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Find or Make A Dazzling Wedding Cake For Your Wedding

Updated on April 18, 2014

Find or Make A Dazzling Wedding Cake For Your Wedding

A Wedding Cake For Your Wedding

The centerpiece of the wedding reception is the wedding cake. Often the wedding cake is designed to reflect the personality of the wedding couple. Wedding cakes have long been a tradition of American weddings. Wedding couples put a lot of thought into the design of their wedding cake, many try to create it into a delicious art piece. The wedding cake cutting ceremony is often said to be the climax of the wedding reception.

The ceremony of the cutting of the cake usually features the groom's right hand placed upon the bride's right hand. The groom then serves the first bite of cake to the bride, in turn the bride serves the next bite of cake to the groom and then to the groom's family. The bride then relinquishes control of cutting and serving the cake to an attendant or hostess.

Couple's should start thinking about their wedding cake from three to six months before their wedding. Before they begin their search for a wedding cake, they should have an idea of their color scheme or wedding theme and have decided on a location of their wedding reception venue. The reception venue might have their own wedding cake maker, or might require a preferred list or might influence what the color scheme should be.

Before you start looking for a wedding cake maker, the wedding couple should get ideas of wedding cake designs. The couple can get ideas of wedding cake designs from a number of different places. A couple can go online and look through wedding cake inspiration boards such as on Pinterest and Instagram, they can also look at wedding related websites, key on finding wedding cakes. Couples can also look at wedding cookbook recipe books and magazines, particularly looking at food and dessert magazines. Some popular magazines to get wedding cake design ideas and recipes from include Delish, Real Simple, Bon Appetite, Southern Living, and French Gourmet.

Once you find pictures and/or recipes of wedding cakes, you should cut out or print out the picture and recipe and put it into a baggy. Then staple the baggy into your wedding planner or wedding organizer. If you are unable to cut out or print out the cake, note the book, magazine, or website in which you found the cake and the page number in which you found it.

Another thing you can do is stop by bakeries, grocery stores, hotels with weddings, banquet halls and take pictures of wedding cakes that have captured your attention. Make sure you ask permission from a venue manager before taking a picture. What style of cake do you like and does your future spouse agree on the style.

Finding a Wedding Cake Baker

There are a number of place in which you can find wedding cake bakers. If you have an IPhone, IPad, or Android device, you can download a wedding planner app right onto your mobile device. You can download wedding planning apps from Apple, Google, or iTunes. One company that offers a wedding planner download is Wedding Selections. You can also find wedding bakers and bakeries from wedding directories. Some of the more reputable wedding directories include www.mywedding.com , www.gatheringguide.com , www.theknot.com , www.eventective.com , www.perfectweddingguide.com , www.marthastwart.com , www.weddingwire.com , www.decidio.com , and www.theweddingdirectory.us .

Another good place to find wedding cakes is by word of mouth, ask around to family, other wedding vendors, friends, and co-workers if they would recommend any cake makers. You also can find wedding cake makers using search engines, input your city or town followed by "bakery" or "wedding cake". You can also find bakeries using the Yellow Pages.

When you are searching for someone to make your wedding cake, don't go with the very forst one, interview about 3 or 4 bakeries before making a decision on which one to go with. Check out a baker's or bakery's website before meeting with them so you know what they offer and the make cake's in styles that you like. Before meeting with a baker you should have a budget figure you are working with. When you give a budget to the bakery give a range of budget, put your budget at the high range and make the low range 10 to 20 percent less than your budget. Some venues will shoot for the mid range of your budget, maybe saving you a little money.

In your meeting with your bakery you should have an idea on the amount of wedding guests you are planning for your wedding. Other things you will need to decide on your meeting is the style of cake that you want, the flavor of wedding cake, what fillings you want on the inside of the cake, how should the cake be frosted, iced, or decorated and what portion sizes should be cut from the cake.

When you meet with the wedding cake baker you should bring along a baggy of pictures of wedding cakes that have captured your attention or you might draw up a cake design of a style of cake you are interested in and share it with the baker. There are cake design software you can also find online using the internet. A few cake design websites to check out include www.dragoart.com , ww.craftsy.com , and www.weddingcakedesignpro.com .

