With so many great wedding cake ideas and inspiration where do I first start?
Choosing the perfect wedding cake can be a tantalising yet tricky decision to navigate with the array of flavours on offer and limitless styling options available. The cutting of the cake together as newlyweds will be a focal point of your celebration and the cake itself the statement piece of your reception.
Although it is one of the last decisions to be made in the planning process, it is undoubtedly one of the most important. The wedding cake should look to complement not compete with the other styling aspects and details of your wedding. Factors such as your wedding venue, style of dress, floral arrangements, and the taste elements contained within your menu will play a role in the final outcome.
Design and flavour are equally influential, and the accomplished wedding cake maker will be able to craft something that is uniquely inspired by you as a couple.
So to help you decide if you want to be more daring - say hello to pink champagne cake topped with raspberry mousse and pistachio buttercream. Or if you'd prefer to focus on understated elegance, we've curated a guide to assist you in choosing the 'perfect' cake and the accompanying artisan who can help bring that dream to life.
WHAT ELEMENTS DO I NEED TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING MY WEDDING CAKE?
Wedding Theme and Style...how important are they?
With the more significant decisions around your wedding day already locked in: venue chosen, menu finalised, dress fitted, swoon-worthy florals selected you will be able to provide your cake maker with a blueprint for the styling and general theme of your wedding.
As one of the last official happenings of your wedding celebration, it is essential to provide your cake maker with as much detail as possible to make the moment perfectly memorable. The following information and questions can help them achieve consistency in styling and craft the best cake experience for you.
Let's start with the your venue:
What is the general feel of your venue?
Is it modern, rustic, or industrial?
Where will you be hosting your reception, is it inside or outside? If outside, what time of year is it being held (as this will affect the style of cake and frosting used)? If indoors, where will the cake be located?
Is it in a large room with high ceilings or a smaller, more intimate space?
Are there any significant architectural features you would like to incorporate from your venue in the cake design?
If necessary, can the venue provide refrigeration for the cake before being displayed at the reception?
Pairing your wedding cake with your menu
Are you planning on incorporating any elements from your menu into the cake flavouring or design?
Are you serving the cake as the desert or will it be partnered with a dessert station? If it is the sole dessert, would you prefer it to be denser or more filling? If it is part of the dessert station, are there any particular flavours you would like to marry it to?
I'm wondering will my dress influence the style of my cake?
For an elegant and sophisticated experience, consider weaving the most personally captivating emotion or design element associated with the dress into the cake. Applique, floral embellishments, metallic embroidery, bows, daring cut-outs can all provide inspiration for your cake design.
I'd love flowers on my cake....
If using florals, would you prefer them to be fresh or handmade with sugar?
If you choose fresh florals is the cake maker able to liaise with your florist?
Are all fresh florals being used explicitly grown for consumption?
If pairing florals from the bouquet will the size and proportions of my flowers/foliage work with the size or style of cake I have chosen?
Can it be possible to give them too much information?
Don't be afraid to overwhelm your cakemaker with ideas, inspiration boards and images of cakes that you love. Part of the joy of their role is helping guide you to a specific outcome and the more material they have to work with the more tailor-made and customised your wedding cake can be.
What are some of the emerging wedding cake trends?
The desire of a talented cake atelier will be to help you create a bespoke design that is unique to you and your day. They will be able to guide you in the process of making your wedding cake a 'once in a lifetime' experience for you to share as a couple and with your guests. With that in mind here are some emerging trends and contemporary takes on classics that may also help guide that decision.
Floral and hand-painted fusion
Pressing (pardon the pun) into exciting new territory, floral cakes this season will be featuring beautifully pressed flowers and crystallised edible flowers with a focus on those that are locally foraged. Prairie or wild-flower style patterns are becoming popular as couples move away from more structured floral displays and embrace the whimsical. Textured floral designs or subtle touches of colour can be created with watercolours providing a stunning backdrop.
