Choosing your cake......... what to considering designs, flavours and who to create the perfect cake.

Published on 2 May 2021 at 20:07

If you have a sweet tooth, a cake is a must have for any event......... Perfection is not to be compromised.

We have come together with https://www.amybakerscakes.co.uk/ to provide a comprehensive guide in choosing your cake and your baker.

Choosing your favourite cake can be a mind field with so many flavours and designs. Not to mention making a choice that will express your individuality and personality! We would recommend, choosing your cake should begin at least eight weeks for most events, but certainly a minimum of 6 months for a wedding cake.  Of course, during the wedding season, all suppliers often become booked up well in advance, so you’ll want to carefully consider when to book your cake.

As you will learn there are four main things your baker will want to know when you make an enquiry:

  • Firstly, when the cake is required
  • Any dietary requirements
  • How many it needs to serve.
  • A shortlist of designs

 

Choosing your Baker

Finding a baker producing work that resonates with you is one of the most important steps to choosing a  cake. After all, each baker will have their own style and area of expertise. When you speak to bakers you will find some may be more familiar with fondant icing, where as others may be experts of buttercream icing.  This is something worth asking about during initial contact.

Recommendation is a tried-and-tested way of finding a quality baker. Take a look at social media accounts and websites as examples of work and styles used.  Prices may be added but this is certainly an important question so as you can build an idea of which of your choices is value for money.

Cakes can be made to suit all dietary needs, so whether you are dairy, wheat, or gluten intolerant or just have a personal preference as a vegan.  Always ask early on whether your baker is able to accommodate your requirements

All bakers will have been inspected by the food standards agency for both hygiene and safety ratings.  If a recent certificate is not showing on the websites of your shortlisted bakers, don't be afraid to ask when the last inspection was completed and to see the certificate.

Before deciding the size of your cake, you’ll need to have a rough estimate of the number of guests attending your event and whether the cake will be your main desert as this will also determine your portion sizes & amount required.

We will cover styles of cakes available but flavours you like are also important as this is all part of how you can express you individuality.

Flavours

As I am sure you can imagine, there is an endless list of flavours to choose from, each being a very individual choice and offering something different. 

If you like the look and taste of more than one flavour, you the can choose multiple. A tiered cake which gives you and your guests the option to experience several amazing cake flavours and or fillings. 

Chocolate Based

 

Chocolate and Vanilla - Often done in the form of a marble cake, many will have memories of this type of cake from childhood, creating a lurid, psychedelic finish.

Chocolate and Chilli - Definitely one for the spice lovers. The combination of the rich chocolate with a hint of heat from the chilli. 

Your Favourite Chocolate Bar - We've all got our favourite chocolate bar, why not ask your baker to add this to your cake either as part of the sponge flavouring or decoration.

Chocolate and Peppermint - Offering a festive feel, this is a great choice for anyone who loves mint chocolate.

Nutella - Chocolate always has a rich taste.  Added to hazlenuts you get a lovely sweet and nutty taste which works so well.

 

Citrus Based

 

Orange, Berries and Chocolate - A combination guaranteed to produce a moist cake, other selection often considered as a festive taste and based on the famous chocolate orange flavour that is loved by so many. 

Lemon and White Chocolate - A great choice for a summer wedding.  The collaboration of lemon and white chocolate makes a light and fluffy sponge.  Combined with a sweet and sour taste which complement each other perfectly.

Lemon and Lemon Sugar Buttercream - For lovers of all thing’s lemon, this is definitely the cake for you. The lemon sugar buttercream is the perfect filling for the cake and over all offers a very refreshing taste.

Lime and Ginger - Lime and ginger although sounding a strange combination, can be combined to offer a perfect twist on a traditional flavour..

 

Fruit Based

 

Raspberry and Cream - A traditional favourite. Light, sweet tasting cake that is perfect for a wedding in hot weather.

Apple and Salted Caramel - British classic, often seen as a crumble, Apple and caramel cake is just as delicious. 

Strawberries and Champagne - Perfect for any celebration! The champagne flavour ensures a moist cake, perfectly partnered with strawberries. 

Pear and Almond Crunch, with a Passion Fruit Glaze - A light and sweet tasting cake that has an added depth created by the crunch of the almonds. 

 

Tropically Based

 

Vanilla and Passion Fruit  -  A light and delicate cake,  with the ideal combination of vanilla and passionfruit.