Fondant Wedding Cake

Deciding on a Wedding Cake Baker

You want to find a wedding cake baker that is an expert at the type of wedding cake you are looking for. For instance if the type of wedding cake that is coated or decorated with fondant, you want a baker who has a good amount of experience working with fondant.

If you interview a bakery, you want to interview both the baker and decorator who would be involved in making your wedding cake. The individuals that you interview you want to make sure they have plenty of experience and have taken plenty of classes and are on top of knowing the latest techniques in cake baking and cake decorating. They should be an expert on how to use a parchment bag and can create about any design using an icing decorator tip.

The expert decorator knows how to imprint letterpress design into cakes. They know how to work with fondant and knows how to make many different elaborate designs on wedding cakes. They know how to decorate a cake with stones, crystals, pearls, embroidery, gum paste, monogrammed shaped tiles, flowers, and flower petals.

Usually at you appointment with a bakery, most good bakeries have a dedicated staff that will meet with you and have a separate area to sit down with you to review the wedding cake designs they are expert at. At your meeting, they usually will share a gallery of cake designs they are capable of creating, you should also share your ideas and show pictures of cakes or drawings of cakes of a wedding cake that you are interested in creating. After your meeting with the baker or bakery they should leave you with a drawing or computer printout of the cake design that you both agreed to.

Many of your better bakeries also offers you a taste testing. You should try to attend a taste testing before you decide on a wedding cake. If there is a flavor you are interested in being part of your wedding cake and if that flavor is not part of the taste testing, you might ask if a flavor could be included as part of the taste test. At the taste testing you might want to take notes of flavors that you like including the cake, the filling and the frosting. Don't assume any cake the bakery will make will come out to your liking.

Many couples will go with different flavors on the different levels of your wedding cake. You should always choose a popular classic flavor for the bottom of your wedding cake. Should you include a flavor that is unique or exotic use that flavor for the top of your wedding cake. Most wedding guests tend to like flavors they are more familiar with.

Don't wait until the last minute to design and order your wedding cake. Some of your better bakeries schedules fill up quickly, if you wait to long to order and book the cooking of your wedding cake you may end up out of luck and the baker is fully booked for your wedding week. You should order and book your wedding cake at least two months in advance of your wedding, with well known bakeries even more than two months in advance. Sometimes bakeries need to order special ingredients or decorations for your cake. Sometimes, for unique requests, bakeries need a little time for experimentation if a special recipe is called for.

Wedding cake bakeries often follow guidelines to determine the right size cake would be best for the amount of wedding guests you are going to have. The general rule is to start with the basic wedding guest headcount and add about 10% more to the serving amount. This anount accounts for late addition and at most weddings a handful of guests who love the taste of wedding cake will sneak in an extra slice. Most wedding cakes are sliced into 2" by 4" by 2" servings.


General Guidelines for Wedding Cake Pan Servings

  • A 6 inch round pan will yield about 12 servings
  • An 8 inch round pan will yield about 20 servings
  • A 10 inch round pan will yield about 36 servings
  • A 12 inch round ran will yield about 46 servings
  • A 14 inch round pan will yield about 76 servings
  • A 16 inch round pan will yield about 92 servings
  • An 18 inch round pan will yield about 100 servings
  • A 20 inch round pan will yield about 120 servings

Most wedding cakes are comprised of three tiers, for bigger weddings of hundreds of wedding guests many wedding cakes are comprised of about five tiers. Many wedding cake bakers will use the chart above to determine what three different size pans are best to use for the amount of wedding guests you need the wedding cake for.

Some wedding couples like a large cake for their wedding but don't have a large amount of wedding guests. The wedding cake baker could build a dummy layer into the cake using tiered plastic or styrofoam towers. The wedding guests will never know dummy layers were used in the making of the cake. Some companies even offer dummy wedding cakes that absolutely looks stunning. The real wedding cake is kept in the kitchen in the form of a sheet cake.

There are a number of decisions, that a wedding couple needs to make in regards to their wedding cake. First there is the style of the wedding cake. The choices are a round cake, a rectangle cake, a square cake, an oval cake, an octagonal cake, a crescent shaped cake, or a topsy turvy cake. The couple needs to choose the flavor of the cake, there are hundred of flavors to choose from. These is vanilla, French vanilla, carrot, chocolate, chocolate fudge, coconut, coffee, espresso, fruit cake, lemon, orange, spice, and walnut and many more.

