There are certain questions I get asked repeatedly that I think have become urban wedding cake myths. So I thought I would compile a list and explain how they are well and truly busted.
Do I have to have a fruit cake?
In years gone by, couples often had children quite soon after marrying. The top tier of their wedding cake was therefore kept to be served at the christening and of course, fruit cake was the sensible choice due to its extended shelf life.
However, as more couples are waiting longer to have children or indeed have had a family beforehand, the tradition has slowly died out.
I like fruit cake but only want a small tier. Can it be stacked on the top?
Absolutely it can, and anyone that says otherwise really doesn’t understand how to properly structure a cake and should be shot!!!! All wedding cakes should contain sufficient dowels to hold the weight of the tier above (it is the dowels that hold the weight, not the cake underneath). I will eventually do my own tutorial on cake stacking as it is fundamental skill but in the meantime, you can check out this tutorial on cake stacking by the fabulous Anges de Sucres.
Do I have to feed everyone?
This is probably my most often-asked question and will form the subject of another blog at some point.
I suppose it depends when you intend to serve your cake. For the most part, the cake is cut by the bride and groom prior to their first dance and then served with the evening buffet. If this is the case, I would suggest catering for about 80% of the guest total (once the beer starts flowing and the dancing shoes come out, eating cake is the last thing on some guests’ minds).
You can always keep some cake aside to give out at a later date (e.g. work colleagues, absent family members). But if you do want the venue to cut up the whole cake, be sure to tell them so you don’t end up taking half of it home. Our cakes are never pre-frozen so if that does happen, you can simply chop it into slices, wrap in cling film and pop it in the freezer for up to 6 months (check out our blog on freezing a decorated cake).
If you intend on serving it as dessert during the meal, you would then want to cater for the correct number of guests attending.
Having a fake tier/cupcakes/small cakes will be cheaper
The largest part of a wedding cake cost comes from the decoration, not the actual cake. It takes the same amount of time, ingredients and expertise to cover a tier, regardless of whether it is real or fake.
If you take into account the reduction in baking time, there may be a small saving. But it is often negligible as fake polystyrene tiers can be quite expensive to purchase and will offset this saving.
As for cupcakes and small cakes, there is often much more decoration and work than on a single tiered cake so in the long run can work considerably more expensive.
Can I have fresh cream as a filling?
Frosting and fillings made from fresh cream or cream cheese need to be refrigerated within 4 hours and are therefore not suitable for fondant-covered cakes or desserts that are to be left out for long periods, especially in hot weather. Buttercream, on the other hand, is stable at room temperature and will not therefore need to be refrigerated.
Ganache is also made with fresh cream but as the cream is boiled prior to use, this is perfectly safe at room temperature.
Always check that your supplier is registered with their local Environmental Health and have the appropriate food hygiene training/certification.
There are plenty of others that I could include in this list but these are the most popular. Don’t forget there is no such thing as a daft question and believe me, us cakey people have heard them all. So please don’t be afraid to ask your wedding cake supplier if there is something you are not sure about. If you have enjoyed reading this and have any questions for us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.