Wedding Cake Basics
Here are a few handy tips to understanding the basics of the wedding cake.
The design of the cake is the method in which your cake is built. You may choose to have your wedding cake tiers stacked or create height with pillars and columns. If you are interested in what options you have for a flat cake, consider having the cake spell out your monogram, names, be in a meaningful shape or pattern or even say “I Do.” There are so many options when it comes to the design of your cake, you will want to be sure that you spend ample time looking though books, magazines, websites, photo galleries and baker’s portfolios.
The décor of your cake can be anything you want. Many people are straying from the traditional white cake and white icing, although these designs are being elegantly reincorporated into weddings. Your décor can be modern, traditional, ornate or very simple. Many couples are opting for carefully handcrafted sugar designs and chocolate decorations on their wedding cakes. There are several different icing options that will give you a variety of choices on what you can do with the décor of your cake. Fruit, flowers, fondant creations and marzipan creations are very popular.
There are various filling options that will make your cake unique and one of a kind. The filling is spread between the layers of the cake or can be incorporated into the batter to create ribbons of fruit. Popular fruit fillings include jam, cream, frosting, icing, chocolate, fruit, mousse, curds of a variety of flavours, buttercream, cream cheese and even mascarpone. You can have one flavour or incorporate different flavours that compliment each other and your cake design.
Wedding Cake Flavour
The flavour of your wedding cake can be as simple or complex as the design. The cake should not only look amazing but taste amazing as well. Your guests will quickly eat their dinner just so they can get to the cutting of the cake and they will be dying to try it. There are several popular flavours including lemon, vanilla, yellow, spice, carrot and chocolate. Don’t be afraid to get exotic and don’t think you have to use the traditional fruitcake-wedding recipe. There are a variety of flavours to choose and you can even use your grandmother’s recipe for a marble cake if you like.
Match your cake with your personality. There are many wedding traditions and you can pick and choose any that you like. Just like your flowers, invitations and even your wedding gown, you can get as creative and express yourself as much as you want with your wedding cake. You can go traditional, elegant, romantic, fashionable, hip, or aunatural. Your wedding cake design, flavour, icing, and filling are completely up to you.
Let your groom do the same with his cake. Allow him to express himself with what he loves and enjoys. Let him go traditional if he wants or as exotic as he wants. One of the most popular groom’s cakes of late has been a chocolate cake, with chocolate icing and chocolate dipped strawberries. Whatever he wants, go with it and feel free to be as unique as you want.
The History of Wedding Cakes
The wedding cake – no wedding is complete without one and the cake is usually just as popular as the new bride. The wedding cake has a long tradition in which its history dates back to the Roman Empire. This was long before the cake was elaborately decorated with beautiful icing and bouquets.
The original tradition was that the bride and groom would share a piece of a barley bread loaf and then the groom would break the rest over the head of the bride. The breaking of the bread was a symbol of the breaking of the bride’s virginal state and the groom’s dominance over her. Of course, this belief has long ago been lost as we moved into a more modern era of beliefs and wedding cakes.
In the era of Medieval England, cakes were often breads that were unsweetened. There are accounts of several of these cakes or sweet buns being stacked in front of the newlyweds. The couple is believed to have had to kiss over the pile of cakes in front of them.
In the 17th century, there was a popular dish called a “Bride’s Pie” that was used in place of a cake. The pie was filled with sweet breads, mince pie or mutton pie. These pies would have a glass ring that would be hidden in the pie and the women who found it would be the next to be wed.
Wedding cakes reached their high popularity point in the 1800’s in both Europe and the United States. A very famous wedding cake of this time period was that of Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s daughter. Her cakes stood five feet high and weighed about 225 pounds. Another famous cake was that of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. Their cake stood nine feet high and weighed 500 pounds! The cake was four tiers and featured sugar replicas of Buckingham Palace, Windsor Palace and Balmoral Palace.
The multi-tiered cake was originally reserved for the English royalty. They would also use these cakes for christenings, as the wedding and christening events would take place very near each other. This fact rationalized the thought that all weddings should have three tiered cakes. The bottom tier was for the wedding reception, the second tier would be distributed amongst guests and the third tier would be for the christening. As the wedding and christening became disassociated with each other, the top tier was then saved by the bride and groom for their first anniversary. The top tier is now considered a nice reminder of their wedding day.
Cake decorations also developed with the size and beauty of wedding cakes. Pillars were used in early-tiered cakes as a way to support the many upper tiers. In order to keep a cake from sinking, the bakers began to harden the icing for support.
The Groom’s cake began as a tradition in the United States. The cake was usually dark in contrast to the bride’s cake, much like it is today. Many Grooms’ cakes are chocolate if the wedding cake is white and vice versa. The origins of this tradition are unclear, but Groom’s cakes are very prevalent in Southern weddings.
Wedding Cake Traditions
There are several different wedding cake traditions that have passed over time. Many of these have survived and evolved while others are no longer practiced, and many brides may be thankful for that!
The Cake Itself
The wedding cake itself is a long-standing wedding tradition, which has evolved over time. The cake is to be served at what was originally called the “wedding breakfast.” The wedding breakfast was not necessarily a meal in the morning, but many brides and grooms would fast before their wedding. The wedding breakfast is what we would call the wedding reception today. This would be a breakfast as it would be the meal during which they would “break their fast.” The original wedding cakes were small wheat cakes that were brought by the guests and then broken over the head of the bride as a symbol of fertility.
Cakes were eventually made from fruitcake, as fruitcake can be stored for longer periods of time. These cakes would be covered in a frosting consisting of heavy fat and sugar, possibly to prevent spoilage, as refrigeration was not common during the era of the first wedding cakes. The tiered design is believed to have originated from the tiered spire of St. Bride’s church in London.
Cutting and Serving of the Cake
Traditionally, the first cutting of the cake is performed by the bride and groom with a ceremonial knife or even a sword. An archaic tradition is that the bride served all portions of the cake to the groom’s family as a symbol of the transfer of her household labour from her family to their family. The bride and groom are also supposed to feed each other the first bites of the cake to each other to symbolize a new family unit and the replacement of the old parent-child union.
After the traditional cutting and serving of the cake, guests are then allowed to partake in the wedding cake. Some couples will even ship portions to those who were unable to come to the wedding.
The top tier is traditionally saved by the couple for their first anniversary or the christening of their first child. Many people would have the top tier of the cake made of fruitcake so that it could be frozen, however, this is not very popular today and the top tier of a plain cake has been frozen and consumed without spoilage.
The wedding cake topper also has its own tradition. The history of the topper dates back to a baker’s daughter who wanted the perfect symbol of their marriage. The father placed two miniature figurines of the couple on top of the cake. This symbol is widely used today and has been experimented with to show the bride and groom dressed in cowboy boots and hats, Hawaiian shirts and more. Other toppers have featured doves, hearts, bows, and other mementos the bride and groom may have saved from a trip together or something they believe symbolizes their love.
The wedding cake will constantly evolve and it is okay to stray from traditions you don’t care for and keep the ones you like. If you hate fruitcake, have a chocolate cake or strawberry cake or a cake with a ribbon of fruit that is layered throughout the cake. It is your wedding, your special day and your wedding cake.
Unique Wedding Cake Traditions
There are several wedding cake traditions that you may like to incorporate in your wedding. Every culture seems to have its own cake tradition that can be incorporated into just about any wedding cake. Here are a few for you to consider when planning your big day.
The cake pull is a tradition of Southern United States weddings. Here the cake has several ribbons with charms baked throughout the cake. The charms can be both good and bad luck, although you may want to stick with good luck charms to keep the wedding party happy. The bridesmaids gather around the cake at the wedding reception and choose the end of a ribbon. They then pull the ribbon out of the cake to receive their good luck charm. The charms may represent children, travel, marriage, etc.
