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.
My boyfriend and I are actually thinking of customising an M&S cake for our wedding cake – the plan is to make fondant icing safari animals to place around the sides and then we have Ryu and Chun-Li figurines (from the Street Fighter computer game) to put on top to hopefully make it look a bit like a stage of the computer game. It’s not really part of a theme as such, just something that we both happen to love!
In some areas, particularly the American South, two cakes are presented at weddings. Usually, a large, white tiered cake, decorated mostly in white frosting, is called the bride's cake, and a second flavor choice is called the "groom's cake". This tradition was brought over from England by early American colonists, who considered the white-iced bride's cake too light for men's tastes. The groom's cake was usually a dark, liquor-soaked fruitcake. More recently, groom's cakes are usually chocolate or another of his favorite flavors. The groom's cake may be decorated or shaped as something significant to him, such as a hobby item, sports team or symbol of his occupation. The movie Steel Magnolias included a red velvet groom's cake in the shape of a giant armadillo.
The white color has been attached to wedding ceremonies since the Victorian era when Queen Victoria chose to wear a white lace wedding dress at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. Queen Victoria accentuated an existing symbol, the color white being frequently associated with virginity and purity in Western culture. The wedding cake was originally known as the bride's cake therefore the color white became common because the cake needed to reflect the bride – and the expensive ingredients that the family was able to afford, such as refined white sugar.[unreliable source?]
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!
Thanks to Pinterest, there are about a billion wedding cake photos to choose from! Typically, a buttercream cake will cost less than a fondant cake. However, not all designs can be achieved with buttercream, so keep that in mind when looking at cake photos. Our buttercream cakes start at $6 per serving and our fondant cakes start at $7 per serving. So here is the easy part – if you want a tiered cake with 100 servings, multiply $6 X 100 and voila, your cake will start at $600 for buttercream. Does that mean that all buttercream cakes are $6 per serving? The simple answer is no. Just like not all fondant cakes will remain at $7 per serving, however, it’s a good place to start.
Lastly, don’t forget that there will be a delivery charge to deliver your cake to the venue. How much that fee will be, depends on the location of your venue from our bakery. The further we have to travel, the higher your delivery cost will be. In some cases, it’s not only the distance we have to travel, but the time it will take to make the delivery – traffic, difficult roads, lack of parking, etc. I would say our average delivery fee is about $50-65, with locations such as Santa Barbara and Los Angeles being $100-150+. When you consider how stressful a wedding cake delivery can be, getting the cake to the venue on time, battling the heat, the weight of the cake, and the fact that they are flat out awkward to handle, you should always opt for delivery…let the professionals do what they do!
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.