The couple needs to make a decision on the filling on the inside of the cake whether to use frosting, icing, or a fruit filling such as strawberry or lemon or a combination. Very often white or ivory icing is used to match to the color of a white pristine wedding cake which stands for purity.

Many couples will used food dyes and gels to color the cake to a color scheme. Many dessert experts though recommend if you want to add color to your wedding cake, go with the color decoration aspect of your wedding cake. Many food colorings and gels makes the cake look more beautiful, but the food dyes and gels dulls the taste of the cake a tad.

Many conventional cakes are made with butter cream frosting. Other popular cake coverings include fondant, gum paste, whipped cream, ganache, and royal icing. There are hundreds of cake decoration products available. You can pick up all sorts of cake decoration ideas from bakery websites, cake recipe books, and from all sorts of cake decorating ideas from food TV channels and Youtube videos.

A typical wedding cake slice generally runs about $3.25 to $5.00 a slice. The amount can go substantially higher after adding embellishments and other elaborate decorations. A bakery or baker will often give you a diagram and instructions on how to cut the cake. Often the baker, wedding venue, or catering company will offer you a hostess to cut your wedding cake for you, to cut a wedding cake takes someone with experience, some cakes cut easier by dunking the cake cutting knife in a bucket of water between cutting slices. Often a business will charge a cake cutting fee when they provide you with a hostess to cut the cake.

When ordering a wedding cake, in order to get a fresh tasting cake and one that looks dazzling, a wedding cake should be baked no more than 10 days before the wedding date. The cake starts to taste stale if baked more than 10 days before a wedding. Icing should be applied to the cake not more than 2 days before the wedding. Icing loses it's luster and starts to show cracks if exposed to the air more than 2 days.

Many couples are hit with sticker shock when it comes to finding a wedding cake. They think cakes shouldn't cost too much. Wedding cakes takes time, having the right cake making tools, having someone with talent and requires hard and tedious work, all goes into the making of a beautiful wedding cake. Many cake bakeries have to charge a little extra to cover overhead costs, if you can find someone who bakes wedding cakes from their home, often you will find their wedding cakes costs less than from cakes made in bakeries.

If you are dealing with a tight budget for a wedding cake, it's best to go with less elaborate cake decorations. You might go with oversized placements of sugar flowers and place embellishments such as flowers or flower petals rather than use decorative piped lacing or the delicate work involved by using pastry bags or decorating the cake to a floral cascade effect.

Before deciding on a bakery, try to get references from other brides and other venues on how they liked the bakery and the taste and décor of the cake. Also check if the bakery has any reviews and check them out with the better business bureau. When you have finished interviewing with the bakery, make sure you are comfortable on how they operate, are they easy to communicate and do they communicate with their clients regularly.

In your interview with the bakery, you want to also know who delivers the wedding cake, is it you or the baker and who sets up the cake at the reception venue, is the final decorations of the wedding cake at the venue difficult or hard. You want to be sure everything agreed to by the bakery or baker is in writing in the contract. Be sure everything stated verbally is covered in the contract, you don't want any hidden charges or fees or any surprises such as additional transportation costs, extra service charges, or other supply costs. Some wedding cakes require a person to hold the wedding cake while the cake is being driven by the bakery truck, the hope is that surrounding traffic doesn't cause a mishap with the cake inside the truck.

At the reception, you want the wedding cake to preferably be on a round table away from the wall in order for the photographer to take good pictures of the couple as they are cutting their wedding cake. Make sure the cake is situated in a good spot away from the dance floor and is not situated in a high traffic area. You might consider having a coffee bar, dessert bar, candy buffet, or chocolate fountain not too far from the location of the wedding cake.

Beside the wedding cake, you might think of decorating the wedding cake table too. You might think of adding flowers, flower petals, mini candies, tea light candles, heirlooms, wedding confetti, and mini picture frames of the wedding couple. You might add flood lighting in the wedding cake area or put a spot light on the wedding cake. Make sure you account for enough linens or napkins, cake plates and cake forks along with the cake, add 10% more of each than your wedding guest count.

If you end up with excess wedding cake after the wedding reception, and nobody asks to take the cake home with them, don't waste the delicious delicacy, arrange for a wedding party member to drop off the cake to a senior citizen's home, a rehabilitation center, a soup kitchen for the homeless or other charity center. Leave behind a special treat for the not so well connected to enjoy and put a little happiness in someone else's life.

