Prince William and his blushing bride-to-be, Kate Middleton, have selected their cakes for their wedding day, but, unless you have your pick of primo bakers at the ready (and desire to serve your guests fruitcake!), you may need a little help when it comes to picking your day-of pastries. We talked with Pastry Chef Anita Adams of Jacksonville, Florida’s Let Them Eat Cake to get the scoop behind the beaters. She told us what your baker wished you knew before you booked your wedding cake.
1. Make It Your Own
Kate & William kept with tradition, selecting a brandy-flavored fruit cake for their official wedding dessert. While Kate is letting the baker work her magic by creating themed tiers showcasing British ingredients, she’s speaking up where it counts, requesting a traditional cake infused with modern style. It’s been reported that Kate showed up with a “mood board,” a collage of colors, fabrics, and images that she’s crafting the wedding around. Take a tip from Kate and think ahead to what you want. Fondant? Fresh flowers? A dynamic filling? Think about what matters to you.
2. Beware of “Cake by Committee”
While it’s unlikely that Kate is able to dash off to the local bakery with just her Mom in tow for a tasting, the rest of us seem to think that we should encourage our own possee of attendants to tag along. The problem with this, says Adams, is that you end up trying to please everyone, requesting a layer that speaks to Mom’s love of Key Lime, your best friend’s flair for apricot filling, and your soon-to-be hubby’s dreams of marble swirling. “Allow your baker to work with you and create a cake that flows from layer to layer,” said Adams. “You can have different flavors; you just don’t want your guests’ palates to end up confused”
3. The Great Debate: Real Flowers vs. Sugar Flowers
Kate opted to use sugar flowers on her cake, delicate hand-made blooms crafted from gum paste and spun sugar, among other edible items. While brides have been debating real flowers verses edible blooms for decades, we can all agree on one thing: Kate’s use of symbolically important buds, ones that stand for endurence, strength, and their home country, is an elegant move indeed. When you’re deciding on blooms, consider their meaning.
Other things to consider? Cost (in-season fresh blooms are generally less costly than the sugar version), arena (sugar flowers may wilt in the heat of an outdoor wedding), and your true vision (if the flower needs to look a certain way, then going the sugar route may be your best option).