So you’re contemplating making your own wedding cake? Whilst this is an admirable choice, it can also be quite stressful, especially with all the other wedding planning that you have to sort out. However, if you’re organised, competent in the kitchen and keen, then here’s a few tips to help you along the way.
I can’t emphasize this enough. Starting your preparations early gives you sufficient time to find a good recipe, buy your equipment, test bake some cakes, and hone your decorating skills.
Get a Good Recipe
Baking is a science and it’s just a question of finding a recipe that you like. You may be lucky and have a family recipe that has been carried down through the generations or you may need to start from scratch. Top ingredients are always a necessity for a decent tasting cake but naturally these cost more. Choose a couple of recipes and do a trial bake, using the end results for a particular celebration wherever possible, say a birthday or Christmas cake. To cut down on the work involved and make sure you don’t run out of cake, it’s a good idea to bake say a two tiered cake for the photographs and then make a tray bake which is easily cut out of view, for extra slices.
Have the Right Equipment
Having the correct equipment is paramount to your success. A stand mixer is essential when cooking on this scale as are high quality baking tins. Here’s a short list of some essential items:
- Stand mixer
- Good quality aluminium tins (rounds or rectangles and tray)
- Cake boards
- Baking parchment
- Plastic wrap
- Cake decorating stand
- Spatulas for icing
- Piping bag and nozzles
- Display stand
Bake at least two practice cakes. It could be that you fancy a chocolate and orange cake with an orange filling or perhaps you have in mind a strawberry cake with a fruit purée filling. Until you make and taste them you can't always be certain that what you thought you would like is going to be what you actually choose for your wedding day.
Not only should you practice baking and decorating your cake, but you also need to practice freezing, thawing and assembling so that nothing goes wrong when you're already stressed nearer the day. This involves allowing enough time for your frozen icing to thaw out as rushing it in a microwave can cause it to separate.
Finally, always have an emergency kit with you so that you can carry out any minor repairs when you assemble the cake at your venue. Carry such things as extra icing, decorations, piping bag and nozzles, and a couple of spatulas.