Move over white
For the ultimate expression of luxe and sophistication opt for a black wedding cake. Pair with metallic gold or rose gold accents for a more glamorous feel or to exude a softer elegance drape with muted coloured florals.
Minimalist meets industrialised chic
Stone, concrete or marble aesthetics give these wedding cakes a modern and minimalist feel. With the focus on texture and pattern, these cakes can include a watercolour wash or metallic veins to give a marbled effect.
Already popular on the wedding cake scene naked cakes are starting to cover up a little more with a focus on the decadent and mouth-watering fillings between cake stacks being embellished on the sides with florals, fruit, metallic gold leaf, and chocolate or caramel drippings.
Let's talk about traditional, but on your terms
While having an all-white wedding cake is a nod to the traditional, it doesn't have to limit you from being able to inject your own personal style. With tiers, a thing of the past, stacked white wedding cakes allow for endless experimentation.
Cakes are designed with a focus ranging from unique sculptural forms with an emphasis on scalloped and latticework textures to having delicate white sugar flowers drape or crawl up the sides. If you feel you still need a hint of contrast, however, co-ordinate with metallic colours from the wedding colour palette.
A reawakened American tradition, the grooms' cake is often served as an alternative cake flavour option at the reception. Traditionally organised by the bride as a surprise for the groom, the notion being that the flavour of the cake is chosen to reflect the grooms' personal style and interest and is often darker (think chocolate) and heavier than the wedding cake. Groom's cakes can alternatively be cut and packaged as take-home gifts or favors for guests.
What are some other great alternatives?
Just as the style of cake doesn't have to be limited by imagination, neither does a cake alternative. While cheese or doughnut towers have been doing the rounds for a while now, couples are leaning towards personal favourites, culturally significant desserts or locally sourced specialty options.
Flavour... the crucial component of your wedding cake
Ultimately you want your wedding to taste as good on the inside as it looks on the outside. While traditional flavours such as chocolate, vanilla or fruit are consistently popular, innovative variations such as tea-infused, ginger-spice, floral pistachios, coffee cream or tropical coconut guava are welcome newcomers.
Initial consultation with your cake maker should involve discussing any flavours that hold significance to you as a couple and then making space to inject new and exciting options.
If your having trouble narrowing it down to one mouth-watering flavour tiered cakes will allow for pairing multiple flavour combinations….just bear in mind that the type and density of the cake may affect its ability to be stacked.
How to choose the right variety of frosting for your wedding day
Once you've chosen your cake, you'll be ready to move onto the accompanying frosting. Significant factors to consider are the sweetness of the frosting, its ability to be fashioned to create the style features you need and its capacity to hold up depending on the weather and temperature at your reception. Here is a quick run-down of all the types you might want to consider:
Sweet sugary paste rolled out in large pieces which can be intricately shaped or placed over the entirety of the cake for a seamless finish. Due to its sugary nature fondant is often paired with a less sweet cake and is a great warmer weather option as it will hold its form for 6-10 hours without refrigeration.
Often suited to elegant or rustic designs buttercream frosting is made up of butter, powdered sugar and milk or cream. A more affordable option than fondant, it is also suited to indoor and outdoor receptions.
Swiss meringue buttercream
While more suited to cooler weather or indoor receptions Swiss Meringue Buttercream is not as sweet and is lighter than regular buttercream. It lends itself to smooth and glossy exterior finishes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Creamy and smooth frosting often paired with spiced cakes or citrus cakes.
For the chocolate lovers... ganache
Equal parts of cream and chocolate (milk, dark or white) blended to make a rich and decadent frosting. Best suited to controlled temperature conditions. For a deluxe ganache insist on the best quality chocolate being used.
The all important pricing and budget
When planning your wedding cake and considering your allocated budget opt for quality over quantity. Wedding cake prices will be determined by a variety of factors, and you may need to decide which ones you wish to either prioritise or compromise on.
