Elise from Dessert first is an absolute genius, the way she creates cake is amazing. We asked Elise to make our wedding cake in 2017 and it was without a doubt the BEST WWEDDING CAKE I have ever eaten. Our cake was layers of chocolate brownie and chocolate cake with a raspberry italian meringue buttercream (INSANE!!!) and decorated minimalist with foliage and copper details. I loved everything about it and this is why she is my top wedding cake recommendation- The cakes are also a Wedding photographer’s dream!
Elise has kindly guest blogged for us to give an insight into the art of creating cake and if you would like to meet the baker herself she has some info at the bottom on how to join onto her brand new cupcake classes!
But it’s just a bit of cake?
Ever wondered what goes into making a wedding cake? It’s just a bit of baking and decorating right? You might be surprised at the amount of work that goes into each and every beautiful bespoke cake that perfectly completes your big day.
I would love to give you an insight into the hours that are spent creating your beautiful cake…
Let’s start at the very beginning, It’s a very good place to start.
As with all of my custom requests, every cake starts with an initial enquiry, followed by a consultation session. While a cake consult can be discussed back and forth over email, sitting down face to face is where it’s at, for me.
You’ve got two options here; you could dive straight into tasting (it’s an important part of the process, right), OR we can meet up and talk all things cake and wedding! This is honestly one of my favourite topics and why I feel so lucky to be able to be a part of one of the most special days of a person’s life.
My consultation sessions are always free and the majority of bakers will also have this as their policy. It’s the very first chance you have to make sure you’re on board with my styles and process, so it’s incredibly important. It’s also at this point that you’ll get to have a look at my flavours list and pricing guides.
Not including the back and forth we might go through getting a date and time booked in for your consultation, on average, this period of the process will take up 1-2 hours as a minimum.
Something to sink your teeth into
If you opted to meet for your initial consultation (and there’s no right or wrong choice – it’s your wedding), you now get to the fun part of picking your flavours.
For me, I love it when you pick as many flavours as you’d like. It gives me lots to work with and I feel its where one of my greatest strengths as a baker lie. Once I’ve had time to work your chosen flavours into either three cupcakes or 1 miniature cake (you choose which), we can sit down for a tasting session. It takes quite a while to turn those bakes into very small batches of cakes, but I love cake and consider it a labour of love. My tastings start at £30 for three flavours with the option to add additional flavours for £10.
This last phase of the process will take 4 hours.
The way the Cookie Cake Crumbles
So, we’ve met or chatted during your consultation, you’ve selected some flavours and you’ve now chosen some that you are happy with. Now comes the really fun part (well, for me anyway!). I now get to design you your perfect wedding cake.
Having spent the time we’ve spent together getting to know you, and what your dream day is going to look like, I start to form a vision of your cake:
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How tall it will be
What colours to use
Will it have fresh flowers?
Small hand piped details?
Your favourite sweets?
Textures and contrasts or a solid block colour?
I turn this over and over until I have a few designs for you to look at and these questions are just the tip of the iceberg. I like my cakes to be as individual as you and your day is going to be.
I usually kick off this process by creating some mood boards. This helps me to form a more precise visual. One I have shown you the mood boards, you can tell me what you think; do you like elements from design A and B? Neither? Both? Absolutely fine either way. Let me work up another design taking your feedback into account. I’ll do this until you’re happy with your wedding cake concept.
Once you have finalised on the design, I take all of your cake’s elements; ingredients, flavours, decorations, delivery, collection, etc and work out the costings. This part of the process will take me around 2-3 hours to complete and sign off.
Let them eat cake (your guests, I mean)
Finally everything starts to come together. Your big day is approaching – how exciting! While you’re busy prepping for the day and pulling together all of those fine, last minute elements – I’m busy doing the same.
I start by making all the elements that are going to complete your cake. If you were to opt for my Snickers’ cake for example, I would start by making the caramel sauce, peanut brittle, chocolate ganache, and chocolate peanut sauce. Then I’d move onto the frosting, then the sponge.
Every single element of my cakes are made from scratch; jams, curds, caramels, crumbles, pastry, and other such goodies you might have chosen that will add bespoke twist and texture to your cake.
Once I have created all of the elements, it’s assembly time. I stack, dowl, and board your cake in a way that not only makes sure your cake will stand tall and proud all day long but also in a way that it can still be cut and served easily – after that pivotal moment of cutting it with your new spouse, of course.
Decorating is without doubt my favourite part of this entire process. The act of bringing all your elements together, including those the small, yet significant details you mentioned in your initial email are just the best. Do you remember those metallic colours you loved at the tasting, and my piping detail? Well those details plus lots of other little ones are all present for your big day.
This part of the process can expect to take a minimum of two hours, but usually more.
And last, but by no means least, it’s time to deliver your cake. Now between the start and end of this process I am going to check, double check and triple check the address for your Reception – but please, don’t mind me, It might be slightly annoying but I need this for my sanity.
I recently had a Bride give me the completely wrong address (even after double checking). By the time I had realised, the ceremony was in full swing so I obviously couldn’t call her to tell me where I should be dropping the cake. Just picture me driving round and around Harpenden while slowly losing my mind, and terrified I was going to ruin someone’s wedding day.
So please, I beg you when I ask you to double and triple check the venue address, please do. You’ll have so much to plan and a million things in your head (I remember from my own wedding) but mistakes do happen. So do me a solid and give that paperwork an extra glance. It’ll save us both some panic on the day itself!
And don’t worry, for those of you wondering what happened to my lovely client with the wrong address – it all worked out in the end. I’ve never left a cake undelivered, I just have a few grey hairs now!
You do the Math
So, back to the time calculation of making your bespoke cake for your special day. What we up to? 10+ hours? Enquiries, consults, tastings, designing, drawing, planning, preparing. Making, stirring, baking, stacking, boxing, delivering and finishing up. It all takes time and that time soon mounts up.
Thanks for taking the time to read my guest blog. If you’d like to discuss your own cake with me, please don’t hesitate to get in contact. Along with wedding cakes I also make cakes for every other occasion you can think of. I’m also really excited to be running a cupcake decorating workshop at Cositas’ in St Albans. If you would like to try your hand at some cake decorating, come and learn some exciting buttercream techniques with me – it would be great to see you there!
Bookings will open shortly so follow me on instagram and facebook for the release.