The Wonderful Realm of the Wedding Cake

In today’s world there are just so many different options and choices available to us. We can get a hold of people by traditional phone, smart phone, regular cell phone, email, or regular mail. If we want to get somewhere we can drive a car, ride a bike, take a bus, or stroll along. Given all the various options available to us today, it’s only natural that this variety should work its way into one of our most cherished and honored traditions…that of the wedding cake. Selecting the flavor of the cake and the color of the icing is just getting started with the process. You will also need to take some time to choose the best wedding cake topper for your special cake. In this article we will be exploring the realm of the wedding cake. We will be providing some background details on the tradition, and eventually working on up to the selection process of the perfect topper for that very special wedding cake.

The wedding cake is often proudly and strategically placed during the wedding reception. Often towering way up into the heavens, it can compete with the bride as the “center of attention” on her big day. This delicious work of art establishes a focal point that the other aspects of the reception can revolve around. For those who prefer a flare for the dramatic, the wedding cake can be wheeled into the room at the end of the reception, providing a “grand entrance” for everyone to see. To many people this grand entrance will perhaps trigger memories of the bride who walked down the aisle earlier in the day.

For Starters

The wedding cake has evolved over the years. Starting off as a simple symbol of fertility, it has transformed itself into an artistic tradition that can have many different artistic interpretations. For many ancient peoples wheat was a symbol of fertility and a bountiful harvest. The Ancient Romans used to throw grains of wheat at the bride and groom to “wish fertility” to the new couple during their wedding. This custom eventually evolved into bringing little cakes made from wheat to the wedding banquet itself. People would then crumble this cake over the head of the bride to wish the happy couple “many children”. The guests would then eat the fallen crumbs as a symbol of sharing in the couple’s good fortune.

Many think that this “crumbling of the cake” over the bride’s head may have evolved into another wedding day tradition? Do you know what it is? In order to protect the hapless bride from the wheat shower that is to come, bridesmaids draped a cloth over her head before the “crumbling tradition” took place. Many believe that this simple cloth evolved into the wedding veil of today.

Welcome The Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages buns or sweet rolls had replaced the original wheat cakes, but it was still very customary for guests to bring these tasty treats to the wedding. Placed in a huge pile between the bride and groom, if the happy couple was able to kiss over this huge stack of wheat, it was believed that they would be blessed with many children.

It is commonly believed that the next step in the evolution of the traditional cake was performed by a French pastry chef during the 17th century. During a trip to London he happened to observe this “cake piling” ceremony. Upon his return to France he dusted the stack of buns with sugar, and thereby “cemented” them together into one tasty art form. This was to become the first rendition of the tiered and frosted wedding cake, and a forerunner as to what was to come in the years ahead.

The Classic Style

Are you familiar with the classic style of the modern day wedding cake? You know, the one with the distinctive design of smaller tiers as the cake builds vertically? It is believed that this model was inspired by the spire of the 14th century Saint Bride’s church in London. How’s that for a bit of trivia for you?

Victorian England has brought us many of today’s valued wedding traditions. For example, Queen Victoria herself is said to have had a cake that weighed in at 300 lbs. As confectioners and bakers became more daring and skillful, their creations became even more daring and elaborate. When England’s Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip were married back in 1947, their wedding cake weighed in at a whopping 500 lbs, and was 9 feet tall.

The Version of Today

In today’s world the elaborate wedding cake is no longer reserved for the rich and famous. Every couple can share in the tradition of having a wedding cake added to their big day. The wedding cake specialists of today’s world have taken their art to towering heights (pardon the pun). Long gone are those bland days when you were limited to a white cake with white frosting. Although a white cake will probably always be the most popular due to its traditional meaning, today’s couple is limited only by the limits of their imagination (and budget) when it comes to their wedding cake.

Why White?

White is definitely the color of a wedding, but did you know that there is another reason why the white is the customary color of a wedding cake? Back in Victorian times the finer ingredients of a wedding cake were scarce and hard to come by. If the cake had a white icing, this revealed the fact that only the best and most expensive white sugar was being used. Brown sugar was much more common, and therefore much less expensive. So, the more white the cake, the richer the people.

