One of the things that most people look forward to at a wedding is eating the cake because there are few occasions in life where so much effort and decadence go into one single item. The wedding cake is known to be the most delicious type of cake in the world, but that also means it comes with a higher price tag than ordinary types of cake.
With all that extra expense, it can be tough for couples to find room in their wedding budget to afford the cake that they actually like the best. Because of this, many couples are choosing to make their own wedding cake to help save money and still get the cake that they truly wanted.
Unless you happen to be a master baker, taking on the task of baking your own wedding cake can be very challenging. There’s a reason that wedding cake is more expensive than other types of cakes, and that’s because it requires a lot more time and finesses in order to make one properly.
On top of that, most wedding cake recipes call for special ingredients that aren’t normally in your baking cupboard, so you’ll need to plan to make a special trip to the grocery store to get stocked up. If all that hasn’t deterred you and you’re ready to start baking your own wedding cake, here are some things to help get you started.
Choosing the Flavor
The same as any other type of cake, the foundation for your baked delight will be the cake itself. Unlike a birthday cake that can be virtually any flavor, wedding cakes usually have a very narrow window for acceptable flavors. You don’t want your wedding cake to be too rich since it will be served following a large meal at your reception, so flavors like chocolate should be avoided.
Traditionally most wedding cakes are a white cake, but you can add some delicate flavors like lemon or strawberry if you want to make it a little more interesting.
Frosting a wedding cake is very different from frosting a regular cake, and it can only be summed up as an art. Every inch of your wedding cake’s frosting needs to be completely smooth, so regular frosting techniques won’t do at all. Instead, you’ll need to use a spray frosting that will coat the cake evenly and not leave any ridges. Also, the frosting for a wedding cake is usually much more decadent than regular frosting, so it will need to have a higher fat content and usually is made by hand from scratch.
If you’ve ever looked closely at a wedding cake, then you’ve noticed that there are a lot of decorations included in the design. Most of the decorations on a wedding cake are made of fondant, which is more like dense foam in consistency than normal frosting. There are other optional decorations such as wedding sparklers or even wedding cake candles, but these items are optional and not very common. Wedding cakes also include a cake-topper with can either be made or purchased and usually it depicts a bride and groom getting married.
Depending on how big your wedding is going to be, it can be quite challenging to make a decorative wedding cake large enough to serve all the guests. Instead, you should consider making a smaller wedding cake for the cake-cutting ceremony that will be served to the wedding party and larger sheet cakes that will be served to the rest of your wedding guests.
The flavor of the sheet cakes should be the same as your decorative wedding cake; they just won’t have all the fancy decorations. Even if you buy your wedding cake from a professional bakery, chances are this is how most of your wedding cake will be served to your guests.