How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Cake
How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Cake
The wedding cake is the culmination of the entire wedding. Modern confectioners surprise no less than wedding dress salons, offering a huge selection of desserts for every taste. How to choose a wedding cake? Miniature or multi-tiered, bright or delicate, with decor or fresh flowers, a wedding cake made of cupcakes or several tiers high?
These and many other questions will be asked by the pastry chef at the first meeting. Let’s look at what are wedding cakes, to understand what kind of cake you want.
So, let us move on to the “Cake of my dreams“!
THE WEIGHT OF THE CAKE
The weight of the cake is calculated based on the average serving size -150-200g (0,3-0,4oz) per 1 guest. It is better to order a cake with a small margin (up to 1 kg/ 2,2 pounds), in case someone from the invited wants to eat a couple of pieces.
IMPORTANT! The minimum weight for a two-tier cake is 3.5 – 4 kg/ 7-9 pounds, and for a three-tier cake-6 kg, otherwise, the cake will look disproportionately small.
ADVICE! If you really want a two-or even three-layer cake, and the number of guests at the wedding is small – still order the dessert you dreamed of. Distribute the remaining pieces to the guests at home. To do this, buy plastic boxes and stylish takeaway paper bags. Or ask the restaurant administrator to prepare such a package in advance.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE CAKE
After you have decided on the required weight, discuss with the pastry chef the number of layers or choose an alternative to a multi-tiered cake.
A wedding cake can be:
- A composition of several cakes. For example, one two-tier and two single-tier cakes of different heights and diameters on different stands, but decorated in the same style. They can differ in the taste of fillings or each can meet special requirements: dietary, children’s, vegetarian – which is convenient when all the requirements can not be combined in one wedding cake.
- A composition of different desserts. For example, a single layer cake and cupcakes or desserts in cups for each guest.
IMPORTANT! The composition of a cake with desserts is often cheaper than a multi-layered cake, but you will also have to rent a special stand for desserts. A pastry chef or decorator will help you find a suitable color and style.
What shape of cake would you like to see at your wedding? Everyone is used to the fact that the traditional classic wedding cake has a round shape. In fact, there are a lot of options:
- Unusual geometric shapes: triangle, polygon, etc.
ADVICE! Cakes of unusual geometric shapes are relevant at weddings, where such elements are used in the decor – for example, centerpieces on tables, loft-style lamps, geometric designs. At a wedding in a classic style, this cake may look out of place.
THE DESIGN OF THE CAKE
Do not be afraid of this formulation, it is just the location of the tiers concerning each other. You can design your own cake. So, the design of the cake can be:
- Classic-with tiers of the same shape, proportionally decreasing in diameter to the top
- With tiers of the same shape, offset from the Central axis
- With tiers of the same shape and different heights
- With tiers of different geometric shapes: for example, at the bottom-a square, and at the top-a circle or triangle
- It is important to know the measure! An experienced pastry chef, whom you trust, will tell you the best way to combine all these items in one dessert.
TOP COATING OF THE CAKE
The classic version of a wedding cake with mastic is no longer relevant. It will be appropriate only if the mastic decor emphasizes the theme of the celebration and it can not be done as beautifully with the help of other confectionery techniques.
Mastic was replaced by cream cheese, glaze, velour, and chocolate ganache in modern pastry shops. Cream cheese is a delicious refined cream based on slightly salty Philadelphia cream cheese. Velour is a matte coating of chocolate and cocoa butter, which looks very similar to a noble velvety fabric, and is applied using a spray gun.
Very popular now “naked cake” with open cakes, which is perfect for rustic weddings – it will add a note of home comfort.
You can also order a partially cream-covered wedding cake, where the cakes only show a little through the top layer. This cake looks more elegant than “naked” and will be appropriate for a wedding in almost any style.
The design of a wedding cake without mastic is much more diverse than the usual uniform structure. The surface can be either smooth or even mirror-like, or structural-from imitation lace to brush strokes or spatula.
IMPORTANT! Be sure to consider the time of year chosen for the wedding – not all ideas with cake coverings tolerate hot weather well.