What factors will influence the cost of my cake?
Factors such as intricacy of finished design, the complexity of the cake flavour, the number of tiers (which can make it harder to transport and more costly to decorate), the type of frosting and the level of personal customisation and extra add on's (such as cake stands and toppers) will all impact the final price. In short, the more intricate or elaborate a cake, the more labour intensive and expensive!
Communicating the number of guests you will have at your reception and how you wish to have your cake served will help your cake maker work within your budget. As a general guide, a 3 tiered cake will feed 100 people and for larger weddings of up to 200 guests a five-tier cake.
Budget Tip: If catering for a larger wedding, you can also choose the option of having a smaller wedding cake and then having the guests served from a sheet cake. The sheet cake and wedding cake are typically the same flavour but the sheet cake will not require the same elaborate dressing or styling.
Enjoying every moment
Without wanting to generalise the process of selecting (and tasting) the wedding cake is one which both parties are usually willing to get excited about. With the majority of the significant wedding planning decisions behind you, enjoy taking the time together to explore what unique cake flavours, frosting, and edible decoration options are available to you. Consider this the official invitation to let your tastebuds run wild.
Try sampling a few more daring options or ones you may have not tasted before and then pair them with some that are a little more traditional. Remember, this is going to be your first cake experience as newlyweds. Invest the time in making sure it's memorable for you (and your guests) for all the right reasons.
Final thoughts on deciding who to work with
Personal chemistry and the way the cakemaker captures your vision will often determine who you choose to use. Before you decide on exactly who will be helping you make this once in a lifetime experience a reality (there may even be several artisans you wish to work with) clarify what is included in the final pricing to avoid costly additions.
Ensure that your cakemakers final pricing includes:
- The design consultation
- complimentary cake tasting
- the cake itself (and sheet cake if choosing that option)
- delivery to the venue
- setup of the cake on the table.
And lastly, visualise whether your cakemaker is someone you as a couple will be able to enjoy this creative process with. Someone you feel can successfully guide you on the journey through patterns and textures, exotic flavours, frosting techniques and thoughtful design.
BRISBANE WEDDING CAKE MAKERS WE LOVE!
With so many talented cake makers on our list from Brisbane and the surrounding regions, you will undoubtedly be spoilt for choice and won't have to find yourself asking 'who makes great wedding cakes near me'. Here are a few of the very best!!!
Jill-i-cious Cakes (Toowoomba)
Showcasing her expertise for over 8 years in the industry, Jill has a passion for making sure that the experience of designing and creating your wedding cake is just as enjoyable as the customised cakes she lovingly bakes.
Whether you already have a definite vision for your wedding cake or need more assistance crafting the design, Jill is committed to guiding you on that journey. Offering over 20 cake flavour combinations which include either standard or speciality flavours (such as Honeycomb White), divine filings and coulis, Jill's unique range will have something to delight everyone's palette.
To help visualise your finished creation, Jill will even provide you with a sketch of your wedding cake to ensure it effortlessly blends with the other design elements of your big day.
PepperBerry Cakes (Toowoomba)
Head Baker at PepperBerry cakes Eddie Stuart combines fresh seasonal produce from across the Darling Downs, with a love of design, art and well-timed magic to create the most important cake of your life.
PepperBerry cakes believes the sight and taste of your wedding cake must be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, representing the past, present and long joyous future of you and your partner. It is a highlight centrepiece on your special day, so they have dedicated themselves to creating well-balanced flavours and thoughtful, luxurious designs to match.
Their signature cakes are moist, butter-based sponges, decadent muds, earthy olive oil, and melt-in-your-mouth spiced almond cakes; plumped and smothered with cloud-like Swiss meringue buttercreams, silky smooth chocolate ganache or our creamy and tart cream cheese frostings.
A little Cake Place (Brisbane)
Founder of ' A little Cake Place' Caitlin Mitchell was awarded Haute Couture Wedding Cake Designer of the Year 2018. Her gorgeous, intricate designs have to be seen to be believed (pop over to their Instagram for a visual extravaganza).
