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.
Wedding cake was originally a luxury item, and a sign of celebration and social status. The bigger the cake, the higher the social standing. Wedding cakes in England and early America were traditionally fruit cakes, often topped with marzipan and icing with tiers, Cutting the cake was an important part of the reception. White icing was also a symbol of money and social importance in Victorian times, so a white cake was highly desired. Today, many flavors and configurations are available in addition to the traditional all-white tiered cake.
Melt a little marmalade in the microwave or on the stove, until it runny. Brush this over the cake, it will stick the marzipan to the cake. I find the easiest way to get the layer of marzipan draped over the cake safely is to first drape it over a rolling pin, and then roll it over the surface of the cake. Dust it with some icing sugar or cornflour first to stop it sticking.
Another thing to note about cakes, the more detailed the cake design, the higher the price will be. And, just because a cake looks like a “simple” design, doesn’t mean that it is. I know there are many amazing cakes online, and in magazines and with cake artists pushing cake design to new limits, it’s easy to fall in love with so many of the beautiful cakes we all see. Things like hand painting, edible gold, sugar flowers, tons of little sugar pearls on the cake, all translate into beautiful designs, but also a higher cake cost. Some of these cakes can run as much as $15 per serving…gasp! But think about it, you go out to dinner at a chain restaurant and pay $15 for a so so meal, that was probably frozen and took about 20 minutes to make. A cake artist can spend HOURS from start to finish on your wedding cake, and we think our time is worth it. Cake decorating is an art and not just anyone can do it. Not to mention ingredient costs, like fresh fruit, butter and eggs! That stuff is expensive!
There's nothing quite as special as a showstopping wedding cake—but we get it, every budget has its limits. And if the price per slice of wedding cake is giving you budget anxiety, don't feel like you need to nix the idea altogether. Instead, speak openly with your cake baker, tap into your creativity and use these straightforward tips so you don't have sacrifice this sweet detail.
Once the marzipan is draped over the cake, gently pull down the sides to cover any gaps. Smooth the flat of your hand down the sides, pressing the marzipan to the cake and amoothing out any creases or overlaps, Rub the flat of your hand or a cake smoother over the top firmly to flatten and smooth the surface. Smooth out the sides in the same way. Trim off any excess marzipan around the bottom of the cake with a sharp knife and peel it off the board. This can be kept in an airtight bag or container for use next time.