Be Sure To Plan Ahead

Don’t leave your special wedding cake until the last minute. This is one of the most important things that you can remember. Whether you choose the baker down the road, a talented family member, or a pastry chef who specializes in these tasty masterpieces, if you plan well in advance you will be able to handle whatever obstacles might come your way. Some bakers require only a minimum notice, while many bakers are booked far in advance. It’s a shame to have that perfect cake of your dreams be “cancelled” due to the fact you cannot allocate a baker’s time.

What’s that you say? You have no idea who will be baking your wedding cake? If you don’t have a particular baker in mind, you have a bit of homework ahead of you. Shop around and get some good recommendations from family and friends. Browse the yellow pages and the internet as they are both valuable informational resources. If you happen to be surfing the web you will see that many bakers today are posting photos of some of their masterpieces. As a sort of masterpiece cake gallery, they showcase what they are capable of producing. This will jog your imagination as to what you would like your own wedding cake to look like.

Don’t Forget Your Budget

Be sure to consider your budget before you let your imagination get the better of you. You want your wedding day to be one of celebration, not the day that you started your journey into financial disaster. Many people are surprised at the cost of a wedding cake. Keep in mind that you are asking an artisan to create a masterpiece for you, and this can often be reflected in the price that he/she will be charging. The cost of labor is often the largest expense in the creation of a wedding cake but keep in mind the simple fact that fondant is more expensive than buttercream.

Have you thought about staging your masterpiece? This comes next. Be sure to take the wedding cake stand into consideration during your planning phase. While some cakes can be simply placed on flat boards that will not be seen by the general public, others are elaborately displayed on beautiful stands for everyone to see. Keep in mind the simple fact that actual size of the cake table must be in proportion to the actual size of your cake. A table that is too small will make the cake look way too big, while a table that is too large will make it look like a tiny cupcake. And before we forget, your cake table will need a beautiful covering to compliment its strategic location at the wedding reception. Oh, don’t forget the cake knife and cake server. There needs to be a place on the table for these two items as well.

The Topper

The topper “tops off” your special wedding cake. The “wedding cake topper” is the name for the elegant decoration or figure that sits atop a wedding cake. While it is true that some couples prefer to have the simple style of an unadorned cake, many prefer to have that final “crowning touch”, the wedding cake topper, sitting on top of the upper layer of the cake. In today’s world the simple plastic “bride and groom” of yesteryear has more likely been replaced by the classic porcelain figurine of today.

So what types of wedding cake toppers are available to us today? We’re glad you asked. Many different types of figures are available. They range from the classic poses to figurines depicting some of the potentially “humorous” aspects of the wedding. For example, a bride dragging the hapless groom back to the altar. Personalized wedding cake toppers are also popular these days, while niche toppers such as a “marine marriage” have their place as well.

In Conclusion

There is only so much detail that one can go into in a simple article, and we have much more to say and relay. If you would like to learn more about wedding cakes, and wedding cake toppers to be more specific, please come and visit us on our blog.

Budget Saving Wedding Cake Ideas

When I was 12 or 13, I remember being the hostess at my cousin’s wedding. One of the first things that I saw when I walked into the reception hall was this beautiful wedding cake. For years, I dreamed of a fairytale wedding cake just like hers. The cake was tall, separated by columns with a few tiers, although I can’t remember exactly how many there were. At the top of the wedding cake were the bride and groom, and on the side were the bridesmaids and groomsmen standing on staircases that led to the top. The staircases were also connected to smaller cakes that adorned the side and underneath the cake was a fountain. I think many brides remember the era of the big cakes with all kinds of special decorations on them. I just stood there amazed and looked at her beautiful wedding cake decked out in the colors of the wedding and dreamed of the day that I would cut into my own wedding cake that looked just like that. That cake was probably the second most admired part of that wedding.

As brides, we want that reaction to our wedding cakes as well. We want people to mill around it and admire the creation that is a symbolic of a couples new union. We have dreams of hearing those “ooh’s” and “ah’s” and the conversations about the décor, the colors, and the height of the cake. The right wedding cake should take the breath away of all your guests, and make them anxious to take a bite.