Create Your Own Wedding Cake

More and more brides are taking on the task of creating their own wedding cake. Some brides will even take cake baking lessons months before the wedding to acquire a cake making and decorating skill. Some bride's even recruit their mother, family relative, or close friend to bake a cake for them for their wedding. Whoever makes the cake, be sure they have a talent and the tools to make a great wedding cake. Make sure they are capable of making a great wedding cake, If they mess up, make an ugly cake or make a cake that does not taste good, it comes back to a reflection on you. Have them make a sample cake for you before agreeing to let them make you a wedding cake.

The key to making a wedding cake is to have a little cake baking experience. The key is to be able to follow directions of a recipe and acquire the proper tools to create a wedding cake. About 90% of bakers start with a store cake mix you find at a grocery store or use conventional scratch ingredients to make their cake. Most wedding cake bakers learn a special skill of adding extracts or special spices to a cake recipe, they learn a special way of adding filling to the inside of a cake and have become very skilled at decorating the outside of a cake.

The major thing a couple must do is decide on the style of cake that they want, a style that's a reflection on them and decide on a cake recipe. From the recipe that then needs to obtain the supplies that will be needed to make the cake. Supplies for wedding cakes can be picked up at kitchen and restaurant supply stores, candy stores, chocolate shops, bakeries, rental supply stores, party stores, as well as department stores.

A wedding cake maker needs ingredients that follow a recipe as well as baking and decoration tools to make a dazzling wedding cake. The main tools needed to make a wedding cake are as follows:

Tools Needed To Make a Wedding Cake

  • airtight container
  • apron
  • assorted tips (rose, writers, piping, star border, basket weave, flower, and many more)
  • bench scraper
  • cake board
  • cake pans (various sizes)
  • cake stand mixer
  • cake leveler
  • cake smoother
  • cardboard rounds or circles
  • crimpers or pliers or tweezers
  • drying racks
  • dyes & gels
  • flower cookie cutter
  • flower nail
  • fondant tools
  • french rolling pin
  • kitchen towels
  • measuring cups and measuring spoons
  • mixing bowls
  • mixing spatulas
  • offset spatula
  • parchment paper (to line the cake pans)
  • pastry bags
  • pastry brushes
  • platter (to serve the cake on or panel of wood wrapped in foil)
  • revolving cake pan or lazy susan or spinning wheel
  • scissors
  • scotch tape
  • serrated knife
  • stencils
  • tape measure
  • toothpicks
  • wired mesh strainer
  • Wooden dowels or non-flexible straws

Steps to Make Your Wedding Cake

Step 1 - Decide on a Cake Style

What style of wedding cake has captured your fancy, the wedding couple must decide, will it be a round, square, oval, triangle, hexagon, crescent, or free form, decide on a color scheme too. Find cake pans that conform to the style of cake you want and find dyes and gels that you can use to decorate your cake to your color scheme.

Beautiful Easy To Make Wedding Cake

Step 2 - Decide on a Recipe For Your Wedding Cake

What flavor cake does your taste buds tell you what you want for your wedding. Find recipes in recipe books, dessert magazines, and online food websites or take lessons at a business that offers them such as a bakery or a business such as Hobby Lobby. Youtube videos and Food Channels also offer lessons. You can make a basic wedding cake recipe, then add an extract of a favorite flavor to the basic recipe. If the bride and groom have different flavors they want, make a groom's cake in addition or for the rehearsal dinner.

How To Fill & Frost a Cake

Step 3 - Bake Your Wedding Cake

Follow cake baking decorations according to the sized pan you are using. For example a 6" round pan 3" high should bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, an 8" round pan should bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes, a 10" round pan should bake at 325 degrees for 65-75 minutes and a 12" round pan should bake for 60-65 minutes. Cake experts suggest you include a small bowl of water in with the cake over to keep the cake more moist while cooking preventing the cake to show cracks.

