EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about cakes

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Herts and Beds Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourhertsbeds.wedding

Baked With Love

Baked With Love

Q What flavours would you suggest for our Christmas-themed wedding cake?
A Sarah Sacco says: Christmas always makes me think of spices and warmth; many cake flavours instantly make you think of this special time of year. Here are a couple of my favourites...

•Orange, apricot and ginger sponge filled with apricot conserve and vanilla buttercream. The hint of ginger makes you think of gingerbread, and the orange gives it a lovely citrusy hit.

•Spiced carrot cake filled with orange buttercream. You get the warmth of the ginger and cinnamon spices in the cake combined with the carrot and walnuts, while the orange buttercream breaks up the sweetness without overpowering the sponge.

Sarah Sacco, Layers & Graces

A Slice Of The Action

A Slice Of The Action

Q How much is a wedding cake and how much do we need?
A Angela Hodson-Jones says: When ordering a wedding cake for the first time, setting aside a budget is tricky! As you browse for inspiration for your dream cake, there's no 'one size/price fits all' approach.

Here are a few options to consider.
•Size matters: Different-sized cakes can offer different portion numbers in a tiered arrangement. Ideally, cater for 80 per cent of guests unless serving the cake as dessert.
•Flavours: Guests may devour a slice of each if you opt for different flavour tiers, and you may need additional cake if you save a tier for yourselves.
•Design: Sugar flowers, edible gold leaf, sparkles and those beautiful ruffles you set your heart on add to the cost. A four-tiered wedding cake with fondant ruffles and sugar flowers could take 20 to 30 hours to create and, depending on design complexity, cost upwards of several hundred pounds.
•Venue: If you've booked your dreamy large manor house with vaulted ceilings, a small-tiered cake could disappear within the grandeur. So faux polystyrene tiers, acrylic or metal separators can replace cake to minimise leftovers and achieve a stunning centrepiece.

Cake designers will always provide a starting price using the above information to help you budget your dream cake!

Angela Hodson-Jones, Angela Jane Cake Design

A taste of Christmas

A taste of Christmas

Q What flavours would you suggest for our Christmas-themed wedding cake?
A Angela Hodson says: Choosing your wedding cake and flavours is a big highlight of wedding planning – saying "I do" at Christmas makes it extra special.

Flavours are a personal choice and the foundation of your luxury centrepiece. So whatever your favourite flavours are, they'll be well received by guests!

Christmas conjures images of sumptuous food, vibrant textures, bold flavours and colours – your wedding cake is no exception and should taste as good as it looks.

Traditionally, a boozy fruit cake is a Christmas staple and is often chosen as a wedding cake flavour. However, you might consider alternative rich flavours, including Belgian chocolate fudge with salted caramel buttercream, spiced carrot, pear and hazelnut with salted caramel buttercream or even coffee and walnut! Are you enjoying a rich and delicious wedding breakfast? Why not opt for lighter flavour combinations, including classic vanilla paired with raspberry conserve, lemon and blueberry or almond with wild cherry compote?

Book a cake-tasting session with your baker and enjoy sampling delicious flavours while discussing your wedding menu and ideas. Together you can personalise flavour preferences for your perfect wedding cake!

Angela Hodson, Angela Jane Cake Design

Festive bakes

Festive bakes

Q We're having a winter wedding and would love to incorporate the season into our cake; how can we achieve this?
A Helen Horton says: I have three ways to incorporate the winter season into wedding cakes. The first and obvious option is to incorporate winter foliage, pine cones, berries and pine sprigs. Pair the greenery with hessian ribbons and textured buttercream for a rustic look.

Alternatively, rich deep colours like forest green or burgundy paired with cream, white and gold touches create a timeless look. The above cake has a single white sugar paste rose with wafer paper leaves dusted with gold for a bit of sparkle and a square shape for a modern twist.

My favourite thing about Christmas are the lights, so why not add some fairylights to the cake? You can incorporate this in the cake's decorations or even between the tiers. I've created a bake with the lights intertwined with the fondant and wafer paper lace for a whimsical look.

Helen Horton, Helen’s Homemade Cakery

Big-day bakes

Big-day bakes

Q My wife-to-be and I want a cake that's on-trend. What's popular right now?
A Holly Edwards says: Couples are always looking to make their cakes special and different for their big day, so the standard three-tiered white cakes aren't as popular as they once were. I've had a lot of couples asking for deconstructed tiered cakes, so three or four single-tiers grouped together to make a wow factor display – this was made popular by Harry and Meghan.

Many pairs are now looking for a showstopping sweet grazing-style display, which can be served as dessert and gives guests various flavour options

Adding flowers to cakes is still a huge trend. When displayed in a more natural and wild way, it creates the perfect look for those rustic country weddings. Pressed flowers are also trending and are great when combined with fresh and larger blooms.

Holly Edwards, Butter & Boo

Scrumdiddlyumptious

Scrumdiddlyumptious

Q We're currently planning our big day and we've decided against a traditional cake. Do you have any alternative suggestions?
A Lynda Trembling says: Traditional wedding cakes typically mean white or ivory tiered bakes adorned with pastel-coloured blooms, usually roses or peonies. If you mention an alternative cake design to me, my mind goes into overdrive as there's so much you can do.

Think about using bold colours such as black, blues, reds, yellows and purples. You can play around with textures and have a concrete, bark or wafer paper design. Why not consider having a square or rectangular-shaped tiers to create a showstopping design? You could even have structured or carved cake in the shape of an animal, suitcase, bag, castle and more. Add statement blooms such as flowers, poppies, anthuriums, protea and large roses with plenty of foliage for those flower lovers. Your cake should reflect your personality and interests – the list is endless!

Lynda Trembling, Sculpt & Bloom

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