There’s just something so sweet about art you can eat!
The modern wedding cake is an artistic centerpiece for your wedding; a work of art to be savoured by the eye and the taste buds – one delectable bite at a time.
Exciting as it may be to design the perfect wedding cake, many couples find it tough to navigate the many options and details; but don’t worry, that’s where we come in! To help simplify choosing a wedding cake, we reached out to eight of Toronto top wedding cake experts and asked them to share their best tips on what couples should know about cakes prior to placing their order.
May we present top tips from 8 of Toronto Toronto’s best cake designers on how to choose a wedding cake that is as unique as you are!
Should the weather and time of year be a factor in choosing a wedding cake?
“It certainly is difficult trying to account for weather when choosing a cake, but as wedding season is mainly during the summer season, you need to work with someone who is willing to create the look you want no matter what. We recommend planning through the logistics of your event space then choosing the cake! The ideal temperature is an air conditioned room but with outdoor weddings as popular as ever, this isn’t always possible.
To avoid any disappointment, we always talk to the bride & groom to find out more about the logistics of their wedding day – for example, this season we found a lot of couples interested in rustic buttercream style cakes but these are very tricky when you have an outdoor event so if the cake is going to be sitting outside in the hot temperatures for a long time, this may not be the cake for you. You’ll want to create a cake that will not only fulfill your vision, but also be practical too! Just remember, you can always create something beautiful whether it’s fondant OR buttercream!”
– Sara & Allyson, Bobbette & Belle
What steps can a couple take to help their wedding cake designer bring about their vision?
“First, a couple should do a fair bit of research in terms of what cake design best suits their overall theme. Once that is established, it becomes a lot easier to explain their vision to a cake designer.
Next comes the search for the right designer. I always tell my couples to make a list of 5-6 cakes designers of their choice based on the cake designers real wedding work. Then, the couple should visit the premises of these top choices for a cake tasting and to better understand the cake designer’s brand philosophy. Believe it or not, the right personality and perfect chemistry does matter when it comes to dealing with all wedding industry professionals as you will be trusting them with one of the most important days of your life.
When it comes to a cake flavours and taste, nothing beats freshness – it is one of THE most critical elements that will determine how the cake will taste on the day of your wedding. Some establishments bake their cakes way ahead of time and freeze it for a few days before assembling it on the wedding day – this process can cause the cake to react to the changing temperatures and oftentimes can make the cake look a bit tired. To avoid any surprises on the wedding day, it’s vital for couples to ask a cake designer about their cake making process and make sure the cake will be baked as close to the wedding day as possible.”
– Zehra Khan, Fine Cakes By Zehra
What are some big trends this season when it comes to wedding cakes?
- “Floral Patterns! We have been seeing floral patterns all over the runway and in ceramics – there are so many different bold and inspiring patterns that I have translated onto cakes, primarily through painting with food colouring. With an endless possibility of different colors and patterns, this really is a great way for a couple to personalize their cake!
- Floral Wreaths/Laurels! With the huge bohemian craze, we are seeing a lot of this. We have designed multiple cakes with floral wreaths and laurels made out of sugar paste to represent a bohemian flare. For couples who are looking for a slightly less formal look to their wedding cake, these are a great option!
- Tile Patterns! In Europe and elsewhere, there is this wonderful art of tile making where artisans will spend hours creating these beautiful tiles with intricate detailing. Some of the most intriguing pieces have been inspired by some of these patterns.”
– Nadia, Nadia and Co
What key elements are cake prices based on?
“Pricing is one of the biggest elements for both the cake artist and the client but it’s difficult to come up with a general price for a wedding cake since it can vary so much based on location of the wedding, the experience of the cake artist, the size of the wedding cake and the amount of detail on the cake being requested! But to break it down for those couples still on the hunt for a wedding cake, I would say the three key elements are:
- Size & Servings: Vendors typically determine a base “per serving price” that they will use to give you a general quote. Often these can be found on websites in order to be upfront and give clients an idea of price range so that you don’t waste your time (and the vendors) looking at things out of your price range.
- Design & Detail: It really differs for each artist as we all have our expertise and we have our areas that we charge more or less for. It’s a very good idea to show images of what you like and why you like those cakes to get a more specific quote from your cake artist of choice. Often details are all hand-done, which takes time and therefore costs more.
- Size (again) does matter: We already talked about size in terms of a base price, but a simply designed cake that has a number of different tiers at varying heights versus a smaller two tier cake with lots of detail can have vastly different price points. There is a LOT of work that goes into designing a cake to make it sturdy and last through your wedding or event. Although a good cake artist will work with a couple to adjust the price of a cake, the price per serving for a wedding cake that is going to feed 500 is, in all likelihood, going to always cost more than the price per serving for a wedding cake that is going to feed 200.”
– Christina, The Cocoa Cakery
How can a couple compliment their wedding cake to their decor?
“Wedding cakes are a centrepiece of a wedding. I always suggest having the cake match the décor of the venue instead of just matching the bridesmaid dresses. Think about what the flowers look like, the linens, back drop and even the venue space itself. You want everything to be cohesive. If you are using roses and hydrangeas on all the centrepieces don’t use orchids on your wedding cake just because your bouquet is orchids.” – Patricia, Patricia's Cake Creations
Should a wedding have a groom’s cake?
“I remember going to a wedding 30 years ago and seeing a groom’s cake for the first time in the shape of a pool table. I thought it was so much fun and so thoughtful of the bride. Nowadays couples are putting their attention to late night waffle bars, poutine bars etc. which is usually the time that a groom’s cake is served. As time and trends change, however, so do traditions – the majority of my clients are now serving their wedding cakes at the time the snack stations come out so it may not be necessary to have a groom’s cake. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong – it’s all about what you, as a couple, prefer.” – Nicola, A Cake Story
How do a bride and groom ensure that their cake is the appropriate size?
“With the increasing popularity of dessert tables, one of the first questions I normally ask is ‘Is your wedding cake being plated as your main dessert, or will you have a dessert table with a variety of different cakes/pastries?’ From there, I understand whether a couple will need enough cake to feed all their guests, or just a percentage. If your wedding cake is not the main dessert, I recommend having enough to feed 60% of your guests. Since they will have a variety of other options for dessert, it won’t be necessary to have enough cake for everyone. That’s not to say, however, that the wedding cake shouldn’t be the showstopping centerpiece – even if the wedding cake won’t be feeding all the guests, wedding cake designers can use dummy tiers to ensure that the cake looks as though it is a full size cake.” – Esther, The Frosted Cake Boutique
What is a way couples can reduce the stress of choosing their wedding cake?
“A lot of couples I sit down with really stress over what their relatives and friends prefer when it comes to the cake. While it is nice to be considerate to everyone who will be in attendance at your wedding, the couple must remember that it is, after all, just a cake. For example, if you’re worried about what flavour to settle on, it is very possible to have different flavours for each tier. Still don’t know what flavours to get? Just ask your cake decorator for their suggestion – remember, they’ve probably come across this problem hundreds of times and have some really great solutions. Just remember, part of what you are paying your cake decorator for is their professional advice to make sure you get what you want and that you are happy with the final product.”
– Angela Antonistan, Opulent Cake Co.