Buttercream or fondant? Buttercream is often much more scrumptious. But if you love the graceful, nearly surreal-like look of fondant, think about frosting the cake in buttercream first and then including a layer of fondant over the complete confection. Whatever kind of icing you select, stick to colors your guests will want to eat. In case your wedding hues are blue and inexperienced, go for a white cake with delicate green-frosted accents.
Matthew is the founder of My Wedding Songs. He curates hundreds of song lists and has been published in Mobile Beat Magazine. Matthew is a charter member of the Las Vegas Wedding Chamber of Commerce and Las Vegas Bloggers Meetup organizer. His work has been referenced in Rock n Roll Bride, Ruffled, WeddingLoveley, Wedding Chicks, Offbeat Bride, Emmaline Bride, and 100 Layer Cake. Read more about his inspiring story.
Cheap wedding cakes do not mean you have to forgo creativity or originality. You can have a beautiful, elegant, and personal wedding cake while being on a budget. It is a fact that we all can only afford what fits into our budget. But just because you may be quoted the average cost of a wedding cake (1) at $1.50 per slice and $543 for the whole wedding cake doesn’t mean you can afford it.
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!
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.
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.
Once you have your smooth surface you can take care of any flaws that are left. Marks and cracks in the icing can be hidden by taking a small ball of icing, dipping it in some cornflour or icing sugar, and rubbing it over the problem area. The icing sugar will fill the crack and blend it into the surface, smoothing it out. Other marks such as cake smears or food colouring can often be removed by brushing on a little clear alcohol, such as vodka, and then rubbing lightly with some kitchen towel. Once the liqour has dried smooth out the surface again.
Bermuda has a different tradition of two cakes. There, the bride's cake is a three-tiered fruitcake, and the groom's cake is a pound cake. The bride's cake is decorated with silver and represents prosperity, and the groom's cake is decorated with gold and represents his role as the head of the family. The groom's cake is topped with a live cedar tree, which represents the couple's growing love, and which the couple later plants and cares for.
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.
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.