An eye-catching cake is generally a focal point of a wedding reception. But the days of the traditional two- or three-tier fruit-filled wedding cake, that could be cut up and mailed to well-wishers and the top layer saved for a christening cake, are long gone.
bride and groom spoke to Jenaya Bell from One Sweet Baker, who told us today’s couples often choose to offer a range of desserts rather than just wedding cake.
Start getting organised
Most couples have an idea of the kind of cake they would like well in advance, gathering inspiration and discussing likes and dislikes.
Jenaya recommends engaging a baker about six months before the wedding date, especially for a weekend wedding, as bakers are often booked-up well in advance.
Bakers specialise in different types of cake so it is important to check that the baker, whose cakes you like the look of, makes the kind of cake that you want to eat.
For example, Jenaya doesn’t make fruit cakes or mud cakes but is always happy to recommend a fellow baker who can meet a client’s needs.
When it comes to the flavour of the cake there are lots of options.
Jenaya offers 15 different flavours, including vanilla and raspberry, chocolate peppermint and red velvet.
If the decision is too difficult, she offers tastings of up to six to help the couple decide.
How much cake do you need?
Lots of factors influence how large a wedding cake needs to be.
How many guests will be at the wedding is the most obvious one, as everyone would rather over-cater than risk running out of cake.
Will the cake be served as dessert or will there be a dessert course followed by cake and coffee?
If guests have already filled up with dessert, smaller portions of cake can be served with the coffee.
If the cake itself is the dessert course larger portions will be needed.
Not everyone likes cake
As crazy as it seems to us cake addicts, there are plenty of people who don’t like cake.
Jenaya said there was a trend today to offer a range of desserts with the cake as a focal point.
Macarons, tarts, panna cottas, brownies and mousses are all options for a dessert table, and couples can choose the options they want.
About two to three portions per person is a good guideline to work on.
Jenaya offers about 15 to 20 options and couples usually choose four or five favourites to be served to their guests. The desserts can be tweaked to fit in with the colour palette of the wedding if needed.
And not everyone can eat cake.
As food allergies and intolerances are more common now, most couples like to take any dietary requirements their guests may have into account when choosing cake and dessert options.
Jenaya said she was often asked for vegan options and she has a range of tried and trusted recipes to cater for different needs including vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.
A dessert table with a variety of sweets makes catering for different dietary requirements, as well as for a range of tastes, easier so that everyone can join in the feasting and enjoy the celebrations.