I consider this cake my crowning achievement in cake decorating thusfar. I actually made it in June of last year; I have no idea why it's taken me so long to get it on the blog.
My neighbor Jenny had a daughter graduating from high school, and they were a part of a homeschool co-op that had several graduates. They were having a ceremony and reception and Jenny requested that I make the cake for them. I was extremely honored that I would be asked for such an occasion, as I had only made cakes for my own children up to that point, and I'm completely self-taught. I browsed through some cake decorating websites to get some inspiration and asked Jenny for input on what she had in mind before I committed. It was a little nerve-wracking to be making a cake for 60+ people, and for such a special event as well! (I mean, my kids sure don't care or even notice if I mess up something on their birthday cakes).
This was what we came up with for the idea. There was only one problem. I had no idea how to pipe roses. I ended up buying a Wilton Cake decorating book, which is lovely and very informational on lots of things....but ultimately it was watching tons of youtube videos that helped me catch on. That and the hours of practicing. :)
I ended up making the roses a few days in advance and saving them in the fridge (carefully stored on wax paper in plastic containers) so that when the cake was ready, I could just slide them on wherever I wanted them.
So the bottom of the cake was a half-sheet chocolate cake, the top layer was a 13 x 9" vanilla cake. All the frosting was regular Wilton recipe buttercream, except the fondant scroll on top. That was homemade marshmallow fondant.
I had quite a time with the writing. I originally intended to paint on the names, so I bought this gold glittery stuff that you add a little clear vanilla extract to for making it like paint....only even with the tiniest paintbrush I could find, it wouldn't paint the letters clearly enough. So back to Michael's I went to get edible markers. Supposedly they're good for writing on fondant. For my purposes, that didn't work either. The tips were too big for fine print and the yellow color just didn't show up.
My final solution was to just tint some buttercream yellow and pipe on the letters. I have terrible handwriting, so I found a font I liked and typed out the list of names, then printed it in the exact size I would need for the scroll. I copied a faint outline of all the words on the fondant with a toothpick, then wrote over it with the frosting. I was so nervous about that part! It turned out really nice, though, leaving me wondering why I hadn't chosen to go that route in the first place.
I was very pleased with the final product and I think it was well received by everyone. I sure learned a lot in the process and had a great time seeing it all come together.