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Wedding Cake Bakeries

Topic: Wedding Cakes
Timeframe: Six Months
Pittsburgh Area Wedding Cake Business Listings

Wedding Cake Flavors

Like many elements of the modern wedding celebration, the ever-popular wedding cake has become a memorable mix of tradition and imagination.

While the traditional round, tiered white cake with white icing and a miniature bride and groom remains popular, many couples are choosing different flavored cakes, gourmet fillings, elaborate and decorative icings, edible flower toppings, and very distinctive cake toppers.

Trends include cakes that feature a different filling in each layer. Fillings can include raspberry or orange marmalade, chocolate mousse, hazelnut, amaretto, fraise du bois (miniature wild strawberries), Grand Marnier, and mousse in lemon, strawberry, raspberry or apricot flavors.

Another trend is a feature cake surrounded by several “designer” cakes such as carrot, spice, lemon, banana, chocolate, or cheesecake.

Wedding Cake Designs

Cakes can be created in round, square, heart, hexagon, or diamond shapes. Elaborate designs can resemble gazebos, Faberge eggs, baskets of fruit, flowers or birds, vases of flowers, mountain ranges and waterfalls. Creative bakery artists may also enhance their designs with beads, charms and ribbons, as well as fountains, lights, candles and bridgework.

Money Saver Tip: Your baker may suggest a smaller wedding cake supplemented by layered sheet cakes kept in the kitchen. This is an excellent option when you are having a large number of people at your reception. It can also make having an unusual cake more affordable, since the decorative efforts can be concentrated on the display cake itself. A growing trend is to cut the cake before dinner so that it can be served as dessert.

Cake Toppers

When deciding on the cake’s design, consider the cake topper you have in mind. Toppers can be anything of importance to you and your groom. Antique tops, used by your parents or grandparents can be refurbished if necessary. Bridal couples can be customized to r esemble the two of you, or you may have kissing teddy bears, crystal hearts, castles, swans and doves, fresh flowers or framed baby pictures of the bridal couple.

You may want to incorporate the Victorian tradition of “ribbon pulls.” Charms, attached to ribbons, are layered into the icing. Before the bride and groom share the first slice, the unmarried bridesmaids gather around the cake to pull a ribbon and learn the promise of their future. Several different charms are used, each with its own symbolism. The maid pulling the token ring is said to be the next to marry.

Consider the decorations at the base of the cake as well. Ribbons entwined with greenery and flowers to match the cake or your bridal bouquet are popular choices.

The Bakery

Begin shopping for your wedding cake four to six months before the wedding and try to make your final decision at least two months before, since edible works of art can take up to 40 hours to decorate and can be prepared no more than 72 hours in advance.

When interviewing your baker, ask to see their portfolio of actual designs completed. These photographs will give you an idea of their level of creativity. Compare taste, costs, and workmanship before deciding. Although the plainest of cakes often begin around $1.50 per slice, expect to pay more for a professionally created cake with fillings and special flavors. Your baker will need to know the number of guests attending to suggest the appropriately sized cake.

Check on delivery and set-up fees and deposits required on items such as separators, pillars, fountains, etc. Inquire, too, about the how and when of returning these items.

Be sure the “first anniversary layer” is included in the price. Inquire about the best way to freeze the top layer of your cake to share on your first anniversary. Some bakers will give you a certificate for a first anniversary cake that they will make fresh in a year.

At the Reception

Once yo u and your husband have cut the cake and neatly given each other a piece, the caterer will move it to the side or into the kitchen to finish cutting and serving. Asking friends or relatives to assist in cutting the cake is an honor in certain circles. If you want to do so, be sure to ask your baker for written directions on the best way to cut your cake, and be sure your friends have copies before the wedding day.

The Groom’s Cake

Groom’s cakes are becoming increasingly popular. Black forest, German chocolate or dark chocolate are just a few of the choices for this delectable confection. Anything the groom loves is acceptable and it’s a nice way to have something especially designed for him. It can be served at the reception, taken home, or boxed for your guests to take with them.

Be sure to check out the Bakery Worksheet under: For Brides: My Bridal Suite

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