Sunday, October 28, 2012

Baking a Wedding Cake

If you're not careful, your wedding cake will cost as much as you pay in rent.  So does one save on wedding cake?

I could say "Don't buy a cake" or "Buy pie or cupcakes" and be done with today's post but it wouldn't help much.  Not that they aren't good alternatives.

Before baking or buying a wedding cake, here are some of my thoughts about it:

The cake is usually cut toward the end of the reception.  Some people don't eat cake, and the only people that will go out of their way to eat cake are the guests that arrive late when the rest of the food is gone.  You just don't want to have a ton of cake left over.  

Dave's cousins love baking and offered to make our wedding cake!  I lucked out there big time. But you CAN bake your wedding cake if:

  • You pick an easy recipe.  We did lemon meyer pound cake.  This flavor turned out to be a huge hit at our wedding and Dave's cousins mentioned how much they loved the smell of lemon while baking in the kitchen.  Also, pound cake is the most forgiving and easiest cake to work with.  It's not likely to break like airier cakes and cause frustration.  
  • You don't care about ornate details on your cake like cala lilies, lace piping etc. But if you have a hookup with an MA in sculpting then you're good.  Fresh flowers arrangements done right can make your cake look stunning.  I loved how it turned out!  

Our wedding cake

The ingredients turned out to be roughly $150 for this 3-tiered cake shown and it was a decent size.  

Some things we did to save:

We had the top layer as real cake and the second and third tiers were styrofoam.  (I had a cousin who used Rice Krispies as an alternative to styrofoam that worked just as well).  Styrofoam turned out to be a good thing because (1) if it was all real cake, it would be so heavy to carry.  (2) We just had to do one slice during the cake cutting and still leave the cake looking nice to display through the remainder of the reception instead of a gaudy sliced mess at the cake table. 

We did sheet cakes with the cake flavor, but no fondant, just buttercream frosting for guests.  Very easy to do.  

You do not need 100 slices for 100 guests.  Like I said earlier, plenty of people skip on cake and the slices are pretty big.  You will be fine getting a cake for 50-75 people instead of 100 and still have plenty to spare even for 100 guests.  

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