!), buuuut, I am thinking about just making several cakes in my favorite flavors along with a smorgasboard of other desserts in place of one big cake. I am only planning on fifty guests, though, which makes it a bit easier! And a hummingbird cake is now going on my idea list!

    • tworedbowls says:

      August 13, 2014 at 11:56 am

      That sounds fantastic!! I love that idea — and fifty guests seems completely doable. :) Good luck with the planning (we’re getting married the month after you! Yay [confetti emoji!])

  3. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I am SO in the same place right now! Although we haven’t made any major decisions, I am in the place where I’m thinking ‘Maybe I just want to make a small cake for us to cut?’ everything else can be sheet cakes, right?! Am I crazy?! : )

    • tworedbowls says:

      August 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      Haha, that’s exactly what I was thinking!! Do it do it and then I’ll be in total awe and admiration of you!

  4. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 8:39 am

    So beautiful!! And oh my gosh, I totally feel you on the wedding planning. I am also incredibly indecisive, and have struggled with everything as well. Thankfully, we also have figured out most of the major details!

    I can’t even imagine making my own cake (I get hives thinking about it), but I totally admire you for wanting to do it!!! Freezer space is a definite conundrum though ;)

    • tworedbowls says:

      August 16, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Hahaha I’m so glad I’m not alone! Isn’t it a great feeling to have most of the decisions made? And I know … when push comes to shove, I can’t really imagine taking on that extra responsibility in the week leading up to the big day! But it was nice to daydream about :) Thanks so much for the kind words, Laura!

  5. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Gosh, your teeny tiny cake is just adorable and awesome. Ramekins! That’s the secret – I love it; thank you! : ) And good luck with wedding planning…what a wonderful yet stressful time. I know you’d make a beautiful wedding cake but I can’t help but ask you to consider that carefully. Way back when, my now-husband and I (well, mostly I…) had the ‘great’ idea of making heart-shaped sugar cookies and wrapping them in glassine envelopes as favors. All I can say is I would not have done that looking back…

    • tworedbowls says:

      August 16, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Ha! That’s much appreciated, Monica — I know, sometimes it’s important to weigh whether what you’d like to get out of DIY projects is really worth the effort going in! But those heart cookies sound like they were adorable, and I bet much appreciated :) Thanks so much for the sweet words!! (I love baking cakes in ramekins!)

    • tworedbowls says:

      August 16, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      Baha I think I feel the same way as you :) Knowing me, there would definitely be some kind of calamity in there. Thanks for stopping by, Tieghan!!

  6. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 9:43 am

    i personally think that you should make this mini cake for each guest…the insanity it would cause aside, of course! your hummingbird cake, and its ode to your southern roots, and b#2’s hawaiian roots is so so lovely – the flavors and simplistic feel of it is super beautiful. not to mention these bright, summery photos! high-fives!!!

    on another note, wedding planning can be so overly stressful, but also a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing – frank and i tried (despite some crazy moments) to keep it all in perspective. but it seems like you and your man have a really good handle on it all, and i’m sure whatever choices you all make are going to awesome ones! xo!

    • tworedbowls says:

      August 16, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      Wouldn’t that be magical?! I can’t lie, I mulled over the mini cake idea too … haha! (Stop me now.) And ahh, I love you and Frank’s amazing attitude / perspective on everything! Just thinking of your sunshiny-chill energy and reading your blog makes me feel more centered and ready to take on life. <3 (And P.S. omg when I saw your pf pic last week! Your wedding dress and that floral crown!! So, so perfect!)

  7. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I love the idea to add smashed banana into the cake, great texture and sounds so delicious!
    Love the mini cake, so cute :)
    I might want to try this for my birthday this year!

    • tworedbowls says:

      August 21, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Omg that would be the best compliment in the world if you did!! I hope it lives up to expectations if you try it :) Thanks so much, Maggie!

  8. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Thank you for the ramekin tip. I always wanted to make a wedding cake for myself but unfortunately no relationships have close enough for them to put a ring on it. I hope your wedding goes well and of course your mini cake is simply stunning!

    • tworedbowls says:

      August 16, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      Oh my goodness, for you I might have to insist that you make your own! Knowing you it’s going to be such a masterpiece — I can’t wait for that day :) Thanks for the well wishes and the kind words, Belinda!

