Let's Talk Cakes!!

May 11, 2016

Sure you can have your cake and eat it, too! We asked our favorite bakers in the biz for their advice so you can better determine how much and what kind would work best for you. 

 

 

Such a great question! The answer depends two things. How will you be serving your cake, and will this be the only dessert that you are offering your guests? Sadly, not everyone eats cake. I know! Crazy, right? Well, it is certainly something to consider since it is more than likely that you will have your guests that just don’t eat dessert. Still you might need to have cake for each guest just to be on the safe side. The best avenue to pursue, would be to first determine how you would like to serve your cake and then you can more easily decide how much cake you will need.  

 

COMMON WAYS TO SERVE CAKE

Cake Stations are quite popular for less formal affairs. What is a cake station you are wondering? This is when the venue or your wedding planner cuts your cake, as shown above, and then puts it out on a table for your dessert loving guests to help themselves. If you choose to have a cake station, you can definitely order less cake, but how much less depends upon your total headcount. You don’t want to cut it too close. Consult with your cake baker prior to ordering. For example if If your wedding is over 150 guests, you may be able to order up to 20% less cake. If your wedding is under 150, you may be able to order 15% less cake. Keep in mind that the smaller the guest list, the less room you have for error. Also, if you choose to save the top  of your cake, as many couples do, for their first anniversary, this will also effect the total number of servings you will have available.

 

For more formal events, a plated dessert is common. This is when the cake is served to the guest at the end of the meal by being brought to their table, just as their salad and entrée. This is recommended if the meal itself has been plated. Of course, if you should choose this option you must have one slice per guest. 

 

FLAVORS AND FILLINGS

If you choose a cake station, choosing multiple flavors based on the number of tiers you have on your cake is always a great way to go. Your cake designer can easily create a stunning cake where each tier is a different flavor. This way you will have similarly numbers servings of each flavor. However, keep in mind that the more flavors you pick, the fewer servings you will have of certain types of cake since the bottom tier will offer up more slices than the second tier or middle tier. The formula we have seen that works best to explain this would be, if you chose three flavors, get approximately 20 servings of one flavor, approximately 40 servings of another flavor, and 60 – 70 of the bottom tier flavor. This calculation is for a four-tier wedding cake keeping in mind that the top of the cake is being saved for the first anniversary rather than being served.

 

Many times, brides will decide to alternate flavors when they are doing a plated reception, however, this is easier said than done. Cakes are generally served as they are cut, to keep your guests from having to wait. If you prefer to alternate, the entire cake must be cut prior to being served. Therefore, if you are plating your dessert, I recommend one uniform flavor. Keep it simple. This will make things considerably easier on the wait staff and ensure that things to flow as smoothly as possible. You see, when your guests start seeing different flavors, they may track down someone to find them the flavor of their choice both taking the server away from their job and your guest away from the party. 

 

SAVING THE TOP TIER

Many bakers will assume that the top will be saved, but be sure to request an additional box to transport it back home. Also have your wedding planner or the venue bring plastic wrap to seal the box protecting it from freezer burn. Stale cake is no way to celebrate your first anniversary!

 

 

 

Your cake is a reflection of your wedding's theme as well as your personality, so how you decorate can be very personal. Whether you are looking for that "WOW!" factor or just something simple, there are many ways to personalize your cake. Traditionally sugar paste pearls and flowers or piping in floral or customized designs are what we most often see. They are usually white and give a very delicate lacy feel to the design. If you choose a flat icing, however, consider edible gems to add texture and tie in your events colors. Also on flat icing, we love to see gold or silver leaf or even a light spray of edible glitter to add glamor and shimmer to your cake. Adding natural flowers and greenery to either of these designs can soften the look or really add a pop of color to your cake. However, for a truly unique, one of a kind design, consider a hand painted cake. These are really hot right now and you are absolutely ensured to get something no one else has as no two hand painted cakes are ever the same. 

 

DECORATING THE CAKE

Your cake is a reflection of your wedding's theme as well as your personality, so how you decorate can be very personal. Whether you are looking for that "WOW!" factor or just something simple, there are many ways to personalize your cake. Traditionally sugar paste pearls and flowers or piping in floral or customized designs are what we most often see. They are usually white and give a very delicate lacy feel to the design. If you choose a flat icing, however, consider edible gems to add texture and tie in your events colors. Also on flat icing, we love to see gold or silver leaf or even a light spray of edible glitter to add glamor and shimmer to your cake. Adding natural flowers and greenery to either of these designs can soften the look or really add a pop of color to your cake. However, for a truly unique, one of a kind design, consider a hand painted cake. These are really hot right now and you are absolutely ensured to get something no one else has as no two hand painted cakes are ever the same. 

 

HOW MANY TIERS DO I CHOOSE?

A good cake designers should be able to create a cake based on any number of tiers in what ever pattern or design you wish to have them. Just keep in mind that it is not impossible, but it is rather difficult to make a 4 tiered cake under 100 servings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE ROUND?

Round tiers are simple and elegant, however, if you want to really mix things up and get funky with your cake consider some alternate shapes. Squares and circles together or even scalloped for something different but still someone traditional. However, if you really want to think outside of the cake box, topsy turvy is really a showstopper!

 

 

 

 

 

DO FAKE CAKES SAVE MONEY?

Surprisingly, this is not always the case. The cost of wedding cakes is in the time it takes to decorate, deliver and set up your dessert masterpiece. Styrofoam is costly and difficult to work with, so many bakers prefer not to offer this option. When you want a tiered cake that is much larger than the total number of servings needed this may be an option for you. However if you are really focusing on budget, a better way to save money is a smaller display cake, with sheet cakes in the kitchen for cutting. 

 

 

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