The wedding cake is one of the major elements of the wedding day. Because it is such a big purchase, much time and purpose needs to be dedicated into making the perfect cake. If you have never planned a wedding before, you may have a hard time figuring out where to start. Well, by the end of this article, I hope that you will have a clearer understanding about what you need to create that wedding cake of your dreams.

The Shape Basics

First, let’s focus on the different shapes of most cakes. The shape of your cake is very important because it can affect the number of people that can be served and the price as well.

Round: This is the traditional shape of most wedding cakes and is still widely used by most brides. Because the shape of the round cake is the most simplistic, it is usually the least expensive; plus it’s usually easier to decorate.

Square: The square wedding cake is, usually, used by brides that want to break away from the traditional round cakes; but at the same time, they still have the look of a basic wedding cake. The square cake can be more expensive because it may require more labor. Oftentimes, the baker has to cut the sides of the cake to make them look sharper and neater.

Heart: For those eternal romantics, this is the cake shape for you. Again it may be a bit more labor intensive depending on how it is to be frosted and decorated. It’s also important to keep in mind that the amount served from this shape may differ from that of other shapes.

Mad Hatter: This is for the couples that really want to have a more whimsical & fun feel to their wedding cakes. These cakes are usually uneven & slanted shaped. This is for the bold couples that are not afraid to be different. Instead of the traditional wedding décor, these cakes are usually decorated in bold colors and patterns.

Hexagon: This is a cake with six sides. This is another shape that is growing in popularity because it is a deviation from the traditional round wedding cake. Again, the price of this cake is more expensive than that of a round cake because of the time it will take the baker to cut and frost these cakes, but the finished product can be absolutely breathtaking.

The Icing

You basically have two different types of icing – butter cream and fondant.

Although there are a variety of recipes for making butter cream icing, it is usually made with butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla. It has a thick but creamy texture that is easy to cut through. For a bride on a budget, butter cream icing is a great way to go because it is usually cheaper than fondant. It can also be used as a filling for your cake as well. A downside to butter cream is that it can melt in hot settings, so if you are having an outdoor soiree, butter cream icing may not be your best option.

Fondant is made from sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin. It is very elastic in texture. With fondant, you can literally roll it out with a rolling pin. Because of its strength and elasticity, many bakers use it for unique architectural designs. It can be shaped and molded into many different designs. Fondant is usually more expensive because it is more labor intensive.

Your Dream Wedding Cake

One of the things that you may have been thinking about since you got that rock on your finger is what your wedding cake will look like. If you are anything like me, you have already flipped through the wedding and bridal magazines and even looked at the pictures on the wedding websites in order to get an idea of what you want.

I think a great way to figure out what you want in your cake is to think about your personality and what you like. Do you like for things to be grand and theatrical? If so, you may want a tall cake with lots of decoration. Are you planning a small wedding reception with a few friends and family and think that a huge cake for 200 is ridiculous? Maybe you want something simple in stature and design. Your personality should be key in deciding what you want. When thinking about my wedding cake, I just thought about my style when it came to decorating and how I dress. I don’t like for my house to look cluttered. I want everything neat and in its place. When choosing clothes, I tend to stay away from crazy patterns; I like a well-put-together classic, yet modern look. So knowing that I liked things to look sleek sophisticated, and clean, an intricate design for my wedding cake isn’t something that I am interested in. I decided that my dream cake would have three tiers with white frosting and the cake decoration will follow suit.

Another good way to figure out what kind of cake you want is to think about the theme of your wedding. Think about whatever motifs you will sprinkle throughout the wedding, the cake should reflect this as well because it will be a focal point in the reception. If you are having an urban sophistication theme, should you really get the grand cake with the tons of flowers flowing from it? Maybe not, however, a cake of this magnitude may be great for a garden theme. So once you pick your wedding theme, your cake will take its shape (no pun intended).

Money Saving Tips

As you may have noticed, certain small details can really raise the price of your wedding cake. One of the most important things to keep in mind, when choosing a cake, is the amount of people that you plan to serve. Part of your price depends on the number of guests that you will have. This is one reason why cutting the guest list can always bring down budget costs. This is