Everything You Need To Know About Wedding Cake
Cake, cake, glorious cake, nothing quite like it for…well, anything, really. Cake is the ultimate. In the original draft of this blog post I had a looooong ode to cake and it all its various uses: a treat, a celebration, a comfort, a pillow for a weary head, but let’s face it, only one type of cake matters to us the most here at And So To Wed: wedding cake.
A traditionally central, symbolic part of the day, wedding cake is huge business. We’ve entered a wonderful era where you probably can’t get through one scroll of social media or one flick through your free commuter paper without seeing at least one mind-blowing wedding cake, and frankly this is a golden era in my books. However, because there’s such a focus on how they look and the top wedding cake trends, you may feel a little left in the dark as to the practicalities of wedding cake ordering. How much cake is enough cake? (Other than ‘never enough’). Marie Antoinette made it sound so simple.
Luckily, we’ve enlisted the help of cake creating extraordinaire Jo of White Rose Cake Design, based in Holmfirth. We’ve asked her all of the important questions and she’s given us all of the important answers!
Traditionally, wedding cakes were layered affairs, with the layers being either square or round. Though round cakes seem to be most popular at the moment, square cakes yield more portions per layer. Of course, you could also go for a novelty carved cake in the shape of just about whatever you’d like: the number of servings is harder to calculate from these, however, because you’ll be hard-pressed to cut a dog-shaped cake in equal portions!
There are so many crazy and wonderful flavours of cake in the mainstream arena now that the days of it being a simple vanilla, chocolate, or fruit decision are long gone. Not only can we make some beautiful tasting sponge, but we can create some awesome flavour combinations with fillings too, including wacky jams, curds, and preserves, and swirled buttercreams and ganaches. If you’ve a particular flavour you want to recreate in your cake, just ask your cake designer how it may be possible. Whether it’s a sponge cake or a fruit cake, however, will affect the portion size: I advise a 2” x 1” portion of sponge cake, but only a 1” x 1” portion of fruit cake, as its much richer. Of course, it’s a super popular option to mix and match flavour layers – we’ll do the maths for you, so don’t worry. It’ll definitely be worth it!
Depending on whether you’re a maths and logic bod or more of a visual learner, we’ve got both a table of portion size explanations and a handy little graphic.
However, there are a few things worth considering when looking at the size of a wedding cake; it’s not always as transferable as how many guests. You need to factor in whether you want every guest to have a slice of cake, whether you need to include evening guests in this number, on top of a little bit of maths and probability (which to me, through school, always sounded like ‘guesswork’) as to how many of your guests will actually eat a slice of cake—especially if you think about the rough numbers of people on diets, those crazy people who don’t particularly like cake, who don’t eat that flavour, or will simply be too full. If you’re having cake as your dessert, you’ll need to have a slice plated for every guest. These are all important questions to ask yourselves.
You could always utilise a separate “cutting cake”, kept by your venue in the kitchen. This is iced on the top only, and is used to bulk out servings of cut cake. This is a good way of ensuring everyone is catered for in cake, but not necessarily with a more expensive, fully decorated cake.
Alternatively, if you want your cake to look bigger than it needs to be, a faux tier may be the way to go. It adds height and dimension to the cake, and is still obviously decorated, without you having to pay for actual extra cake.
Oh go on then, we know you want to discuss the look of cakes a bit. Cake designers are so exceptionally talented and creatively-inclined that whatever your idea or theme for the day, they’ll be able to come up with a concept to fit. They’ll also be able to advise you on the different ways they can achieve the look – think about whether you want a traditional white or ivory cake, or whether you want to make a splash of colour. Do you want royal icing, fondant icing, buttercream, or no outer finish at all (‘naked’ cakes)? Do you want fresh flowers, silk flowers, or handcrafted sugar flowers? If the former, double check with your florist that they’ll be safe to use on the cake; if the latter, your seasonal options are blown open, but they may not be edible due to the delicate wires in them.
Cakes are such an exciting part of the wedding and the sky is the limit – but let’s keep one toe grounded whilst we’re chomping our way through the world’s must aesthetically pleasing cake, shall we? Hopefully these have helped answer any questions you may have about your cake – and if you need any further info or inspiration, please don’t hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or take a look at her website.
Written by Ellie Kime and Jo from White Rose Cake Design