5 Wedding Cake Myths Busted

Over the years in my career as a wedding cake designer, I have heard so many cake misconceptions. These misconceptions can potentially get in the way between you and your dream wedding cake design.

Today I’m sharing with you the 5 most common wedding cake myths, the reasoning behind them, and why they are, in fact, not necessarily true at all.

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1. Fondant icing is not the enemy

A playful design we set up for an Ashridge House wedding, with half fondant and half white chocolate ganache

A playful design we set up for an Ashridge House wedding, with half fondant and half white chocolate ganache

I get a lot of customers telling me that they love the look of fondant covered cakes, but unfortunately they hate the taste of it. They find the thought of having a thick layer of icing extremely off-putting.

Personally, I remember being a child at a wedding, trying to peel off a big chunk of fondant and marzipan to reveal the tasty cake underneath.

This might have been the case 10 years ago (marzipan is rarely used these days unless it’s fruitcake), but nowadays a skilled cake designer is able to roll out the icing really thinly that you wouldn’t even notice it in some cases. Even better, I personally use a beautiful Swiss brand of fondant that actually taste really nice and not overly sweet.

Remember, don’t judge by supermarket cakes. They are mass produced, which means they simply don’t have the time to carefully handle thin fondant and make it look neat, so they use a thick layer instead.

Fondant icing opens up more design options, such as clean stencilling, hand painted messages, marble cakes,…etc.

Fondant also keeps the cake fresher for longer, as it completely coats it and seals in the moisture. I would recommend you keep an open mind when it comes to choosing fondant for your wedding cake.

 
Some designs can only be achieved in fondant, like this rose gold wedding cake we set up at The House Shuttleworth last year.

Some designs can only be achieved in fondant, like this rose gold wedding cake we set up at The House Shuttleworth last year.

 

2. You CAN have a buttercream cake in the summer

Sadly, I haven’t yet discovered a type of butter that doesn’t melt in the heat (imagine how awesome that would be!).

Having said that, if you dream of a Meghan-Markle-inspired luscious buttercream beauty, and you’re having a UK summer wedding, I’m here to tell you it CAN be done.

A buttercream cake in the summer will of course come with challenges, specially that many bakers (ourselves included) use 100% butter, no margarine or trans fat, but it’s still not impossible to have a buttercream cake in the summer if done correctly. In fact we have done more buttercream wedding cakes last year, in the hottest UK summer in 40 years, than we have since we started Meadowsweet Cakes.

How does it work then? If your venue is air-conditioned for example, that definitely makes it easy peasy. Do check with your cake designer that they are willing to deliver your buttercream cake in the summer, we personally have a fancy weather-proof box that keeps the cake chilled until it gets to your venue.

If the venue is not air-conditioned, make sure the cake will at least be set up in a cool room, and agree with your wedding cake designer to deliver it -chilled- nearer to when it needs to be cut, and be kept indoors until it’s ready to be cut and devoured.

 
Buttercream wedding cake set up at South Farm last year

Buttercream wedding cake set up at South Farm last year

 

3. Wedding cakes do not taste dry

That’s like saying I don’t eat pasta because it’s overcooked, missing out on a world of Al-Dente deliciousness!

Sadly, there is a misconception that because wedding cakes are made a few days in advance, allowing time for it to be decorated, it means that the cake dries out in the process. Logical, but in most cases not true.

The coating we cover the cakes in (whether it’s buttercream or chocolate ganache) seals in the moisture, and acts like tight cling film wrap. If the cake is then covered in fondant, that seals it in even more, being LITERALLY the icing on the cake (pun intended).

If you have been to a wedding were the cake tasted dry, I’m very sorry to hear that, but that is probably an unfortunate incident where the baker might have not followed common procedure, or the cake design might have been without any outside icing (naked or semi-naked design) and was set-up at the venue too early. Make sure you choose a cake designer whose reviews say that the cake tasted delicious, then you know you’re in safe hands.

A slice of our signature, tender, Victoria Sponge. Photography by  Becky Harley Photography

A slice of our signature, tender, Victoria Sponge. Photography by Becky Harley Photography

4. You don’t have to have Fruitcake in all tiers

Or at all! To be fair our fruitcake recipe is a modern lighter version that most couples really enjoy, but unlike myths say, you don’t really have to have fruitcake for your wedding cake at all!

The tradition of having fruitcake at a wedding is said to have been brought to Britain by Julius Caesar in 54 BC, where the practice of “crowning the bride” was introduced. Crowning is basically crumbling fruit and nut rich cakes on top of the bride’s head to appease the gods and encourage fertility. Yes, you read that correctly!

Thankfully, your beautiful hairdo is safe and this is not the case anymore, a variety of delicious flavours are now offered to couples for their guests to enjoy. An experienced wedding cake designer will structure the cake properly so it carries the weight and stays stable.

 
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5. “Nobody eats the cake anyway!” is the biggest myth of all

I won’t answer this one myself, as you may think I’m biased. I will refer you to some of our previous couples feedback (pulled from our Facebook page reviews and the Four Counties Awards votes website), so you could see that in most cases that is simply not true:

“No one could believe the decoration was edible and every layer was exceptional in flavour. We significantly over-catered and still wasn't anything left!” Lisa-Marie Pritty

“Compliments from guests about the design, which complimented my bridal bouquet excellently to the delicious cake inside. None was left over! “ A & N

“The final product was beautiful and tasted amazing, we hardly had any left of our 4 tier cake as guests loved it so much.” Nicola & James

This point strongly builds up on the previous point about wedding cakes being allegedly dry, if they were all dry they wouldn’t have been eaten to the last crumb, right?


I hope this post has helped open a variety of options for you that you did not think were possible. I would love to hear about your experience with wedding cakes in general, leave me a comment and join in the conversation. A cake discussion is a happy discussion!

And if you’re planning your wedding in Herts, Cambs, Beds or London, get in touch with us to discuss your wedding cake or for help and advice.


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