There is definitely a trend in the wedding industry right now that your wedding should be done your way, and that includes your cake! So I’ve compiled my Top 5 Wedding Cake Flavours to consider for your big day.
Your Wedding Cake should really reflect you and the type of celebration you’re having, and I’m not just talking about the design. So many couples put all the effort into the look of their big day. I get lots of couples come to me with mood boards and inspiration for what the outside of their cake should be like, but sadly the insides are just a lost afterthought. However they don’t need to be the default Vanilla with jam and buttercream, chocolate or at a push Lemon……or if granny really insists – traditional fruit cake!
If you think about the type of day you’re having, the type of meal and dessert you are giving your guests, then your wedding cake flavours can be a glorious extension of all the other celebration food that you’re providing. If you are having a tiered cake, it is totally acceptable to have each tier a different flavour. Here are a few ideas with my Top 5 Wedding Cake Flavours, to push you past the predictable and go for flavours that suit you and your day.
1. The Classic Pudding Flavours
So you really love Sticky Toffee Pudding, Ginger Pudding, Banoffee Pie or Cherry Bakewell, but the meal at your celebration doesn’t really lend itself to having those as a dessert.
Well rather than missing out, why not have them in your cake. I have conducted many consultations where the couple have been tasting vanilla, chocolate and maybe a cheeky strawberry and champagne, and then one of them has said something along the lines of “what a shame we can’t have an apple pie. How about an apple cake?”. The other looks a little hesitant at first, but then as the idea sinks in and that’s it, the decision is made for the 4th flavour, it’s going to be cinnamon apple with a yummy cinnamon buttercream. Why not?!!
I remember one cake I made where the couple tried all the usual traditional flavours, but as the idea of their favourite puddings sunk in they ended up having 4 tiers of Sticky Toffee, Ginger, Cinnamon Apple and Spiced Plum. So whilst they couldn’t provide their guests with all those comforting pudding after the meal, there they were in the cake.
2. The Unusual Cake Flavours
I adore trying new recipes, and if a couple comes to me with an idea of flavours they enjoy but have never seen in a cake, then I’m in!! I will test a few recipes and get it to taste just how they thought it should be.
These aren’t for the feint hearted, and it takes a certain type of couple to have a cake that surprises their guests once its cut. But these flavours tend to be those that integrate ethnic backgounds, family favourite, childhood memories or just general cravings. And, you know what?! I think they’re great, and are personally my favourite type to bake.
My most popular ‘unusual’ flavours at the moment are Vanilla Chai with a spiced buttercream, Black Cocoa and Fresh Raspberry or more recently Strawberry and Balsamic. These are all pretty familar flavour combinations, but are rarely put together and baked in a cake.
Sometimes flavours surprise me, like Apricot, Almond and Anise….who would have thought they would all go together? But you know what they do and they’re scrummy!!
You don’t necessarily have to shock your guests with all of your cake, maybe if you’re a little hesitant go for just a small top tier. But don’t be afraid to experiment.
Here is my latest flavour menu.
3. The Familiar Cake Flavours
In these I include flavours that many people would never think of for a wedding cake, but are still traditional cake flavours all the same. Such as Red Velvet, Carrot, Lemon, Marble and Coffee & Walnut.
Red Velvet has seen a huge increase in popularity since the rise of TV cake programmes from America. And I have to admit they it’s pretty striking when you cut into it! However, lets just bust a couple of myths here – it is NOT just a vanilla cake with red food colouring, but the colour is artificial and adds nothing to the flavour (sorry). Red Velvet is a velvety cake made with buttermilk and a touch of cocoa, so slightly chocolatey. The colour was originally from the type of cocoa used, however modern techniques now mean the colour is generally artificial.
Something Red Velvet has in common with another of our other flavours, Carrot is the traditional filling. Both, if you read recipe books, should come with a cream cheese frosting. However, if a cake maker tells you they can do this for your wedding, please be a bit cautious. Any cheese left out of the fridge for a couple of hours is baaaad, imagine leaving it out for a whole wedding!! I would usually recommend a vanilla buttercream for red velvet, and an orange buttercream for carrot – its a delicious combo!
Other flavours like Coffee and Walnut, Marble, and the ever popular Lemon are great to mix things up a bit. They won’t necessarily surprise or shock your guests, but will add a different dimension to your cake table, and will often get a good reaction when people realise their favourite cake flavours are there when they weren’t expecting it.
4. The Traditional Cake Flavours
The flavours I have made most in my 10 year career as a cake maker are Vanilla and Chocolate. And don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a good vanilla cake. A homebaked Victoria Sandwich is one of my all time personal faves! And chocolate cake can be mixed up in all sorts of ways with great fillings like Salted Caramel or Cookies and Cream.
BUT they have to be baked well! Sadly, so many of us now associate these flavours with badly made, factory cakes. They’re a bit hard, they go a stale a bit too quickly etc etc. However, if you have a cake maker that prides themselves in the baking of a cake, as well as the decoration, your Vanilla or Chocolate cakes will go down a treat.
The most popular thing for my couples to do is to have the biggest tier of their cake as one of these traditional flavours, knowing it’ll suit most of their guests, whilst mixing it up with the slightly unusual flavours for the smaller tiers. That way you have a win win all round.
5. Fruit Cake
Now this may not really be one of my personal Top 5 Wedding Cake Flavours, but it definitely deserves a mention as there are a lot of fans out there. However, the cake flavour I now make the least is a traditional Fruit Cake. Sadly, many people still say they don’t like wedding cake because they don’t like fruit cake.
Well, you know what? You don’t have to have fruit cake if you don’t like it!!!!!
Wedding cakes used to all be Royal Iced, which took days. This meant the cake inside had to be pretty robust and not have a chance of going off. And believe me Fruit Cake does NOT go off!!!
However, food technology and fashions now means that wedding cakes are iced and decorated in many different ways, so can be baked as late as possible – and should be baked as late as possible for maximum yumminess. So the humble fruit cake is not longer a necessity.
If I do make fruit cake, it’s usually a small top tier, because Granny has insisted, because, well “it wouldn’t be a proper wedding without fruit cake”, but for the couples who think fruit cake should be saved for Christmas, then that’s just what can happen.
However, if you do like fruit cake, but fear that having all your cake as fruit means it’ll go uneaten, then you can opt for a small top tier. The most common question I get asked about fruit cake is “is it too heavy to have as a top tier”. The simple answer is No. It is heavy, but any good caker should make sure that cake never sits on cake. A Wedding Cake has an internal structure which means, whichever flavours you have, they can sit anywhere in your cake, so a small top tier of fruit cake is perfectly possible.
Your Cake, Your Way!!!
These are my Top 5 Wedding Cake Flavours, and I hope you can see that cake flavours are whatever you want them to be. If you find a good cake maker they will probably already have a long menu of flavours they know they bake well and that you can choose from. Many cake makers, like myself will experiment for you. But all I would say is, if you’re spending money on a Wedding Cake, make sure it tastes as good as it looks. Whilst you’ll have the photos of the outside of your cake, you don’t want your guests to forget it because it was dull, you want them to remember it for how awesome it tasted!
Here is my latest Cake Flavour Menu.
Bronya at DCC is Part of The Daisy Cake Company