a natomy o f a cake
embellishments Fondant appliqués, ribbon borders and piped pearls are common design elements. Some bakers can even create custom patterns or motifs.
Here’s the skinny on this sweet wedding dessert.
photograph by antonis achilleos Cake By Cakeline
tier size Most wedding cakes consist of three to four tiers, with four layers of cake and three layers of filling in each tier, feeding 100 to 140 guests.
sugar flowers Handcrafted from gum paste, sugar flowers are assembled one petal at a time. And while they’re completely customizable, that also means they’re labor intensive, so a cascade of roses will drive the price up. Looking to save? Fresh blooms are a cost-effective swap.
fondant vs. buttercream Fondant (a mixture of sugar, water, corn syrup and gelatin) is rolled out and draped over the tiers, preventing the cake from drying out and doubling as a canvas for endless design possibilities. Buttercream (made from butter and sugar) is generally less expensive. But because of its soft texture, décor options are more limited and it won’t hold up as well in heat.
flavors Alternating layers of cake and fillings add interest to a confection. Choose from classics, like red velvet or vanilla, and opt for a unique filling, like hazelnut or praline crunch.
extra layers Styrofoam tiers can be added to achieve your desired height— without the added cost.
A lower price tag generally means a simple design (think: smooth buttercream and few embellishments). Tight budget? Opt for a smaller cake and ask about non-decorated sheet cakes that can be cut in the kitchen.
More dollars means more design options, from piped patterns to simple sugar flowers or a hand-painted monogram. You can also get a bit more creative with your flavor and filling choices.
The sky’s the limit! Towering tiers, exotic fillings and custom design elements (like a lace pattern that matches your gown) will contribute to this labor-intensive, jaw-dropping creation.
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