Little Known Facts and Tips for The Perfect Wedding Cake
So you’ve gotten engaged and set a wedding date now is the time to start planning your wedding. One of the centerpieces to the perfect wedding is the wedding cake. Although most think that cake is just cake when it comes to wedding cake this could be further from the truth. There is a lot to understand and to know about wedding cakes; from wedding cake terminology to the history of the wedding cake. Understanding what you should ask your baker or bakery to ensure you are getting the wedding cake that you want is important in having that perfect wedding cake for your oh so perfect day.
Wedding cakes symbolize the couple’s fertility and is a good luck charm for a happy and healthy marriage. Although the shape, size, style and taste of the wedding cake have changed throughout history the symbolism has remained unchanged.
Wedding cakes go back as far as Ancient Greece with sesame seed cake. The couple would cut the cake to symbolize fertility and happiness. The Romans had a cake as well but instead of eating the cake the groom would break the cake over the wife’s head (I am so happy this practice did not carry through). The guests would gather the crumbs of the broken cake for good luck. This tradition in various forms has been traced to Scotland in the 19th Century, where the custom changed to wedding guests bringing cakes to the reception to be layered with apple sauce and the higher the cake the more popular the bride. In the Middle Ages guests would bring sticky buns and pile them high in front of the bride and groom and if they were able to kiss over the sticky buns that would bring the newlyweds a blessed marriage and many children. The Pilgrims brought over the tradition of fruit cakes which slowly evolved into the modern white tiered cakes. Even today’s wedding cakes are any and every color and any and every design.
Before you decide on your wedding cake there are many things you should know about cakes specifically the terminology so that you can be a savvy wedding cake shopper. Understanding the different parts of the cake is a great starting point for making the perfect selection.
Tier – Is one level of the cake.
Layer – Is the horizontal piece of the cake. One tier is usually made up of two or more layers put together.
Round – Is a circular cake and the traditional wedding cake shape.
Square – Is a more modern shape for a wedding cake; a box shape.
Hexagon – Is a six-sided cake
Scalloped – Has curved edges resembling flower petals.
Molded – Is a cake molded into any shape or made into a certain object.
Fondant – Is hard sugary dough that makes it easy to decorate the cake.
Buttercream – Is an icing made with cream, eggs and butter. Do not choose a cake with Buttercream if having an outdoor wedding.
Ganache – Is a chocolate and butter cream sauce used for frosting or filling. Do not choose a cake with Ganache if having an outdoor wedding because it melts easily.
Chocopan – Is similar to Fondant but chocolate flavored.
Marzipan – Is a filling or frosting made from almonds and eggs that is usually used for decorating.
Royal Icing – Is a very hard icing used for intricate decorating.
Basket weave – Is a design that makes the cake look like a basket.
Swiss dotted – Is a design that gives the cake a beaded look.
Piping – Is a way to make lines on the cake.
Pulled or Spun Sugar – Is melted sugar used to make thin strands for cake decoration. Spun sugar makes it possible to make ribbons and bows on the cake.
When selecting a cake it is important to understand what you want as far as flavor, design and cost. In addition it is also important to understand what the baker or bakery offers. Be clear as to what you do and do not want and be sure to ask lots of questions. Here are a few tips to choosing the best wedding cake for you.
Taste test - Always ask to sample cakes from the bakery or baker that you choose to make sure that you like the taste.
Portfolio & References – Make sure you check out the bakery or baker’s portfolio and/or references. If possible get a written proposal on the cost of the cake and everything that is included with that price.
Pricing – Understand the pricing for your cake. Can the cake be made specifically for you? Can you add flowers to your cake? Are there extra charges? Make sure you get a price list and understand all the charges associated with your cake. You need to know if the cake is being sold by the slice and if so how many slices are in the cake and what is the price per slice.
Type of Cake – Some bakers and bakeries only offer certain types of wedding cakes so make sure that if you want a custom wedding cake that they can do that for you.
Accessories – If you are not buying your own cake toppers, tiers and cake cutter, is this something that the bakery or baker can provide for you. What is the cost of each item that you need for your wedding?
Ingredients – Understand what types of ingredients the baker uses for the cake especially for the frosting and icing to make sure that it is suitable for your wedding and that it will hold up for your wedding.
Delivery or Pick Up – It is important to know whether or not the baker/bakery delivers or if the cake needs to be picked up. In addition how early will the cake be delivered or how early does it have to be picked up. Having the cake delivered is always the best way to go to avoid any additional problems.
To choose the perfect cake for your wedding it is important to remember a few things. The style, the look/shape, the price, the taste/flavor, the right filling, the right icing, the wedding cake topper and choosing the right baker are all truly important to the success of your wedding cake. Pick a cake that looks good as well as tastes good and make sure that it is made by someone that you trust who has experience. Also remember to choose a cake that can hold up to the elements of your wedding especially if your wedding is outside or during a hot month. A wedding cake is almost as important as the wedding dress itself and all your guests will be taking a taste so make sure it’s the cake you want and love.
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