to Suit Your Taste
cake is so much more than a dessert. It is perhaps the most
important decoration at your entire reception, bound to be
the subject of your guests' attention, especially come cake-cutting
time. You want to choose a wedding cake that appeals to your
own sensibility, and is also grand enough to serve as a focal
point at your reception.
cakes range from the simple to the ornate. They can be decorated
with thick and rich fondant, or with beautiful fresh flowers.
Creating a wedding cake is an art, and there are plenty of
artists willing to craft the confection of your dreams, usually
for a substantial fee. Following is a guide to wedding cake
basics, along with tips for saving money on what could otherwise
turn out to be a substantial portion of your wedding
of Wedding Cake Frosting
A versatile butter-based frosting that is easy
to work with due to its smooth and soft texture. Buttercream
can take on virtually any color or flavor and works well as
either a smooth cake frosting, a decorative frosting, or a
cake filling. The only drawback is that it melts if left in
A very sweet frosting composed of sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin.
This very thick and highly elastic concoction is rolled out
with a rolling pin - much like dough - and then applied to
the cake. Fondant is a very stable base for decorations made
of gum paste, ganache or marzipan. Fondant does not need to
A very sweet and decadent chocolate icing. The consistency
of ganache lies somewhere between mousse and fudge, making
it suitable as either a frosting or a cake filling. Due to
its heavy cream content, fondant can soften in high heat or
paste: A cross between a frosting and a purely
decorative material, gum paste is composed of sugar, cornstarch,
and gelatin. Its thick consistency is suited to creating realistic
cake decorations such as flowers. Gum paste decorations are
technically edible, although they don't taste as good as ganache,
buttercream or marzipan.
An extremely tasty option for the discerning palate, marzipan
consists of ground almonds, sugar and egg whites. Thick and
easy to mold, this paste is suited to crafting edible decorations
and, like fondant, can also be rolled smooth and used as an
icing: This type of icing is squeezed from a pastry
bag to create intricate designs such as piping, beading, flowers
and basketweave. It does not need to be refrigerated, as it
hardens when dry.
cream: Delicious as it is, whipped cream is not
well suited to be a decorative icing. Furthermore, it must
be kept refrigerated.
Wedding Cake Decorating Techniques
A frosting technique that emulates the woven look of a wicker
basket. The latticework technique produces a similar effect.
This intricate piping technique produces a lacy pattern.
swiss: This technique yields hundreds to thousands
of tiny dots, producing an effect similar to the fabric for
which it is named.
This term refers to the general process of applying icing
with a pastry bag. Piping can produce a wide variety of designs.
sugar: The process of boiling and then crafting
sugar to create decorative details.
Unique Wedding Cakes
Why not dodge that caterer's cake-cutting fee by
building a tiered formation of your favorite kind of cupcakes?
A fun and unusual option, you can even personalize your cupcakes
with each of your first initials.
Although this option is slowly catching on among the chic
set, cheesecake is still an unusual enough idea to provoke
surprised and delighted reactions in your guests. And cheesecake
is rich enough to stand alone as a dessert at your reception
- no need to purchase that extra meal course from the caterer.
Sophisticated and decadent, this dense, flourless
cake will have your guests salivating. Like cheesecake, a
torte doesn't need to be supplemented by an additional dessert
course or table.