Wedding cakes are the sweetest moments of a wedding day. They have been the talk of the town for a while now, as Instagram populates your feed with myriads of advertisements for different bakeries and oh-so-beautiful wedding cakes. So many bakeries and types of wedding cakes to choose from, and you just don’t know what cake to get for your big day!
In this episode of the wedding experts, we approached Yume Patisserie. Making a wedding cake is really not easy. There are so many things to consider.
Why Should You Get Wedding Cakes?
How did Wedding Cakes come about?
Dated back to ancient Rome, wedding cakes originated as a loaf of barley bread. It was a custom for Roman’s weddings for the groom to break the bread over the bride’s head; some says that this was an act to symbolise fertility while some say that it was a reminder of the male’s dominance.
Moving on to Medieval times, the English started to pile up buns, scones, cookies into a tall tower, with the couple attempting to kiss over it. It was believed if the bride and groom managed to kiss over the tower without toppling it, they would be blessed with the everlasting union and many children.
Around the 17th Century, sugar has become widely available throughout Britain, and this is when white frosted wedding cakes eventually came into the picture. The pure white frosting on wedding cakes represents wealth and purity of the bride.
Traditions of Wedding Cakes
Originated all the way back from Roman times till now, there have been drastic changes to wedding cakes. This also comes with many quirky traditions and customs, here are some that are still practised by many couples:
Cutting of the wedding Cake: cutting the Cake together as a couple is believed as an act of promise to support each other and always be there for one another
Eating the First Slice: feeding the first slice of a Wedding Cake to each other represents a commitment to provide for one another and to show affection
Saving the Top Tier: this is not a commonly practised tradition nowadays, but some couples still do save their top tier by freezing it and eat it on their first anniversary
Types of Wedding Cakes based on:
Beyond the classic chocolate, vanilla and red velvet flavour, there are now many more intriguing flavours for you to choose from.
Earl Grey Lavender: this may be familiar for some of you as you may have eaten a slice of Earl Grey Lavender Wedding cake from your friend’s birthday party or even your relative’s wedding. Classic and simple but irresistible, the strong smell of lavender and light sweetness makes people of different ages love it.
Lemon Thyme: with a citrus scent and flavour, lemon thyme wedding cakes are refreshing and well-loved the young and old.
Lychee Rose Wedding Cake: a mix of light, fruity taste of lychee with a faint rose scent, this combination is a heavenly match
Odeh Odeh: couples who love traditional local flavour can consider getting an Odeh Odeh flavoured Wedding Cake
A hint of alcohol: for the alcoholic fans, to share your love for alcohol with your guest, you can request to add some whiskey or gin to your Cake. Some ideas such as Lychee Martini and Pink Champagne are not only delicious but makes your wedding even more exciting.
With endless flavour, there are many many more flavours not included in the list. You may even come up with unique flavour maybe mala for the hardcore mala fans (?) and see if your baker will be able to work something out for you.
Types of Wedding Cake Icing:
a. Buttercream Frosting: Made cup of icing sugar and butter, this smooth and fluffy frosting is an all-time-favourite by most couples.
Pros: taste well with cakes, able to design different textures
Cons: unable to stay in non-air-condition rooms for long
b. Fondant Icing
Dough made up of icing, rolled out into a large sheet and then draped over the Wedding Cake.
Pros: keeps the Cake fresh longer, able to last longer under the sun, many variations to design with fondant icing
Cons: some people don’t like the taste of it
c. Chocolate Ganache
With melted chocolate and cream, the mixture is then poured over the Cake to cover it. There are many possibilities with this – drip style, smooth and shiny finish and texture finish etc.
Pros: not many people can resist chocolate
Cons: unable to stay under heat for long
Style of Wedding Cake
Classic White Wedding Cake: Floral and Greenery
Back to the basics, nothing can go wrong with a white wedding cake. Classy and simple, you can even spice things up with some extra touches to your Cake.
the beauty of this barely frosted Wedding Cake is to show the cake layer while keeping the sides neat. This gives off a rustic feel, very suitable for those garden-nature theme weddings.
Adding geometric features to your wedding cake makes it look chic and trendy, suitable for modern and cool brides out there. You don’t have to do much with it, just simple touches of geometric and it will look gorgeous.
Shades from light to dark, the gradual fading of colours makes every wedding cake look beautiful. With extra touches of florals or ruffles, it is absolutely stunning.
the swirling and twisting of colours on the wedding cake give off such elegance that makes it hard to take your eyes off it.
Wedding Cake Budget
Why are wedding cakes so expensive?
It is not just mixing the ingredients and viola there you have your wedding cake. Making a wedding cake is a tedious task, requiring much skills and expertise with it. You are not just paying for flour and sugar, but also the time and effort put into it.
The production of a wedding cake takes about one week to make from scratch. It actually takes hard work to make those fondant doughs, to make your wedding cake look smooth and neat.
One flower sugar takes about 2hours to make. The more intricated and detailed the flower is, the more time it takes to complete it.
The level of complexity of the design of your Cake plays a part in the cost of your wedding cake. From hand-painting designs on the caking to arranging the flowers, each element on your wedding cake takes effort. It is like a process of fixing puzzles together to form a picture.
Depending on the number of tiers you have and the design of the Cake, simple one-tier cakes can start off from $100 while complicated three-tier cakes can cost about $600 – $1000.
How to save cost?
However, if you do come across a design that you really love but seems too labour-intensive and thus costly, don’t be afraid to let your baker know. There may be ways for reducing the cost or even alternative designs that are similar but less labour-intensive.