The stack cake is the traditional wedding cake from the Appalachian Mountain region. Friends and family each bring a layer of cake and then the bride’s family will spread, apple preserves, dried apples and apple butter between each layer. The stack cake essentially appears to be a stack of pancakes. The more layers you have, the more popular the couple is considered. Other layers may be cookie dough layers to sponge cake layers. The tradition is believed to have begun in the Beaumont Inn of Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
Irish Wedding Cake Tradition
The top tier of the traditional Irish wedding cake is an Irish Whiskey Cake. This type of cake will last frozen for several months until the cake is to be used for a christening of the first child or for the first wedding anniversary.
Korean Wedding Tradition
Instead of a wedding cake, the couple may share three spoonfuls of rice. The rice represents the meals they will share for the rest of their married lives; much like the traditional wedding cake is a symbol of sharing. They then pour a Korean liquor made from rice, such as Sake, into two cups, which symbolizes the union of their souls.
At a Polish wedding, bread, wine and salt are important symbols. The bread represents the couple never being hungry. The salt is a reminder that times may be difficult, but that they will be able to cope with whatever comes along and the wine represents good health and spirits.
In a Russian wedding, the couple bites into a loaf of bread that symbolizes health, long life and prosperity. Whoever takes the biggest bite of bread is considered the one who “wears the pants” in the family!
Jamaican Wedding Cake Traditions
A traditional Jamaican wedding cake is a dark cake that has been soaked in rum for a about a year so the fruits and bread will be flavoured and moist.
Norway Wedding Cake Traditions
The Brudlaupskling is a wedding cake from Norway that dates back to the days when it was hard to find white flour on Norwegian farms. The bread is covered in a mixture of cheese, cream and syrup and then folded over and cut into squares.
Peruvian Cake Pull
This cake pull is similar to the one practiced in the Southern United States, however, at the end of one of these ribbons will be a ring which represents the puller as the next one to be married.
In Ukraine, couples share korovai instead of a cake. The korovai is bread that is decorated with symbolic motifs, which present eternity and joining of the families.
How to Choose a Wedding Cake
The wedding cake may or may not be something close to your heart when you plan your wedding. Either way, the cake is often the main focus of the wedding reception and so choosing the right wedding cake for you is important.
With this daunting prospect in mind, let us make your wedding cake planning a little easier. Firstly it should be known that there are more factors involved than just taste and colour so the decision is not as easy as it looks.
Before you do anything ask yourself the following questions:
– How much are you prepared to spend on your wedding cake?
– How many guests are you likely to have?
Knowing these facts and figures allows you to put into perspective the type of wedding cake you can realistically have.
Factors to Consider when Choosing Your Wedding Cake
The shape, size, colour, flavour and decoration are a few things to consider for your wedding cake. Here are some tips:
- – In terms of appearance try to find some pictures in magazines, books and websites of cakes that you like.
- – Try to realise the purpose of your wedding cake. Are you getting a wedding cake to simply decorate your reception venue (in which case you probably want a beautiful looking cake)? Is it to provide some extra grub for your guests (in which case it’s important to get a yummy cake)? Will you be feeding the 5,000 (guests)? If so, the size of the cake is vital.
- – Would you like the cake at your wedding to match the colour scheme? If so you should consider the colour of the icing and the colour of the cake decorations.
- – Wedding Cake Flavour. Traditionally, the cake’s filling is fruit. If however you are a chocoholic you may well consider a chocolate filling. There are plenty of other fantastic flavours available these days too, from sponge to cream cheese!
- – Wedding Cake Decorations – Today there are hundreds of combinations of cake decorations available. From ribbons to flowers, from wedding cake toppers to candles.
Allergies. Remember to find out whether any of your guests have food allergies such as gluten intolerance or nut allergies. To avoid this problem ask the wedding cake supplier to make a gluten or nut free tier of the cake.
Wedding Cake Sizes
Your imagination and budget is the limit when it comes to sizes of wedding cakes. Everyone wants a large and beautiful cake, but you also don’t want too much cake leftover after the wedding reception. Your baker will help you to decide on the proper size of cake for the number of guests you are expecting. Cakes are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and many bakers have been doubling as artists in recent years.
Themed weddings have seen various shapes and sizes from cakes that look like a pile of wedding gifts to replicas of Disneyland. Just remember, the more elaborate and time consuming it will be to make your cake, the more expensive it will be. If you are flipping through bridal magazines and see one that you like, feel free to take it to your baker and get an estimate on the cost of the cake.
small wedding, BIG CAKE
If you are having a small wedding, but you want the cake to appear large consider setting the tiers on individual pillars. This will give the cake height and you won’t be stuck with a large amount of leftover cake. Another option is to have a two or three tier cake and add additional tiers with decorated cardboard circles. Many bakeries are doing this for couples that want the look of a big wedding cake, but don’t need the extra cake. When they are done with the cardboard “tiers” your guests will never know that they are cardboard.
More Servings, Less Tiers
If you want more servings without adding additional tiers, you can simply add a larger base tier. Traditional tier sizes are 14, 10 and 6 inches. Have the baker make the tiers larger at 16, 12 and 8 inches. You can also use satellite cakes. These are smaller cakes that sit by the main cake and they are very easy to serve. They could also serve as centrepieces on tables as well. If you have found just the right cake, but you are afraid that you will still need more servings, have the baker make a sheet cake that will be kept in the reception hall kitchen. The cake can be made of the same cake flavour and icing design. This is also a very economical option and very easy to serve.
If you need fewer servings, you can usually subtract the base tier. You can also have the other tier sizes reduced. If you planned on having satellite cakes, you can also have them made smaller as well.
As a general guideline, the cakes that are oval can run 7 ¾” x 5 3/8”, 10 ¾” x 7 7/8”, 13 ½” x 9 7/8” or 16 ½” x 12 3/8”. These sizes serve 13, 26, 45 and 70 respectively. Round cakes can be 6”, 8”, 9”, 10”, 12”, 14” and 16”. These serve 12, 24, 32, 38, 56, 78 and 100 servings respectively. Square cakes may be 6”, 8”, 10”, 12”, 14”, 16” and 18”. These sizes feed 18, 32, 50, 72, 98, 128 and 162 guests respectively.
Wedding Cake Flavours
As the designs and styles of wedding cakes change into icing and cake creations rather than simple tiered cakes, the flavours are also changing. It was once believed that the wedding cake should be white cake with white buttercream icing, but this has changed over the past few years and more cakes are being made in a variety of flavours and with a variety of different colors of icing.
In order to maximize flavour options at the wedding reception, many brides and grooms have opted for multiple cakes instead of one very large cake. These small cakes may serve as centerpieces for different tables at the wedding reception and may be made in different flavours, shapes, cake sizes and decorations. This allows guests the opportunity to go about the room and try the different flavours of cakes that the bride and groom have picked out. This is also a great way to bring together two families and two sets of friends as they mingle for different flavours of cakes.
White cake is a popular choice to this day and it is very traditional, but for those brides and grooms that enjoy being a little bit different from the rest there are a variety of flavours to choose from. Cheesecake has even become a popular choice for smaller weddings. Other varieties of cakes include meringues, baked Alaska, fruitcakes, chocolate cake, pound cake, angel food cake and even mousse cakes. If you really want to be different try out some of the following flavours before you decide on a traditional white or chocolate cake.
This is excellent if you are having an autumn wedding. The carrot cake has a bit of spice to it and is always moist. These cakes are often based on oil instead of butter and the cake can be prepared a few days in advance. If you don’t like raisins, feel free to leave them out – it is your wedding after all. You can also choose to put pecans or walnuts in place of the raisins. Decoration ideas include white icing with pecans on the sides as well as cute floral arrangements of sunflowers and roses.
