Wedding cakes can be remarkable works of art reflective of the bridal couple’s personalities, style and sense of tradition. The cutting of the cake by the bride and groom, usually at the wedding reception, is a symbolic gesture and almost as well photographed as the first kiss as husband and wife. There are no rules when it comes to style or design; wedding cakes range from individual cupcakes to single-tiered cakes dressed with fresh flowers to multi-layered, gold-dusted towers of edible delight. The wedding cake is usually sliced and packaged in small bags for guests to take home. Alternatively, the cake can be served during the dessert course or with coffee later in the evening. Tradition dictates you keep the top tier of your cake to celebrate your first wedding anniversary or the birth of your first child, but as with all things modern, this may no longer be relevant to some couples.
Cake trends and tips
SHAPE: Classic round cakes are making a comeback this year. A popular trend is to have tiers of varying heights instead of standard-sized layers. Similar decoration ties the different tiers together and creates an almost whimsical, unstructured cake.
TEXTURE: Smooth iced cakes were the only option a generation ago but now soft-textured butter-cream icings can be applied to give a romantic, ruffled effect to your cake. Again the combination of contrasting icing finishes on different cake layers can be very effective.
Traditional fruit cake is still popular with brides, particularly if a layer of the cake is to be kept beyond the wedding day, but the season can also dictate the cake flavour. Consider light lemon or sponge cake for spring and summer weddings and rich, decadent chocolate for cooler seasons. Better yet, indulge yourself by having different flavours for different layers.
COLOUR: Traditionally a wedding cake is iced in white with fresh, silk or edible flowers, piping, ribbon and other adornments reflecting the signature colour scheme of the wedding. If colour matching is important to you, take a sample of your bridesmaids’ dress fabric or photos of your bouquet flowers when you meet with your cake decorator. Alternatively, cake layers can be decorated in varying shades from the same colour palette.
UNFROSTED: Unfrosted or ‘naked’ wedding cakes fit well with the rustic style wedding theme. Layers of cake joined with cream and fresh fruit and decorated with masses of seasonal flowers and foliage can be a great choice for the bride who has a family member or friend volunteer to make the cake.
METALLIC: The rise in popularity of metallic embellishments continues. Lustrous gold and silver tones identify the cake as a special occasion piece, perfect for a wedding celebration. Ribbon, edible paints, piped icing and gold dust can add a shimmering finish to your cake.