With so many unique designs and new flavours being created all the time, it can become overwhelming to know what style of wedding cake you want for your wedding! Here are some points to consider when choosing the right cake for your big day.
Where did the tradition of having a wedding cake come from?
The tradition of the wedding cake actually dates back to Ancient Rome when a cake made from barley or wheat would be broken over the bride’s head as a symbolic gesture of good fortune. In medieval England the tradition stemmed from a practice in which a tower of spiced buns would be placed between the couple and if the bride and groom could successfully reach for a kiss above the stack, they would experience a prosperous marriage.
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Eventually the tradition evolved into making wedding cakes out of minced fruit as it symbolized prosperity and fertility, and sharing the cake with wedding guests was also believed to encourage fertility for the newlyweds.
A modern tradition that many couple still partake in is to preserve the first layer of the wedding cake by freezing it for one whole year, and sharing a slice on either the one year wedding anniversary or first child’s baptism. Although most flavours of cake can be preserved this way, modern tradition usually implies fruit cake is the ideal option for this marital ritual.
These days the wedding cake is usually cut at the wedding reception as a formality, and is then taken away to be cut up and served to guests after dinner. It is usually then packaged into small bags for guests to take home too.
How to choose your wedding cake
Here are some points to help to consider when selecting your wedding cake:
Consider the flavours you like
The first step to take when choosing your wedding cake is to determine what type and flavour you and your partner would like to have. While tradition suggests fruit cake or a mud cake variety, many modern couples opt for all sorts of flavours from vanilla, to caramel or white chocolate. However, for couples who don’t have a sweet tooth a tower of cheese wheels may to more to their liking instead.
Consider if there are any flavours that are special to you and your partner, for example maybe you shared a slice of chocolate cake on your first date? If, there is nothing in particular that you are both fond of it is possible to have a different flavour for each tier. It is also wise to consider if you have any allergies or an intolerance to ingredients such as gluten, as well as what flavours will be a popular among your guests.
With so many innovative cake suppliers around these days there are now many custom flavours to choose from too, from salted caramel to Nutella, to popcorn or passion fruit, the list is endless! Have a discussion with your supplier about what your overall needs are and they will guide you in what flavours are best. For example, if you require a cake that is five-tiers high, you might be restricted to denser cake flavours like chocolate mud, as it will withstand the weight and height of the design best.
Don’t forget to taste the flavours before you make your selection. This is the best part of the process and one that your partner will no doubt enjoy being a part of too!
Know your wedding theme and style
The best way to determine the appearance and design of your wedding cake is to consider your wedding theme, style and colour schemes. For example, if you are having a rustic themed wedding then a semi-naked cake would perfectly suit the aesthetics of your wedding.
If you are having a traditional wedding, perhaps a classic white cake with minimal embellishment would best suit the style of your day. Or, if you are taking a more contemporary route it’s a good opportunity to get creative with the colour choices and design of your cake. There are so many possibilities and so many talented cake makers!
It is a good idea to create a wedding mood board of your wedding style which includes reference images of different cake styles you like. This way you can provide your supplier a visual reference of the look, feel and theme you are going for.
Number of guests
If you are having 200 guests, you may need to consider a cake that is three to four-tiers high, whereas, if you are having 90 guests or less one-tier would be suffice, (depending on the size of the tier.) The size of your wedding cake also depends on if you would like to serve coffee or dessert portions at your wedding. Dessert portions are large slices of cake which are typically served individually on a plate with a dollop of fresh cream or ice cream, and is not accompanied by other desserts.
A coffee portion on the other hand is a much smaller slice, and often multiple slices are served on a platter and placed in the middle of each guest table. Coffee portions are accompanied by other desserts, as well as tea and coffee.