TopTips : Choosing your Wedding Cake

WARNING: If you intend to have a productive day working from home, say bon-voyage to an hour of your day because scrolling through these creations is positively addictive!

wedding cake baker

Your Cake Design and Trends

I don’t know about you, but if I read the phrase “unprecedented times” one more time during this pandemic I might explode into a cloud of confetti. However, an unprecedented time can mean never before seen cake and wedding trends. And why not get excited about the never before seen?? If you already wanted to have a unique wedding, by-gosh you have a wide open road now that you can pave with your new ideas. Get some inspiration, and moreover excitement, going! The world of confectionery is enormous, and you have probably only seen the first tier of a 7 tier masterpiece. Stop what you are doing and just take a look at what can be done with flour eggs and sugar.

WARNING: If you intend to have a productive day working from home, say bon-voyage to an hour of your day because scrolling through these creations is positively addictive!

Your Wedding Cake Baker

Just like choosing the right wedding planner or right photographer, choosing the right cake creator follows the same protocol. If your styles and personalities click, fantastic. But if they are reliable and you trust them to be able to deliver then fantastically splendid. Asking for references and testimonials will be your best bet. Not all cake bakers are the same, they are artists with a cake canvas – some may suit your style and others not so much. They will also be your best guide to which flavours are out there and what can be done. And holy-fondant there are many flavours and finishes. Remember, these professionals really want to cater to you, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Top 10 things to consider:

1. Pricing: It’s tough to give an estimate on how much you would pay for a cake on average. But Lullubelle’s Bakes says there are things to keep in mind that will affect cost. The number of tiers you would like will affect the price, as well as the type of cake or the finish you would like. Discuss budget and guest count with your baker and they can give you the best advice.

*Little industry secret, they will often put a few dummy tiers in cakes, which cuts costs, but not grandeur. With a bit of smoke and mirrors your guests will be impressed and none the wiser!

2. When to book: Experts advise booking 3-6 months before your Big Day. These bakers are popular and especially during peak wedding seasons they are fully booked – as most only take on a certain amount of projects in order to make sure each gets the attention they need. So book early to guarantee yourself a spot in their calendar.

3. Portion size: Do you want your cake to be served as your dessert course, or do you want to have your cake as a ceremonial piece and then serve a separate dessert?

If you are serving a traditional tiered cake as your dessert there are guidelines for how many tiers you would need to feed your guests. Cake Me Happy has a great straightforward guide for the tier vs guest ratio.

If you are not going with a traditional tiered cake then cupcakes are very easy to portion or consider a french Croquembouche. These two options are just as impactful as a 5 tier cake, it all depends on what you prefer.

4. Wedding Style: “The wedding cake is a focal point, a highlight, for the bridal couple, but to be an effective part of the greater visual of the day its decoration is as important as the venue.” says award-winning pastry chef Wade van der Merwe from Cakes by Wade.

Have your baker take a look at your moodboard – a digital mood board during this pandemic is a great tool in order to safely and effectively display your taste.

5. Place in Ceremony: The cake cutting is another big moment at your wedding, and traditionally the cake cutting is done after dinner. But this is your wedding and there are no rules. “A new trend is where couples cut their cake once they have made their entrance into their reception hall,” says Lindsay of Lulubelle’s Bakes. “Doing it towards the end means that many guests are likely to miss it, so I agree with the earlier the better.”

6. Season: With our gorgeous sunny weather here in Cape Town it is highly important to remember that mousse and chocolate melt! How tragic would it be to have your beautiful piece of edible art just melt and droop before your guests? Avoid an unintentional smash cake situation by taking the weather into account. Your baker has been there and done that and learned the lessons on your behalf, take their advice to heart.

7. Tastings: A tasting and consultation are necessary for you to be sure about what you want and what you will receive on the day. And hopefully by the time you get to this part the pandemic has eased its grip. Our listed Wedding Cake Companies have a range of options for you, however, all the options may not be available at the moment due to social distancing.

8. Cake Stands: This may appear to be something that will be provided, along with the cake, but not necessarily. Wedding Hiring Companies and your baker have many options available at a small extra cost. Remember that your wedding cake baker needs to be kept in the loop on your cake stand choice. To ensure the style and the size matches the cake and that it can structurally support your delicate, decadent dessert.

wedding cake

9. Delivery and Set-Up: This is so-so-so important to discuss during your consultation. Cake companies will personally deliver their creation from their kitchen to your venue. This comes with a nominal fee depending on the distance to be covered – Cake Me Happy even gives you the rate charged per kilometer on their website. They know how to transport and set up cakes, leave that stress to the pros.

If you want to use fresh flowers on your cake simply order extra from your florist and your cake angels will style the flowers upon delivery, at your venue. All of these things need to be discussed before you sign that dotted line with your chosen cake company.

10. Dietary Concerns: Each bakery is different and our listed companies would be more than happy to at least attempt to accommodate your dietary restrictions and concerns. Lulubelle’s Bakes is a nut-free establishment, “…but I certainly can add them if requested, and then insist on placing a little note alongside the cake advising guests about the cake containing nuts.” 

We hope this has rekindled your wedding inspiration during a complete topsy-turvy time that we are all trying our best to not only get through but thrive in as best we can.

Book your consultation today with one of our Top Wedding Cake Companies!

Feature and Header Images:  Cakes by Wade