  9. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 10:16 am

    BUT SERIOUSLY, how come wedding decisions are SO FREAKING DIFFICULT??!!!! i bet you can find a place to make your cake! you should totally go for it. and that food52 series is perfect timing!!!

    i once had hummingbird cake and was obsessed with it, and then i learned that there were bananas in it and got a little scared :-O i didn’t even taste them though!! i’ve gotta get over my banana fear so i can make this cutie patootie cake.

    • tworedbowls says:

      August 21, 2014 at 10:18 am

      RIGHT? And here I thought my years of collecting photos into secret folders would make things so much easier.

      Baha banana fear?! I actually am not a huge fan of bananas either unless they’re (a) frozen or (b) baked into nonexistence in a loaf or cake. But I feel like hummingbird cake tastes more pineapple-y than banana-y, maybe?

  10. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Gosh, this post!! I seriously love all the new angles & lightning you’ve recently found in your photography. Just gorgeous, Cynthia. And this cake? Sounds luscious; okay, major understatement. Unfortunately, I have zero experience with wedding cakes or tiered cakes (except shoveling them into my mouth) to begin with so I’m just sitting here and cheering whatever you decide to do. In the end, it will be the right decision <3

  11. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Gosh! I like the idea of such mini cakes so much!!! any cake leftover won’t provoke my imagination))

    Good luck with the wedding!! I think the only thing that matters is the #2 Bowl)

  12. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Hmm, I might accidentally be commenting again b/c for some reason, I couldn’t find my comment after I posted? It disappeared into a mystery void of the internet I guess?

    Anyway here we go:

    This cake is TOO adorable. I second what Sini said above about your new camera angles and lighting. Everything is absolutely gorgeous!!!

  13. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Don’t worry. A bride is supposed to be indecisive :)
    And I say this with LOVE & care, don’t make your own wedding cake. If you need a detail why I have to become a buzzkill, e-mail me. hahaha

    Love <3 <3 your photographs, Cynthia & thank you so much for the tip of using ramekins for this adorable cake. :)

  14. stephanie says:

    August 13, 2014 at 11:39 am

    this mini cake is so gorgeous cynthia – just like you! can you believe i’ve never had hummingbird cake? i may have to remedy that with your mini cake recipe!

    i think you made the right choice – mini cakes to celebrate just the two of you and the ease and relative stress-free decision to go with someone else making the cake for your big day :)

    maybe some cake tasting is in order while you’re in hawaii?!

  15. whiskandshout says:

    August 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Mini cakes are the best! I’ve never made hummingbird cake, but I’ve had it, and it’s so delicious :)

  16. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Your photos are absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I love hummingbird cake, one of my favorites. I actually used to own a little wedding cake business…it was the most traumatic three years of my life :) Kidding…kinda. I loved the cake baking part but the delivery and set-up stress was more than I could handle! And my poor husband, who had to drive all around town with the emergency flashers on while I balanced cake boxes…he does not miss those days at all. But, cake is still my favorite thing in the world and I still love to make wedding cakes for my friends and family. My biggest tip is to use masonite cake boards under each layer…they are super sturdy and really help in the transport! Good luck…I love your blog :)

  17. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Oh my goodness this is just so beautiful… I love this.. Hummingbird cake is my absolute favorite and one hot summer day in New Orleans I got married (outside) ..LOL and my grandmother made this beautiful hummingbird cake that started melting and tipped over.. OMG that’s a true story..HAHA..

  18. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    This could not be cuter! (2 tablespoons of banana!) YOU could not be cuter! (I envy your long braid!) I can just imagine how beautiful your wedding will be. Such an exciting time!! Love this pretty little toasty cake!

  19. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    My two cents: I think it totally depends on how big a wedding you have. If you have a really big wedding, making your own cake isn’t a practical option because you’ll have so much other stuff to deal with.

    Anyways, I’m sure it’s going to be totally gorgeous and awesome and beautiful. You have such a great aesthetic sense :)

    AND this cake? So adorbs! And it sounds delicious too :)

  20. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    I’m not even close to being engaged (well, I don’t think?) and I feel your pain! I can’t even decide what to eat for dinner most nights! This is why, some day when it’s my turn to get married, I need to elope to Italy. I’ll be forced to trust a little italian grandma to make my wedding cake, and it will be perfect no matter what because — little italian grandma!!

    Speaking of grandmas, I know one or two who make their own version of this hummingbird cake — so classically southern, and I love love love it’s mini-ness. Isn’t toasted coconut the best?!

