12 Days of Wedding Planning: The Wedding Cake
On the day you say “I do” to your sweetheart, it’s only right that you celebrate with something equally sweet, so let’s have our fill of wedding cake, shall we?
Make choosing your wedding cake one of the highlights of your wedding planning. Browse designs you’d like, talk about flavours, then indulge at the all-important cake tasting before you place your order! If it all sounds a little too tasty to be true, don’t worry. There is more to choosing your wedding cake, but we’re about to give you all the ingredients you need – you’ll be onto a winner in no time!
TIERS OF JOY
Traditional wedding cakes are often three tiers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have two, four, five or just the one (we’ve got some single tier show-stoppers to whet your appetite). The tiers should reflect the number of guests you would like to feed, as well as personal preference. This is another of the often overlooked hidden costs attached to a bigger guest list – expect to pay more not just for your venue hire and wedding breakfast themselves, but also for larger cakes, more table centres and additional bottles of wine too.
If your budget won’t stretch to the number of tiers you’d like, all is not lost. You could use an illusion bottom tier and then have a second tray bake or slab cake on hand to serve in the evening as well. Your cake will have all the visual impact but a much smaller price tag as a result.
Don’t forget that the tiers don’t all have to be cake layers as you know them. One tier on top of a tower of cupcakes or macarons will work just as well. You can also try stacking trendy donuts up to create your wedding cake, or copy this couple and go for a Jaffa Cake sensation! Those looking to splurge on a showstopper should surround their wedding cake with a decadent dessert table.
WHAT’S YOUR FLAVOUR?
Fruitcake may be traditional, but it’s by no means everyone’s favourite. When you’ve chosen your cake maker, ask for a tasting consultation so that you can try the different flavours on offer. Choose one to use throughout or go for something different on every tier, the choice is entirely yours. We would recommend thinking of your guests at least a little though, since your wedding cake will almost always be shared.
TO ICE OR NOT TO ICE
Unless you’re a keen baker, the wealth of different icing choices available to you may well have been a mystery until now. Naked, semi-naked and buttercream cakes are all increasing in popularity by the day, but there’s still a place for the more traditional fondant and royal icing decorations on cakes. You might even want to combine several. Think fondant sugar flowers atop a buttercream cake or delicate royal icing piping to add detail to a fondant covering. More flavour choices are possible with buttercream, but it is also more likely to melt in the warmer summer temperatures, so be sure to take this into account.
There are also alternative wedding cakes that forgo the standard forms of icing altogether. Croquembouche, the traditional French wedding cake made from a tower of profiteroles, will usually be decorated with ganache or caramel and spun sugar.
SAVOURY IS THE NEW SWEET
And if you don’t have a sweet tooth, don’t panic! You can still have a three-tier wedding cake. Turn to the scrumptious savouries that are cheese and pies for a wedding cake with the wow-factor. Even better, your tower of pies or cheese can double up as your evening buffet when accompanied by grapes, crackers and chutneys. And when you put it like that, it would be rude not to!
NEXT STEP? How to Decorate Your Reception! 12 Days Wedding Planning: RECEPTION DECOR