And for the last course…WEDDING CAKE! Who doesn’t look forward to that amazing slice of heaven when they go to a wedding? Every couple wants their wedding cake to be perfect but there is no sugar coating it, the cost of confection perfection can soar. The rising cost of ingredients has made the average cost of a wedding cake around $450. The more details you add to your cake, the higher the price goes. So I’m going to share a few tips with you that I have learned from some of my friends in the baking industry and some I have read about in magazines.
TIPS FOR THE CAKE
• Labor and ingredients determine the cost of the cake. The time spent constructing the cake, putting on the icing, and adding the details will contribute to the cost.
• Cakes are priced per slice. Not every single guest at your wedding will want cake so your safe asking your baker to allow 25 fewer slices for 150-guest head count.
• Consider a cake-slicing station. It can save you around 10% instead of paying for it to be a served course.
• Create the effect of a larger cake. Separate each layer of the cake with thick, decorated non-cake layers (could use Styrofoam) to create the effect of an extravagant cake at half the cost.
• Go Smaller. Have a small two- to three- tier cake for the display and cake cutting. Then have sheet cakes, non-decorated, in the kitchen where you can cut most of the guest slices. This can save you around 50%.
• Square if you dare. A square wedding cake will usually feed more guests, is easier to cut, and you can get a larger number of servings from each tier.
TIPS FOR FILLINGS, FROSTINGS, FLAVORS, & TRIMMINGS
• Standard flavors cost less than the more unusual “premium” flavors. Cake flavors, like red velvet or carrot, will usually cost more than vanilla, chocolate, or lemon.
• Choose buttercream frosting over fondant coverings. Fondant takes more time to roll out and apply so naturally it will be more expensive.
• Use standard flavors for the larger tiers. If you want to use the “premium” flavors, choose to use them in the smaller tiers to save up to 40%.
• Stick to two flavors and fillings. This is usually standard and many bakers will charge more if you decide to go over two.
• Icing dots are inexpensive. They are also very easy to put on the cake and the icing “pearls” add a stylish touch.
• Avoid hand-piped designs. Although they are gorgeous, these designs can cost you big time.
• Embellish your cake. Think about using fresh flowers, chocolate-covered berries, or ribbon to add that extra “oomph” to your cake. These are very easy to apply and can save you around 40%.
Remember to schedule a taste testing with the bakery you choose to make sure you get the flavor you want. I hope these tips help and best of luck on designing your perfect wedding cake!