Wedding Cake ‘Crash Course’ – WFAL393
This episode is an information-packed audio class primarily for the new (but could certainly help even the more experienced) professional, wedding planner and it’s all about wedding cakes. Yum!
What could be more symbolic of a wedding than a wedding cake? So special that it gets its very own, spot-lit table, a wedding cake will be photographed, cut, and oftentimes kept as a special keepsake for what is a very special day.
For centuries weddings have been celebrated with a special cake. And they have evolved drastically!
The ancient Romans would finalize their wedding ceremonies by breaking loaves of wheat bread over the heads of the newlyweds to bring luck and prosperity.
In medieval Europe [5th century – 15th century AD], the bride and groom would attempt to kiss over a super-tall stack of spiced buns. If they were successful, a prosperous future was almost certainly guaranteed!
Between the 17th and 19th century in England, Bride’s pie was an important wedding dish which eventually evolved into bride cake—the forerunner of the modern-day wedding cake.
The multi-tiered wedding cake, as we know it today, has it origins in a creation for the wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter Vicky, in 1858 (although only the bottom tier was actual cake). The first tiered wedding cake made entirely of cake was made for Prince Leopold’s wedding in 1882.
Because most Victorian bakers lacked the skill to stop the top layer of a wedding cake from becoming the bottom layer it took 20 more years before columns were used to separate the cake layers.
Wedding Cakes Today
Today, the wedding cake takes center stage at the wedding reception and will be forever immortalized in photos. It can be one tier or seven! Cakes can be sleek and modern if that’s your client’s preference. Or maybe a lavishly ornamented cake more closely resembles the style they have in mind.
In some instances, the wedding cake doesn’t even look like a cake at all!
Tiered Wedding Cakes
Visit any wedding planning website or blog and you’ll see picture after picture of multi-tiered wedding cakes. A multi-layered cake has to be carefully constructed and reinforced internally to prevent the top layers from collapsing on to the bottom layers. (Which is why it’s so important to entrust this task to an experienced professional!). For support, dowels are inserted into each layer of cake in addition to foam or cardboard inserted underneath each layer.
For adventurous couples who want to inject a sense of fun into their wedding, a topsy-turvy cake is a whimsical favorite. Wedding guests always get a kick out of a crooked cake. And just so you know, the cake isn’t really crooked, it’s just constructed to look that way.
Other Types of Wedding Cakes
Cupcakes are another trend at weddings. This stylish alternative is a personal favorite; however, don’t assume that these individual morsels will cost less than a traditional tiered wedding cake. Creating cupcakes is a labor-intensive process.
In the UK, the traditional British wedding cake is a fruitcake covered with marzipan. Inside, the cake is made with fruits, prunes and raisins soaked in brandy or whiskey. The top tier is saved as the ‘christening cake’ for the couple’s first baby.
In France the magnificent ‘croquembouche’ [kroh-kuhm-BOOSH] is a truly unique wedding cake. A cone-shaped tower (sometimes more than 5-feet high) of profiteroles (cream or custard-filled cream puffs) are stuck together with caramel and covered with spun sugar. The croquembouche evolved during the time of King Charles II and was quite the status symbol since sugar, at the time, was a rare commodity.
Wedding Cake Frosting & Fillings