How to Create a Wedding Cake

Whether you’re an experienced baker or not, creating a wedding cake is a large task. To start, you’ll need to understand the couple’s vision for their cake.

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The traditional tiered wedding cake was inspired by the steeple of St. Bride’s Church in London. Queen Victoria’s wedding cake featured white icing, which became known as royal icing.

Traditions

There are several wedding cake traditions that are often observed. One is feeding each other a bite of the cake which is a sweet and romantic gesture symbolising their commitment to provide for one another. This is a fun moment and also creates some great photos. This tradition may have sprung from an old custom in Rome where the groom would break bread over the bride to signify prosperity and fertility.

Some couples also save the top tier of their wedding cake to be eaten on their first anniversary. This was a popular custom in Victorian times when fruit cakes were preferred as they were easier to preserve.

A more unusual tradition is the practice of putting a slice of take-away wedding cake under your pillow at night. This is thought to be a good omen for married life and dates back as far as the 17th century.

Symbolism

There is a lot of symbolism associated with wedding cake making. For example, the cake is traditionally made with the best ingredients available to symbolize prosperity and good luck. It is also thought to be a fertility symbol and should be consumed by the newlyweds so that they have many children.

The cake cutting ceremony is also full of symbolism. The bride and groom feed each other a piece of cake. This is a sweet and romantic tradition and it symbolizes the couple’s commitment to provide for one another. However, some couples have been taking this too far recently and crushing the cake into each other’s faces, which is a bit unsettling.

A white wedding cake was originally meant to symbolize virginity and purity, just like the bridal dress. But when sugar became more affordable, white icing began to represent wealth and status. It became known as royal icing after Queen Victoria’s wedding.

Flavors

A wedding cake can be a great way to express your unique tastes and personalities. It can also serve as a nod to your family’s heritage or traditions. For example, a Caribbean rum fruitcake or an Indonesian kek lapis can add a touch of the tropics to your big day.

Spice cakes are another popular choice. They offer subtle nuances of flavor and a warm, comforting aesthetic. They can be made with any number of spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamom.

A cake filled with fresh fruits can be a refreshing treat. It can also provide a natural look and add a pop of flavor to the dessert. This option is perfect for any time of year. Try strawberries, apricots, and peaches in spring and summer or apples, pears, pomegranates, and figs in winter. You can even create a one-of-a-kind cake with a hand-painted design.

Layers

Wedding cakes come in many shapes, sizes and styles. Choosing a shape and number of layers will depend on your budget and taste preferences. A cake can be stacked, carved or even made into a tier shape. Whether you are planning a single or multi-tiered cake, it is important to understand the different pan sizes and types that are available to ensure you have enough ingredients for your special day.

A layered cake has multiple cake tiers with internal supports in between. The tiers are then frosted and decorated to create the final product. Fillings may include buttercream, ganache, mousse, curd or fruit preserves. For stability, a sturdy filling is recommended.

To determine how many servings a cake will provide, begin with the size of the bottom tier and work upwards. For example, a three-tier cake that has an 8-inch base, a 10-inch middle, and 6-inch top tier will serve about 100 guests.

Decorations

In addition to icing, cake decorations add a personal touch and are a chance to highlight wedding theme or flowers. Fresh flowers are easy to make and work well with most types of cakes. You can even choose a colour to match your bouquet or dress. Artificial flowers are also a great option. They are usually pliable enough to be manipulated by the hands of a skilled cake designer and when they are properly matched with the rest of your flowers they are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing.

A more modern choice is a marble effect. This works beautifully with most designs, and can be topped with metallic accents or an ombre effect to create a contemporary aesthetic.

Budget

Many factors can cause wedding cake prices to skyrocket. A higher-end bakery or a custom design will cost more. So will a special ingredient like gold leafing.

Another factor is the size of the cake and the number of tiers. A larger, multi-tiered cake will cost more to make because it takes longer to bake and stack. And a cake that has a lot of decorations will also cost more because each decoration adds labor time.

Lastly, delivery and setup fees are often included in the cake price. The baker has to keep the cake at the right temperature and ensure it stays intact while traveling from the bakery to the venue. You can reduce the cost of a wedding cake by choosing a smaller sized dessert or opting for a deconstructed style. For example, a kitchen cake has the same layers and fillings as a traditional cake but isn’t decorated.