The weddding cake!!! It’s the ULTIMATE cake- the cake that symbolizes a huge life choice, and look gorgeous in all the wedding photos. Yes, making the wedding cake is quite an important job. Not only must it look beautiful (and satisfy all the bride’s ideas and color schemes) but it must taste good, and most importantly, not fall down!!!! If you are an accomplished cake maker and feel you are up to the next cake making challenge, please take note of 5 secrets to making a wedding cake.
1. Practice cutting cakes evenly and icing cakes smoothly.
This may seem like common sense but common sense is not always common knowledge. If you cut your cakes lopsided your wedding cake will be lopsided. If your icing is not smooth and clean and crisp at the edges than your wedding cake will reflect that. Basically, any small errors you make when icing or cutting a smaller cake, get magnified in a wedding cake so keep it clean!
2. Choose a stable cake base and filling
Should your cake taste delicious? Of course! But is it more important that the cake taste delicious or that it look beautiful? Usually, I would say both components are important but for a wedding cake it is slightly more important that the cake be beautiful. Test out cake bases and fillings ahead of time and make sure you choose cake that will hold up well and a filling that isn’t too moist.
3. Practice using dowel rods for stability.
Wedding cakes are edible architecture. It is very important that you choose sturdy, hardware dowel rods that can support each layer. Practice cutting the dowel rods so that they are level with the top of each tier. Make sure you use just enough dowel rods to support the cake tiers without compromising the integrity or structure of the cake. And ALWAYS save a long dowel rod to place down the center of the cake to prevent listing.
4. Talk to your bride about wedding cake expectations.
Brides have a million wedding details on their mind and are usually nervous about their big day. Make sure you have plenty of conversations ahead of time about the look and taste of the cake. Ensure that you are on the same page in regards to color scheme, flowers, ribbons, cake toppers, etc. The bride usually provides the cake topper and the florist usually provides the flowers. Make sure that the bride is aware of what things you are and aren’t responsible for. If the bride is an unknown person, write a contract that stipulates what time you are to arrive and set up the cake. And ALWAYS add a clause that once the cake is down it is the bride’s responsibility. I have seen cakes get dropped later in the night and it is not the baker’s responsibility anymore!
5. Make a list and check it twice
Days before the wedding cake is due you will need to make a list about everything you need to bring onsite. This includes things like dowel rods, tools, scissors, straws, spatulas, extra buttercream, piping tips, etc. Ensure that you have reliable transport for your wedding cakes. By the way, wedding cakes should always be transported un-stacked to the wedding site. Put your dowel rods in ahead of time and stack the cake on site. Once you get on site you have one chance to get the cake down perfectly without it falling. Make sure you are prepared so you set yourself up for success.
Finally, have fun!!! The wedding cake is one of the baker’s happiest forms of self expression. It is remembered for years to come by the bride, groom and wedding guests. Plan ahead, make smart cake choices, and practice, practice, practice. You too can make a wedding cake!