Coconut and Rum -  Rich with butter, this will be a sweet sponge soaked with rum.  Adding coconut as a perfect accompaniment.

Vanilla and Mango - A mango filling with a beautiful vanilla cake.  Perfect for anyone who loves the sweet but tangy taste of mango. 

Eccentric Flavours and Fillings

 

Rhubarb and Rose - Certainly a special occasion cake. Full of flavour completed by the rhubarb curd. 

Red Velvet and Cream Cheese - A strong, impressive looking cake, and a classic certain to impress your guests. 

Lavender and Honey - Sweet and light, a cake that uses lavender flowers to create its amazing taste. lavender can also be in the filling to make it even more spectacular. 

Vanilla and Rose - A unique cake flavoured with rosewater this has an incredible taste offering a memorable experience for all.

 

Vegetable Based 

 

For anyone vegetarian and vegan or with guests preferring plant based or diary free, whether due to dietary intolerances of personal choice. Vegetable based alternatives are the perfect option.

Mango Carrot Cake  - A real twist on the traditional carrot cake.  Using mango to sweeten its taste. 

Beetroot and Chocolate -  Bold, strong, the combination of beetroot and chocolate, although potentially considered as strange complements each other far better than you would initially think.

Butternut squash and orange - Plain and safe, usually in the style of a carrot cake.  This is definitely for those who like the taste of butternut squash.

Sweet Potato and Cocoa - With real potential to be fantastic..... The chocolate is complimented by the sweet potato in a way many people would not expect. 

Courgette, Pistachio Nuts and Lemon - A light and airy texture, but big on flavour.  perfect as a dessert served with yogurt.

 

Tea & Coffee Based

 

Mocha and Chocolate - An ultimate indulgence for mocha fanatics. Combining a rich dark chocolate taste with a silky mocha filling. 

Earl Grey Tea  - Paired with orange and cream cheese buttercream, the sponge can be made perfectly moist for an exquisite taste.

Espresso - A divine combination of strong espresso flavour coupled, with a whipped espresso filling and ganache.

Matcha Green Tea - Matcha is made from special green tea leaves, ground down into an incredibly fine consistency and creating the most amazing tasting cake.

Chai Tea and Vanilla - Classic chai spice flavours combined into a soft and moist cake with hints of cinnamon, ginger, and the floral and the exotic mix of black tea and cardamom. It is perfectly accompanied by a tangy cream cheese vanilla filling. 

 

Alcohol 

 

Pimms - The ultimate summer flavour when its Pimms o’clock. The classic Pimms taste accompanied by a smooth medley of fruits and lemon buttercream works beautifully.

Guinness and Chocolate - A perfect mix of Guinness and chocolate,  A rich and dark cake with a bitterness Guinness which brings out the flavour of the chocolate, balanced by the sweetness of the sour cream icing. 

Rum and Ginger - Soaked in rum and accompanied by the taste of ginger, ideal for a taste of the tropics

Amaretto  - A wedding drink if ever there was one! Boasting a classic taste of amaretto, accompanied by sweet fillings and toppings! Definitely one for the guest with a sweet tooth.

Piña Colada - One for the good time party animal!  Cocktail inspired and packed with a perfect combination or coconut, pineapple, and a hint of rum. 

Brandy and Apple - For those of you who like Brandy after an evening meal.  This cake allows you to taste it in the form of cake. The strong taste of brandy is accompanied by the sweetness of the apple, creating a beautiful taste of a classic.

 

Designs

We often refer to creating mood boards of colour themes and styles that you particularly like https://www.pinterest.co.uk/ is one way of looking for inspiration. With endless ideas for your cake.

Birthday and occasional cakes

Sponge of all flavours can be carved to create the most incredible of shapes, covering pretty much any type of cake you could imagine.  As you can see above, Yoda looks almost life like as does a Groot cake created by Amy a while back.  Take a look at https://www.facebook.com/amybakerscakes for more of Amy's work.

Often needing support to ensure the form of the structure, modelling chocolate or ganache are used to create the finer details rather than the traditional fondant or butter cream used in many decorative cakes.

Drip Cakes

Particularly popular at the moment and not surprisingly when you take into account how effective they look.  Drip cakes are made from around 4 layers of sponge along with jam or  ganache filling to create a 6" or 8" tall cake.  Covered in buttercream or ganache and melted chocolate dripped from the top.

