Everything you need to know about designing your dream Wedding Cake
Along with the first dance and bouquet toss, cutting the wedding cake is a special tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. A moment captured by all of your friends’ phones and cameras, making every wedding album extra special.
Of course, you want to make sure that the wedding cake will be perfect, whatever “perfect” means to you.
With millions of wedding cake images of inspiration on the internet, it can be quite overwhelming to decide on the perfect wedding cake.
MY BAKER put together “Our 7 W’s of picking your perfect wedding cake” - a guide that will help you to figure out what wedding cake you are looking for.
1. What’s your perfect wedding cake style?
When trying to find out the perfect style of your wedding cake, it is helpful to match it to the style of your wedding.
Are you having an ornate wedding?
One that takes place in an elegant hotel, with hundreds of guests holding champagne glasses in their hands. This style of wedding can be perfectly complemented with an elaborate multi-tiered fondant design. A more intimate wedding party in your backyard with your closest friends could best suit a semi-naked cake with fresh flowers.
There is often a debate on whether to have a buttercream cake or a fondant cake. Both styles include pros and cons, which WeddingWire has compared. If you cannot decide between fondant or buttercream, a naked or a semi-naked style is an ideal choice for you.
In case you have no clue what kinds of styles we are talking about, here you go:
Naked Wedding Cake
A simple yet stunning style with a rustic feel due to its exposed sponges. Even though there is no icing involved, you are not limited with decorating options. Seasonal berries and fruits, flowers and different coloured sponges make this kind of design unique.
This classic option offers plenty of design opportunities. The Knot has introduced 7 beautiful ideas ranging from piped rosettes to simple swiss dots. Considering that buttercream can be made in almost every flavour you can think of, it provides versatility and flexibility.
Semi Naked Cake
The go-to style if you cannot decide between a naked or a buttercream design. Semi naked cakes are trending more than ever as they stay moist and tasty, and work perfectly for those hot summer days. With their contemporary and rustic look, they create that special romantic feel.
Fondant enables you to sculpt anything you can think of - sugar flowers, bows, or figures of you and your better half as a couple on top of the cake. Bakers get the chance to become highly creative with it, which makes your cake unique and elaborate. Either in an elegant, funny or quirky way.
In order to help you figure out what your perfect style is, we put together a short and fun quiz that will find it out for you.
2. Which trends are out there?
You have probably been browsing through Pinterest, Instagram and hundreds of inspiring websites in order to find some ideas for your wedding cake. When it comes to design, the options are endless. We have gathered our favourite trends for 2019 that you can use as a starting point when deciding on the look of your cake.
This is a timeless trend. A classic cake adorned with handcrafted beautiful blooms, whether edible or real, will never go out of style.
The ideal choice if you’re set on a contemporary feel. Pick a simple design to decorate or add a dramatic note with a splash of colour.
Drip cakes have that wow factor that will have your guests lining up for an extra piece. Choose a metallic or chocolate ganache drip for only one of your tiers to create a more opulent outcome.
The ombré technique entails the application of subtle hues of your favourite colour throughout the cake, achieving a simple yet striking result.
3. What's your kind of flavour?
Deciding on the flavour can be quite a challenge as the cake will be eaten by lots of different people with lots of different tastes. In case you are stressed about the thought of pleasing a large crowd, it is often best to choose at least two flavours. Start thinking of your own favourite flavour - of course you should enjoy your wedding cake the most - and then try to come up with a contrasting alternative, for instance, Lemon with White Chocolate.
It may be worth thinking about if any of your guests have strict dietary requirements. Luckily, most of our bakers are able to make delicious cakes, from vegan, nut free to gluten-free. You could consider having one tier following the dietary requirement, however, you should not stress too much about it. Depending on the number of your guests, it is hardly possible to please everybody’s diet. An alternative would be to have an additional small selection of pastries following different dietary requirements so that everyone gets to enjoy a delicious dessert.
Another factor to consider is the season in which your wedding will take place. In the summertime, you could go for a light, fruity flavour, while during the colder days an autumnal or winterly flavour would fit.
Hitched suggests a range of delicious flavour combinations. Our favourites are Oreo Cookie & Toblerone (for all the sweet chocolate fans out there), Light Fruit & Lemon (a light combination for weddings on hot summer days) and Lavender Honey Sponge with Lavender Buttercream - a unique combination that none of your guests will have tried before.
4. Ways to customise your wedding cake
By now, you hopefully already have a better idea of how you want your wedding cake to look. But how can you make it unique and do justice to your special day? As this day is all about you and your better half uniting and becoming a couple, you want your cake to showcase this. The customisation is key - and we will give you some ideas on how to do it!
