It’s time to plan your wedding! And you have arrived at the most exciting part of it. Some of you might be jumping with joy and others may feel overwhelmed with what’s ahead. Choosing a wedding cake has its equal share of fun and stress.
Wedding cake designs have been getting crazier and crazier lately and gone are the days of the plain and simple traditional cake - but best not underestimate its charm. It seems that the sky indeed is the limit when it comes to wedding cake designs - from trendy naked cakes designed with real flowers to weird novelty cakes.
Choosing a wedding cake isn’t as easy as it seems - there are a lot of details and decisions that go along with it and a lot of things to consider. There are so many choices these days and expectations are high. Parents who contribute to your wedding budget might want to have a say in some of your decisions and guests can’t wait to ogle at your gorgeous wedding cake as much as the wedding gown you will wear. From the shape, size, flavor, tiers, décor, icing, toppers … the things to consider can be an endless minefield.
The most important thing to remember is to stay true to yourselves. It’s your wedding cake and it is only fitting that it should reflect you as a couple and it should fit to the wedding theme. Do not feel pressured to have a gigantic and lavish wedding cake if you only have a handful of guests, otherwise you’ll be eating left-over cake for weeks!
So here’s our guide in choosing your perfect wedding cake to make sure you’ve got the detail on point.
Find Your Baker
You can’t just roll into a bakery and ask anyone to make your wedding cake. If you want your wedding cake to be perfect then you should look for wedding cake bakers and word-of-mouth is the tried and tested way of finding a great baker. If you have been to a wedding where you loved the cake, you can ask the couple who their baker is. Attending wedding fairs is also another method - this way you have the opportunity to meet local bakers who bake for a less expensive price and see and sample cakes without committing to a private consultation. Look for bakers that create the style of cake that you are looking for and consult with them - ask if they can do what you want in terms of decor, flavor, size, and overall design. You can also seek across social media platforms and get a clear sense of the types of different bakers specialize in without having to consult with them yet. Different bakers specialize in different styles of making cake. But don’t be content with the images you see - it is more than likely that these are perfectly curated cakes to look great on camera. Seek out online testimonials and reviews to give yourself a general picture of a baker.
Size it Up!
Your wedding cake doesn’t have to be big enough to feed everyone in the reception, especially if you invited a couple hundreds of guests - it wouldn’t really be realistic. What you want is for it to make an impact. But guest count should still be a factor when deciding how big or small your wedding cake is. Generally, three layers of cake will serve up to 100 guests (depending on the size of the cake) and five or more layers for 200 or more guests. The size of your cake would also depend if you will be having a dessert bar or if you will be serving other kinds of dessert. If the venue is a grand room with high ceilings, consider increasing the cake's stature by adding columns in between tiers - this will make the cake appear larger.
Think About Flavor!
Once you figure out what size your cake needs to be, then you move on to thinking about wedding cake flavors. The exciting thing is, this step allows you to taste multiple flavors of cake until you find the right one - but remember you are having a taste test, not a dessert buffet. And to top that, there are so many exciting flavors of cake nowadays. You can be as bold and creative as you like with the flavors. Whether you want a mudcake, chocolate cake, vanilla cake, wwhite chocolate, buttercream - the flavors are endless! But be sure to follow your sense of taste, smell, sight, and even touch when choosing what you both love. If you love exotic flavors, think about your guests and make sure that there is at least a layer that everyone would love - a layer of the good ol chocolate cake never hurt anybody.
If you have no idea or are overwhelmed by the list of flavors, you can schedule a taste test with your baker and see what suits you and your partner the most.
Types of Cake
Here are some of the popular choices of the type of cake. There are more types of cake other than in this list, you can ask your baker for more information about these types.
This is a very light and fluffy cake made with vegetable oil and can be stored or frozen without drying out.
Sponge cake is another type of light cake but is more firm and is good for stacking cake layers on top of one another.
It is a rich sponge cake made with dried or candied fruits and chopped nuts and spices, and occasionally soaked in spirits. This cake is commonly used to celebrate weddings and christmas.
Chocolate cake is a cake flavored with melted chocolate, cocoa powder, or both.
Cheesecake is a sweet dessert consisting of one or more layers. The main, and thickest layer, consists of a mixture of soft, fresh cheese, eggs, and sugar. If there is a bottom layer, it often consists of a crust or base made from crushed cookies, graham crackers, pastry, or sometimes sponge cake.
Theme and Style
The best way to determine the appearance and design of your wedding cake is to take into consideration your wedding theme, style, and color scheme. It should also be a reflection of you as a couple. For example, if you are planning on having a rustic-themed wedding then a naked cake with a saturated color would fit the aesthetics of your wedding. Make sure that the design and decor of the cake fits with the rest of the wedding elements (1,3,4). Before deciding on the overall design of the cake, choose the theme, colors, and other aspects of the wedding. You want to fit the cake with the rest of the elements and not stick out like a sore thumb. You can use flowers that match those for the ceremony. If you are having a traditional wedding, then perhaps a classic white cake with minimal decor would be perfect for your wedding day. There are so many possibilities and so many talented bakers.
