Continuing the previous post on cakes and dessert options for your wedding, let's get right into icings to be considered.
There are many different types of icings to choose from, depending on what texture and look you want for your cake. Different icings vary in how they taste, pair with cakes, and dry on cake. Here are descriptions of the most common icings you will find on cakes.
Made of real butter, eggs, and sugar, this icing is smooth and dries soft and shiny. Keep in mind that buttercream needs to be refrigerated, and easily melts, as its base is butter. It is not the ideal icing for an outdoor wedding where it will sit in the sun, but is instead a good choice for an indoor event where it will more likely be in an air-conditioned place where the integrity of its shape will be maintained. It is an incredibly versatile frosting choice, as its flavor is easily paired with nearly any cake, and can itself be flavored with choices like almond or mint.
Fondant icing is poured over a cake as a liquid to coat and dry on small cakes, or is rolled into a sheet, and molded around larger cakes like a dough. It tastes similar to marshmallows, and holds up well in heat, as it is very thick, and dries hard and smooth. Because it is thick, it can be shaped into decorative items like flowers, leaves, and other fun cake toppers.
Marzipan is very sweet-tasting paste made from ground almonds and vanilla, which can be used similarly to fondant.
Modelling chocolate be can white,milk or dark chocolate. It can also be applied like fondant, but is prone to melting in sensitive environments just as buttercream is.
This icing is made of eggs, icing sugar, and lemon juice. It's very sweet and hardens very quickly, but is a great choice for decorating with because it keeps it shape, and has a pretty, glossy look, like glass or porcelain.
Meringue is light and airy, with a mildly sweet taste. It dries hard, and holds up well in heat as long as it has time to set. It has a very mild taste that complements most cake flavors. It is also a good choice for decorating with.
Icing is not just frosted. It can be piped in hundreds of different shapes to create beautifully elaborate or elegantly simple patterns on your cake, similarly to the cake in the picture above!
Other Decorative Options
If using flowers on your cake, go for flowers that match the ones in the bridal bouquet, and--if possible--in colors that match the wedding colors. Ask your confectioner about edible flower options. Inedible flowers can also be used so long as they have not been sprayed with pesticides and are removed before serving. Obviously, silk flowers are also an option.
Ribbons are often used to call attention to the layers on a tiered cake. They can be made from silk or created from icing options such as fondant.
Wedding cake toppers are best known as being a tiny replica of a bride and groom, but can also be 3D words sitting atop the cake, flowers, crystals, or nearly anything else! Get creative!
Other Cake Details To Be Aware Of
Signing the Contract
When you've decided on a confectioner and a cake option you like, it's time to sign the contract. Remember to read everything first before you sign it. Make sure what you're signing is what you agreed to when you talked to your confectioner! In the contract should be the following details...
The deposit and date the cake is to be paid for (often 50%), and when the remainder will be due should be laid out. Make sure this includes delivery fees and all rental costs (such as toppers, cake cutters, cake displays, etc).
The Date the Cake will be Prepared
Sometimes cakes take multiple days to prepare! The start and end date of the cake's preparation should be included.
It is usually the confectioner's job to transport the cake to the venue. Make sure the date of the reception, it's location address, and arrival time are listed.
Make sure a list of cake ingredients is included, as well as a list of acceptable ingredient substitutions for ingredients that may become unavailable when the cake must be baked (I.E. seasonal fruits).
A complete description of the cake, including the number of tiers and layers, flavors and fillings and icing, as well as its decor should be listed. Sometimes pictures can be included to ensure design accuracy.
Saving The Top Cake
It is traditional for the bride and groom to freeze the top tier of their cake and eat it on their 1st wedding anniversary. If you are serving cupcakes but have a small cake for this purpose, it is customary to cut from that cake to feed each other a bite during the reception, but to then wrap the rest up for freezing. Ask your confectioner to help wrap it up to avoid freezer burn.
Other Dessert Options
If you would prefer not to serve a wedding cake, you can choose cupcakes instead! A cupcake tree is a popular option, similar-looking to the picture above.
If your not a cake fanatic, don't worry! Serving cake at your wedding isn't the only option at all. Pies are also good choices, as are chocolate fountains or s'mores. You can serve a candy bar or a build-your-own-sundae bar. Or, if you don't want to focus on anything specific, you can serve a dessert table filled with a variety of cookies, chocolates, cakes, pies, mouses, squares, the list goes on. Get creative!
As you can see, while the variety of cake options is huge, the dessert sky is the limit! Forget about tradition, if that's your only reason for choosing cake. Choose the dessert you like the best! What is most important for your wedding dessert is that you're happy with it. Choose the dessert that best suits who you and your fiance are! Your guests will be sure to love it.