Feb 06

The Icing on the Cake …

​Wedding cakes are one of the central elements to any memorable reception and will be talked about and dissected months after your wedding ends. What did it taste like? Did they pick fondant or butter cream icing?! Did they use a topper? What was the stand like?! The wedding cake can act as yet another representation of a couple's personality. As we recently chose our own wedding cake, we thought we'd give you our two cents and share some tips with you that will hopefully help you get the cake of your dreams!

As you start clipping pictures from magazines or 'Pinning' photos to your pinterest board, it's also important to keep in mind that you will need to find yourself a cake baker who will be able to fulfill your vision of not only what the cake will look like but what it will taste like as well! With the advent of television shows such as "Cake Boss" and "Amazing Wedding Cakes," couples the world over are beginning to realize that you can reach for the stars with regards to the design of their cake. But, it's just as important to keep the taste of the cake a main priority. 

When it came time to designing our cake, we knew that we wanted our cake to have butter cream frosting only—no fondant. Fondant icing is a special type of icing that looks great, but it's taste has been hotly contested. Some people don't even try eating it, preferring to peel it off their slice of cake before they put their fork into it. Others like the taste. As we visited several cake makers, we tried a variety of different fondants, and while they were not as off-putting as we initially thought, we still fell on the side of wanting only butter cream icing. 

One of the positives of using fondant icing is that it stays much better in the summer months or in a hot room, whereas butter cream icing can melt (especially if the cake is out for a while). As we were getting married in the late fall, we felt that our cake would be more than likely protected from melting. Fondant icing can also allow more elaborate embellishments to adorn your cake as it provides a more consistent surface for the decorations. However, we have also seen many fantastic looking cakes with intricate piping that had butter cream icing.

After choosing your icing, the next step will be to decide upon the general design of the cake. Traditionally, many couples have gone with round cakes, with square tiers now becoming more en vogue. Additionally, some couples will opt for either a mixture of square and round tiers or customized shapes. While the number of tiers is typically based upon your head count, we worked off of the idea that we wanted a four-tier cake regardless of our head count. 

The final step in designing our cake was finding the right person who would make our vision come alive. When it comes time to meet with your baker, there are several things to keep in mind. If your cake is coming with your venue's package, is there a contingency (such as a reduction in the per head count) if you decide to go with an outside baker? Are you even allowed to use an outside baker? How far in advance will your cake be made in relation to your wedding date? What ingredients does the baker use? As with choosing your photographer, videographer, or wedding planner, choosing the right pastry chef is just as an important a process. Just because your venue includes the cake, doesn't mean you shouldn't have options in the design, or be able to meet with and discuss your needs with the pastry chef. As it turned out, we opted to have our cake made by an outside pastry chef who was able to fulfill our desire to have a four-tier, butter cream iced cake that not only looked great but tasted great! 

And, ultimately, the taste is the last part of the design. Why limit yourself to one flavor of cake and filling when you could have a variety of different tastes all in one wedding cake! After speaking with our pastry chef, we tasted several different cakes and filling, and we're able to have two tiers made with white cake and lemon butter cream filling and two tiers with chocolate cake and mocha filling. It gave both our guests and ourselves different options at dessert time and were very well received!

As with all of our wedding planning advice, remember that the most important opinions in the reception on your wedding night is your own! So, design your cake the way you want! After all, it's one more aspect of your wedding that you'll remember forever. 

If you are currently planning your wedding, have a strong opinion in support of fondant icing, or just want to throw in your two cents, please feel free to leave a comment below! 

(Cake pictured designed and made by Ciao Bella Cakes.

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