Times they are a changing and that means, every reception in India will now have a wedding cake. Or a mehendi cake or sometimes, they are even part of our sangeets and the actual wedding ceremony. And they come in all shapes and colours - buttercream, fondant, chocolate and upside-down chandeliers
. So many ideas, so many choices - but we researched on things and found you a few do's & don'ts.
1. Don't go by a notion, taste everything beforehand
Yes, chocolate is best. But you will never know how amazing a cinnamon-caramel flavour tastes , if you've never tried it. So it's best for you to do some research - flavours, technicalities and icing all suited to you both as a couple. From cheesecake to fruit cake to tarts - there is so much out there. Make a list of 5 bakeries and visit each and ask for a tasting.
Quick tip: Choose an unusual flavoured icing, with a safe flavour as the base to make everyone happy
2. Make the cake part of the ceremony
....not an afterthought. Yes, a wedding cake is definitely not part of our culture, but that doesn't mean you get anything and pass it off as wedding cake. Send fabric swatches of your wedding theme to the baker - discuss how it can fit into your wedding theme and try to make it fit in.
Quick tip: Get your cake to coordinate with either the decor or your outfit.
3. Also pay close attention to icing ribbons and cake toppers
The accessories you use to decorate the cake need to be as important as the cake. Look for cute wedding fondant figurines or sweet buntings or floral editions - get inspired by anything and everything but make sure you close attention to the decoration. Gum paste or sugar paste flowers are really detailed and require work and so do marzipan fruits and chocolate-molded flowers - so look at everything before you make a choice! (For example, we think sugar paste flowers are really cute!)
Quick tip: You can get some amazing cake toppers on Etsy. Our favourite ones are quotes like "Forever starts here"
4. 2-tiers or 3-tiers...that is the question!
Three tiers will always look good. After all, it's only the top of the cake that's real. The rest is just decor and cardboard. You can choose a 3-tier so it looks good in pictures and then distribute the cake in already-cut pieces to your guests. Plain cakes without tiers are oh-so-boring and pictures don't ever do them any justice!
Quick tip: If you are looking to save on cake, then cut a smaller sized two tier, and get your baker to make the same flavour (but in a much simpler cake ) to distribute. This way you don't have to pay extra for getting more of the fancy cake and yet everyone has enough.
5. Fondant or buttercream?
Fondant is hard but looks structured and can be conducive to shaping and creating new stuff. Buttercream is soft and can only be used in a few ways - but it's super-delish. So it's all about choosing the right icing really. Don't forget to take weather into consideration - buttercream, whipped cream, meringue can melt in minutes, fondant is better for summer weddings because it doesn't even need refrigeration. But do know that fondant costs more than buttercream - only because moulding it can involve a lot of work.
Quick tip: Fondant cakes are the way to go in most weddings.
6. Know the difference between real and Photoshop
The thing about Pinterest is that pictures look amazing but reality isn't so rosy. Don't see these elaborate designs on magazines and Pinterest boards and expect your cake to look the same after hours in the fridge or in a cardboard box. Be realistic, things will look good but not spectacular for 10 hours. Often magazine pictures are photoshopped so you need to be a bit more easy-going with your baker.
Quick tip: Pick a baker whose work is neat over and above everything else.
8. Choose chocolate over any other flavour if you want to please everyone
That's because chocolate can never go wrong. A baker once told me that not to many people like fruits in their cake, some hate flavours like butterscotch or vanilla, most find sponge cake boring. So you can't please everyone with niche choices - so go for the best, chocolate. Universally loved!
Quick tip: Mix it up with an offbeat salted caramel fondant to cover it
9. The cake table must be taken into consideration
Not just the cake, the accompanying table needs to look good. So decorate with flower rims or buntings or get the sweetest table-cloth in place in lace. You could also try to go for upside down chandelier cakes that only need a hook to hold them.
Quick tip: Gather around some cutesy cupcakes, maybe a vintage birdcage or just lots of flowers.
10. Time, time!
Allow for the cake to come in just an hour or two before you cut it - refrigeration is a huge problem. Trust a cousin or a friend to keep it someplace where no one can touch it.
11. Cake trends to take it up a notch
You could make your cake sentimental - add drapes to it. Or make it a chandelier cake, or make it look like the bride's sari. Oval-shaped cakes are very popular these days too. More people prefer buttercream to fondant now. Whatever it is, look at modern cake trends and see if they work for you! At WMG, we love monogrammed letters on cakes - so cute!
Quick tip: Cake pops are a great idea. They are mini lollipops with cake and easy to distribute
12. Give the baker enough time
2 months is a good time to plan your cake. That means, your themes are frozen and work has begun. Some bakers need to experiment with stuff or they need to order some ingredients from somewhere else - so give them enough time. Don't wait till the last week to plan a cake.