The wedding planning process always starts with big-ticket items such as the venue, the caterer, the music, the photographer, the videographer, and the decorator. Subsequently, a highlight to follow is finding a baker. Although it is probably the most fun and the most delicious appointment, choosing a cake can be confusing, and even stressful if you are not prepared. Each cake is priced on the complexity of the design, flavor, filling, the number of tiers, and of course, the number of servings. The baker will ask a series of questions, so it is best to be knowledgeable of terminology and most importantly your budget. But it is also a good idea to bring photos from bridal magazines and online resources, and even fabric swatches.
Buttercream vs. Fondant
Buttercream frosting is always a favorite with its creamy and fluffy texture that may be used inside and outside a cake. The classic “pastry” icing contains egg whites, sugar, butter, and pure vanilla which can be flavored with chocolate, liquors, citrus, mocha, and so much more. Whereas fondant is a thick pliable paste made of sugar and water which wraps around a cake. It can be flavored or colored and acts as a canvas for other decorations to be placed on top of it. It is easily moldable into decorative embellishments too.
This decadent filling or frosting is made from melted dark chocolate, heavy cream, and sweet creamery butter. It is also known as “truffle filling” and a top pick for chocolate lovers.
A hot trend that continues to go strong is the naked cake. The exterior is exposed which makes the interior the focal point. Minimal icing is used therefore, the focus is on the filling and other décor accents like fruit and/or florals.
This new trend works well with a fondant base on a multi-tier cake. The happy couple’s story is also created with fondant and placed on each layer starting at the bottom tier from how they met up until the wedding day.
Once you have determined the cake’s exterior, the filling is just as important. The choices are endless: fruit purees, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, chips, coconut, cream cheese, cannoli, custard….
It is recommended to stay away from nuts and choose maybe two crowd-pleasing options for the different layers giving guests variety.
Sugar Flowers vs. Real Flowers
Many high-end bakeries can create edible flowers from gum paste. Even though they may be realistic, they contain wire and are accented with luster dust or an airbrush spray which can make them bitter to the palate. If you remove them and keep them away from moisture and light, they can make great keepsakes.
Authentic florals guarantee that your entire wedding is cohesive from start to finish. The same flowers used from the ceremony to the reception will also be implemented on the cake to ensure that everything is picture-perfect. Ask your bakery if your florist can provide the flowers for your cake. These are typically placed on-site at the venue prior to the event by your baker.
Other Important Bites
Your cake contract should include a sketch, all the details, number of servings, proper delivery information, and any fees associated such as delivery and set up. Find out if take-home boxes are provided and if a top tier box for preservation is also included.
Above all, like anything else in the wedding planning process, select your bakery based on reviews and your venue or caterer’s recommendation.
By doing your research, finding a reputable baker should be a piece of cake.