Choosing your wedding cake will probably be the biggest dessert decision you make in your life, so, naturally, you want to get everything right. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve created this handy dandy cheat sheet that will take you through everything from flavours to display. Every element is important, so school yourself before you visit your baker!
This is your essential guide to wedding cakes.
You know the age old saying, “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”? Well, it doesn’t just apply to people - it applies to wedding cakes, too! You want your dessert to be just as delicious as it is beautiful, so take care when choosing your flavours. Remember, your wedding cake should be a blend of both your and your partner’s favourite ingredients. If you can’t decide on something that you both love, opt for different flavours in different tiers - that way you can have your cake and eat it, too.
The icing you choose is just as important as the flavour of cake you choose. The most popular types for wedding cakes are fondant, royal icing, ganache and buttercream. Fondant is often used to coat cakes and will give your confection clean lines and a polished look; royal icing is a traditional pick that is hard to the touch but a little more difficult to work with than fondant; ganache is shiny and creamy and often stacked between the tiers, not on the outside; buttercream is soft and can be used between layers or to cover the cake. Each has its own unique texture, taste and style, so you may want to ask your baker to give you a crash course before making your final decision.
The multi-tiered wedding cake is by far the most popular style, but it’s not your only option. You could opt for a sheet cake, deconstructed tiers (like Harry and Meghan’s), cake pops or a tower of cupcakes, instead. Heck, you don’t even have to serve cake at all! Brownies, pies, sundaes and other outside-the-box, creative wedding desserts are becoming more and more trendy.
You’re going to need enough dessert for all of your guests, so plan accordingly. If you prefer the look of a smaller wedding cake, you can always fill your sweet table with a variety of other desserts. This is a great way to make any guests with dietary restrictions or allergies feel included, as they won’t have to ask for separate desserts when dinner wraps, you can just display and label them alongside the others and they can pick and choose what works for them.
Once upon a time everyone wanted itty bitty brides and grooms to put on top of their wedding cakes, but things have changed. While miniatures are still a totally acceptable option, you don’t need to use pint-sized renderings of you and your partner on top of your dessert. Fresh flowers, fondant designs, icing sculptures, word banners and candy can all be used to jazz up your confection and make it even more eye-catching.
Last but not least, you need to sort out how you’re going to display your wedding cake. Traditional cake stands look amazing in any colour, but you could also choose something that speaks to your theme. For example, if you’re having a woodland wedding you may want to place your cake on a stand made out of a tree trunk. Or, maybe you’re having a industrial chic event? Why not repurpose a crate and use it as your pedestal? The world’s your oyster, so flex those creative muscles.