Your wedding cake will be featured in many of your wedding photos and will be a focal point for your guests at the reception. When deciding on which cake is right for your wedding day, there are many factors to consider.
How do I find a good cake designer?
You don’t want to settle when choosing your wedding cake. Shop around a bit and take your time finding a baker who is willing to accommodate you and your style. Ask your friends. Try to remember a wedding that you’ve attended that had an amazing wedding cake. Or, ask the other vendors that you are using for your wedding if they have any recommendations. Sometimes your caterer or banquet facility can recommend fine wedding cake designers that they have worked with in the past.
How do I go about choosing the style?
Deciding on the style of wedding cake you want is only limited by your imagination! You can have a unique cake that is a reflection of who you are, a cake that goes along with the overall theme of your wedding, or keep it simple with a traditional wedding cake.
Do lots of research and compile a lot of pictures of what you have in mind so that you can take them to your cake designer. Bring 4-6 print-outs of your favorite cakes. If you’re not sure what you want, your cake designer should be able to completely design something from scratch for you.
How far in advance should I order my wedding cake?
Plan on making a cake design and tasting appointment at least 6 months before the big day to ensure that you get the cake you want. Depending on the design and size, some bake shops can have a cake done and ready for you in as little as a week, but most will take months.
Of course, the biggest factor in deciding what size your cake should be is knowing how many guests plan on attending. If you are using a baker, they should know exactly how much cake you will need.
If you have a large guest list, you will probably need additional sheet cakes with the same flavor, filling and icing to be served from the kitchen. Another thing to consider is what else will be served at your wedding? Will the cake be the only dessert? Are you planning on having a large buffet or sit down dinner? If you are planning on having a lot of food and desserts, then you can count on some of your guests passing on the cake. The time of day will also play a role into the appetite of your guests. Afternoon weddings may not need as much cake as evening ones.
If you are having a small wedding, but the look you’re going for has several tiers, your baker should be able to use what is referred to as a “Cake Dummy” to stand in for the largest tiers. Once decorated, they look exactly like a real tier, but without the waste of the extra cake.
What flavor of cake should I choose?
Depending on the style of your cake, you have many options when it comes to flavor. In fact, if the cake is in tiers, you can have several different kinds of cake, each level being different, offering something for everyone. You can choose anything from the classic white cake to Grand Marnier Mousse. Whether you’re traditional or trendy, let the flavor reflect your unique style. Don’t settle! Be sure to do lots of sampling to find something that you love. Visit my List of Wedding Cake Flavors to get some yummy ideas.
What kind of icing should I use?
The weather might affect how your cake holds up, so it’s important to know your different options. Of course, your cake designer should be able to help you make this choice. Also, certain designs will require a particular type of icing.
- Butter Cream Icing has a rich creamy texture that is easy to color and flavor, but has the tendency to melt when exposed to extreme heat. So, maybe not a good idea for an outdoor wedding.
- Fondant Icing has a stiff yet smooth consistency. It holds up well and doesn’t require refrigeration. This type of icing works well for really elaborate designs.
- Royal Icing is white and shiny with a hard consistency. It also doesn’t require refrigeration and is great for creating latticework and dot decorations.
- Ganache Icing creates a glass-like finish over the cake, but is quite unstable and cannot withstand humid or hot weather.
One of the best parts about a wedding, is the cake! Lots of things have changed over time with weddings, but there is always a beautiful cake.