Wedding Cakes | How To Pick The Right Cake

Here comes the bride...During the wedding ceremony all eyes are on you, the bride, but when your guests arrive at the reception they want to see the wedding cake. This is not as exciting as you exchanging vows, but it's pretty close. As with everything else you've been planning for your big day, the wedding cake has to be absolutely perfect. Sometimes this is an overwhelming thought, so let me help you make your planning a little easier because after all your cake should be more than just icing and taste.

The Many Tastes of Cake

The traditional wedding cake is a white cake with white icing, but if you were a "traditional" type of gal I'm guessing you wouldn't be hunting for wedding cakes on the internet, right? There are so many choices out there for your wedding cake. Some of the most popular wedding cake flavors are devil's food cake, yellow butter, lemon, and hazelnut-almond cakes. Just because these are the most popular does not mean you have to select one of these flavors for your cake. Your wedding cake can taste however you choose for it to taste, after all it is your BIG day. If you plan on having a satellite cake, consider having each one a different flavor so your guests can have more of a selection to choose from. What better way is there to get both sets of family and friends interacting? Just about everyone loves cake!


Cake Size and Shape

Everyone wants a big and beautiful, but if your budget doesn't allow for this, you may need to cut back a bit. Talk to your baker about your budget and the number of guests you are inviting and she will be able to help you pick a size and a price that you will be happy with. If you are on a very tight budget, talk to your baker about a small, but beautifully decorated “main” wedding cake and a matching sheet cake. This will cut down on your out of pocket cost considerably.

What shape of cake should you have? Lucky for you, wedding cakes are not required to be a certain shape anymore. The beauty in this is we are free to create whatever type of cake we want. Over the years I've seen theme cakes that look like castles, hat boxes, and even a flower pot wedding cake! You may also go with a more traditional and elegant circle or square shaped cake. Whatever shape you choose, I'm sure it will be beautiful.

Unique Wedding Cake Ideas

What’s that In the Middle – Cake Filling

If you thought picking out the kind of cake you wanted was difficult wait until you see all the various filling options for wedding cakes! Butter cream, Irish creme, apricot jam, and ginger are popular choices as are raspberry mousse, cherry, and even cranberry filling. The filling is entirely left up to you and your taste buds, but if you select a fruit filling it will need to be refrigerated. Also, fruit filled wedding cakes, especially berries, have a tendency to “run” or leak juices sometimes altering your icing color in the process. Make sure your baker has experience with fruit filled cakes.

Icing Lingo

There are different types of icing your baker may use on your cake. Never fear, I’m here to help you figure it all out.

The most used and known icing is butter cream. This icing is made with real butter, sweet but no too sweet, and is easy to cut. The only downside to this type of icing is that it has a tendency to melt in the heat, so if your reception is going to be outside let your baker know ahead of time so she can change things up a bit to keep you from having a messy disaster on your hands.

Fondant is another super popular icing. Fondant icing is actually rolled out into sheets and then wrapped around each tier of your cake. This is what makes the professional cakes you see online and in magazines look so nice and smooth. Cakes with Fondant cannot be refrigerated or frozen.

Another frequently used icing is whipped cream. A cake prepared with whipped cream should be refrigerated until right before it will be cut. If you plan on having it on display during your reception talk to your baker as she can take precautions to better stabilize your cake.

For the decorations on your wedding cake that must remain firm such as beading and flowers, Royal Icing is used. Royal icing is just a simple mixture of egg whites, powdered sugar, and lemon juice. This icing dries hard and although some professionals use it for icing cakes, most use it for only decorations.


Cake Colors

If you have a theme to your wedding you may just want to use the lightest shade from your color palette and choose that as your foundation color while working your other colors from your color palette into the flowers or whatever decoration you choose on your wedding cake. The colors should be from the colors of the wedding decor. A white or yellow foundation makes a beautiful background to sugary flowers or whatever other design you plan on using. Fondant icing can be made into any color. I once saw a hot pink and neon green polka-dot wedding cake that was accented in white. To be completely honest, it was gorgeous! If you are a bold lady, you need a bold cake. Make your cake fit your personality!


Wedding Cake Topper Ideas

Of course you can always go with the traditional bride and groom wedding cake topper, but there are also a multitude of other options.

Monogram toppers are becoming quite popular. These types of toppers come in metal, glass, and jeweled versions and feature your new last name initial. You can also have them customized to include you and your new husbands first and last initials. Many online wedding websites offer custom cake toppers at affordable prices.

Another wonderful and cost effective option is to use a flower arrangement on the top of your cake. You can either use fresh cut flowers or the edible icing flowers.

Other frequently used types of wedding cake toppers include glass doves, personalized clay toppers, precious moments, Disney, and military themed wedding toppers.

There are many unique wedding cake toppers available these days. These toppers add a bit of humor to a sometimes formal and stuffy event.

Unique Wedding Cake Toppers

Wedding Cake Stands

It may not be as important as buying your dress or picking out a color palette, but having a beautiful wedding cake stand can add so much to the display of your wedding cake. Nobody wants to display their elegantly decorated wedding cake on the piece of cardboard it was created on, right?

Wedding cake stands are made from a variety of materials including acrylic, silver, and glass. Some of the best looking ones can be a bit pricey, so if you are on a tight budget, consider visiting a local wedding rental shop and take a look at their selection so you won’t have to invest in one.

Although designing your wedding cake can sometimes be a headache it doesn’t have to be if you prepare yourself with a little bit of cake 101. I hope I helped you to make a few decisions in making your wedding cake just as beautiful as the bride. Good luck on your upcoming BIG day.

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