Planning your time can affect everything about your cake, right down to the flavour. Filled sponge cakes are best baked as close to the day as possible, and baking enough for a couple of tiers can take a lot of hours in mixing, baking and cooling. Opting for a traditional fruit cake, on the other hand, allows you to make the cake in advance. In fact this is preferable since an important step in making fruit cake is feeding it with a regular spoonful of brandy or sherry every few days for at least a couple of weeks, to make it gorgeously moist and alcoholic.
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.
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 good, search engine optimised and mobile friendly website is essential these days. Make sure yours can be easily updated and that you get great photos of your designs.Social Media can also be very effective, especially when starting up. Create a great looking Facebook page and update it regularly. Instagram and Pinterest are also very popular for wedding planning and Twitter is good for networking and making contacts.
Will a faux cake or a faux tier save you money on your wedding cake?  I’m sorry to say, but the answer is no.  It seems like having a chunk of Styrofoam vs. a piece of delicious cake should cost less.  I know logically, it sounds like it should.  So in an effort to dispel that myth, I will explain why it’s not the case.  A faux tier, or cake dummy, as we call them, costs about the same it does to bake the actual cake.  So, no cost savings there.  Second, I personally find cake dummies more difficult to work with then real cake, so I’m my opinion, it actually takes longer to decorate them then it does real cake.  So the time that it typically takes to decorate can actually be longer, which means, you guessed it, no cost savings there either!
Create a step-by-step, day-by-day schedule for the wedding week. Plan which day or days you will bake, make the filling and frosting, and assemble. The more planning and shopping you do in advance, the less likely you are to run into big problems the week of the wedding. Think through what you need to bring if you're traveling to the city where the cake will be baked, where you are baking the cake, and whether there's space in the fridge and/or freezer for storing cake layers and tiers before they're assembled. If you're using fresh flowers, plan for them to be delivered or decide where you're going to purchase them.
Limit decoration to the cake being iced and decorate it instead with a simple ribbon. This will save on either a cake topper or fresh blooms but still look chic on the big day. Choose a ribbon that matches your colour scheme and finish with a vintage brooch. Alternatively, we love this idea of using a stencil and dusting Mr and Mrs onto the top of your cake with icing sugar – a real talking point, and it will look great in your photos!
This code deducts £50 off your Wedding Flowers order when you spend £150 or more on Wedding Cakes. Valid at marksandspencer.com only from 12/05/15 until 23:59 30/06/15. Discount will be applied at the checkout. Offer excludes Wedding Favours, Decorations, Wedding Arrangements and Wedding Plants. Decorations are not included as the price applies only to the plain cake. This code can only be used once. Offer strictly non-transferable and cannot be sold or exchanged for cash. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other voucher or code. Any refunds will be taken into account this discount. M&S reserves the right to reject this voucher code with reasonable cause.
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.
If your heart's set on flowers, go with fresh blooms or choose flat designs such as painted flower motifs instead of ornate sugar flowers. Sugar flowers are very labor intensive—it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to mold and dust one pretty sugar replica. (Now you know why they're so gorgeous.) To pare down the cost, choose a simple cake with one large stem or a spray of flowers on a single-tier cake. Another trick is to choose sugar flower types that don't require as much time and detail. For example, skip the cascade of peonies and shoot for hydrangeas or calla lilies. But fresh flowers are one of your best bets for a cost-friendly alternative. Just let your florist in on your plans so they can source pesticide-free and food-safe buds.
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!
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.[5] Today, many flavors and configurations are available in addition to the traditional all-white tiered cake.[6]
Verify the details of the cake as well as its cost.
Before you head to the grocery store, do your best to calculate how much of each ingredient you need. When scaling up a recipe, be sure to scale by area, not diameter of the pans. Make a list, and then buy one extra container of everything. You can always return unopened groceries, and you'll be so glad if you don't have to run out for more ingredients at the last minute.
The type of cake and tightness of time will also affect your icing decision. While it doesn't have the best taste, and is often left on the side of the plate, sugarpaste (fondant) will keep a cake fresh under it's protective layer for a couple of days, and provides a smooth, clean surface to adorn with decorations. On the other hand buttercream or ganache, while tasting delicious, should be applied as late as possible, the night before at the earliest, which could leave you panicking over last minute problems.

Think ahead of how you want to decorate your cake and practice piping or icing ahead of time. You can easily make extra icing and practice shapes on test cakes (or even on silicone mats). Secure a wedding topping, flowers, or other decorative items well before the wedding. If you are using fresh flowers, be sure to order exactly what you want from a florist. Lastly, you will need to clear a large space in the refrigerator, perhaps taking out a shelf for the cake. You'll also need to arrange transport for the cake to the wedding venue. Speak to the caterer or venue manager about cake transport and refrigeration details at the event.


Planning your time can affect everything about your cake, right down to the flavour. Filled sponge cakes are best baked as close to the day as possible, and baking enough for a couple of tiers can take a lot of hours in mixing, baking and cooling. Opting for a traditional fruit cake, on the other hand, allows you to make the cake in advance. In fact this is preferable since an important step in making fruit cake is feeding it with a regular spoonful of brandy or sherry every few days for at least a couple of weeks, to make it gorgeously moist and alcoholic.
When out buying don't think twice to ask for cake sample flavours, the appearance and also flavour of the cake itself is essential so. Some pastry shop stores will be only to happy to require.
Brilliant, some really fantastic ideas. We have been thinking about getting the cheese tiered cake from M&S and decorating it ourselves but I now really love the idea of getting these cakes and decorating it. We’ve got two little birds to sit on top of our cake (whatever cake we eventually choose) that are actually ring holders! They’d look lovely on top of this M&S cake with some flowers and lace. Thank you, I feel inspired!
Music and surfing and two key themes we’d like to use for our wedding – it would be great to replicate musical notes and waves in a subtle way on our cake perhaps with flowers too. We will be having a DIY wedding in Cornwall where we met (in a surf lesson, very cheesy I know!), and I love the thought of putting our own touches onto a cake that can represent us 🙂
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.
Flower paste or gumpaste is a pliable dough usually made from egg whites, unflavored gelatine, and powdered sugar. There are an array of methods and ingredients around the world on how to make flower paste or gumpaste. The purpose of this dough is to create flowers and decorations for a cake. Due to the use of gum as one of the ingredients; it can be rolled very thin.[citation needed]
Before you head to the grocery store, do your best to calculate how much of each ingredient you need. When scaling up a recipe, be sure to scale by area, not diameter of the pans. Make a list, and then buy one extra container of everything. You can always return unopened groceries, and you'll be so glad if you don't have to run out for more ingredients at the last minute.
Our wedding is a diy affair. The cake is going to be my fellas job. He’s an engineer, so wants to build a crane that will be lifting the top teir inti place/hovering it above the rest of the cake. It’s a chance for him to put his personality onto something. He also wants to use his new laser cutter to design and make a bespoke topper. Winning the cake would be amazing snd give him the time and confidence to concentrate on these decorative features. Xx
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.
Another way to save money on your cake is to skip an outer layer of frosting. Naked cakes are not only gorgeous to look at, they're actually pretty practical too. They're a lot less expensive because they use less buttercream and take less time—it's as simple as that. To make up for the lack of frosting on the outside, up the wow factor on the inside by experimenting with unique flavors and fillings, like lemon curd, champagne buttercream or chocolate ganache with toasted almonds.
×