While a traditional multi-tiered wedding cake will always be in style, those in the market for an off-piste showpiece have plenty of alternative options too; and they don’t necessarily need to be show-stoppingly huge or require enormous budget.
If you’re keen to break the mold with your wedding cake, take tips from Lucy Stratton. Working out of her kitchen in South West London, she runs The Rose Cake Company, creating utterly delicious, bespoke sweet treats for all sorts of events and occasions, all decorated to her exacting high standards. She’s been kind enough to give us advice for a standout cake sure to impress your guests whilst not blowing the budget, plus we’ve rounded up some inspiring images to get the ball rolling. Brides-to-be, listen up.
Where to start
When deciding what cake to go for the first thing to think about is your theme. Are you having a rustic country wedding or a glamourous Art Deco affair? Do you have a colour scheme in place? This is the simplest way to show your wedding cake maker what you might want.
Choosing your flavour
No longer is fruit cake the order of the day. I make cakes for couples ranging from Chocolate Biscuit to Victoria Sponge. I’ve recently made a few ‘Funfetti’ cakes which look traditional on the outside, but once cut into, the sponge is scattered with candy coloured sprinkles to give your guests a pleasant surprise.
How to make your design standout
I love looking to interiors trends for inspiration – Pinterest is an absolute god send! Anything from Art Deco designs incorporating gold leaf to chevron prints can make your cake truly stand out. Try to make your cake reflect you and the style you love. There’s a huge trend at the moment for ‘naked’ cakes, which aren’t covered in perfect, pristine white icing but rather dusted with icing sugar and decorated with flowers or berries. This not only keeps the cost down but adds a charming, rustic touch to the day.
Does size matter?
Some couples want a multi-tiered cake but are having a small wedding. I often use polystyrene cake tiers for the bottom layers, decorate the exterior and have a small real cake at the top. This not only saves on food waste but keeps the cost down, too. Equally, if you don’t want to blow the budget on lots of tiers but have a lot of guests to feed, have a spare (more modest) cake in the kitchen cut up to serve.
Top tips for keeping the cost down
Many of my clients want fresh flowers topping and decorating the cake. For this, I always speak to the bride’s florist who will often have spare blooms from the flower order which can top the cake and not add any extra cost. You can also buy acrylic toppers from the likes of Etsy and Notonthehighstreet which spell out heartfelt phrases such as ‘All You Need Is Love’ or ‘Mr & Mrs’, which add a personal touch without breaking the bank.
Finally, money talk
The most important thing to tell your cake maker is your budget, first and foremost. There is no point going in with all these wonderful ideas and designs and not being able to bring them to life on your budget. Talk money first, cake later.