Let them eat cake!
Continuing on with my food theme I thought I’d delve into wedding cakes this week.
One thing I was not prepared for when planning my wedding was the complexities around choosing a cake; I mean how hard could it be? After trolling the internet I found my perfect cake; a two tiered chocolate cake decorated with White Chocolate shards and berries (it’s obviously not popular anymore as I cannot find a decent picture but kind of like this)
In my mind it was relatively simple, the shards meant the icing underneath didn’t need to be perfect and a standard mud cake would do.
Apparently I over simplified it, based on my requirements some of the quotes I received exceeded $700, and one cake place did not even offer Mud cake as an option!
So I went to plan B, I bought my own ribbons and used my flowers for the cake topper and went for a simple 2 tiered Chocolate Mud cake with Fondant which came in at about $500.
At the time I felt that the spectacle of the cake was important so I spent that money and ended up with an adequate cake for a wedding.
In hindsight I wish I had invested that money elsewhere, as only a tiny bit was touched on the night and big blocks of it were given to guests to take away with them the following day.
Knowing what I know now here are some pointers I would use if I was doing it all over again:
Go Untraditional You are only as limited as your imagination. Cakes can be made of Perfetta rolls, Donuts, Oreo's, Meringues, Cheesecake, Cupcakes, Cake pops, Lamination's, Brownies, Cookies, Sweet pies, Cheese; the options are endless. A bonus for going untraditional is that the pressure of these getting these cakes ‘perfect’ is lifted as they are 'works of art' not just cake! they don’t have to conform to anything traditional.
Shop around Shop around and make sure you explore all your options. Make sure you ask lots of questions to understand what your money is buying you, that way you can weigh up the pros and cons of different types of cakes. Ask things like whats the difference in price between 1 tier and 2? or Whats the difference in the price for how the cake is decorated? This is great if you are looking to save on your cake and get the most for your money.
Incorporate your cake in to the desert Think about using your cake as a desert. This is an option I should have gone for as by the time everyone was fed no one had room for cake! For a chocolate cake an example could be that you can just add some cream, fresh berries, a raspberry sauce and some chocolate flakes and your desert is sorted!
Cost effective does not mean cheap There are some great bakers out there who work in our everyday stores; such as our supermarkets, bakeries and cafes. Ordering a cake or sweet that they already make can be a cost effective option and you can avoid the 'wedding' price hike.
I know our local supermarket makes superb cheesecakes that would feed 10 and they are only $17.99 each (that’s $1.80 per serve). And while that may sound naff, know that presentation goes a long way! You could buy different cakes, cupcakes, brownies (whatever takes your fancy) from the store, lay them out on a desert table on different height cake stands and decorate with your wedding theme & flowers and make that the spectacle. Make people go wow and they will never realise they are eating store bought food for a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding cake. If you are still set on having the traditional white wedding cake you could have a smaller 1 tiered option (making it cheaper) when using this desert bar approach.
Ultimately for me the thing I learnt is that its not the money that goes in to the cake that's important, its the people you share it with!