An easy way to give your cake that individual touch. You can go for a quote (because who doesn’t love a good quote on a beautiful cake), your names or initials, or something funny like your favourite inside joke.
Just like cake toppers, fondant figures can be easily added without changing the overall design. Everyone knows the classic couple figurines - you can take it to the next level and get figures created that look like you and your loved one, or give it a further twist with a sculpture of your pet or characters out of your favourite movie.
A Story Telling Cake
Probably the most elaborate and unique way to make the design individual is to let it tell your story. It could be the story of the proposal, how you met or places you visited together. It can also reflect mutual hobbies and interests that you share.
Edible images can be integrated into the design in many beautiful ways. For example, you can have several ones presented as polaroid images showing your most exciting experiences together. Cake decorator Rose Warden has created this special cake with edible pictures that show special moments of the couple:
5. Want to make sure that everyone gets a piece?
Sizing your wedding cake can be challenging as you need to strike the perfect balance. You don’t want lots of leftovers (especially if you are lucky enough to be off on your honeymoon straight after your wedding!) as the cake would be wasted. Simultaneously, you do not want to leave any of your guests without a slice.
The first factor is obviously the number of guests you are inviting. Sarah’s Stands presented a size guide for different amounts of people:
If you would like to have multiple tiers, even though you are having a more intimate wedding with fewer people, you could opt for a taller, slimmer style so that there is no waste of the cake (and money).
Alternatively, you can consider having a dummy tier that is decorated exactly like the real tiers - your guests will never notice! Although this option does not necessarily save money as the decoration of the dummy tier takes just as long as decorating the real ones.
You can also decide on following the tradition of saving the first tier for yourself and your loved one. You could have a small extra tier on top and enjoy it the next day, or - if you freeze it - on your first anniversary!
A key factor is also how you cut the cake. Bearing in mind that a large piece requires more cake, you should figure out whether you want to offer thick or thin slices.
In case you are still not sure about the size, our bakers are always happy to give advice when discussing your wedding cake with you.
6. Wedding cake alternatives
Did you think of something different? You do not necessarily need to have a cake since there are lots of other options that look elegant and stunning. Here are our favourites:
A great way to incorporate a lot of different flavours together that is also cost-effective. It allows you to easily estimate the quantity you will need, as you can have one (or two) cupcakes per person. If you are still thinking of having an actual cake for your wedding, a nice way to top it off is to have a small one-tiered cake on the top.
Source of image: Ruffled
Especially in France or Belgium, a croquembouche is often picked as the go-to replacement for a traditional wedding cake. Originally, it was designed to be a non-edible showstopper for parties- which has thankfully changed. Nowadays, not only can you have this work of art on display for all your guests, but you can also enjoy the delightful taste of the choux buns. Filled with cream and covered with a rich chocolate ganache, melted toffee or caramel. Decorated with fresh flowers, fairy lights, pearls or anything else that comes to mind. A croquembouche will be sure to make your guests’ eyes sparkle.
Macarons have a classy and elegant feel and are considered to be a premium bake. They are one of those pastries you don't want to carelessly set out on a plate. So, a macaron tower will definitely be an eye-catcher. You can vary in sizes, shapes and colours to match the overall colour scheme of your party.
A “hole” lotta love for doughnut walls! They are definitely one of the trendiest alternatives to a wedding cake. You get to play around with the design of the wall, personalise it with a message and make it look unique. Different flavours and styles can be chosen, so your doughnut wall can meet anybody’s taste. Planning your wedding party on a budget? Shari’s Berries has shown how to make a doughnut wall yourself - and we can help out with the doughnuts!
Source of image: Marianne Taylor
7. Who is going to make your cake?
Now that you know everything about picking your perfect wedding cake, it is time to discuss it with someone that can turn your vision into a reality. Many of our highly skilled bakers (you can find them here) specialise in creating stunning and customised wedding cakes that will leave you unable to look away.
On our wedding consultation form, you can easily fill out your details and wishes that we will review carefully. Based on your request, we can start finding a baker with whom you can further discuss all the details. You can book a taste test to make sure that the flavour and texture are exactly what you have been looking for. The MY BAKER Team and your baker will always be available to discuss your cake with you until all details are clear and finalised. When your big day arrives, your wedding cake will be delivered to the venue and all you need to do is to enjoy your day and your cake!
So, this has been our ultimate step-by-step guide to picking your perfect wedding cake. Are any questions you have left? Or maybe there is something we missed. Let us know by leaving a comment below. We wish everyone who is engaged the best of luck with planning your big day and hope it results in a beautiful wedding for you both!