This is another great idea for an autumn wedding or winter wedding around the holidays. Consider decorating the cake with cranberry and greenery. The cake has a sort of rustic feel and the suggested icing is a cranberry buttercream.
This cake is a chocolate cake with a raspberry filling. Your guests will be astonished when the cake is cut and they see a beautiful ribbon of raspberry filling throughout the cake. The icing is a chocolate buttercream and the cake is decorated with chocolate curls and your choice of floral arrangements.
White Cake with Lemon Curd, Blackberry Curd and Pressed Flours
This cake is a very beautiful cake when completed. Even the slices are beautiful with ribbons of purple and yellow. The icing is white with purple accents along the edges of the tiers. Pressed and crystallized flowers of Pansies and Johnny-Jump-Ups complete the picture.
Wedding Cake Toppers & Monograms: Top Tips & Unique & Unusual Ideas
A wedding cake topper is simply a figurine (traditionally a bride and groom), that is placed on top of the wedding cake.
A cake is not complete without some type of topper. Brides have a wide assortment of toppers to choose from and new designs are appearing every year. Your wedding cake topper can be as creative or as simple as you want. If you are all about tradition then you can’t go wrong with a traditional bride and groom, but if you are looking to add some class to your cake you have many options to choose from.
Monograms are incredibly popular for wedding cakes these days. If you are having a spring or summer wedding, consider having your bakery make up a sugar monogram design and incorporate little sugar rosettes or vines as decoration. The monogram can be a single initial for the new last name that you share or they can incorporate both first initials and the last initial. There are also monogram-wedding toppers that are encrusted with crystals for an elegant wedding cake look.
Clay Cake Toppers
If you are looking for a way to personalize your cake topper, consider clay cake toppers. These can be personalized with you and your new hubby. They can even include your dogs, cats or other pets that are going to be joined in matrimony as well. Many couples will choose to have their pets portrayed as the cake topper instead of them. If you are considering this you will want to ensure that the rest of your cake design is casual enough. It is not recommended that you go ultra traditional and then place two little clay pugs on top of the cake, although they are sure to be adorable.
Floral / Flower Arrangement Toppers
If you are a classic bride then you may want to consider the new and beautiful floral arrangements that are being used on wedding cakes. Many brides are having arrangements of fresh flowers used as cake toppers while others are using the artistic abilities of their baker and having sugar floral arrangements designed. Not only are the arrangements beautiful cake toppers but they are edible as well.
Themed and Expensive Toppers
There are wedding cake toppers for every couple available. Form Cinderella and Prince Charming to glass creations, wedding bells, swans, butterflies and even beach themed toppers with the bride and groom relaxing on their honeymoon in Hawaiian shirts.
Wedding cake toppers come in a variety of materials. Some of the more expensive toppers are those that are custom made from clay. The majority of the monogram cake toppers are available in steel and can be encrusted in Swavorski crystals or gold-plaited. These toppers may also be expensive as well. Glass and porcelain toppers are rather affordable and of course there are plastic wedding cake toppers as well. Don’t forget the fresh flowers and inquire what type of topper your bakery can design as well. It’s your wedding and there are a variety of wedding cake toppers available to suit your style and wedding theme.
Wedding Cake Colours
Traditionally the wedding cake colour has always been white or shades of whites. Today couples are eager to be creative and to allow their cakes to express their own personal style or personality. In many instances cakes are even designed around a couple’s favourite pastime or hobby. Some cakes are simply creative expressions from the couple’s imagination. Because of this you are going to see a variety of colours on a variety of different cakes.
Many couples will choose a their favourite colour out of the wedding colour palette. If the colour is very bold they may use a pastel version of it on their wedding cake or they may go all and be incredibly bold and use that colour as the basis of their wedding cake. There are several beautiful colour palettes that not only look beautiful on cakes but the bride as well.
Pink is making a strong comeback and many brides are leaning towards pink in one way or another and with pink ties available, well the guys aren’t exempt from wearing it either. Pink and gold was a huge favourite in the 40s and 50s and as more brides are looking for that classic look they are finding that pink is a perfect colour to incorporate. There are several different shades of pink to choose from including shell pinks that are subtler to cotton-candy pinks that are bright and lively. The wedding cake colour can incorporate pink as well. A light shade of pink can make a beautiful base colour for a cake and can be paired with whites, ivories and other pastels.
Monochromatic weddings are all the rage in the past few years. Find that one special colour like a nice shade of green or blue and design your wedding around them. For spring weddings a beautiful pastel green has become very popular. Consider matching your wedding cake colour to the colour of the lightest greenery used in your floral arrangements. This green will complement any additional colours that you use on the cake and make them stand out even brighter.
If you are the diva bride of the year, you are going to want the diva cake of the year. Consider a bright white cake with bright red rose floral arrangements. The wedding cake colour may seem plain but the bright red roses will stand out even brighter. If you are a chocoholic diva bride then don’t be afraid to go with a brown chocolate icing and incorporate bright flowers to give it some life. You could even go with a bright red icing if you are brave enough. Red is extra romantic and makes a great winter wedding cake as well.
Yellow just screams summer and brides love it for spring and summer weddings. You can have a beautiful yellow icing cake with splashes of purples, blues, pink and white in rosettes around the base of each tier. Use a few daisies, sunflowers, daffodils, or tulips for the ultimate spring design.
Wedding Cake Icings
There are a variety of different wedding cake icings and your baker may use them so haphazardly, you may not know what they are talking about. If you don’t know the difference between fondant and marzipan, don’t fear we will help you with your wedding cake icing woes.
Buttercream is by far one of the most popular types of icings and not just for wedding cakes but also for cakes of all different celebrations. Buttercream is the best value when it comes to price per slice. The texture is smooth and creamy and not overly sweet. It is soft and easy to cut and perfect for different cake decorations such as a basket weave, swirls, fleur-de-lis, rosettes and swags. Genuine buttercream is made with real butter, so cakes iced with buttercream may need to be kept in a cool place. Heat and humidity will cause the decorations to run and drip. Let your baker know if the cake will be displayed outside or under lights and they should be able to use shortening instead of butter to prevent this from happening. If your cake will be inside, you should be okay during the reception.
Whipped cream can add a beautiful texture to your cake. The icing is light and soft but is also highly affected by heat and humidity. If you are going to use a whipped cream cake, you may want to consider keeping the cake refrigerated just before the cake is to be served. Roll the cake out on a decorated tray and allow the cake to have its own grand entrance to the reception. Bakers may also use stabilizers in the whipped cream so that the cake can be on display during the reception. You should definitely discuss this with your baker.
Fondant is extremely popular on wedding cakes because it is so versatile. The icing is a combination of sugar, corn syrup, gelatine and glycerine. It is rolled out in sheets and wrapped around each tier of the cake. These give a beautiful clean finish and smooth texture to the cake. You can also get very creative with fondant and create a variety of shapes that will stay firm and be edible. It can be coloured for a shimmer look or a clean matte finish. This is by far the most versatile icing. It also serves as an excellent base for flowers and piped decorations. These cakes cannot be refrigerated, however, so you will need to discuss this with your baker, especially if you want a fruit filling.
Royal icing is soft when piped onto the cake and then it dries to a hard finish. This is the icing that is used to create beading, latticework, flowers and other creations that need to remain firm. This icing is used for decoration and not to ice the whole cake.