We recommend that you create a board of your wedding cake style with images as references to different cake styles that you like. This way you can provide your baker a visual reference of the overall look you want. Here are some wedding cake styles and tips to help you choose the perfect wedding cake for your big day.
The Novelty Cake
The novelty cake is perfect for creative couples who are bold in designing their wedding cake. This can be an alternative to your plain traditional cake, but can still be a tiered cake but with a surprising factor.
Adding personality to your cake is a great way of showing what you, as a couple, have in common. Themed with something you both love, whether it be your favorite movie or where you met, incorporating something you both love or experienced, add a lighter mood for the big day.
The Naked Cake
For the more selective couple looking for a mixture of overlooked elegance and unconventional style, the naked cake couldn’t be more perfect. With no fancy fondant icing or overly fancy decor and toppers, the naked cake is a much more reasonable option for a simple wedding.
As vintage weddings are gaining popularity these days, this style of cake can greatly complement the vintage theme. Bare cakes can be surprisingly pretty and romantic.Simply decorated with real flowers and slices of fruit, the naked cake is a statement of refined taste.
Never underestimate the charm of a traditional cake and never cross out this style of cake off your list. If you choose to have a traditional wedding in a church, with all the bells tolling - then a traditional wedding cake is the cherry on top. Don’t worry you can still vary this cake and personalize it.
It is common that the cake is decorated with sugar flowers that match the wedding flowers and the bride’s bouquet and lace it with icing that matches the bride’s gown. It really is a tradition worth keeping.
The Contemporary/ Modern
For those couples who want a traditional cake but want something different, the modern cake is a great choice. This cake mixes traditional elements and modern designs which brings a more flexible approach to the traditional way.
You can be creative with the inside of the cake too. So you can deviate from the traditional and have different cake flavors in each tier. Having different flavors and fillings in each tier is a great way of adding an element of surprise to your guests.
Miniature Wedding Cakes
There are a lot of reasons why miniature wedding cakes are the best option for you and your wedding day. It is one of the trending choices that gives you the choice of not having to cut and divide the cake for the guests - you just simply give them a piece. If your wedding is off the road, mini cakes can be very easy to transport without worrying about ruining the cake. They can be arranged almost anywhere your wedding venue will be.
The shape of the Cake
There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to choosing the shape of the cake. You can never really go wrong when making this choice, but it is an important element to remember nonetheless.
The classic figurine is the most popular choice, but more and more couples are opting for cake toppers to further personalize their wedding cake. Choose something that represents both your interests, it can be a sugar mold of your pet, figurines of your favorite comic action heroes as couples, or something else entirely (1,5).
Weather conditions play a vital role in choosing your icing - but if your venue is an airconditioned room then you have nothing to worry about! When it comes to the icing, it can be very delicate and unfortunately you cannot choose by taste alone - you wouldn’t want to have a beautiful wedding cake only to lose it’s icing and become a naked cake. Here are some of the best icing that you can choose from (3,5,8,9,10).
Buttercream is by far the most common type of frosting, and it's made by combining a type of fat—usually, but not always butter—with sugar. Buttercream sometimes uses eggs to impart a smooth and airy consistency and the possibilities for adding flavor and color are nearly endless.
It is the most popular icing for wedding cakes because it is so versatile. The icing is a combination of sugar, corn syrup, gelatine and glycerine. It is rolled out in sheets and then wrapped around each tier of the cake, leaving a smooth and clean finish to the cake.
Whipped Cream Frosting
Whipped cream frostings consist of whipped cream, powdered sugar, and flavorings—what could be simpler?
Royal icing is a hard, brittle icing used for decorating cakes and cookies. You can make it from scratch, using powdered sugar, egg whites, and liquid, but many bakers prefer using meringue powder, which is available at bakery supply stores and even some grocery stores.
Ganache is simply chocolate melted with heavy cream. This frosting makes a beautiful shiny coating on cakes and cookies. You can also chill and beat a ganache and use the fluffy result to quickly frost a layer cake.
Glazes are the simplest frostings. Powdered sugar is combined with a liquid to form a thin consistency. Glazes are usually poured or drizzled over the tops of cakes and cookies. This forms a shiny hard crust when the glaze sets. Melted chocolate can be used as a glaze on its own.
Delivery of the Cake
Coordinate and discuss the delivery with your baker and the reception venue. The cake may not be delivered as a whole but in pieces and the baker might need to assemble it on site, which takes a lot of time. The cake may also need refrigeration, so you need to make sure the venue can provide a large enough fridge or can help you find one.