Bakeries such as ours, with an established reputation, that bakes from scratch using high quality ingredients, and that are very familiar with the local venues, are going to be worth the money. We know how to properly bake and construct a tiered cake. We know how to deliver a large, heavy cake and we have the nice, cooled van to deliver it with. You just can’t get that from a grocery store bakery or your “friend of a friend” who said they can make your cake for $100 bucks! With a wedding, there is no “do-over” so you need to go with a bakery you can trust to get it right!
A wonderful thing about cake is that it actually improves with time in the freezer. Let your cake cool completely before wrapping it in three layers of plastic wrap. Store in the freezer for up to one month. When you're ready to fill and frost, you're going to have nice, study blocks of frozen cake to work with. It's much easier to trim, fill, and frost your cake while it's frozen. And it doesn't take that long to defrost, so you don't need to worry about the cake still being frozen when people take a bite. The few hours it takes you to fill, frost, and decorate will be sufficient.
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.
My boyfriend and I are actually thinking of customising an M&S cake for our wedding cake – the plan is to make fondant icing safari animals to place around the sides and then we have Ryu and Chun-Li figurines (from the Street Fighter computer game) to put on top to hopefully make it look a bit like a stage of the computer game. It’s not really part of a theme as such, just something that we both happen to love!
If you're a relatively experienced home baker, the actual baking and decorating are probably not going to be that big of a deal to you. But the amount of cleaning and running out at the last minute to buy more ingredients can be exhausting, and that's where your friends and family can be useful. If you need more powdered sugar at 8 p.m. the day before the wedding, don't waste an hour on yet another trip to the grocery store — send someone. Or let someone else wrap the cakes in plastic wrap before they're stored in the freezer. It's a big project, and the more hands, the better — particularly if you're making your own wedding cake.
Depending on what kind of filling you're using, it can usually be made well in advance. But some frostings need to be made closer to when the cake will be served. Between the recipe and your practice cakes, you should have a sense of how early the filling and frosting can be made and how long they'll hold up. Once again, overestimate how much you need. Plan to bring an extra pastry bag of frosting to the wedding site to patch up any little cracks that happen while transporting the cake.
Whether you are a DIY bride or a very generous friend, making a homemade wedding cake for the first time can be intimidating. There is naturally a bit of a trial and error involved in the process, but you still need your first wedding cake to turn out perfectly — after all, it's for someone's wedding! I've made three wedding cakes now, including my own, and along the way I've learned two key rules: plan ahead and be flexible. No matter how much you plan, problems are going to arise. A frosting that's come out fluffy and sturdy 10 times may randomly end up watery, your biggest cake layer may stick to the pan, and you may run out of strawberries on the day you're filling the cake. But as long as you can keep a level head and get creative on the fly, everything will turn out great. Here's my step-by-step guide to making a homemade wedding cake.
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 since your wedding cake will almost always be shared.
Sugar flowers will always cost more than fresh flowers. Why? Because they are very time consuming to make, and require a skilled hand, with knowledge on how to construct, wire, etc. a beautiful looking flower made from sugar! Sugar flowers can start at about $15 per flower – the more complex the flower design, the higher the price. As much a I love, love, love sugar flowers on a cake, most couples do not have the budget to spend $200-300 on just sugar flowers alone, I get it! So, unless you do, opt for fresh flowers instead.
In Medieval England cakes were stacked as high as possible for the bride and groom to kiss over. A successful kiss meant they were guaranteed a prosperous life together. From this the Croquembouche was created. The myth behind this cake tells of a Pastry chef, visiting Medieval England who witnessed their tradition of piling sweet rolls between the bride and groom, which they attempted to kiss over without knocking them all down. The pastry chef then went back to France and piled sweet rolls up into a tower to make the first Croquembouche. The modern croquembouche is still very popular in France, where it is now common to place the croquembouche tower on a bed of cake and make it a top tier. This traditional French wedding cake is built from Profiteroles and given a halo of spun sugar.
While the seedheads are drying you can start work on the stamens. These tend to come in bunches of around 100. Divide these into smaller groups of about ten. Take one group, make sure the heads are roughly level, and brush the middle and up to a centimetre from each end with edible glues Squeeze the stamen threads together to bind them, and let dry. Do this with each small group.
Now you can attach the stamens. At this point edible glue will probably not be strong enough, so use some high tack non toxic glue such as PVA. For each seedhead you will need four or five small stamen bunches arranged evenly around the head. Glue the stamens to the base of the seed head, squeezing the end tight to the base and the wire to make them stick.