Marzipan, Spun Sugar and Pastillage
Finishing touches on a cake can be created with all of these decorative icings. Spun sugar is caramelized sugar that is pulled into strands and formed into bows and other shapes. This icing may melt, so it needs to be kept inside an air-conditioned room. Pastillage is a paste made of sugar, cornstarch and gelatine. This is excellent for realistic looking flowers and decorations and dries into a porcelain-like finish. Marzipan is also a paste. It is made of ground almonds, sugar and egg whites. This can also be rolled into sheets and moulded into flours and other shapes and then painted with food colouring.
Chocoholics Unite! Chocolate Wedding Cakes
Chocolate wedding cakes are quickly becoming a new tradition. Many couples are tired of the plain white wedding cake that is found at the wide majority of weddings. Chocolate flavoured wedding cakes are so popular that there are a large variety of options that are available to brides and grooms to be. From a mahogany cheesecake to a tiered devil’s food cake there are numerous options available.
Your wedding cake doesn’t have to blatantly chocolate. In fact, trick the guests a bit by having a white cake with a white chocolate fondant. Your guests will be in chocolate heaven! Or, you could even do a layered devil’s food cake with layers of Italian meringue on the inside and swirls of meringue on the outside. You get the traditional look of a white wedding cake with the great flavour of the chocolate. Top it off with a semisweet chocolate sauce.
Chocolate Marble Cake
Marble cakes are absolutely delicious, so why not incorporate the beautiful design of chocolate marble on the outside of the cake as well. A beautiful marble cake could be made of five layers alternating white-chocolate fondant and chocolate marble on the layers. The white layers are topped off with a deep brown ribbon and bow.
If you plan on having a large number of guests but don’t know if your checkbook can handle it consider a tower of chocolate and white cupcakes. Cupcake tower cakes are becoming increasingly popular and they are much cheaper than a tiered cake. Not only are they easy to make for the bakery but they are easy to transport as well. Spruce up the design with a silver cupcake tray and a beautiful floral arrangement. Satellite cakes are also an excellent option. You can have them decorated similarly but have a chocolate tier, a white tier, strawberry tier or whatever other flavour you want.
Just because you want a chocolate cake doesn’t mean you have to lose any creativity when it comes to the icing. Fondant is incredibly versatile and can be made into a wide variety of designs. Don’t be afraid to use coloured fondant such as yellows, blues, pinks, and even white. Bakeries are able to get very creative with fondant and create just about anything that you can think up. Some cakes don’t even look like cakes at all, but rather beautiful wrapped gifts or flora arrangement, all of which are edible. Hide a rich chocolate cake beneath these decorations and you will have the most memorable cake design for your guests.
Cheesecake Wedding Cakes
When you think of cheesecake, you probably think of the traditional round cheesecake with small slices. Cheesecake can, however, be much more complicated and used in a traditional wedding cake design as well.
If you are looking for something unique, consider a traditional tiered cake with chocolate flowers, chocolate wrapped presents or other elegant wedding cake decorations. All the wedding cake designs you thought would be impossible with cheesecake have been done. You can even have a variety of your favourite cheesecake flavours incorporated as well from white chocolate ganache to chocolate cream cheese butter cream.
If you are afraid that not all of your guests will enjoy a cheesecake, then you can also consider having a cheesecake for your Groom’s cake or bridal shower. These can also be created in unique designs such as footballs, boxes of cigars and other manly items. For your bridal shower, consider a cake that looks like the latest Gucci handbag or a pearl studded miniature version of your wedding cake.
As gifts for your bridal party, you can have miniature cheesecake bites decorated into small little gifts and wrapped in their own individual boxes. Who wouldn’t love a little bite of cheesecake wrapped up as a gift?
Taste the Difference – Endless Flavours to Choose From!
Not sure which flavour to go for? Here are a few suggestions for the bride that wants to stay from the traditional white wedding cake and buttercream icing:
- Vanilla with lemon and orange zest
- Vanilla with caramel pecan swirl
- Vanilla with a Heath crunch swirl
- Bourbon vanilla with a macadamia nut crust
- Vanilla with a Butterfinger swirl
- Vanilla with toasted coconut and mango swirl
- White chocolate with a lemon swirl
- White chocolate with raspberry swirl
- White chocolate with chocolate chips
- White chocolate and Irish cream
- Triple chocolate with bittersweet, milk and white chocolate
- Mocha, coffee and vanilla
- Vanilla and milk chocolate
- White chocolate with Heath crunch chocolate buttercream
- Chocolate decadence with chocolate ganache and raspberry
The flavour combinations are endless. There is also a variety of crusts available including:
- Macadamia nut
- Butter cookie
- Praline cookie
Your possibilities are endless and if you are looking to be more creative and less traditional, a cheesecake wedding cake may be the way to go. Many are decorated with the typical wedding cake icings such as fondant and royal icing. They can be created in many unique styles that your traditional wedding cakes have been decorated in. Your cheesecake wedding cake will definitely be unique and something that your guests will remember for years to come as well as a delightful finish to your big day.
Ideas for a Unique Wedding Cake
Did you and your love fall for each other somewhere special? Did you do any travelling together before deciding to get hitched? Do you both love something very dearly and want it to be portrayed at the wedding? These are all thoughts to consider when deciding on a unique idea for a novelty wedding cake.
Wedding cakes are taking on new looks and bright colours these days. Inspiration for your wedding cake can come from anywhere and they are coming from everywhere. If you have a favourite colour, flower, animal or just about any other favourite thing, chances are someone has designed a wedding cake to incorporate your favourite themes. Here are a few ideas for your unique wedding cake:
Picture a beautiful white, three-tiered fondant frosted cake with little sugar daisies all over it. This cake design is excellent for an outdoor wedding in the spring or an indoor wedding that incorporates a lot of beautiful pastels. The little yellow daisies are sure to be noticed at your reception and the compliments you receive will be numerous.
Do you and your spouse to be love wine or the Tuscan countryside? This four-tiered cake is frosted with buttercream and each tier is lined with golden beads. Each tier also features grapevine leaves carefully crafted out of golden chocolate. Small little bundles of caramel-covered grapes adorn each tier and the top features a large bunch of grapes. Caramel tendrils complete this Tuscan cake.
Have you ever dreamed of having a cake with a China pattern of its own? Wedding cakes with a nineteenth century English pottery design features intricate scenes and bordering patterns. Each detail is repeatedly piped in chocolate all over a beautiful fondant icing. Wedgwood style cakes are absolutely beautiful featuring the baby blue of Wedgwood and stylish fern leaves adorn the sides of the cake with white beading and piped royal icing.
A cake that emulates an aspect of the bride’s wedding gown is sure to impress your guests. As gowns are moving towards incorporating bits of colour and accents of colourful flowers or embroidery, they are offering great inspiration on cake design as well. Cakes lined in beautiful ribbon bands and formed sugar ribbons are very popular. Consider using a shimmering colour from your dress or even your bridesmaid’s dresses. Scrollwork on the cake that matches the embroidery on your dress is also a very beautiful accent to a wedding cake.
White on White
Don’t underestimate the beauty of white. It may sound so simple, but it can add elegance to even the most casual wedding and not stick out like a sore thumb. There are many options when it comes to choosing a white as there are many variations of this simple colour. Once you have the size and shape down, you can then enhance the white with appliqués of the same colour, dogwood gum-paste petals, Meringue flowers in different shades of white, bits of freshly shaved coconut or blow sugar bubbles. You will be amazed at what you can do with white.
Personalise Your Wedding Cake
Your wedding. It’s your big day and it’s your time to shine. All eyes are on you and you want everything to be absolutely perfect. To make your wedding cake as memorable as your wedding itself, you can consider adding a little personal touch to the cake design and presentation.
