Help Your Clients Pick the Right Wedding Cake!
Style sets the tone of the reception. After months of searching for the right dress and a venue to go along with it, the perfect wedding cake will tie everything together. Your job as a planner is to help guide the process!
Keeping a few basic criteria in mind will help you find a wedding cake that leaves guests delighted and talking about the event for years to come!
Identify the wedding theme
Make sure that your client is clear on what they envision for their big day. If the wedding is for a quirky, non-traditional couple then you will want to collaborate with a designer known for eclectic cakes!
Have your bride and groom provide pictures of their dream cake and refer to these images in your hunt for a cake designer.
Details to consider:
- Budget: Having a price tag in mind will help narrow down the search for a bakery. Portion size is essential to calculating the cost and size of the cake. This cake serving guide will be incredibly helpful for the cost breakdown.
- Venue: Is the wedding going to be outside or inside? These crucial details will help you select the appropriate frosting and flavour.
- Theme: How is the cake going to fit into the overall wedding? Are the bridge and groom staging a dramatic cake cutting photo op? Will it be displayed on a particular piece of décor? Again, knowing these details will make choosing a cake as efficient as possible.
Finding a flavor and filling
If the bride and groom are adventurous, encourage them to experiment with different flavor profiles. An exotic or unexpected flavor can be a way for the bride and groom to really let their personality shine through.
For something more traditional, here are some wedding cake flavors that are tried and true crowd pleasers:
Red velvet is a striking option. Guests will be wowed by red sponge after the first slice. Best described as a combination of chocolate and vanilla, red velvet is sure to please many palettes.
These days, vanilla is far from just a traditional choice! Not only is vanilla enjoyably sweet, it can be paired with a bold flavor without becoming overpowering.
Chocolate boasts such versatility! Satisfyingly rich or lightened up with mint, chocolate cake really is a decadent way to spoil your guests. Strawberry infused chocolate, anyone?
If the bridge and groom are keen on something different, try some other combinations. Carrot cake is terrific for a rustic themed venue. Coconut and lime will be a hit at a beach wedding. Other citrus twists are great for summer events, and even favorite liqueurs can be transformed into the perfect flavor profile.
Best icing for wedding cakes
This is the ‘make it or break’ it component of the cake design. The wrong icing will melt in warm weather—a total disaster that you don’t ever want to experience as a wedding planner.
Basically a combination of almonds, sugar, and egg whites. Its paste-like consistency makes it ideal for modelling and making intricate shapes. Another great aspect of using marzipan is that it is easily colored.
Made from sugar, water, gelatin, and glycerol, fondant makes for another versatile icing choice. It is very easily shaped into cut outs, or rolled into a smooth finish. Fondant is also suitable for warmer weather, making it the perfect choice for summer weddings.
If you love the look of fondant, but are not a fan of the flavor, many bakers will also layer it over buttercream in order to get the best of both worlds.
Wonderful to look at, but not so great for summer weddings! Made from butter, cream, sugar, and vanilla, buttercream can also easily be incorporated into different flavours, such as lemon zest or chocolate. Its creamy consistency is perfect for delicate touches like rosettes or basket weave piping. Buttercream also often works double-duty as a cake filling.
It is possible to make buttercream icing that will withstand warmer temperatures; however, it needs to be shortening-based! If your client is going with buttercream, make sure you let the baker know of the warmer venue.
Combine egg whites with icing sugar and you get royal icing, which starts out soft but sets into a harder consistency. It can be colored and is also very typically used for piping and additional delicate arrangements on the cake.
Be forewarned, royal icing is prone to cracking! If your bride has her heart set on it, make sure you have a plan to properly transport the cake. Otherwise, make the most of royal icing in the detailing.
Meringue, whipped cream, and ganache are additional icing alternatives. Because egg whites coagulate to make meringue, this is an option for warm temperatures, while whipped cream is lighter and more suitable for cooler venues.
The shiny veneer of ganache is made from rich chocolate melted with cream. Depending on the cream to chocolate ratio, it can be chilled for a fluffier texture.
Elevate with cake décor
Regardless of what your client chooses to go with for their icing, a one of a kind creation can be achieved with décor. Think piping, and lots of it!
Adding the finishing touch
Personalized cake toppers, draping, beading, appliques, and crystallized flowers are fantastic ways to add finishing touches. Don’t forget about fresh flowers! A few blossoms will showcase surrounding floral arrangements.
Fake it till you make it
Of course, a ‘fake’ cake is always an option. Mostly made out of foam and topped with icing, replicas are an economical way to still have a tiered cake—and guests still get to have a slice of a more budget-friendly sheet cake.
Fresh wedding cake trends
Coordinate with colors
Don’t think that a traditionally shaped wedding cake is automatically boring! A great way to highlight the cake is to match it to the bridal gown. This can be achieved with piping, or colour and other details.
A new way to have fun with cake design is to forgo icing completely! A ‘naked’ cake is simply sprinkled with icing sugar. Understated icing can be a creative way to incorporate fresh fruit and flowers.
Painted or illustrated designs
Personalizing a cake is entirely possible! Whether your client wants a specific print, quote, or simply would like to have their gateau monogrammed, hand painted visuals are the best way to bring a distinct look to life. The opportunities are endless!
That being said, not every latest craze is a hit. Some wedding trends might be better to skip!
Collaborate with a wedding cake designer
The next step is to make the dream wedding cake a reality. Review your contacts and refer your clients to an appropriate cake designer. If that doesn’t work out, do your research and make a shortlist of bakeries you want to contact. Many have portfolios online, so you can check out different creations to see if a designer will be a good fit in terms of budget and design.
Once you’ve established some basic criteria for your cake, here comes the fun part: the tasting!