TOPPINGS FOR THE CAKE
When you have decided on the shape and coating for your dessert, it’s time to figure out what to choose the filling for the wedding cake. In that order. After all, not every filling is suitable for a” naked ” cake or dessert of intricate shape.
Modern pastry shops often offer these types of fillings to order:
- Sponge cakes with various creams and chocolate, fruit, and nut fillings. Here, the ratio of cream and filling to a biscuit is about 1:1. This cake is suitable for almost any coating.
- Mousse cakes are delicate desserts with a thin sponge layer and several layers of mousse (souffle). These cakes are usually covered with mirror glaze or “velour”.
- Classic delicious homemade cakes-red velvet, honey cake, etc. Here, too, any coating options are suitable.
ADVICE! Confectioners always offer a choice of several options for fillings – you can choose different flavors for each tier to please guests. Just ask the waiters to offer guests options to choose from or order a weight based on several pieces with different tastes for each guest.
THE INNER WORLD OF CAKE
Modern wedding cakes are pleasing not only in appearance but also in a beautiful cut. So, the color of the filling or cakes can repeat the color of bridesmaids’ dresses.
IMPORTANT! The color of the cake and filling should be harmoniously combined with each other. We advise you to trust the pastry chef – he definitely has a lot of ideas for unusual color and taste solutions, as he always follows the latest trends in the world of confectionery.
ADVICE! Keep in mind that bright food colors can leave traces on the lips and tongue. But they are completely harmless, provided, of course, that they are of high quality. Do not hesitate to ask the pastry chef what dyes he uses.
The design of the wedding cake is selected depending on what style you have chosen for your wedding.
For the wedding cake decoration, you can use:
- Fresh flowers
- Decorative (not artificial!) flowers made of wafer paper or mastic
- Chocolate and chocolate decor
- Sweets: meringue, macarons, marshmallow
- Jewelry made of isomalt (hard caramel, which can be used to make even complex shapes)
Cakes should not be decorated with store-bought sweets like Oreo or M&M’s – they will immediately simplify the entire design of the dessert, no matter how chic it may be.
Wedding cakes with fresh flowers is now at the peak of popularity. Do not worry about their resistance – all flowers are pre-saturated with water and insulated with food wrap (not tape!) from the edible part of the dessert. So they will definitely live until the evening and will not affect the taste.
Flowers made of waffle paper look very beautiful, but are much more expensive, as they are made by hand. One flower can take up to 5 hours of work and it can cost up to 50$.
IMPORTANT! Do not entrust the decoration of the cake to the florist, without specifying in advance the nuances of the confectioner. If the decorator does not know the features of the interaction of plants with the dessert, he can spoil the taste of the cake, despite the beautiful design. Also, the florist will not be able to correct the defect if it accidentally smears or damages the cake coating during the design. Ideally, the florist and the pastry chef should decorate the cake together.
IMPORTANT! Flowers for a cake are always a separate item of expenditure in the estimate for Floristics. Do not try to save money and decorate the wedding cake on the principle of “what will remain” – the result that you like, you just do not get.
ADVICE! Plastic figures of newlyweds of dubious quality are no longer relevant. Replace them with original cookies or themed ones that relate to the couple’s story.
This is an important element that should not be neglected. Laminated cardboard, wooden or brass stand, corresponding to the style of the wedding looks elegant.
ADVICE! As a rule, the cost of the stand is included in the total price of the dessert, but it is better to specify this point in advance. Exquisite original stands in several tiers are expensive and made to order – their rent will cost about 10-200 USD.
DELIVERY or how to transport a wedding cake
Do not try to save on this point and do not ask guests to bring your wedding cake! Your guests will not be able to guarantee the safety of the desert and its “marketable” appearance for the simple reason that their transport is not adapted for this and they probably do not have experience in delivering cakes either.
Pay the pastry chef for delivery and don’t worry anymore. After all, if something happens to the cake on the road, only a professional who delivers it can correct the situation on the spot.
ADVICE! Now many chefs collect and decorate the cake right on the spot before serving, which guarantees its perfect appearance. Therefore, we recommend choosing a specialist who delivers the dessert himself, and not just sends it with the driver.