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Sugared Fruit Made Easy


Have you seen the latest issue of Martha Stewart Real Weddings?  We were so excited when we spotted it!  Imagine our surprise when we were flipping through and discovered a simple recipe for sugaring lemons.  Page 27 of the magazine provides instructions for making sugared lemons involving only three ingredients: 1) lemons, 2) beaten egg whites, and 3) coarse white sugar!  If you don’t have coarse white sugar and don’t want to order any (or don’t have time to order it), Wilton’s Sugar Sprinkles (available at craft stores) or even granulated sugar from the grocery store may also be used.

How gorgeous would this centerpiece be for weddings, showers, or any other special occasion?!  Adding lemon leaves provides a nice contrast to the bright yellow, but if lemon leaves are not available, other, similarly sized green leaves could be substituted.  We haven’t tried this particular recipe, but the magazine also suggests using it to sugar pears and grapes.

Several weeks ago, we provided a tutorial on sugaring fruit to use on a groom’s cake.  The centerpiece featured in the magazine is so fresh, vibrant, and perfect for summer, we wanted to share the idea of sugared fruit used in a different way.  We hope you enjoy!

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Wedding Cake!

Cake 1 picture edited

Today, Denice Criswell Pittman, a Wilton Method course instructor, shares her expertise on wedding cakes!  Who doesn’t love wedding cake?  Read below for the answers she provided brides-to-be as they plan their big day.  Denice teaches Wilton Method courses at Michaels in Montgomery, Alabama, and she also makes cakes for clients.  Her contact information is provided at the end of the questions and answers.

Fondant Covered Groom’s Cake

Football, anyone?

Shower Cake: Buttercream and Fondant combination

Buttercream: Bun (Look how smooth it is!)

Fondant: Sesame Seeds, Cheese, Onion, Lettuce, Tomato, and Meat

1. What should a bride consider when deciding whether to order a wedding cake with either fondant or buttercream icing, two very common types of icing used on wedding cakes?

Most brides choose cakes covered in fondant because they want a cake that is smooth and seamless.  Something to keep in mind, especially if the bride is on a budget, is that cakes covered in fondant cost more per serving, typically adding at least $1.00 and up per serving.  Experienced decorators can achieve a smooth and seamless finish with buttercream icing, so the cake will look as smooth as a fondant covered cake even though it is covered in buttercream.

2. How should a bride choose her wedding cake design? Are any flavors, colors, or shapes taboo?

A bride should consider the style of her wedding as well as her own personal style.  The cakes are the main focus of the reception, so the bride should make sure she is choosing a decorator that is professional who will create her cake and take pride in it as if it was her own wedding cake!

3. Do real flowers or flowers made out of icing/gum paste hold up better on a wedding cake, or does the type of flower really matter?

The type of flowers doesn’t really matter as far as holding up better on a cake.  I personally like to have as many things as possible be completely edible on the cake.  Flowers that are quite life-like can be created out of gum paste and fondant.

4. How does a bride plan the size cake she will order?

The amount of cake should serve slightly less than the amount of guests expected to attend the wedding.  Not all guests will attend the reception, and some will not eat any cake. The reason I say that is to avoid the expense of excessive cake that will be left over or that will be wasted.

5. Do you have any advice for selecting a groom’s cake? Should the cake compliment the wedding cake, or can it be completely different?

The groom’s cake doesn’t have to complement the bride’s cake. The style of the groom’s cake typically reflects the groom’s hobbies or interests. Traditionally the groom’s cake has been chocolate cake with chocolate icing, but that isn’t always the case now.  Many times it is the groom’s favorite flavor of cake and icing.

6. What is your favorite wedding cake or groom’s cake? 

That is an easy one: chocolate is my favorite for any dessert!  The icing is my favorite part of the cake.  I tell people I like a little bit of cake with my icing!  As far as style, I love to create cakes that are “outside the box.”  Cakes that are non-traditional and whimsical are the most exciting, and I love a challenge!

7. Is there any wedding cake trivia, or cake trivia in general, you can share with us?

Many years ago guests brought cakes to the wedding and placed them across a table.  The bride and groom then attempted to kiss one another across the table, above all of the cakes.  One day, a baker decided to put all the cakes together and cover them in frosting.  This is how the traditional, tiered wedding cake began!