Many bakeries are able to send photos off to be printed on sugar. These photos can be used as your wedding topper or you can incorporate pictures of yourself and your groom on the top tier, the second tier can have a photo of the bride’s parents and the base tier can feature a photo of the groom’s parents. This will bring the whole family together and will be very thoughtful of you on your wedding day.
Instead of one huge cake, many couples have found that smaller cakes in a variety of designs and flavours are excellent centrepieces and each can be decorated and personalised. The bride can have a personalised cake in her choice of flavour and design, the groom can have his own and then they can have a third cake that incorporates the designs of both cakes. You can also do a cutting of each cake and say hello to the friends and family at that table and take a quick group photo. Then all of the guests can mingle and try the different cake flavours.
Fresh flowers have become increasingly popular over the past few years. Cakes are being dressed in flowers that match the wedding bouquets and arrangements with fresh flowers or flowers made of sugar. Consider edible flowers for a real treat.
Remember that you don’t have to go with a white or yellow cake. It is your day and if you are a chocoholic, by all means go for chocolate! You can also consider marble cakes, pound cakes, ice-cream cakes, mousse cakes, angel food cakes and even coffee cakes.
The dessert table is an excellent option if you are serving a very rich cake. Offer a spread of cookies, fruit, yogurt, ice cream, chocolates and dessert cheeses. This is also good for your guests who might be watching their figure or prefer something not so rich.
Go for colour! Your cake doesn’t have to be white! Some of the most beautiful cakes are made of pale yellows or robin egg blue. Choose a colour in your dress that is subtle and add it to your cake. Or if you want to be extravagant, go all out for the red cake.
Wedding Cake Toppers
A very memorable touch to a wedding cake is featuring your new monogram. This is an excellent way to get you used to seeing your initials together and you can display them to your new family with pride on your cake. Consider having it weaved into an intricate china pattern or other design. You can even have them made out of chocolate and placed as a cake topper.
Do you both love to travel? Play sports? Love your pets? Cute little personalised cake toppers can bring together a couple with the things you love. If your wedding is somewhat casual, you can have a bride and groom figurine wearing vacation clothes or perhaps your dog and cat.
Your ideas are endless when it comes to personalizing your wedding cake. Take a moment to think it through and discuss it with your significant other. When you are ready to go to the baker, be sure to bring any photos or drawings that you may have for the baker to work off of.
Seasonal Wedding Cakes
No matter what season your wedding is going to be in, there are many options available. Bakeries have become artists in the realm of cake decorating and they are offering a wide assortment of designs. They are very creative people and can design just about any idea that you may have. So, whether your wedding is in the middle of December or July you will find a wedding cake design that will suit your season.
Winter weddings are becoming more popular as the winter is typically a time of giving and sharing with family and friends. A winter wedding is an excellent way to get your friends and family together for a joyous occasion. If you are having a winter wedding get creative and incorporate the various aspects of winter into your wedding. Cakes have been made in the form of a beautiful white ski slope with white pine trees and a snowboarding bride and groom figurine on top. Pinecones glistening in gold accents make beautiful decorations for a winter cake. Incorporated with a few sugar pine needles and you have a beautiful winter cake. If you like the traditional white on white wedding cake consider sprucing up the sugar snowflakes and silver sparkles. Winter cakes are very festive and your guests will be awed by your winter design.
Autumn is season of reds, oranges, yellows and browns. Together these colours spell fall. If you are having an autumn wedding get creative with these fall colours. Consider a carrot cake or pumpkin spice cake with a white chocolate icing. Decorate a tiered cake with fondant fruit such as apples and pears. You can even incorporate festive pumpkins in your design. Incorporate the pumpkins in the wedding by turning them into beautiful autumn pumpkin flour arrangements.
Spring is a time for beautiful pastel colours and flowers. Pick your favourite colours and incorporate them in their pastel hues for a truly beautiful spring cake. Consider cute daisies on a background of light green with royal icing beading. Or, perhaps you would like a cupcake tower with beautiful light pink roses on every cupcake. Incorporate a beautiful silver tray for display and a variety of greenery to make the cupcakes their own floral arrangement. Not only is this a cute design but very affordable as well.
In the summer, brides and grooms can do whatever they want. However, it is advised that you stay away from whipped cream and buttercream icings unless the reception is held in a refrigerated hall. These icings tend to melt very easily. Consider beautiful floral arrangements and creative colours on your cake. Chocolate dipped strawberries are also very popular and extra refreshing on a hot summer day or night.
The Classic Bride’s Wedding Cake
The classic bride is all about traditional bridal style. The buttons on her wedding gloves are covered and she has a luxurious stock of monogrammed thank you notes ready to go out as soon as they open their gifts. The classic bride is all about simple elegance. If this is you, then you can emulate that classic bridal style on your classic wedding cake.
The classic bride’s wedding cake should reflect a balance between girlish charm and adult elegance. You envision a cake of snowy white or cream ivory elegance. The cake may feature swags of sugar paste that match the aisle runners for your ceremony or be topped with fresh petals of white roses. One thing is for sure – this cake will be impeccable and perfect down to the piped beading of royal icing.
Flowers Petals on the Cake
Consider a beautiful white on white cake with frothy white icing and piles of beautiful rosebuds and petals. Create a romantic look around the cake by scattering white and pink rose petals over an organza tablecloth. Consider a beautiful silver plated cake stand to add to the elegance of your cake’s display.
Crown this beautiful cake with an elegant tower of ivory and white garden roses. Drape the cake tiers with fondant swags embellished with ivory rosettes and a hint of gold. Scatter blooms and blossoms all around the cake’s base to give the perfect picture-worthy display your classic wedding cake deserves. Other classic accents include edgings done in white satin, delicate and tiny crystals, small silk blossoms, pearl beading and anything else that is white and shimmering.
Consider using a pinkish white icing with appliqués or even a unique China pattern. Highlight the cake with tiny tea lights and candles. The flowers that will adorn your cake will also be classic and romantic. Picture a tightly packed bouquet of champagne roses and light greens as a cake topper. Carry the theme throughout the cake by placing small bouquets between pillared tiers. Incorporate these same flowers in your bridal bouquet.
If you need a little more colour, try a neutral colour pallet that features orange calla lilies and caramel satin ribbon. You may find that you also love the elegant beauty of simple gardenias and you can also incorporate this classic flower throughout your wedding cake design.
The classic bride typically combines a monochromatic pallet of classic and elegant. Colours of champagnes, blushes, creams, light pinks and whites will be beautiful when accented with light greens from the stems of these flowers. These colours are timeless and you will feel like a classic celebrity on your special day.
When you are thinking of the classic bride consider these other classic brides such as Jacquelyn Onassis, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, and imagine what they would choose when personalizing the classic bride’s wedding cake. This is a bridal style that endures all trends and will always be popular. Your wedding cake design will also be a style that endures all trends and the cake will be one that is remembered for years to come.
The Romantic Bride’s Wedding Cake
The romantic bride is soft and elegant. She loves being in love and her wedding cake will show this. She is sentimental and will love designing a wedding cake that shows her soul and feelings towards her new groom.
The romantic bride wants a wedding that is traditional and simple. She does, however, want the big dreamy cake with a little elegant bride and groom topping it or perhaps their new monogram, which they will share for the rest of their lives. She loves pastels and light colours.
When you think of the perfect wedding cake for the romantic bride, think of light lemon chiffon or perhaps a creamy and decadent cheesecake. Imagine an ivory fondant tiered cake with layers of sugar bouquets and fresh roses. Imagine each layer lined with pearlised ribbons and candy butterflies.
A Little Colour
Don’t be afraid to have a little colour. Depending on your wedding’s colour pallet, you should consider light hues of your favourite colours. Perhaps a light Wedgwood blue with romantic little yellow daisies along each tier.