Buttercream and ganache can be in any colour you wish to meet your colour scheme or theme, and being relatively plain allows for you and your baker to be inventive in how it is decorated.  Whether this be with sweets, more chocolate or decorative piping and designs you really do have a blank canvas to be inspired by anything

 

Naked cakes

Cakes are a symbol of any celebration. It wouldn’t be a wedding, baby shower or birthday without a cake of some description.  As a main component of a party, a cake’s taste and aesthetics are so important.. The baking industry was taken a back when the “naked cake.” and "semi naked cake" was introduced.

Chef, founder and owner of Milk Bar, Christina Tosi, began selling naked cakes for $400. Believing that the most exciting, textural, interesting parts of the cake were the decadent layers-and she didn’t understand why bakers always tried to hide them. A delicious layered cake. could speak for itself, she figured. Two years later, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt served a naked cake at their wedding and bam! Faster than you can say “hold the frosting,” naked cakes were everywhere.

Predominantly seen his in weddings at rustic venues with a bohemian theme, describing a cake that is completely bare (or nearly so) on the outside.  So non of the traditional: frostings, swirls or colourful piped patterns.  Simple golden-brown sponge, with all the usual flavour’s still.  Naked cakes are designed as layer cakes with thick stripes of buttercream or chocolate ganache filling, completely exposing the interior of the cake.

Some feel it’s wrong to display your cake in such a natural state, but there are several benefits.  Showing off the delicious cake fillings while offering a rustic feel that works perfectly with garden parties and barn weddings.  Naked cakes also ensures the home baker doesn't find them self  a design that goes wrong. Often garnished with fresh fruit of the season, sometimes simple can definitely better,.  Healthier and less sweet than frosted cakes, its ideal for someone who isn't keen on too much sugar.

Wedding cakes

The process for wedding cakes tends to be a little more formal and in depth due to the nature of enquiry.  This also ensures the process allows your chosen baker to meet the needs and expectations for the biggest day of your life.

Weddings are generally the biggest of events a baker or any supplier will cater for, so sizing is of the upmost importance, Many couples opt to choose tiered cakes as this gives scope for designs as well as plenty of servings for guests.

As a guide three tiers will serve between 50 - 100 guests, four tiers for around 150 and five tiers for around 200 guests or more. Though this may vary slightly and depends on the type of ingredients, how big the layers and portion sizes are.  If there are other desserts on offer, cake portions will typically be 1 inch x 1 inch, Instances where the cake is the main offering, it is often cut 1 inch x 2 inch.

Smaller weddings, don’t mean you need to feel pressured to have a large wedding cake, More often than not this would only be a waste.

Tip:  Many grand venues often have high ceilings in reception rooms, bear this in mind, as increasing the height of your cake by adding more tiers or columns between the tiers.

To save on waste a grand wedding cake comprising of 5 or 6 tiers, where just one tier is real,  Others being dummy tiers is one way to save waste and your guests will never know.

Beautiful wedding cakes will always appeal aesthetically, you’ll want to make sure it tastes incredible, too!

Possibly the most exciting part of planning any wedding has to be the cake tasting!  This is a great way to both get involved, getting to know your baker and choose exactly what you want.

During tastings, the couple are invited to sample your favourite 3 or 4 flavours allowing you to ask questions and review the quality of a bakers work.  Trying different fillings, icing and cake sponges.

Tip: Take research with you to your appointment, including any examples of the venue, mood boards, flowers and décor.

The environment your wedding cake stands during your wedding day will need to be a big consideration. If you’re having an outdoor wedding in the summer or in a hot room, you will need to make sure, any buttercream cake can be stored in the fridge at the venue.  Bringing it out at the last minute, this then avoids the possibility of melting.

As mentioned earlier, taking into consideration the type of icing and a bakers specialty is always a good move.  Any baker should be knowledgeable about the products and processes so asking you baker which icing is most suitable for your day can sometimes save your cake.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to have different flavours across multiple tiers if your still unsure of which to have.

Whilst your cake is a chance to express your style and personality, try not to get too hung up on your decisions. Your cake doesn’t need to match the décor in your reception as such.   That said, you will want to find a design that fits the over all style of your day.  A cake can be  decoration, often photographed and critiqued by your guests..  Design wise, as mentioned earlier https://www.pinterest.co.uk/ is always a great inspiration but definitely ask your baker for advice if you still feel a little overwhelmed or are unsure.


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