LaBrioche Bakery & Café
New England Culinary Institute
(See enlarged photo of cake design)
89 Main St., Montpelier, VT
In a nutshell, if you want to get the perfect cake for the perfect day, you’ll need to “plan ahead, know what you like and take your time to find the right chef to fit your needs,” says Michelle Lunde of Delicate Decadence Cake Boutique.
You might begin with flipping through regional and national bridal publications to get a taste for cakes (pun intended!). Scanning the pages of any issue of Vermont Bride Magazine is a great start, but don’t forget to click onto Vermont Wedding Cake Designers for a myriad of articles/vendors for every bridal topic under the sun, including cakes.
Better yet, maybe you should onsider looking at the magazines or website over a glass of wine with your fiancé. The cake is often a reflection of the two of you, so make sure you are on the same page when it comes to the design, flavor and size.
“We had a couple who loved to ride on a motorcycle together and they wanted to incorporate their joint passion into their wedding theme,” says Frank Salese of The Bakery at Junior’s and Long Island Catering Company. “We made a cake of a motorcycle with the groom driving and the bride riding on back. It was quite the project for us, to say the least, but the couple got the cake of their dreams.”
“The wedding is about you. Now more than other, guests are expecting something different. The cake is the centerpiece of the wedding and it sets the whole tone. Even if you have an elegant wedding, you can have a whimsical cake—sending the message to guests that you really want to have some fun!”
On Fischer’s plate of fanciful cakes currently is a disco cake. “It’s got tie-dye and daisies and disco balls.” Another unusual request: a dogsled team with dog prints leading up to it.
Before getting too far into the process of the theme of the cake, it’s probably prudent to calculate how much of the wedding purse can be allocated to it. “It’s important to at least have a general idea of what you are willing to spend on a cake,” explains Holly Brennan of Gourmet Provence. “Then we can figure out a way to make it work for the couple’s budget and for us.”
Once you get your budget squared away, you’ll want to consider the bigger picture of your wedding: the theme. Generally people select a cake to coordinate with elements of the wedding, be it color, flowers, formal or informal or a more elaborate theme.
“People usually have at least a color scheme in mind when they come in,” says Rachel Judd of the Abbey Group. Of course, white can always play a backdrop to pastel flowers, but don’t be afraid to go a little fancier to follow your own whims and wishes.
Judd says her most requested theme for a cake may depend on the season, with autumn in Vermont inspiring many brides and grooms to request images of leaves on their cakes.
Thinking of something a bit more fanciful? June Banks at Snaffle Sweets has entertained many whimsies of cake lovers tying the knot. She’s handled orders for everything from fairies and butterflies to winter snowflakes, mountains and seashore designs. “And I’ve delivered to some weddings where they have named their tables after mountains in Vermont, mountains they have hiked and mountains they have skied,” says Banks.
The number of expected guests will determine whether you can settle on a simple layered cake or multi-tiered castle.
“Should the cake be tiered and decorated with the theme, or deconstructed to a tablescape to illustrate the theme?” asks Judd, who suggests shoppers give cake designers photos or illustrations of what they have in mind.
Have a special flavor in mind and longing for something a little less customary? You’re not alone, says Brennan. “I’ve noticed people are moving away from the traditional white cake. One of our biggest sellers this season has been a deep chocolate buttermilk cake that is anything but the old white cake.”
Fischer couldn’t agree more. “There’s definitely more exciting flavors than the traditional vanilla or chocolate these days,” she says, listing crème-brulee, cookies and cream, and red velvet as some tasteful options. Can’t decide which flavor sounds best? Why not offer two different flavors in a two-layered cake?
Or maybe you need even more variety and color. Nothing says “eclectic” better than a mish mosh of cupcakes! “They’re hot right now,” says Judd, whose comment is echoed by Brennan: “Cupcakes are here to stay!”
“Some brides order three or four different flavors and then still have a smaller cake for the bride and groom,” says Judd. “This way the guests get their choice of cupcakes that are usually cute and whimsical.” It’s an easy solution to the problem of satisfying the different tastes of everyone attending, but it also allows them to take a little something with them when they leave—a sweet memory to savor now and long into the future.
Also read "Do's and Don't of Cake Cutting" - Tips for your moment before te cake when everyone is watching and the cameras are clicking
"A Big Piece of Wedding Cake, Yesterday and Today" by Karen Sturtevant
Provided by Junior’s Long Island Catering Co.
Questions for the Bride
For the Cake Designer