Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wedding Cake Design Process

I get a lot of questions about how to go about designing a wedding cake. The Sugar Suite's mission is to make this process super-fun and as creative as possible. A wedding cake is an expresion of the couple's (especially the bride's) style and the design process helps define that style. Most brides don't know where to even begin, so I thought a little info about the design process might be fun! Before I begin I would like to thank Dayna for allowing me to "tell the world" how her wedding cake was designed, she was a pleasure to work with!

The Inspiration
It all started with this cake! Its a gorgeous Wendy Kromer design from the Martha Stewart Wedding Cakes Book. Before I meet with a bride I talk with her about her personal style, the colors she is incorporating in her wedding, and any other design elements that the cake can tie together. Also, I ask the bride to look through wedding cake images online and in magazines for ideas and inspiration. That information helps me narrow down a couple of dozen cakes from various wedding cake books and my own personal portfolio. This is also a good place to get an idea of the sizes/dimensions (and shapes) of the tiers. Dayna and I looked through the book and although she was looking at different style cakes, everything went to the wayside when she saw this cake! It was love at first sight and with the blessing of the groom, we had a design direction!

The Draft
The colors that Dayna chose for her wedding reception were latte, chocolate and ivory, so my pencil went to work. The drawing to the left is the first draft of the cake.

I cam upon a challengewhen transferring this design to buttercream. The cake above is covered in fondant. Fondant is an almond paste that gives the cake a very smooth look. Some brides prefer the crisp clean look of fondant, but many prefer the taste and texture of buttercream. Overall, the buttercream cakes have more icing, so if that is your favorite part.. buttercream is for you. The solution was to make the damask design in fondant rather than softer royal icing pictured above. Its much more durable and less likely to break. I always provide a couple of alternative designs (not shown) and leave a couple of options to closer define the final design.

The Design
Then on to the final design. This draft includes the exact dimensions of the cake, the final damask design (in fondant, chosen because of the durability with buttercream) and the pattern of the damask on the cake. The exact color to be used was chosen from the bridesmaid's dress color, officially called latte. This is the draft I use when constructing the cake. Part of the cake design included a mahogany cake stand that I custom fashioned for this design. With so much thought and effort put into the cake, I believe that the stand it is presented on should be just as unique and beautiful.

And voila, The Cake!
This cake was 4 different flavors (marble, chocolate, butter rum and vanilla) all with white chocolate buttercream. We are always happy to accomodate a request for more than one flavor of cake (and buttercream) for a wedding cake. It seems so hard to chose just one!

If anyone has a question (bride or not), please feel free to post a comment to help us share even more information!

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