Small Cake: downsize your cake size, consider having just one- or two-tier cakes. High chance is not all your guest likes cakes and will be getting a slice. Don’t have to get an oversized cake and end up wasting it.
Fake Layers: check with your baker if s/he is able to add fake layers to your Cake so that you can have a large and extravagant cake even with a small budget.
Tips When Getting the Wedding Cake
Number of guests
Well, the first thing to bear in mind is the number of guests your cake is going to feed. Typically, a three-tiered cake can feed up to 100 guests. However, the number of layers can be customised as well, according to what the couple would like. As Amber from Yume Patisserie shared with us, a couple who has a guest list of 100 people can still choose to have a four-tiered cake if they want to. “It just means that the layers are smaller in circumference, but it still feeds up to 100 guests,” Amber said.
A two-tiered cake costs around $300-$500 according to the pricelist from Yume Patisserie. However, customisation requests can drive up prices, even going up to the thousands for those looking for an extravagant wedding cake as the center piece. Just be sure to put out your budget and preferences before placing your order!
To help the bakers understand exactly the style of the cake for your wedding day, it would be helpful to put together a mood board. A wedding cake mood board we did is like a collection of themes, similar to a sort of sketchbook with all the things you like! A mood board can contain images, notes or samples of other cake designs that appeal to you. You may also input notes at the side to be specific about the elements you want on your wedding cake.
It’s also important to include ingredients, or specific themes you want for your cake. Would you like gold flakes, or do you prefer baby breaths for a more natural, gardenia themed wedding cake?
If you are having your wedding outdoors under the hot afternoon sun, it is best to avoid having frosted buttercream cake for your ceremony as you would not want to witness a melting cake even before your cake cutting ceremony.
Especially in Singapore, fondant icing would be recommended if you are having an outdoor ceremony, as it will last longer under the sun.
Consultations with your baker usually involve a cake tasting session and discussing the design of the Cake. This will usually come at a small cost due to the cake samples. It is important to go for cake tasting consultations because, at the end of the day, you will want to love your Cake – in terms of both look and taste. More than just the looks of the Cake, the primary purpose of cakes is for eating. Although you may have found a cake design online that you love from a bakeshop, go for food sampling to make sure that it tastes as nice as it looks too.
Do let your baker know what kind of theme and concept your wedding will be going for, and your baker will be able to best advise you on the type and design of Cake that is most suitable.
Make sure that the delivery of your Cake is not too early and not too late. Buttercream and chocolate ganache cakes can last in air-conditioned venues for about 2 hours. While in non-air-conditioned venues, the buttercream will not last more than 30mins.
To ensure that your wedding cake remains in top condition for the cutting ceremony, arrange the delivery timing such that the Cake does not get left out in the open for too long.
For cakes that have been stored away and refrigerated before the cake cutting ceremony, remove it from the fridge at least 45mins before, to ensure a soft and fluffy cake.
Vegan and Halal cake options
With more and more people having special dietary requirements, consider having vegan options if necessary, so that every guest can enjoy a slice of that goodness which you have spent much effort in.
Making Your Own Wedding Cake
Some couples do attempt to bake their own wedding cake for two main reasons – cut the cost of hiring a baker or to making the wedding even more meaningful by making the Cake from scratch themselves. If you decide to give baking your wedding cake yourself a try, here are some tips on how to go about doing it:
Come up with a design
Start off with knowing how you want your Cake to look like. Do your research beforehand and think of how you are going to make your design come into life. Browse through online and pick out designs that you like.
Have a stable foundation
If you are having many layers and dressing up the Cake with lots of decorations, make sure that you start off with a strong foundation. Ensure that your layers are sliced evenly and straight, and that the cake base is not too soft and wobbly. You wouldn’t want your Cake to fall apart during your wedding day.
Seek help from professionals
Professionals know all the best tips and technicalities to make wedding cakes. Consider going for baking classes and learn some skills on how to bake, especially if you have zero experience in baking. Try using the internet as well and watch some baking videos on YouTube.
Alternatives to Wedding Cakes
Not a fan of cakes? No problem, here are some alternatives to move away from wedding cakes:
Dessert Tables are a great option. This is an example of what we have seen in past weddings.
Besides Wedding Cakes, you can choose to engage a simple neighbourhood Kopi station.
Waffle / Pancake Stacks
S’ mores Bar
Wedding Cake Toppers
Besides being just a decoration on top of the wedding cake, the wedding cake topper is a symbolism of the couple. Traditionally, a figurine of a bride and groom is used as the wedding cake topper. However, nowadays, there are many different ideas used for cake toppers.
As a symbolism of you and your partner, be creative with your cake topper that will reflect the personality of your relationship. Something that is uniquely yours.
Wedding Cake Bakers
Engaging a wedding baker is more than just getting your wedding cake, but it is also having the peace of mind and having the expertise to customise your dream wedding cake.
Some Wedding Cake Bakeries in Singapore:
Yume Patisserie – uses high-quality ingredients from France, you can be sure of the quality of cakes produced from Yume Patisserie. Not only do their cakes taste nice, but they also have beautiful cakes from hand-painted designs to ombre cakes
Winifred Kriste Cake – Specialises in hand-painted floral designs and handmade sugar flower, with each wedding cake exuding with elegance and beauty
Crummb – known to be detail-oriented and meticulous, Crummb also specialises in modernised cakes that are out-of-the-norm
Delcie’s Desserts and Cakes – Awarded the ‘healthier bakery award’ by the Health Promotion Board, Delcie’s healthier cakes cater to many different dietary requirements such as vegan, diabetes-friendly, gluten-friendly and even keto-friendly
The Butter Studio – Halal certified