Mini-biography of Denice:

In 2008, I decided to take cake decorating classes at Michaels in Montgomery, Alabama, to learn how to decorate the cakes I was making for my “4 legged” children.  After taking the very first class, I was completely hooked on cake decorating!!!!!!  God used my desired to decorate better cakes for my “4 legged” children to show me the new gift and talent He was ready to give to me.  Believe me, I had no desire to be a cake decorator, but boy did that change in an instant!!!!!!!!  I could not get enough of this new hobby I had!  Well, little did I know that God had better plans for me than it just being a hobby!  In May of 2011, I became a Wilton Method cake decorating instructor taking over teaching the classes when my instructor was retiring from teaching.  I really didn’t see that coming!  I love to share my knowledge of cake decorating with others!!!!  God has opened so many “doors” and “windows” for me, and I am so thankful to Him for giving me the new gift that He has entrusted me with!  I can’t wait to see what paths He has planned for me!  Always listen to those “whispers of God;” you never know what He has in store for you!

Denice Criswell Pittman

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Sugared Fruit

Groom's Cake Inspiration

Have you ever wanted to sugar fruit for a special occasion but were a little wary of using egg whites or weren’t sure it would turn out correctly?  Fear no more friends.  I found a quick and easy recipe for sugaring fruit that does not involve egg whites!
For the groom’s cake at my wedding last year, I really wanted sugared fruit as the main decoration.  I had run across this Martha Stewart groom’s cake picture and fell in love with the idea (Who doesn’t love a good Martha Stewart idea?).

I decided to research how to sugar fruit when my wedding cake baker told me he had never sugared fruit for a cake before , and he didn’t think he could do it for health reasons.  So, I went to work researching various ways to sugar fruit without using egg whites.

The recipe I found and ended up using for my wedding involved only three ingredients besides fruit: 1) meringue power  2) water and 3) sugar.  I was so relieved it was not going to be an expensive and tedious task!  So, I practiced sugaring fruit a few times prior to my wedding and since it turned out well each time, I told my cake baker I would provide the sugared fruit for the cake.  About two days prior to the wedding, I washed the fruit and sugared it.  I didn’t refrigerate it because I had read that once the fruit has been sugared it should not be refrigerated.

Here is a picture of how the fruit turned out for my wedding.  What do you think?

Here is the recipe I have used to sugar fruit:

Estimated sugaring time: 30 minutes

Estimated drying time: 4-6 hours

1) 1/3 cup of meringue powder (available at craft stores, like Michaels)

2) 4 tablespoons of water

3) sugar as needed (approximately 8 ounces will cover 10 large pieces of fruit)

Wash your fruit, dry it, and set aside.  Stir the meringue powder and water together in a small to medium bowl.  Spread the meringue powder and water mixture over a piece of fruit (I have used pastry brushes or basting brushes to spread it in the past.  I have seen where others have used paint brushes.).  Once the piece of fruit is covered in the mixture, sprinkle sugar  over the fruit while holding the fruit by the stem or on the ends. You may want to pour the sugar in a small bowl for easy access to it while sugaring.  Repeat for each piece of fruit.  Let the fruit dry on wax paper or a cooling rack for approximately 4-6 hours.

Don’t refrigerate the fruit once it has been sugared.  The sugared fruit should be usable as a decoration for up to 4-7 days.  If you plan on eating the fruit though, I would prepare it the day of your event or just one or two days prior to your event.

Below are some pictures and tips from my most recent endeavor to sugar fruit.

Meringue Powder

 Meringue Powder and Water Mixture


Basting Brush used to spead Meringue Powder and Water Mixture over Fruit

Wilton Sparkling Sugar
Sugared Fruit Drying
 The Finished Product!

Recipe Tips

What type of sugar to use:

For my wedding, I used regular granulated sugar and Wilton white sparkling sugar (available at craft stores, like Michaels).  I used a mixture of the granulated and Wilton sugar on some pieces of fruit, while on others I used just the granulated or just the Wilton.  I prefer the look of the Wilton sugar myself because I think it is more defined, but my mother prefers the look of just granulated sugar because the overall effect is more subtle.  I think you could use almost any type of sugar available.  It just depends on the look you like best.

Number of pieces of fruit the recipe will cover:

I was able to sugar about 10 large pieces of fruit using the 1/3 cup of meringue powder and 4 tablespoons of water.  If you want to sugar more fruit, I would recommend doubling or tripling the recipe.

Sprinkling the sugar over the fruit:

I would recommend not holding the fruit over your bowl of sugar as you are sugaring.  I did this once and ended up with a goopy mess in my bowl of sugar.  The meringue powder and water mixture started running off the fruit and into the bowl of sugar.  I found that just holding the fruit over wax paper while sprinkling sugar over it worked the best.  Then, I just let the fruit dry on the wax paper.

Types of fruit to use:

Again, this is up to your preference.  I have used grapes (red and green), pears, apples (red and green), oranges, lemons, limes, and plums in the past with success.



P.S.  Here is a link to a recipe for making sugared fruit with egg whites.


 Just be sure not to eat the fruit!