Charlotte White of Restoration Cake resolves three wedding cake myths once and for all
The wedding cake has fallen quite low on the modern bride’s list of priorities. Many are still haunted by childhood memories of dry, heavy fruitcakes smothered in a thick layer of marzipan and finished with icing so hard it could break teeth. I still have customers who tell me they don’t like icing, when it transpires it is the old-fashioned royal icing they dislike rather than the soft, vanilla-laced sugarpaste used today.
MYTH #1: Wedding = fruitcake
The number of couples who are surprised when I tell them their wedding cake can be any flavour they desire, shocks me. Again, I think this must be due to our childhood cake-scarring – not all wedding cakes are made of fruitcake.
So the first step has to be deciding upon the type of cake itself. Meet up with a cake designer and get some samples. At the end of the day, few of us can afford for this cake to simply be a pretty ornament. It's meant to be eaten so taste is just as important as how it looks.
You can actually choose as many flavours as you have tiers, which makes it incredibly versatile. If you love chocolate mud cake, you can have it, but why not get another tier in a lighter flavour such as lemon drizzle so you can offer your guests a choice? Some couples even choose a special personal flavour as the smallest top tier. I have had brides surprise their grooms by personalising this tier—one bride chose a peanut butter flavour because she knew it would be a treat for her new husband on the day. Isn’t that a cute idea?
MYTH #2: The cake has to be cut at a specific time
The traditional approach is for the cake to be cut after speeches, and then handed out to guests with their coffee at the end of the meal. Though this is traditional, I would strongly advise against it. Really, who has room for a slice of cake after a three-course meal? You will probably end up with a great deal of politely nibbled cake going in the bin. And if there is one thing that breaks my heart, it’s wedding cake going in the bin! You have to think of each slice as money that you are throwing away.
There are two more modern approaches which I really love. The first is to ask your caterer if they you can serve the cake as dessert with your wedding breakfast. It’s great because you will save money by not paying for an additional dessert course. It really depends if the venue is happy to do this, but a slice of cake accompanied by seasonal fruits and a little clotted cream makes a wonderful dessert.
Alternatively, why not try serving the cake later in the evening? A few hours after your wedding breakfast and a few drinks into the evening, a slice of cake can be a God-send and the sugar hit will keep guests going. It's also a great way of involving evening guests in a key moment of the wedding celebrations.
MYTH #3: The cake has to be white
Nothing says ‘wedding’ quite like a happy couple cutting into a beautiful tiered cake, so it has to look the part. Most importantly, the cake has to look right in its surroundings. White wedding cakes were traditionally intended as a symbol of the bride’s purity, but they can be any colour to tie in with the theme of your big day. The cake is often decorated in a way which complements the bride’s own style, it can even be embellished with lace to match the design of the wedding dress.
As a general rule of thumb, a three-tier cake will serve around 150 guests. While you will need to consider the number of guests when coming up with your cake design, you also need to think about the height of the finished product. If your cake will be displayed in a grand setting with high ceilings, three-tiers will be lost very quickly in the space. Simple separator tiers will help add grandeur on a shoestring.
If I could give you just one piece of advice when it comes to choosing your wedding cake, it would be not to neglect this wonderful and integral part of your celebration. It just isn’t a party unless there is a cake and this is your one chance to completely indulge in the cake of your dreams.
Oh, but don’t forget to eat a slice or two yourself... It’s your day and your cake after all!
Visit www.www.restorationcake.co.uk to find out more about Restoration Cake.