How To Make Buttercream Icing

Step 4 - Use a Cake Leveler on Your Wedding Cake

To make your cake look pretty, create equally sized slices of your wedding cake using a cake leveler. You want the cake to cool 30 minutes before using the cake leveler. You want to cut the top of the cake off or invert it for an inside layer. The layers of the cake will later be used to add filling such as butter cream, frosting, icing, fruit filling, mousse, royal icing, or other types of filling. The filling acts like glue to keep the layers together,

How To Decorate With Buttercream Icing

Step 5 - Create a Base For Your Wedding Cake

You want to take the largest layer of your wedding cake and place that layer of cake onto a cake board. You can cover the cake board with lace, fondant, icing or paper to secure the cake to it so the cake won't slide. Secure the cake board and bottom tier onto a rotating cake stand.

How To Cover a Cake in Fondant

Step 6 - Mask Your Wedding Cake

Once you have the base of your cake constructed, you can cover it with buttercream, frosting, or icing and put it in the refrigerator for several hours, the goal is to get the frosted base firm.

How To Make Sugar Flowers

Step 7 - Finish Frosting Your Wedding Cake

Once the base frosting is firm, you want to re-frost the rest the rest of the cake. This time you want to frost every nook and cranny and use a bench scraper, cake smoother, or offset spatula over the cake's outer surface.

How To Color Fondant & Gum Paste Using Gel Food Coloring

Step 8 - Build a Support For Your Wedding Cake

Stick a cake dowel or un-bendable straw into your inner portions of your wedding cake and measure the point at which the dowel or straw is just below the frosting. Cut the dowel or straw at that point. The number of dowels you use depends on the size of you cake. For example, you might use 9 dowel's or straws for a 14" round cake pan and use 4 dowels or straws for an 8" round cake pan. These dowels support the next tier of the cake from sinking into a lower layer. Cover the dowel or straw with the frosting or icing you are using to cover the cake with.

Wilton Cake Garland Marker

Norpro Cake Decorating Set

Decorating a Cake In Buttercream with Chef Alan Tetreault

Step 9 - Add the Tiers To your Wedding Cake

After conpleting each tier, you are ready to add another tier with a smaller cake size. Each tier should be placed on it's own cake board and should be lined up with dowels or un-bendable straw of the cake piece below. Each tier should be frosted just like the bottom tier.

Piping Swag Decorations

Step 10 - Decorate Your Wedding Cake

Once all the tiers of the wedding cake is completed, you then are ready to decorate your entire cake. Fill your pastry bags and apply pastry tips or use flower nails or pastry wheels or cake decorating pens. Add dyes and gels to your frosting or icing to match up to your color scheme you want for the cake. You also can decorate using flowers, flower petals, gum paste, beads, or other cake decoration materials. Note, fondant can be applied to each tier using a french rolling pin before preceding to the next tier.

How To Cut a Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake Topper

Final Thoughts on Making Your Wedding Cake

Remember the key to making a dazzling wedding cake is to have all the ingredients and all the proper wedding making tools and follow the wedding cake recipe and follow the proper baking time. Remember to let the cake cool for 30 minutes before applying the first coat of frosting and keep in the refrigerator several hours before finishing the frosting and applying decorations and embellishments to the wedding cake.

You might include a specially engraved cake cutting knife and cake server at the cutting of the wedding cake. Keep the knife and server as a memento keepsake for the bride and the groom. Some couples like to include a cake topper for the top of the wedding cake. Some wedding cakes require final decorations and embellishments to be applied to the wedding cake right before the wedding reception at the reception venue, someone who is capable should be identified to add the final decorations to the wedding cake. Sometimes a little patchwork is need after the cake makes it's trip from the bakery or baker.

Cupcake Tree

Include a Cupcake Stand or Cake Pops Along With Your Wedding Cake

Serving gourmet cupcakes at weddings have become a trend at weddings recently. Some cupcakes are really flavorful and icing can be made with brilliant colors. Cupcakes sometimes come in handy, allowing a smaller wedding cake to be used at the wedding saving some money on cake expense. You can set the cupcakes using a cupcake tree and serve the cupcakes near the wedding cake.

Another new thing that is starting to appear at weddings are cake pops. Cake and icing is mixed together which forms a glue together cake ball. The cake ball is attached to a lollipop stick and dipped into a delicious coat of icing. The cake pops are often placed into a styrofoam decorated block piece. Cake balls are another treat for wedding guests and can be decorated with many assorted flavor icings and colors.

Cake Pops By Bakerella

Melting & Thinning Candy Melts For Perfect Cake Pop Dipping

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