Your wedding cake may just be the most significant confection you ever buy, so it's key to know what you're getting into. A good place to start is by reading our top tips from wedding cake bakers from around the country. Next, the fun part (well, besides the tasting), is to start searching through wedding cake pictures to help figure out which wedding cake designs suit your style. From classic cakes to more ornate styles, we have something for every taste – literally! Then check out local wedding cake bakers to find a pro near you.
In the world of frosting, there are two big hitters: buttercream and fondant, and there are pros and cons to each—including cost. Buttercream is typically less expensive. Fondant, on the other hand, requires extra steps and materials, and can be difficult to work with, making it more expensive. But do your due diligence regardless and don't assume your cake will be less expensive with buttercream: You might want a smooth, seemingly simple appliqué finish on a buttercream cake, when in reality, this pristine style requires precision and time. Long story short, you may not save as much as you'd hoped. And some bakers may charge you extra for fondant, especially if you're requesting a lace appliqué or a detailed pattern design, so it's good to ask your baker these questions up front.
Take a 30 gauge wire, dip it in edible glue, and carefully insert this into the raised ridge. Gently pinch the edges of the petal to give them a little realistic frill. If you have a petal veiner, lay the petal in the venier and press down firmly. This will give the petal veins and contours to make it more realistic, This can also be acheived with some patience and a thin modellling tool.
While I'd love to go into the many options of cake decorating, right now I don't have the time, so just a brief mention of royal icing. This is made using icing sugar and egg whites, or from a pre bought mix, and is a pipeable icing that dries very hard. It can be coloured before piping, or painted after, and is great for adding detail such as beads and borders to cake. While I used none on the poppy cake, a sprinkling of piped pearls or a bead border around the top edge can be great for covering up flaws and cracks in the icing, while enhancing the overall look of the cake.
Lastly, don’t forget that there will be a delivery charge to deliver your cake to the venue. How much that fee will be, depends on the location of your venue from our bakery. The further we have to travel, the higher your delivery cost will be. In some cases, it’s not only the distance we have to travel, but the time it will take to make the delivery – traffic, difficult roads, lack of parking, etc. I would say our average delivery fee is about $50-65, with locations such as Santa Barbara and Los Angeles being $100-150+. When you consider how stressful a wedding cake delivery can be, getting the cake to the venue on time, battling the heat, the weight of the cake, and the fact that they are flat out awkward to handle, you should always opt for delivery…let the professionals do what they do!
For a bride on a budget, paying a large sum of money for a wedding cake may seem completely outrageous. But what are the alternatives, particularly when you don't have any baking experts in your family? Turns out, making a wedding cake is not as difficult as one might think. There is some significant planning and effort that will need to happen, so make sure you carefully weigh the expense of a cake versus your time (and expectations) as you make your final decisions. And if the cake isn't your thing, you can always serve pie, ice cream, or even an ice cream sundae bar at your wedding.
First, have a budget in mind! What I mean by that, is that you should have a general idea of what you want to spend or can afford to spend on your cake. I get that for most people, they have no idea what a wedding cake costs, but it helps to get comfortable with the fact that a wedding cake for 100 will start around $6 per serving. Well maybe it will be less if you get your cake from Costco, (no dig on Costco, I love that store!), but seriously, this is a definite case of “you get what you pay for”.
You’ll need a cake that is appropriate with the look of your venue, the season, your marriage ceremony robe, the flower arrangements and the menu. Arrive at your cake session prepared—you need not have a whole sketch in hand, however data of basic phrases will make it easier on everybody. And if you happen to’re searching for a customized design, bring alongside inspiration, like a swatch of lace from your gown or a picture of your marriage ceremony china.
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.
To prepare the cake tin for baking, lay it onto a sheet of baking parchment and draw around the base, then cut out the circle. Cut a long strip of parchment a little taller than your tin. Fold over one long edge of this and cut slits every inch or so. Grease the tin and line the sides with the long strip, laying the flaps on the bottom of the tin. Cover the bottom with the circle. Once fully lined, do this all over again. Double lining the tin will prevent leakage, and give a little extra insulation to the cake.
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.
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.
Once cooked, leave the cake to cool in the tin. When cool, remove from the tin and place on some baking parchment. Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of brandy (or your other chosen liquor) over the cake and wrap it up tightly in parchment and clingfilm or foil. Every few days unwrap the cake to feed it with another spoonful of liquor, then wrap it back up and return to a safe, temperate storage space.