EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about cakes

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Cheshire and 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

Get Creative

Get Creative

Q What should we look out for in the world of weddings in 2024?
A Clare Deary says: Couples getting married in 2024 feel more empowered to ditch traditions and expectations that don't necessarily align with their personal style. This year, we can expect couples to experiment with bold, metallic colours through customised décor and floral concepts.

The 80s are back, and they're making a big splash in the wedding scene! So, if you're a fan of bold colours, oversized silhouettes, and a touch of flamboyance, you're going to love this trend. The decade was all about self-expression and creativity, and this is reflected in the wedding trends of 2024. Think brightly-coloured geometric prints with metallic accents.

On the theme of metallics, you can also expect to see cakes adorned with gold leaf, silver accents, or even edible sequins. These details add an instant touch of opulence and elegance to any cake design.

Another predicted trend alongside these vibrant hues is textures, just some simple touches to bring the cake to life. Ruffled designs are taking over from the popular naked cake design.

Making a comeback with their timeless elegance and subtle shine are pearls. This trend is all about incorporating these precious beauties into various aspects of your wedding decor, including your big-day bake. Let's not forget about jewellery too – a classic pearl necklace or a pair of pearl earrings can add a touch of sophistication to any bridal look.

Finally, get creative with your own married monogram and custom heraldry. We're seeing monograms and crests on everything, wedding cakes to stationery and napkins, weaving extra personalisation into your big day.

Clare Deary, Cake On The Lake

Next Level Bakes

Next Level Bakes

Q What should we look out for in the world of weddings in 2024?
A Nicola Thomas says: Wedding cakes in 2024 are going to be all about the flowers! Sugar, wafer paper, and pressed edible flowers are all food safe and have the advantage of being available all year round, so if you love peonies but are getting married in the winter, you can still decorate your cake with sugar versions.

Consider too the styling of your cake; meadows of fresh flowers around the table will really elevate it into a show-stopping centrepiece for your day. To take things even further, consider using spacers and separators in the design. These don't increase the amount of cake you have for you and your guests to eat, so you don't need to worry about wastage, but do add extra height and drama to the design for a real wow!

Nicola Thomas, Boutique Bakery

The icing on the cake

The icing on the cake

Q What is your advice on creating an elegant winter wedding?
A Clare Deary says: There are so many ways to bring an elegant winter vibe to your wedding cake. Here are some ideas to get you started...
•Dark and metallic colours are popular options for winter wedding cakes, since they embrace the festive, cosy vibe of the season. Navy blue, purple, silver, copper and gold are all gorgeous options especially if you're having a formal or glamour-themed wedding. Adding metallic accents such as silver or gold leaf can give your cake an elegant touch. You can also use metallic cake toppers or ribbon to add some sparkle alongside sultry dark colours to complement.
•A white wedding cake offers a stylish, flawless look and is a classic option that's perfect all year long. An all-white design is the ideal representation of class, just like crisp white snow. It could even be accompanied by a romantic red and green floral design for a further seasonal twist.
•Incorporating winter florals such as ivy, holly, pine cones and berries can add a touch of elegance to your big-day bake. You can also use dried flowers or white blooms such as roses or lilies to create a snowy effect with pearls, just like drops of snow.
•Deep, dark green is an amazing winter wedding colour choice. It can look naturally rustic alone, or accompanied by golden accents its simply divine!
•Figs are often seen in Christmas and winter recipes, so they're a natural choice for winter bakes. Teamed with thistles and blackberries on a naked cake they bring the décor a wintry vibe.
•A simple ivy-covered rustic wedding cake will work well with any décor, especially if you're planning a whimsical wedding. Place on a log slice for added effect.

Clare Deary, Cake On The Lake

Keep Your Cool

Keep Your Cool

Q What is your advice on planning an outdoor wedding?
A Clare Deary says: Wedding cakes are fragile as one of the main ingredients is butter, which doesn't go well with heat. So, if you're planning a summer wedding there are a few things you need to consider.

Summer heat can't be controlled, but you can control how you manage it. If you have your heart set on a rustic, naked style bake, the best course of action is to have it brought out after the ceremony. Having it sit out for hours in the heat isn't ideal unless you want a melting mess.

Ideally when choosing your cake I'd advise a ganache covering as coco solids are better at withstanding heat. Also, fondant icing has stabilising ingredients and doesn't need refrigeration, so it's better equipped to withstand soaring summer temperatures than buttercream.

I'd also recommend pale, neutral colours or whites and ivories with minimal decoration as these can be heavy on the cake. Wherever possible your big-day bake needs to be in an air-conditioned room. If you're getting married in a marquee or tent opt for a darker roof, rather than open or clear, which will attract direct sunlight.

Clare Deary, Cake On The Lake

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

Follow Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding Magazine on Instagram

VISIT SITE

Subscribe to Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding Magazine for free

VISIT SITE

Follow Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding Magazine on Facebook

VISIT SITE

Follow Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding Magazine on YouTube

VISIT SITE