The wedding cake is an iconic symbol of weddings.
I decided to do some research to discover the history of the wedding cake, and found sound interesting facts.
When my parents were married in the early 1980s, it was common to save the top tier until their 25th anniversary. Since fruit/Christmas cake was the common cake of the day, it would last in a freezer for this amount of time.
My mother followed this tradition, which included moving the cake across Canada a few times as my father was in the military. The cake went around Ontario, to Alberta, to British Columbia, and back around Ontario again. On their 25th anniversary my mom took the cake from the freezer, and despite some hard/dry icing, the cake itself was still good and enjoyed.
Today, a wedding cake can be anything a couple wants. Cupcakes, donuts and even cookies have replaced traditional wedding cakes at many weddings.
To get the scoop (or should I say slice) on what a couple planning their wedding should know about wedding cakes I spoke to the extremely talented Rachael Code of RMC Cake Creations; located just outside of Perth, ON.
When choosing a baker Rachael suggest couples consider the following qualities besides price of the cake:
Ideally, a couple should order their wedding cake 6 months in advance. No later than 4 months in advance of the wedding.
Ordering 9-12 months in advance is a good way to secure your date with the baker though. Especially if your wedding date is more popular. For example, when Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday.
You should plan on a piece for every guest (including wedding party). This is especially true if it’s to be served as a dessert course, or the only dessert.
However, when other dessert options are available along with the cake, Rachael usually tells couples they can reduce the number of servings by thirty people. Not everyone will eat cake when other options are available.
The average cost of a wedding cake generally ranges from $5 to $12 per servings.
The cost of a wedding for 150 people is $750-$1,800.
The season of the wedding does not affect the cost of a wedding cake. Much unlike flowers and some other wedding elements.
If the baker offers a “seasonal special” flavour this may affect the price due to the availability of ingredients.
Rachael offers many of her “seasonal special” flavours year round since they have become so popular.
Several factors contribute to the cost of a cake, such as:
Rachael provided several options for couples working with a tight budget to save on their cake.
As mentioned above, the mediums used on the cake will affect the cost. Buttercream is a less expensive option than fondant for the façade of the cake. It is also less expensive than a speciality fruit-filling in the cake.
Choosing a simpler design will also reduce the cost.
Another options is having cupcakes instead of a cake. Some couples order a small cake for the cake-cutting traditional, while other cut one of the cupcakes.
To help with costs on larger weddings, Rachael has made a standard 3-tier cake, and then provided a less expensive slab cake to meet the serving needs.
Alternatively, another cost-saving option ishaving a partially fake cake. One tier of the cake is real, so you can cut it! Then, you have additional cakes that are fake (usually iced Styrofoam), for decor! This allows for the focal point and dramatic effect of a large cake, at a reduced price. You then serve your guests cupcakes or slab cake.
Outdoor weddings can affect the vulnerability of a cake due to the temperature. Some icings, such as a cream cheese icing, melts easier in the heat.
Buttercream or fondant icings generally stand-up to the heat. So long as they are not in the direct sunlight, or left outside for an extended period of time.
To be safe, consider storing the cake inside where it is cooler. Or, have it delivered just prior to guest arriving for the reception to reduce the time that it is outside.
Colour is the number one factor that changes with seasons and wedding themes/trends. At any given time there are certain colours that are more popular than others.
While cake styles have remained relatively similar over the past few wedding seasons, Rachael has noticed small changes towards more detailed and elegant designs.
Current trends that are continuing into 2017 weddings include:
Rachael recommends going to your baker with ideas in mind. She suggest bringing items such as your wedding invitation, photos of cakes you like, any special logos you wish to include, pictures or names of flowers you are using in your floral arrangements, and colour swatches to help the cake designer create the wedding cake of your dreams.
All this talk about cake has got my sweet teeth (yes, I have more than one) wanting a treat. Too bad blog writing doesn’t require a taste test.
I’d like to send a big thank you to Rachael for answering my questions in preparation for this blog. Find out more about RMC Cake Creations here.