Imagine a square four-tiered cake with big sugar ribbons that compliment the colours of your flowers or a colour in your dress. Perhaps you would like a white cake with elegant appliqués or fleur-de-lis adorning the sides.
Or, a heart shaped tiered cake with white beading along the tiers and elegant white roses in abundance as if they are falling of each tier of the cake. On top, there is a bunch of white roses piled on top of the tiny heart tier you will save for your first anniversary. The ideas are endless for the romantic bride.
Maybe you have a grandmother that had a beautiful garden and you loved the flowers that grew there. Consider incorporating the different flowers, either fresh or made from sugar, on a three tiered round cake. Around each tier’s base have a beautiful gold ribbon and little icing bouquets that spring from each layer. On top, feature a large bouquet of the same flowers and have them look as though they are growing right out of the top layer.
The romantic bride will want to incorporate family heirlooms on her wedding cake table. Use the serving set that your mother or grandmother used to cut the cake. Use an heirloom tablecloth that belonged to an aunt or great grandmother. Have little photos of you and your new groom reprinted in black and white or sepia. Frame these photos and place them about the cake. You may even want to use the old wedding photos of both sets of parents as well. Amongst the photos and mementos, have strands of ribbon or ivy and organza fill the rest of the table.
The romantic bride will want her cake on display throughout the wedding, so go with an icing that does not require refrigeration. Stay away from the whipped creams, as it will melt and may cause your decorations to run or fall off the cake. Consider a fondant icing with clean lines and royal icing for your decorations. Marzipan is also excellent for your sugar flowers and leaves on your cake.
The romantic bride has many options and ideas and she should follow her heart on her cake’s decorations.
The Natural Bride’s Wedding Cake
The natural bride can have a lot of fun with her wedding cake design. The options you have available to you will allow you to incorporate your favourite natural features and floral arrangements. The natural bride is inspired by nature. She loves both the perfection and the imperfections of the great outdoors. She loves the idea of natural colours, shapes, textures, fruit and flowers.
The world is ever changing and you can incorporate both the rustic and elegant features of nature in your cake. Your wedding cake should be a balance of you. Blend the impeccable flavours and designs that you love about nature and your options are endless. Consider taking cues from where you will hold your ceremony. Will it be woodsy, or a field of green grass and beautiful daisies? Will it be your pristine backyard with a water feature and an elegant garden? Wherever you’re wedding, you are sure to find many natural ideas at your location.
If you have opted for an autumn wedding, consider a carrot cake or pumpkin spice cake. Decorate with a cream fondant icing and have your baker create little sugar pumpkins, pears and little marzipan leaves. Decorate the sides with pecans, almonds or walnuts. Don’t be afraid to add some floral embellishes as well. Cranberries, light green ivory, orange roses and lavender flowers will make the cake an absolutely natural beauty.
If you are having a spring wedding, consider a cake with a delicious buttercream icing and layers of lemon and blackberry curd. The icing is white with lavender accents on the edges and beautiful little pressed pansies and Johnny-Jump-Ups. Sugar flowers would also be a delightful addition to this fresh design.
A luncheon wedding outdoors also has numerous ideas as well. Imagine a white basket weave three-tiered cake with wild strawberries, ripe blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cherries. This cake is a summer delight. If you want to add a little chocolate, have the fruit dipped and arrange on each tier of the cake.
To display your cake outdoors, you have a few options. Highlight the cake on the buffet table. Have the buffet table covered with a light organza tent or mosquito netting to keep anything from above falling on the food an onto the cake. Next, have your caterer carve melons as they would a jack-o-lantern and place them on the buffet table as decorations or on tables as centrepieces. Small little bunches of flowers can surround your cake and make it the spotlight of the table.
For a winter wedding, pinecones and holly can be a beautiful addition to your cake. Have a winter white cake with appliqué snowflakes adorning the side. Have the topper be made of pinecones and holly with cranberries as accents. Little bunches of berries and marzipan holly leaves can adorn each layer of the cake.
All of these ideas are excellent for a seasonal or outdoor wedding. Be sure to discuss with your baker any refrigeration issues your cake might require and have them use any stabilizers that may be necessary depending on the temperature and the season. These are excellent natural cake ideas for an au natural girl.
The Diva Bride’s Wedding Cake
On the day of your wedding you want your wedding cake to say, “Look at me” just as you want every one to look at you. You only plan to get married once and you are going to do things your way and the right way. Your cake will incorporate these aspects of you – these aspects that everybody loves you for.
A Cake that Stands Out
Imagine this – a decadent chocolate icing cake with amazing red sugar roses that are leafed in gold. Or perhaps, you like the idea of a white fondant cake that is bursting with a strawberry fruit filling and strawberry red roses. You want a tall cake with six tiers. One that the caterer is going to need a ladder to cut. You want a cake that stands out as much as you and is also the life of the party. From the top you will have a beautiful topper with red ribbons cascading to the table and what is even better than this? The ribbons are edible, as are the roses because they are all made from sugar.
Because you are the ultimate diva bride, you are going to have a lot of options when it comes to colours. Anything that is glam will go for you. If there is any colour in your dress, you should definitely pull from that colour pallet for your wedding cake colours. You don’t have to have a completely red icing cake, but don’t be afraid to use the red roses, or other bright contrasting colours. These colours are sure to be noticed at your reception.
Consider black magic roses that you pair with chocolate roses. These will definitely stand out against your dramatic white wedding gown. If roses aren’t your thing, or they are too expensive for your budget, don’t underestimate the beauty of red tulip, exotic greens and ivies.
Your Wedding Cake in the Spotlight
If you really want your cake to get as much attention as you, consider giving the cake its own grand entrance. Have a rolling cart decorated with organza and thousands of petals. Have your serving set elegantly decorated with ribbons and you may possibly want to have tiny tea candles surround the cake, your serving set and your champagne glasses to add drama to the moment. Have the lights dimmed and allow the candles to show the elegant and dramatic beauty of you and your cake.
Another beautiful option is to have sugar blown bubbles that stick to the sides of the cake and adorn the edges of each tier with a large number of bubbles piled around the base of the cake. Mix with a few petals of your favourite flowers and candles – you will have a spectacular diva wedding cake design.
Never forget – this is your day! Do what you want!
How to Transport Your Cake
Travelling with your cake may seem daunting, but it is possible to transport the cake just a few miles or a thousand miles. There are a few basic guidelines that you or your baker should follow when transporting your wedding cake.
The Cake Base
First of all, you will want to be certain that the cake is constructed on a sturdy base. The board should be made of three or more thicknesses of cardboard. If the base is very heavy, then the cake should be placed on fibreboard or plywood that is ½ inches thick.
Secondly, if the cake is to be on pillars, it should be transported unassembled. A cake will not do well with turns if it assembled on pillars and then transported. Toppers, candles and other decorations should also separate from the cake.
If the cake is stacked, then the assembled cake will be transported. If the cake has more than three tiers, you may need to transport additional tiers separately. You will need the necessary decorations and icings to finish off the decorating needed after you assemble it at the reception hall.
If the cake is a combination of both assembled tiers and pillared tiers, you can transport the stacked tiers together and then transport the other tiers individually. This will protect the tiers from damage and keep them clean. You will want to be sure that you have a non-slip surface in the vehicle the cake will be travelling in. This will prevent shifting. The bottoms should also be completely flat. Never sit a cake in on the backseat of your car. Don’t transport boxed cakes in the trunk of a car in hot weather, because the icing will melt. They will need to be in the air conditioning.
When you arrive at the reception area, it is best if you can use a rolling cart to move the cake from your car to the reception hall. Construct the cake on the table where the cake will be situated during the reception. This will prevent you from having to move the cake any more than necessary.
