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!
I usually fill and frost the cake the day before the wedding, so there's plenty of time to fix mistakes. Using a serrated bread knife or cake leveler, trim your first frozen cake layer so it is as level as possible. Place the cake on a cake board with about a half-inch clearance on all sides (you can always trim the cake board down if you don't use that much frosting). Pipe a circle of frosting around the circumference of the cake, and then neatly pipe in your filling. Place the next layer on top, and repeat until all the layers in this tier are stacked. Then use your icing spatula to apply a thin "crumb coat" of frosting all over the cake. Put this tier in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set. After 30 minutes, you can apply your top layer of buttercream or smooth fondant over the cake if you're using it. Repeat with all your tiers.
For this particular cake, both the flowers and the cake can be mad quite far in advanc, which removes a lot of stress from the weddng week itself. Like all traditional fruit cakes the cake is made in advanced and soaked in small amounts of liquor ( I used brandy) over a few weeks or months. This will be familiar to anyone who has made a christmas cake.
Next work out how you will dry the flowers. The flowerpaste will take a few hours to dry out enough to not lose it's shape (longer if the room is humid). It is often best to dry flowers hanging upside down so the petals fall nicely, though this does depend on the type of flower. To do this bend the end of the wire a little and hang them off whatever you have handy. The could be a rail, jewellery stand, tacked up piece of string or my latest discovery, a martini glass.
I’ve been undecided about changing my surname, but it means a lot to me fiancé so I’m going to take the plunge and become Mrs Taylor. I’ve not told anyone (well except now all of you!) so for my Marks and Spencer cake I’m going to order a personalised wedding cake topper that says Mr & Mrs Taylor in pale blue and put that on top of the cake, as well as mixing up some blue icing, to dot all over the cake. Then I’m going to do a big ‘reveal’ at the wedding as a surprise for my husband-to-be! I think it would be such a nice wedding day surprise for him and I know the cake will look fabulous. I just need to keep quiet until the wedding day!
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.
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!
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.
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.
This is the most fun step, because it's basically an excuse to eat a ton of cake. Try a few recipes for each flavor of cake, filling, and frosting. If a recipe feels fussy or requires a ton of a very expensive ingredient, just scrap it. This is not the time to make a cake that requires lots of delicate folding and perfect timing. Pick a cake recipe that's foolproof and simple and you'll have one less thing to worry about. As it is, homemade cake tastes so much better than what caterers provide that it's basically guaranteed to be yummy. Mix and match cakes, fillings, and frostings to find what combination is both tasty and easy.
You should use a recipe specifically designed to be a wedding cake as it will ensure that it is sturdy enough and that it makes the right amount of batter and icing. For a three-tier cake, you need to make three cakes of 12", 9" and 6", as well as a massive amount of icing. Most three-tier cake recipes have a step-by-step schedule for when you will need to bake and assemble each part.