What comes to mind when choosing the ideal cake for your wedding may be things like the style, the size, and the flavor; but there are some other crucial parts that may slip your mind when you think about your cake. For example, how the cake reflects the theme of your wedding, or how appropriate the size of your cake may be when considering your guest count. Let's begin to cover some of these aspects to ensure that you'll choose the perfect cake for your wedding.
Portion cost: How much one portion of cake will be per person. One slice may be anywhere between $4-10, which, multiplied by your entire guest count, can add up quickly!
Cake size is another big factor to consider, because over- or underestimating how big of a cake you need can really mess up your budget--or cause guests to go without cake!
There are several types of cake to choose from:
- Tiered Cakes (which are stacked cake layers resting on wooden or plastic dowels sticking into the cake for support.)
- Small cakes (often a personal cake for the bride and groom to cut from and then take home, while the guests are served something else.)
- Cupcakes (individual cakes for each guest, often served in very creative flavors.)
-Styrofoam Cakes (Styrofoam shapes covered in frosting on display which are taken away after the initial cake cutting and replaced by cake slices from Sheet Cake cut up in the kitchen, which are then distributed to guests.)
Bakery Location vs. Reception Location
The location of where you get your cake can play a big role in how much you are going to spend on it, along with how easily the cake will transport to the venue. If your venue is in San Francisco, remember that bakeries in high-end cities can charge high-end prices. Ordering from a bakery nearby but not in San Francisco may improve costs.
A few other things that need to be considered when choosing your cake:
Transportation of The Cake
It is a good idea to keep in mind that a long or difficult transportation of your cake to the venue and be costly as well. For example, if your reception is in the mountains and there are no local bakeries nearby, you may have to pay some hefty transportation costs to get your cake to the wedding from whatever bakery you order from.
Always make sure that your cake matches the environment it will be in, taking into consideration the sensitivity of the ingredients in the cake. It wouldn't be wise to have an ice cream cake if your wedding is outside in 90 degree weather. And don't forget about frosting! Butter cream can be very sensitive and melty in the heat, just as a pad of butter tends to melt at room temperatures in your kitchen in the summer. You DON'T want a sad, droopy wedding cake! In situations where the cake is outside for a lengthy period of time in heat, consider choosing fondant as your frosting, which tends to hold up better.
There are lots of different flavor options to choose from when it comes to cakes (bakers are so innovative these days!), especially when you're forced to choose a cake flavor, the filling, and a frosting as well! Remember that you can choose multiple flavors if you have multiple cake layers, or if you're offering cupcakes! Choosing flavor combinations makes attending a cake tasting before signing any contracts especially important.
The average cost for a tasting can be around $25-50, which is because the baker must be compensated for the time it takes to prepare the cakes you're tasting, and for the supplies it costs him. In the event that you taste the cake and end up choosing a different baker, this baker has not lost time or money that he was not compensated for.
Please don't forgo the tasting and sign a contract before knowing what you're going to end up with on your wedding day! Cakes are costly! Choose wisely.
Lost when it comes to deciding what flavors to choose? Look no further than your dinner menu! Just as restaurants that serve multiple course meals pair specific entrees with desserts, you can do the same to ensure that your meal flavors compliment each other well. If you are serving such a robust flavor as steak, pairing it with a rich red velvet or chocolate cake makes sense. Similarly, if you're serving fish, or something on the lighter side, going with the wonders of airy and delicate angel food cake, or a cake with a fruity base, may be just the thing.
Try and take into account the people at your wedding who may deal with allergies. It's always polite to let people know if there are any major ingredients that are known for being allergens in their cake (try choco-peanut butter bliss cake). Avoiding common-allergy flavors, offering multiple flavors or gluten- and dairy-free options, or simply placing a small placard next to the cake to communicate the allergen to those interested is always appreciated.
Getting the Opinion of the Baker
Always be willing to have an open mind when you're discussing the cake with the baker; he knows what flavors go well together, and may suggest combinations you wouldn't have thought about!
Take Into Account How Perishable Your Cake May Be
Understanding the technical side of cake-decorating when ordering a more delicate cake will ensure that it will not perish before it's served to guests. For instance, if your cake is filled with fresh fruit, and the outside of the cake requires your baker a full day of decorating, by the time it is served to guests, it may be unsuitable to eat. If you want a very delicate design on the outside of the cake, you will need a sturdy cake with filling that does not require refrigeration. If it's very important to you that you have a fruit-based filling, you will simply need to sacrifice having an intricate outer design.