  21. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    how impossible do you think this would be to do with gluten free flour? i was thinking of making my own wedding cake as well, for a while. but mostly because i’m super sketched out by most “gluten free” bakers — speaking of dry, crumbly, and lacking in the flavor department. but i found an awesome baker who specializes in gf wedding cakes and everything she makes rocks. but i’ve volunteered to bake a wedding cake for my friend getting married in the spring soooooo i’ve still got to learn how to make wedding cakes, haha! p.s. this post is gorgeous and you rock.

  22. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    I am now bound and determined to make a coconut buttercream. Sounds SO dreamy.
    I’ve made one wedding cake – for some friends, not myself – and it turned into a combination of cakes and cupcakes. We found a tiered cake stand (I think from Michael’s but maybe on Amazon), which eliminated the terrifying prospect of making the cake itself multi-tiered, and the cute cupcake wrappers now available made the cupcakes and minis more elegant than cutesy.
    I ended up with a nice, moist champagne cake from a recipe I was quite familiar with, and only wish that I’d had more piping/frosting experience. It was a ton of work, though. I don’t think I would have done it for my own wedding.
    I’ve documented my process here, if you’re interested in taking a peek! http://blackberryeating.com/the-buttercream-project/

  23. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I would have LOVED to make our own wedding cake, but since we were in charge of practically every single detail of the wedding (as it was in my parents’ backyard), it just wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I had a girlfriend bake our cut-cake and cupcakes. She frosted them all in my parents’ dining room during the ceremony. A couple months before the wedding, we spent a day recipe testing together, so I knew exactly how it’d turn out. It was as close to baking my own cake as I could get.

  24. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Ah wedding planning…it can be so stressful!
    This cake is just the cutest!! And it sounds delicious!!
    You are quite ambitious to think about making our own wedding cake! But I totally get it – cake is just so important to people like us :)

  25. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    This is so beautiful! Your pictures in general always inspire me to go to the kitchen and make something! (it’s ok to be indecisive on wedding planning as everyone has mentioned here! seriously, if it’s not hard then you’re not trying hard enough ;) )

  26. magpie says:

    August 13, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Hi Cynthia – this is the first time I’ve commented but I felt compelled to say something as a fellow lawyer/baker ;) I got married a few years ago and made my own wedding cake, or to be precise, I baked/assembled two kinds of layer cakes (lemon and chocolate-mint) in the days leading up to the wedding with my sous pastry chef, now-husband. There were times when I thought it was going to be too much but we did a test run well in advance, broke down the ingredient lists, making fillings/frostings ahead of time, and they came out great.

    In the end it was one of my favorite memories from the wedding, slicing cake for our guests with homemade vanilla bean ice cream on the side.

    All this is to say…YOU CAN DO IT. I BELIEVE IN YOU.

    xo

  27. says:

    August 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    So I was totally thinking you’d make a green tea cake with earl gray buttercream, dark chocolate ganache, and white chocolate fondant (which was totes our wedding cake), but this is so, so much better :) I love the sentiment of it all.

  28. says:

    August 14, 2014 at 12:14 am

    What you should do is a) buy the big cake as you’ve now (very decisively!) decided, and b) make a tiny cake for yourselves. I’m not even kidding, because how cute and special would that be? It could even be the very top layer of the premade cake, so that way you could enjoy something that is truly special–maybe Bowl #2 could even make it with you together! Regardless, it sounds like the prep is really exciting and coming along. The hummingbird cake sounds and looks gorgeous, too!

  29. says:

    August 14, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I would have already been lusting after this cake had it been a normal-sized bake, because I’ve never had a hummingbird cake, and banana and pineapple cake sounds incredible. But the fact that it’s teeny makes me fall in love with it so much more! I love the idea of topping it with toasted coconut (mmm). The very best of luck if you do decide to make your own cake – I’m sure whatever you have will be amazing either way! :)

  30. says:

    August 14, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Oh my gosh, I hear you! So many decisions to make! My wedding is in February, which I just realized is SIX MONTHS away. When did that happen??

    Anyway, this cake is adorable! I want to make a ramekin cake! Maybe this one will be your anniversary cake. :)

  31. says:

    August 14, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Your side braid – swoon! Such a gorgeous little cake. (and post. and lace top. and everything.) And if you wanna make the cake, make the cake, gerl. You got this.

