FAQs and expert advice about cakes

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Cheshire & Merseyside 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@yourcheshiremerseyside.wedding


Cake to be kind

Cake to be kind

Q. Tell us how to plan a wedding sustainably.

A. Clare Deary says: All of the ingredients for my wedding cakes are sourced responsibly, minimising any negative impact on the environment. Where relevant and possible, I purchase ingredients with recyclable packaging. I'm also reducing my food miles by using locally-sourced, British seasonal ingredients. Some of these include British flour; Fairtrade sugar; truly organic free-range, locallysourced eggs; British milk and cream with high animal welfare standards and a fair price for farmers; unrefined icing sugar; and much more.

Another way wedding cake makers such as myself can ensure your bigday bake is sustainable is to use a recipe like Madeira sponge, which will last longer and prevent waste. If you do have some left over though, it's usually still tasty to eat two to three days afterwards. My cakes are never frozen, so you can always pop left over slices in the freezer and enjoy them over the following months. A further way to minimise waste is to serve your showstopping bake as a dessert.

Using natural decorations to adorn your cake means there are fewer materials left for landfill once it's been eaten and the boards recycled. Why not try edible sugar flowers, which can be displayed in your home afterwards, or fresh flowers that can be pressed? Alternatively, opting for a naked bake uses less ingredients and is also cheaper for you.

So many processes in baking involve the use of plastic – piping bags, baking paper, spatulas. Then there's the transportation of the final product to think about. Many boxes created for storing and moving cakes will also use plastic in one way or another. Trying to reduce this will make a difference. Some may be unavoidable, but as awareness of plastic use rises, many more ethical options have become available.

Clare Deary, Cake on the Lake


Something for everyone

Something for everyone

Q. We have a lot of guests with dietary requirements coming to our wedding, not least my husband-to-be. But we'd still like them to be able to enjoy our cake. Is this possible?

A. Debbie Fenton says: ndeed, it's essential that dietary requirements are considered when catering for your guests for the safety and accommodation of everyone involved. But, there are plenty of flavour options to meet the needs of most. It just means there could be a few restrictions when it comes to certain designs and styles, since working with free-from ingredients can have its challenges in terms of structure and finish.

Always ask lots of questions about what's involved and make sure your cake maker adheres to food safety rules set by the government in terms of allergens.

Debbie Fenton, Lois’s Little Cake & Chocolate Co.


A taste of autumn

A taste of autumn

Q. How can we reflect the best of the autumn through our wedding cake?

A. Daljeet Bawa says: For me, the best of autumn is the array of colours and warm food on a cold, rainy night. If you're having a wedding at this time of year, here are four ways to incorporate the season into your cake:

- Flowers. A simple yet stunning way to bring your day together, incorporate your wedding florals onto your cake to add a pop of colour.

- Flavours. A heavier, spiced or currant-filled sponge is perfect for an autumnal wedding. We offer flavours such a custard cake with spiced cinnamon apple compote, and sticky toffee with dates and all spice, which are both ideal for bringing in those warm, spicy notes.

- Coloured tiers. This is sure to make a statement! However, if you've been thinking about creating a display for your cake, or if you've hired a venue stylist, then I'd recommend this option. Your big-day bake will be remembered for all the right reasons.

- Ribbon. Simple and stylish. A luxurious ribbon can effortlessly bring in those classic autumnal hues. It's one of the most underrated details you can have on a cake. Perfect for all those classic couples out there, and easy on the budget too!

Daljeet Bawa, At Home Bakes


Seasonal sweet treats

Seasonal sweet treats

Q. How can we reflect the autumn season in our wedding cake?

A. Debbie Fenton says: With the first half of 2021 continuing to be a challenge for so many couples, we've seen a trend towards downsized wedding cakes due to uncertainty over guests attending. But this has meant a comeback for cupcakes and mini cakes as they can be taken away or sent to loved ones who can't make it.

There are still some dominant designs that are here to stay for 2021 and 2022. The buttercream wedding cake for example can be adapted according to the time of year by dressing it with seasonal flowers and foliage. Autumn bakes always look stunning with various shades of green and white blooms, along with some willow and berry fillers.

We're also seeing an increase in painted cakes. Having your cake adorned in a painted scene depicting something special to you means you get a unique big-day bake that becomes a talking point for years to come.

Debbie Fenton, Lois' Little Cake Company