Whether or not to make your own wedding cake is a topic of hot debate on bridal blogs. We don’t think you should be frightened off by the idea, and in fact there are a number of reasons why a DIY wedding cake can be a beautiful thing. Here’s are just a few:
- It fits into an overall DIY or homemade theme.
If handcrafting your own food and decorations is important to you, a slick custom cake might be out of place. People will have the expectations you cue them to have. If the entire event is clearly DIY, you can be sure they’ll be forgiving of a slightly lopsided or less than perfect cake.
- You’re an ace baker or are close to someone who is.
If this is the case, you’re unlikely to be stressed out at the thought of delivering your own cake, and in fact you may find it a calming activity. Just be sure to leave enough time and space to realistically and calmly pull it together. Maybe involve the bridal party or groom. Try to clear a large chunk of time several days in advance – this might be just what you and your friends need to face the big event relaxed and happy.
- You are looking to cut costs and are prioritising other aspects of your wedding.
You could forgo a cake altogether and it likely won’t be missed. On the other hand, sharing a cake with guests is a lovely tradition. You can make your own cake (or have a friend or family member make it) fairly inexpensively. One smart compromise could be to purchase a cake base and sized tiers, then ice and decorate the cake yourself. Cake toppers and fondant decorations can be purchased; fresh or candied flowers and fruit could also work.
Unless you have travelled to an unfamiliar location for your wedding celebration, there’s no real reason not to make your own wedding cake, with or without the help of friends and family. Whether it’s the bride or a talented cousin or friend doing the baking, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Tips for Stress-free Wedding Cake Baking
Keep it simple
Now is not the time to try out a complicated new recipe or technique. Stick to what you know will work, a familiar recipe with easy to obtain ingredients.
Don’t be a perfectionist
Don’t agonize over perfect icing or precision layering. It’s home made! It’s OK if it looks homemade.
Pre-plan and prep
Plan your cake, how it will look and what ingredients are needed well ahead of time. Leave enough calm space and time to acquire the necessary materials and do the baking without interruptions.
Consider how it will be moved
Multi-tiered cakes are notoriously tricky to move any distance. Consider transportation to get the cake to the reception location. Consider moving layers unassembled and, if facilities are available, getting friends to finish the cake in situ. Or book a few friends with steady hands and a large car.
Have a back up plan
Bakers, even the experts, know that things can always go wrong. Have a backup solution in place – something store bought, a custom baker or pro friend on call who can deliver quickly for a fee.
The wedding cake is often a focal point for nuptials and there are many traditions surrounding the presentation and serving of this showy dessert. For baking professionals, wedding cake creation is a creative challenge and a special honour. Most brides will want to go that route on the big day. But for a small handful of iconoclasts, a homemade wedding cake is something truly special. If it’s what you and your partner want, we say go for it!