You will want to have a repair kit just in case something does happen to the icing. Bring extra icing, decorating bags, tips, flowers, spatulas and anything else you might need in an emergency.
There are several ways that you can store the cake while transporting. Small tiers may be stored in pans if they will not sit level. If there are several tiers that cannot be boxed due to decorations, etc. The tiers can be transported on large pieces of foam. The foam should be placed on the floor of the car and then the tiers should be centred on each piece.
Sturdy cake boxes can be used if they are the same size of the baseboard that the cake is sitting on. This will keep the cake from sliding in the box, which could cause crushing of the icing and decorations. If the cake is heaving you can use more than one box and tape them together. You can also reinforce the bottom with masking tape. If there are tall decorations, you can prop up the top and sides of the box and secure it with masking tape.
How to Display the Wedding Cake
The wedding cake is the centrepiece of the wedding reception. You will want your cake in place and setup before the reception begins. The cake table will be one of the most photographed spots at the reception, as your guests will want to remember your beautiful cake as much as you do.
The Cake Table
The cake table can be decorated in a variety of different ways. You will want to have a complementing tablecloth and some brides choose to use a tablecloth that was used in their mother’s wedding or another family heirloom. The cake may also be proudly displayed in the centre of a buffet table with beautiful floral arrangements or other decorations around it. If you have an heirloom serving set, this can make a beautiful display for your wedding.
If the cake will be on displayed throughout the reception, you will want to display the cake so that it will not disrupt the flow of movement at the reception. The cake should be placed in a manner that it will not be accidentally knocked down or fallen into. You may want to place lights around the cake that will keep it the focus of the reception. If the lights are too hot, however, it may cause the icing to melt. You also do not want to place the cake too close to the dance floor. This will put the cake in a hazardous place and may cause a wedding predicament.
Another option is to keep the cake out of view from your guests during the dinner. When it is time to cut the cake, the room can be dimmed, the crowd hushed and then the cake wheeled in as an event of its own. You may also want to display your serving set with beautiful ribbons and other decorations. Then all of your guests will gather around for pictures and the cake cutting.
Because the cake may be on display throughout a long reception, you will need to be sure that if the cake has a filling or special icing that it will be okay until it is time to cut the cake. Your bakery will be able to provide you tips on how to keep the cake fresh during the reception.
Wedding Cake Stands
When it comes to what your cake is sitting on, there are beautiful silver stands that will make your wedding cake sparkle and will add a very elegant touch to your wedding cake table. No matter what type of cake you have, it is great to have a nice stand rather than the cardboard that the cake is built and transported on. There are many wedding rental shops that provide these for rent so that you do not have to purchase the stand.
A unique cake design will also get a lot of attention. You have several options when it comes to decorating the display table, especially if you have a themed wedding. Place little mementos from vacations, celebrations, your engagement picture, etc. on the table to feature the moments that you have already shared together. You can also use other little decorations that accent the theme of your wedding and to help bring everything together.
How to Cut the Wedding Cake
Many people don’t realize this, but there is a special way to cut the cake. There is nothing worse than looking at a cake that has been completely butchered. There is also nothing worse than watching someone cut the cake from the bottom and watching the top tiers go crashing in the middle of the reception. Cutting the cake properly will prevent this from happening.
The Bride and Groom Make the First Cuts
Most weddings typically begin by the bride and groom making the first two cuts. To start, the bride will place her right hand on the handle of the knife. Then the groom puts his hand over hers. Begin cutting on the bottom tier of the cake with the point of the knife and then make two cuts. Remove the small slice and place on a plate. The bride and groom will then feed each other to symbolize that they are committed to share with and support each other.
If you are going to have someone in charge of cutting your cake, you will need to make sure they know how to cut the cake in advance. You will begin cutting the cake on the bottom tier. Do not cut far under the second tier or this will cause the cake to tumble later because it will be too top heavy. You will cut about two inches in from the outside of the cake and cut all the way around the layer.
After the bottom layer has been cut all the way around, you will begin working on the second layer. When the second layer has been cut all the way around, you will remove the top tier for the bride and groom to save later. The cutting continues in a circular manner until all of the cake has been cut and served.
The Caterer’s Cut
If you are having your reception at a reception hall with a caterer, you will not usually have to worry about whether or not your cake is being cut properly. You will need to let them know if you plan on keeping the top tier of the cake, otherwise they may serve it to your guests. If you don’t want to save the top tier, let them know and they will serve it.
A nice gesture for the bride and groom is for the bride to serve cake slices to each other’s parents. Do this before your caterer takes the cake away for serving. Tradition is that the bride serves the groom’s parents and the groom serves the bride’s parents.
The wedding cake serving set also makes a nice touch to your wedding. Many couples will have a set with their names engraved on the knife and cake server. After the wedding, you can save the set for your children or for use at anniversary parties, birthdays, etc. Wedding cake serving sets can also be made from a variety of materials including crystal, glass, silver or pewter. Most blades on knives are made from stainless steel. There are several options to choose from when you are shopping for your set.
Storing the Wedding Cake and Keeping it Fresh
A tradition followed by most newlyweds is to save the top tier of their wedding cake for their first anniversary. The cake may, however, turn sour or get frostbite if the cake is not stored properly. A stale cake will not let you remember your wedding day the way it was. Follow these steps to keep your cake fresh:
- Remove the decorations from the cake such as the flowers or the topper. Smaller decorations that are made of icing will be fine. If the cake is on unwrapped cake board, you will want to remove the cake and wrap the board in foil. Wrapping the board will prevent the cake from tasting like cardboard a year later. If the cake is on plastic, do not worry about wrapping the plate with foil.
- Next, place the cake in the freezer for about twenty minutes. This will allow the icing to become firm and not stick to the plastic wrap.
- After the cake has been freezing for twenty minutes, you will be ready wrap the cake. You will want to completely cover the cake with plastic wrap and make sure that it is airtight.
- Next, you will want to wrap with at least two layers of aluminum foil. The more protection you can give the cake, the less likely it is to taste like freezer burn the next year.
- You can also add to your cake’s protection by placing it in a storage container.
Defrosting the Cake
To defrost your cake for your anniversary, begin the process in your refrigerator. After two hours of defrosting in the refrigerator, remove the cake from the wrapping and allow it to defrost the rest of the way in the refrigerator. Just before you are going to serve the cake, allow the cake to rest at room temperature.
If you are unable to save the top tier of your cake, don’t worry. The bakery will be more than happy to bake a separate tier for your anniversary. These small cakes are not very expensive and you can even have the cake decorate similarly to your original wedding cake. Many couples opt for this option if they don’t have enough freezer space or they may be moving, traveling, etc.
Traditionally, many families would save the top tier of the cake for their first child’s christening as the events would take place close to each other, but as fewer couples were having children as soon as they got married it became unfeasible to save the top tier for several years. Thus, the tradition of serving the cake at the first anniversary was born.
If you are saving a groom’s cake or smaller cakes for eating as dessert after your big day and not necessarily for a special occasion, you will want to avoid refrigerating the cake. It should be refrigerated if the frostings and fillings are perishable, but otherwise it will only dry the cake out.
Cakes that have pieces of fresh fruit or are made from fruit such as bananas tend to mold quickly if left at room temperature. They should be refrigerated to keep them fresh and safe to eat.
How to Bake Your Own Wedding Cake
A homemade cake can be much more special for your big day, as well as make the bride very proud of her cake creation on her special day. The cake is a symbol of new love and what could be more loving than baking the wedding cake yourself.