Her cutting-edge artistic approach, combined with flawless technique, has resulted in all limitations being removed for creating the cake of your dreams...enter her exquisite Chandelier cakes!!! Caitlin and team offer a unique and delicious range of flavours including the highly popular white chocolate, macadamia and coconut. Don’t be afraid, however; to really get adventurous with their more outrageous flavours such as ANZAC, choc chili and tropical Queensland which includes the vibrant fruity flavours of pineapple, mango, passionfruit and banana.
With sophisticated designs, attention to detail and uncompromising quality at the forefront of their cake styling experience 'A Little Cake Place' is a must for couples looking for a luxury, high-end wedding cake designer.
Cake House (Toowoomba)
When Katrina from Cake House is in the kitchen, you know that only the most beautiful and delicious cakes are going to come out of the oven. Passionate about keeping abreast of local and international cake styling trends Katrina specialises in fondant covered cakes, gum paste flowers and one-off cake masterpieces.
Not afraid to experiment with new trends, she flawlessly showcases her innovative talent in each cake she creates. A dedication to excellence combined with her creative flair, she is capable of sculpting almost anything (pink sugar sakura cherry blossoms included).
Impressions on Scott (Toowoomba)
Also a boutique cafe located in the leafy suburb of East Toowoomba, Impressions on Scott is dedicated to making bespoke wedding cakes. Specialising in buttercream and ganache cakes from single barrel to five-tier. All of their creations are unique focusing not only on beauty but also fabulous flavours.
Using locally sourced ingredients and creating an individually designed flavour profile for each couple, Impressions on Scott will also be able to assist in providing any additional sweet treats you may require for wedding favors.
Zoe Clarke Cakes (Sunshine Coast)
Zoe Clarke's cakes frequently feature in international sugarcraft and bridal titles with Zoe herself an accomplished cake artist, author and instructor. Zoe states her main inspiration comes from fashion and beautiful fabrics with different textures and finishes.
Specialising in and favouring delicate lace piping, wafer paper, sugar ruffles, hand-painted wedding cakes and gold leaf, Zoe's cakes are elegant and decadent masterpieces. Showcasing romantically inspired flavours such as pink prosecco butter cake with fragrant rose-flavoured buttercream or luxurious champagne layered cake with strawberry preserve your guests will be in cake-heaven.
Unashamedly romantic her luxury wedding cakes often feature soft and sophisticated accents paired with flawlessly handcrafted florals.
Abbolou Cakes (Toowoomba)
Available by appointment at her studio, Kim from Abbolou Cakes ensures quality time is spent with couples to make sure they get the custom design of their dreams. Whether you are looking for something more traditional or a completely customised wedding cake, Abbolou Cakes will help you transform your vision into something unique and beautiful for your special day.
With individual attention brought to each order, Kim's creations are thoughtfully crafted and made with a focus on using the finest quality ingredients.
Neva May Cakes (Toowoomba)
Vicki from Neva May Cakes (Neva May being her middle name which was also shared by her grandmother ) is committed to creating beautiful edible pieces of art for your wedding day.
Vicky has extensive cake styling experience and has acquired precision and an eye for perfection in her work, to create alluring and unique custom-made wedding cakes.
The Cheese Bar (Brisbane)
Providing a world-class array of cheeses, both locally and internationally sourced, Narelle Tongnini from Tognini's cafedeli in Milton offers couples pursuing a savoury option a plethora of choice.
The Cheese Bar offers either DIY options (where you assemble and style the tower yourself) or a fully customised tower service including a design consultation service, sampling of cheeses (yes please) and the organisation of delivery and assembly at your venue. The only thing for you to decide is whether you'd prefer the Saint Agur, L'Artisan Fermier, Cashel Blue or Woombye Triple Cream Brie on top??