A highlight of any wedding is the wedding cake. This fun tradition can be fancy and elaborate or simple and classic. When it comes to choosing a wedding cake, however, there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure you select the best cake for your wedding day.
While it may be tempting to skip the cake tasting and just choose your favorite cake flavors, don’t skip this step. Unless you’ve ordered the exact cake flavors from the bakery you are ordering your cake from, you need to be sure it’s what you expect it to be. Even if chocolate cake is your favorite, be sure it’s still your favorite from the bakery you’re ordering from. This is also a great time to be a bit adventurous and try new flavor combinations, especially if the bakery is famous for a particular flavor.
There are a few options for frosting when it comes to wedding cakes. The most popular options are buttercream and fondant, however, you can also choose from ganache, swiss meringue, or even not frosting at all.
Buttercream tends to be tastier, while fondant has a cleaner appearance, but isn’t a flavor everyone enjoys. Some bakeries will also use a buttercream base and place the fondant on top. A ganache cake is ideal for those who love chocolate, but bear in mind it will be a brown cake, not a white one. Swiss meringue is a nice option as well, for a soft, whimsical-looking cake. Or if you prefer a lighter frosting, a naked cake is a great option.
Your wedding cake style should be reflective of your overall wedding style. This means if you have a black-tie wedding, you don’t want a casual cake like a naked cake or one with a lot of whimsical colors. Once you decide on your wedding style and colors you can incorporate them into your wedding cake details. This can mean including similar flowers on the cake or using a specific color in the detail work.
For these reasons you should wait to determine your cake style until after you’ve worked out other details of your wedding and leave choosing the wedding cake as one of the last items on your to-do list.
The size of cake you order will largely depend on the number of guests you will be having at your wedding. Typically a cake that serves 50-100 guests will be three tiers, going up to about four tiers for 150 guests and five layers for 200 or more guests.
While sometimes a cake is included in the cost of your reception hall, if you order directly from a bakery you should understand that wedding cake pricing is typically calculated by the slice. Cake pricing can vary greatly depending on the type of cake you order and the level of detail and complication of the design you choose.
A great way to save money on a cake is by ordering a cake decorated simply with buttercream frosting and having your florist decorate the cake with fresh flowers instead.
If you’re having an outdoor wedding in the summer months it’s best to opt for a fondant cake since meringue and buttercream can melt in hot weather. If you have your heart set on a buttercream cake, consider keeping the cake indoors until it’s time to cut it, rather than having it on display all night.
There are so many options when it comes to choosing a cake topper for your wedding cake. You can go with a classic bride and groom figurine on top, or choose a personalized cake topper.
Personalized cake toppers can range from clay figurines that look like you and your fiance, a monogram of your initials, sometimes that represents your favorite hobby, sports team, or movie, something fun and whimsical. Or, if you want a simple cake topper you can opt for flowers or sugar decorations instead.
Groom’s cakes are a great way to add a non-traditional wedding cake to your big day, that is more fun and whimsical than your main cake. A groom’s cake is typically darker and more colorful and often reflective of a hobby or passion of the groom. Many couples opt to give slices to guests to take home, or alternatively, you can cut and serve both for dessert.