I don't know about you, but I absolutely love planning birthday parties! Especially themed parties! And of course, my favorite part is designing the cake! I love to hear all the ooh's and ahh's as people gather around the cake....followed by the "mmmm's" of course! A cleverly decorated cake is the perfect centerpiece to any party theme. I just had to share with you this ninja lego cake I created recently for a client's birthday. I can only imagine what it looked like in it's party setting; complete with table skirts, plates, balloons, and other fun decorations!
Icings, ahh that sweet fluffy goodness on top of a moist slice of cake! There are actually many different types of icings, but today let's talk about the most common icings that we use.
Buttercream - Good old fashioned buttercream! Everyone loves it! It's light and sweet and full of flavor and goes well with any type of cake. If you are having a chocolate cake we add a little cocoa and you have Chocolate Buttercream! If you want a flavored icing we can add a little flavor of our choosing and create that custom icing for you. Maybe you want an amaretto buttercream or almond buttercream! Just one minor ingredient change and your icing is customized just for you! Buttercream is our standard go to icing. It's thick enough that it holds well on a cake, but still thin enough that you can pipe beautiful designs on the cake. As far as decorating goes, you have so many options. Your only limit with buttercream decoration is sculpted or 3D cakes and images. Another thing to remember for your outside events, the main ingredient in buttercream is...butter! So if the weather is particularly warm buttercream will droop, get soggy, or even melt.
Cream Cheese - A little lighter than your traditional buttercream and not as sweet, but more smooth. A cream cheese icing is great for cakes like Red Velvet or a Banana Foster. It gives cakes full of flavor a little sweet touch to it.
Fondant - A marshmellow based icing that is doughy. While in an air tight container it is soft. It is then rolled out and placed over the entire cake. As it dries it gets firm. Depending on your flavor palette, you may or may not like fondant and it's typical a texture thing for guests who don't enjoy fondant. The good news about fondant is that what buttercream is the glue that holds fondant onto a cake. So, for those that don't care for fondant there is a lovely layer of buttercream underneath. They can peel it right off and enjoy their cake! Fondant is good for cakes with many sculpted shapes or elements to the cake. Or maybe the cake itself is sculpted. Since fondant is a firm icing, it must be used on some types of cakes. While fondant does hold up a little better in the outdoor elements, it will crack or discolor in direct sunlight or heat. And also, there is buttercream underneath.
If you have questions about what type of icing you should use for your cake, we can always discuss that at our consultation. Or, just give me a call!
One important question to ask a baker is "How many wedding cakes do you take per weekend?" And that number will vary between bakers depending on their skill set, specialty, and staff size. And that number may even vary for the baker herself. Here is my short answer...4.
On a standard weekend I will take 4 weddings. Why 4? Because through experience that is about the maximum amount of weddings I can comfortably take without feeling like I'm having to substitute quality for quantity. I want to be able I can give each tier the attention and detail it deserves.
However, this number will also vary based on the cakes themselves. If I have several very large cakes or cakes with a lot of detail, such as sugar flowers or fondant then I will often limit those weekends to 3 weddings because those cakes will take longer to decorate. Or, on the flip side if all my weddings are small with less time consuming designs then I can sometimes take on 5 weddings comfortably.
Don't feel uncomfortable asking your bakers about this. It's always best to get a good understanding of how your baker runs her kitchen!
Kayla grew up in the wedding industry and has grown to love all things wedding. Please enjoy reading her thoughts and experiences as she continues to walk in family tradition.