Tasting potential wedding cakes is one of the most satisfying jobs you'll have while planning your event. From vanilla to carrot, fruit-filled to mousse-only, most brides and grooms are in sugar heaven after just one tasting. Get to know the appropriate cake terminology before you go to ensure that you'll be cutting the cake of your dreams on your wedding day.
Before you can even begin to think about ordering a wedding cake you need to know how many servings you need. Multiply your current guest count by ten percent and you should have an idea of how many cake slices you'll need.
The true essence of your cake is the flavor. Traditional flavors range from chocolate to yellow wedding cakes while more modern cakes have flavors like carrot, gingerbread, or velvet. Test several types before you decide on oneżyou may be surprised at what flavors please your palette.
Cake Shapes and Styles
After you've chosen your flavor, let your cake professional know if you have a shape or style preference. While wedding cakes can be any shape, ranging from round to rectangular, most tend to be either circles or squares. Consider a boxier shape for more modern cakes and a round shape for more traditional cakes.
If you find yourself attracted to smaller, artsy wedding cakes yet have a large guest list (150+), ask your cake professional if he or she is willing to bake a sheet cake in the same flavors as your wedding cake. This cake can be cut behind the scenes and distributed alongside the actual wedding cake and no one will be the wiser.
Cakes tend to be designed using one of two frostings: fondant and buttercream. Fondant works better for summer weddings, as it doesn't wilt or melt like buttercream frosting. Fondant also holds up well in harsher environments, withstanding beach winds and inclement weather. Wedding cakes that have more design elements tend to be frosted with fondant, as it is much more moldable than buttercream.
On the other hand, buttercream is the much tastier frosting option. Whereas fondant can be too sugary and hard, buttercream is rich and flavorful. Consider compromising by asking your cake professional to combine buttercream frosting with a thin layer of fondant protection.
Underneath the fondant and in between the layers of Dutch chocolate, most wedding cakes have what is known as "filling." Fillings tend to either be fruity (raspberry, strawberry, peach) or rich (caramel, fudge, vanilla). Keep in mind the season when choosing your filling. Summer wedding cakes tend to be light and fruity, while winter cakes are more likely to be heavy and rich.
After you're satisfied with your final cake design, you need to decide whether or not you want a cake topper. Keep in mind that the topper does not have to be a cheesy plastic couple dressed all in white. Cake toppers come in many forms, including monograms, shells, flowers, and even a cascade of ribbons. Whatever you decide, make sure your cake professional has the topper a month prior to your big day so that it can be incorporated into your final cake design.
You've spent so much time designing the perfect cake, you might as well show it off. Place your cake near the entrance of the reception so that it can be admired when your guests arrive. Consider cutting the cake at the beginning of the party so that your special moment doesn't get lost in the shuffle of after-dinner drinks and dancing.
Saving the Top Tier
The wedding is over but the top tier of your cake remains. If you've planned ahead, your caterer will wrap it up for you in plastic and place it in an airtight baggie. Make sure no foil is used, as it won't protect against freezer burn. Place the cake in a Tupperware container and pop it in your freezer for a year. Break it out on your anniversary and enjoy!