Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Today, a topic which I am, I feel, reasonably well informed on: cake. As with almost every part of the standard wedding package, this is optional. You don’t have to have one. Of course, we will be – funnily enough cake ranks pretty highly on my list of likes – and if you also think this is a thing worth having, here are some options to fill the cake-void.

Traditional Tiered Cake
I use traditional loosely here, in the sense that, like many wedding cakes which have gone before, the cake has more than one layer and is either stacked on the cake below or precariously balanced on pillars. These come in all shapes and sizes and can be procured from bakeries, specialist cake decorators, caterers, and the occasional willing friend or family member (be aware that asking someone to make your cake is a pretty big time commitment, though – if I was going to do that I’d offer to provide the ingredients).

There’s also no need to decorate the traditional way – I have nothing against fondant/white icing, but if you’re not a fan don’t feel compelled – whatever icing you like should do just fine.

People often grumble about the cost of these cakes but let me assure you the cost of ingredients and amount of labour that goes into them more than justifies the cost in most cases. Having made a few for other people, I was actually pleasantly surprised by prices when I started researching ours.

These have become pretty common at weddings in the last few years, and there are heaps of really good reasons why. They don’t need to be cut, so portion control is done for you; they can be decorated quite simply but still look great; they can easily be made by novice bakers (i.e. you and your team of willing helpers); you can mix up the flavours (you can do this inside tiered cakes too but still a feature)… The list goes on. If you buy them they may or may not work out cheaper than a full-sized cake depending on what you want – it can go either way.

You can still do the cutting of the cake with a small “proper” cake if you like – if you display them on a tiered stand this looks great and gives you the best of both worlds.

Candy Buffet
While not necessarily a substitute for cake (you can’t really cut a jar of jellybeans) it will certainly satisfy any sweet cravings your guests have, and probably fill them with kid-in-a-candy-store glee. See Amy Atlas for amazing inspiration or Google image search it.

Cake Buffet
Instead of a tower of wedding cake how about a sprawling table covered in different flavours for the guests to take their pick from? Sounds pretty irresistible to me, and you can source them from a local bakery/cakery, or ask family members or close friends to make their best cake and bring in lieu of gifts. Awesome, right?

Cheese “Cake”
Another option I’ve heard of for the less dessert-oriented (what’s wrong with you people?) is to stack wheels of cheese and serve with crackers and fruit paste. While completely awesome, beware that this might well blow the budget out a bit.

Skip It
Just ignore the pre-requisite to have cake and serve dessert, or nothing at all. It’s your wedding, do what suits you!

What did you or will you have at your wedding, and what do you most like to see as a guest? 

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