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.
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.
Unless you’re a keen baker, the wealth of different icing choices available to you may well have been a mystery until now. Naked, semi-naked and buttercream cakes are all increasing in popularity by the day, but there’s still a place for the more traditional fondant and royal icing decorations on cakes. You might even want to combine several. Think fondant sugar flowers atop a buttercream cake or delicate royal icing piping to add detail to a fondant covering. More flavour choices are possible with buttercream, but it is also more likely to melt in the warmer summer temperatures, so be sure to take this into account.
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.
Fab post with loads of ideas. I’m. Hoping to make my own New York themed wedding cake using an m&s cake. Plan to use icing to cut out the new York skyline and wrap it around a layer of the cake. Also going to make fondant yellow cabs and the post has just given me the idea to make peg versions of my partner and I – I might try to create a central park scene at the top as that is where we got engaged x
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 🙂
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.
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!
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.
Sugar flowers, tall tiers and intricate piping can quickly jack up the price of your cake. That's because most cake bakers price their work by "touch time," which is the amount of labor and number of hours spent designing the cake. (There's a lot that goes into this confection—it's way more than just flour and eggs!) So when it comes to choosing your cake style, look for designs you love that don't include any over-the-top add-ons.