The base of any fruit cake recipe is the fruit mix. The cake batter is essentially just there to hold all of the dried fruit together. Although I have provided the recipe I used, as long as you end up with roughly the same total weight at the end you can alter the proportions to your taste. In this recipe I was short on mixed peel and currants, but bulked up with dried apricots scrounged from my baking cupboard. It's a very flexible type of cake.

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.
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.
Not every bride or groom wants a homemade wedding cake, so don't pressure them to agree to let you bake. If she wants a cake from a specific bakery she loves or he thinks pies would be a fun alternative, then graciously offer to help with another part of the wedding. Depending on where you're baking and decorating, a homemade wedding cake in the middle of wedding week preparations can add a lot of stress and mess. So don't be insulted if the bride and groom aren't into the idea. Everyone needs to be on board and on the same page.
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.
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.
If the wedding couple is excited for a homemade cake, hooray! Ask them if they have wedding colors and what styles they like. You can look at photos of cakes online together or have them send you a few photos for inspiration. Make sure you understand their vision of their reception so your cake fits in with the rest of the décor. Keep in touch throughout the process, but don't badger them with questions — a cake is just one of many things they have to plan.
The wedding cake is surrounded by superstitions. In a traditional American wedding, maidens would be invited to pull ribbons that are attached to the bottom layer of the wedding cake.[17] Out of all the ribbons, only one contains a charm or a ring, and whoever gets the charm will be the next person to marry. In other countries, the wedding cake is broken over the bride's head to ensure fertility and bring good fortune to the couple.[18] Also, some people today think that eating the crumbs of the wedding cake would give them good luck because the wedding cake symbolizes happiness and good life to the newlywed couple.[19]
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!
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.
×