When to Start Baking
Begin by deciding what the date is and when you will need to begin your baking. If you need to have your cake at the reception hall the night before your wedding, you will need to be sure and consider the time to transport and setup the cake at the reception hall as well. Typically you will want to get your ingredients about a week before baking the cake. Use this time to do a test run of your recipe, especially if you are doing something creative such as cream fillings. This will allow you to work out any kinks before you start baking a big cake. You will want to prepare your icings and other decorations about four days before the wedding and two days before you will want to bake the layers. One day before the wedding you will want to decorate the cake. If you are transporting the cake the day of the wedding, you may need to teach a friend how to decorate and assemble the cake while you are preparing for the wedding.
How many Wedding Guests?
Secondly, you will need to know how many guests to expect. Hopefully, your guests will be kind and send in their RSVP cards or call you to let you know they are coming. Be sure to include your photographers, clergy, musicians, etc. in your count, as they will all want a piece of cake too. You will also need to decide if you are going to save the top tier of your cake. Most bakeries do not consider the top tier as part of your servings, so you may want to do the same.
How formal will your reception be? You will want to design your cake around the formality of your reception and wedding. If the reception is going to be casual and outdoors, you may wish to have the cake reflect those aspects. If the event is formal, then you will want a very formal cake.
When you bake your own cake, you have a little more budget to work with. Your costs are typically lower than if you have a baker bake your cake. You may be able to have more extravagant decorations than you would have been able to have if the baker was decorating your cake.
The flavours of the cake will also need to be decided on. You have the option of being very unique when you are baking your own cake. If you have always dreamed about having a chocolate cake or perhaps using your mother’s special pumpkin cake recipe, then this is your opportunity. Allow your individuality to shine through on your cake. You may need to find out if anyone has any food allergies that would keep him or her from enjoying your cake.
Some other tips to follow:
- Always use fresh ingredients.
- Do a trial run of your cake recipe.
- Use unsalted butter.
- Make the batter for all of the layers at one time and bake separately if you need to.
- Use a skewer or knife to ensure that the cake layers are baked all the way through.
- Never ice a hot cake.
- If you are using whipped cream for icing, you will nee to keep the cake refrigerated.
- Ensure that you have strong and thick enough cardboard to support the weight of your cake.
How to Cut Costs on Wedding Cakes
The cost of the cake depends largely on the quantity that is required as well as the size and decorations on the cake. Some bakers are also more expensive than others, but you may also be paying for an excellent cake artist as well. Wedding cakes are an essential part of your wedding and there are methods that you can employ to make the cake a special cake and at an affordable price.
Bake your Own Wedding Cake
One method is to bake your own cake. If you are handy in the kitchen, you should be able to make a nice cake. Fondant icing is also a good option because you can roll it out and lay it over your cake tiers to give your cake a professional looking icing. If you are creative with icing all you will have to decorate is the edges of each tier. There are very cute decorations such as sugar beadings and floral arrangements that will cover the edges of the icing.
Another option that is becoming very popular is the cupcake tower. These are very unique and will be very cute at your wedding. They are also very easy to serve. Make the cupcakes look even more unique with a silver tiered serving tray. One very cute idea is to have the baker cut out little fondant hearts and stamp your initials on the hearts. The icing and hearts can be whatever colour you like. Cupcakes are often considerably less expensive than full size cakes with tiers and they are also very easy to transport and setup.
One great idea is to have the baker bake the cake, ice it and then you decorate it yourself. Visit craft shops for decorations and floral arrangements that are on sale. Take the floral arrangements apart and decorate the cake yourself.
If you want the look of an elaborate cake but want to go a cheaper route, you can have your baker design a cardboard or foam-core “cake” and decorate it in icing. You may have to pay for the materials, but it should be considerably less expensive than the cake will be. You can also have it made in advance. At the same time, order sheet cakes that will be served from the kitchen of your reception hall.
Some couples have decided against the traditional wedding cake and featured a dessert table instead. This table might have a small sheet cake with several other options such as cupcakes, cookies, pies, etc.
Other thoughts to keep in mind when you are preparing to make a decision on your cake are the following:
- Your budget and how formal the wedding is.
- Whether the reception site requires you to have them bake the cake in-house, or if you have to pay a fee to bring in an outside cake.
- Whether your meal includes dessert other than your cake. If your guests will have other options, you can go smaller on the size of the wedding cake.
Working with a Baker
You and your baker have a special relationship. You both know that the wedding cake is often the centre of attention at most wedding receptions and you should both do your best to ensure that you are on the same page in terms of ideas and design as well as timeframe and delivery. Often your caterer or reception site will be a good source of information for cakes and bakers and they may even offer the service of your wedding cake design. You can also use a local bakery or grocery store baker. If you have a friend or relative who is a baker, ask them to bake your cake instead of get you a gift – they might just take you up on the idea!
Begin by making appointments with different bakers and review their portfolios. Most bakers have photo albums full of pictures of cakes that they have designed. Not only do you want the cake to look good, but you want it to taste good as well. A good baker will have samples of cake, icings and fillings for you to try. Sample their work before making a decision. You may also want to visit several bakeries for tastings of their cake and then decide on the one you like the best.
What the Baker Needs from You…
After you have found the right baker, be prepared to provide the baker with what they need to know in order to serve you. This includes:
- The room décor, if you have pictures of the components you will be using provide copies to your baker.
- The ceiling height – This will determine how tall your cake can be if you are going to have multiple tiers.
- The general room temperature that the cake will be displayed in. This will help you and the baker determine if the cake will have to be refrigerated during the reception prior to serving. You will also need to let them know if the reception is outdoors as different icings may be required.
- The linen colours
- The wedding-party colours
- The floral scheme including flower types and colours
- The formality of your wedding
- The number of guests
- The names and phone numbers of the caterer, the florist, the wedding planner and the reception site manager.
- Very clear directions to the reception site
- The time the cake must be delivered and assembled by.
Be certain that if you are required to sign a contract, the contract spells out the arrangements exactly the way you want your cake including flavours, ingredients, decorations and the date and time of delivery. You should also ask if there are additional charges for pillars, cake stands, fountains and other decorations that are going to be used for the cake display. Some reception sites may also require that you pay a cake-cutting fee and you will need to be certain you know this fee beforehand.
Cake orders should be placed at least six to eight weeks before the reception. If you are using a popular baker during the popular wedding months, you may need to place your order several months in advance. If you are getting married on short notice, consult a bakery about your needs and many will be able to help you out.
Questions to Ask the Wedding Cake Supplier
So you know the type of wedding cake which you are looking for and you have made a shortlist of possible wedding cake suppliers in your area. When you come to interacting with the wedding cake supplier of your choice there are some questions you may like to ask.
Ask About Costs
Ask for a quote for the whole wedding cake service including the cake creation and delivery. Also ask about any hidden costs such as deposits for the rental of cake stands, toppers and any other wedding cake accessories. Make sure you know about any fines imposed for the late return of these accessories.
Ask To Taste
Ask the supplier if you can taste the wedding cake to make sure it meets your standards and requirements.
Ask For The Portfolio
Ask to see the portfolio of past wedding cakes. This will give you a better indication of the the supplier’s designs and styles.
Ask About Custom Designs
Does the wedding cake supplier allow you to specify an exact bespoke design of wedding cake to meet your needs? Ask whether they charge extra for this service.
Ask About Cake Preparation
Is the cake baked the day before? 2 days before? Or more? The wedding cake should be as fresh as possible.
Ask About Delivery
It is important to know how and when the supplier will deliver your wedding cake. Also, will they set-up the cake?
Ask For References
Does the wedding cake maker allow you to see references from past happy brides and grooms? Or are they trying to hide something?
Important Advice: Once you have settled on a wedding cake supplier make sure you put down the costs and all relevant details in writing and have the supplier sign it. This avoids confusion and seals the deal with the cake maker.