  32. says:

    August 14, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    If I had your skills then I def. would have made my own cake! :D But for me personally, a cake seems like a really crazy task when there’s so much going on already. However, that also might be because I did everything DIY for my wedding, with only my friends helping. This isn’t to say it’s not a good idea for you because you’re so awesome with baking!!!!! And I hope all your preps go really smoothly. Ps: Your hair looks gorgeous <3

  33. says:

    August 15, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Hi there, I love your post and thus tried your recipe last night with some variations. It turned out quiet nice and I wanted to thank you for your inspiration :-)
    One think I was wondering though is if your ingredients list for the cake is missing an egg? I needed to add one to make the dough work :-)
    I guess it is not possible to include a picture in this post? Otherwise I would share with you my amateurish attempt to copy you :-)
    Already looking forward to your next post!!!

    • tworedbowls says:

      August 16, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Hi!! I’m so thrilled you already tried the cake!! But bummed you had some issues, I’m so sorry about that. No, I generally don’t use egg in my mini cakes due to the small volume of batter — yogurt, or in this case, mashed banana is intended to sub for the egg. When you said you needed to add one to make the dough work, was it because it was too dry? I revised the recipe to add a weight in grams for the flour and advise using a light hand when scooping — I find that accidentally packing the scoop too much in this recipe can make a big difference since there are such small amounts being used.

      I’m so glad that it still turned out okay for you, though! I hope you enjoyed it!! And I would LOVE to see a photo!!! You can email it to me at tworedbowls@gmail.com if you feel like it! :) Thank you so much for trying the recipe — it means so much to me!

      • says:

        August 19, 2014 at 5:45 pm

        hi again, I gave it a second try and this time it worked without egg :-) I will email you a picture. I think the first time was my fault because I tried to double the recipe and got something wrong there. Thanks again for your wonderful ideas!

  34. says:

    August 16, 2014 at 6:37 am

    I’ve definitely dabbled with the idea of making my own wedding cake as well, and am currently firmly in the NO category (even though part of me still really wants to say yes!). So much stress in the days before…and the last thing I’m going to want to be doing is worrying about tiers and even layers! Maybe you could make lots of small cakes?!

  35. says:

    August 17, 2014 at 6:09 am

    You must be a well-composed bride to want to make your own wedding cake! My husband and I spent a year apart living in Nepal and the Philippines respectively, then got back and got married 6 weeks later. I was so glad that lovely ladies from the church volunteered to make my wedding cake from my favourite Russian cookbook. I felt like it totally represented me, my husband loved how delicious it was and we were both relaxed we didn’t have to do a thing! :-) Good luck, Cynthia, I am sure that with some planning you can pull it off!

  36. says:

    August 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Wait, how did I miss this.

    Currently salivating and contemplating licking my computer screen. Hummingbird cake is pretty much the best thing ever. And mini cakes are pretty much the cutest thing ever sooo….. this is actual perfection.

  37. carrie says:

    August 17, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    What a beautiful little cake. But please, do not make your own wedding cake. There is enough stress and last minute details to deal with on that day. Besides, you want to savor every minute of your wedding day and not be stressing about cake layers.

    Do yourself a favor and find an awesome baker, think about whats really important and..Let It Go.

  38. says:

    August 19, 2014 at 11:27 am

    I would be so tempted to make my own wedding cake if I was getting married (especially if I made as pretty little cakes as you do!) but equally terrified that it would be just one more thing to stress over. Plus, I’m pretty sure that the best part of any wedding prep is getting to taste all the cake options beforehand right??

  39. amy says:

    August 22, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    I made a wedding cake for my friend once, and it went really well! There are a thousand things I’d do differently (i.e. learn to make Swiss buttercream *before* the day of, practice my decorating, portion it correctly, etc.), but ultimately it was great. And you know why? I wasn’t the bride. I had exactly one responsibility, and I did an okay job at it.

    I really wanted to make our cake when I got married, but knowing exactly how much attention it would require exactly when I had to do a billion other things, I opted not to. A friend from work made our cake, and it was delicious, moist, pretty, and stress-free! In other words, highly recommended. :)

  40. cakeoversteak says:

    September 2, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Oh my god, the decisions!!!! Ugh it’s really hard … I was the same way where I felt a lot of pressure to make the PERFECT decision. Maybe I would be better at planning someone else’s wedding? Hahaha … but anyway, I love this cake idea!! I think it’s such a perfect mashup up your two backgrounds. Good luck with the decision-making process! xoxo

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