Let Them Eat
A white wedding cake is traditional, but without the right design and styling, it can appear quite dated. Pamela Hale speaks with Clair Davies, designer and baker at Divine Cake Sensations, about how playing with flavour and texture can transform your white wedding cake into a modern masterpiece.
Image Credit: Divine Cake Sensations
While a classic white wedding cake will always be in fashion, the aesthetics and stylisations of its design will be heavily influenced by trends. Selecting a bespoke approach to your wedding cake design will ensure the result will suit you and your special day, and allows for every aspect of the cake to be carefully selected. Considerations such as the weather and venue of your wedding can also be easily factored into the design, ensuring an appropriately durable creation. Here Melbourne Wedding & Bride explores the stunning options available when customising your wedding cake.
Of Taste And Texture
When it comes to designing your wedding cake, it can be difficult to decide where to begin. “I believe the taste and texture of the cake must be considered first,” Davies explains. After all, regardless of how visually striking a cake may be, if it doesn’t taste wonderful, it won’t be remembered as a fantastic creation. Davies advises that, despite being secondary to producing a cake that is enjoyable to eat, “the profile of the cake and how it sits within the venue are also crucial to its success”.
If you’d like to focus primarily on flavour, then fondant icing is advisable. “Under white fondant icing, the world is your oyster. The beauty of a fondant covering is that it allows the couple to choose from a wide array of flavours,” Davies says.
When it comes to selecting flavours, Davies says utilising high-quality ingredients and classic tastes is a good starting point. The cake can then be elevated with luxurious additions such as ganache or fruit curd fillings. Chocolate, regardless of whether it’s dark, milk or white, offers a classic taste, while the addition of ground nuts, fragrant fruits such as berries, or citrus juice and zest can provide wonderful depth.
“When a commercial mix is used, bakers can offer selections such as crème de menthe or tropical punch, but these additions can come at the expense of a cake with depth of taste and texture, which can only be achieved by using quality ingredients full of flavour,” Davies advises.
This trade-off applies to the addition of most imitation flavours; while there is an expansive list of flavour additions that can be provided artificially, they likely result in compromise regarding flavour, as they will never truly reflect the same results of incorporating high-quality, in-season ingredients.
Lovely In Lace
Incorporating personalised details into your cake design can be a wonderful way to ensure your cake fits cohesively within the overarching theme of the wedding. Davies explains that “new products have allowed cake designers to take their creations to a whole new level of bespoke design”. She further adds that elements such as lace detailing from your bridal gown can now be utilised by your cake designer to introduce patterns to icing, creating a resemblance that can be echoed through various aspects of the event’s styling. “These details will be unique to the bride and bring out the personality of the couple.”
Similarly, the floral theme you’ve employed for your special day can be cleverly incorporated into your cake design too, creating thematic unity and visual appeal simultaneously. “Brides often request that sugar flowers contain the same florals and colours as their bridal bouquet,” Davies says. “A sugar flower artist will be able to weave these details into their final cake design.”
“White complements everything, making it extremely adaptable,” Davies explains. By adding details such as lace imprints or matching florals, which bring cohesion to the styling of your wedding, a sense of harmony is ensured, which will resonate in any photographic or video mementos from the occasion. “Couples are still looking to take a cutting the cake photo,” Davies adds. If this is a concept that resonates with you, combining the classic image of a white cake with custom detailing inspired by your unique event has the potential to create spectacular photographic remnants of your big day.
Design Dos And Don’ts
As with every other aspect of planning your wedding, arranging a cake, particularly a bespoke wedding cake, takes time. “Designing will take around three weeks from an initial consultation,” Davies says. “To get the cake designer of your choice, couples should be looking at booking six months out. However, a designer in demand will be taking bookings 12 months before, as it could be that they can only work on one commission a week.”
It’s not just the timeframes of creating a cake that needs to be considered; different finishes will also be impacted by seasonal changes. For instance, Davies explains that “white chocolate ganache does not work well in the heat, unless additives are used, and many bakers refuse to use it over the hotter months.”
Just as consistency of style is important when considering the way your cake will appear within the overarching theme of your wedding, the size, shape and colour of the cake will factor into this too. “The elegance of a tiered cake has not gone away over the decades, while white fondant with an accent colour is still the most commonly requested choice,” Davies says.
Davies highlights the practicality of selecting a white cake design, as opposed to a brighter coloured cake. “Over a short period of time, the colour will fade quite quickly, which is why decorators will generally not recommend it, but instead keep it as an accent colour,” she explains.
“Design trends come and go, but white cakes could never be considered dated, as they are always being reinvented,” Davies says. She also reiterates the importance of the design process, explaining that “designers can take your brief and make a creation that suits your dreams”. By choosing to work collaboratively with a cake designer, a bespoke design that appeals to your unique taste and styling can be realised.