Tips on choosing a wedding cake

20100627141627252.jpg

Wedding cakes come in many different designs and flavors.  Choosing a wedding cake for the first time can be a daunting task.  We turn to veteran bakers Rosalind Chan and Evalin Chong of Sugar Tiers for their expertise.  They have been baking and decorating wedding cakes for many years.  

This is my first time shopping for a wedding cake.  Can you tell me where to start?

When choosing a wedding cake, the three key considerations are design, flavor and size.  Start by coming up with a list of 5 keywords that describe your wedding.  For example, what is the style of your wedding (e.g. classic, modern, rustic, romantic)?  What are the theme colors?  Then use websites such as pinterest to create a mood board of cake designs based on the identified keywords.  Come up with 3 final cake designs, based on the mood board.  Discuss your cake design vision with prospective cake vendors.  Ask each vendor how they can turn your vision into a reality.  Narrow down to 3 vendors that you believe can do a good job and schedule cake tasting sessions with them.

bride-look-at-wedding-cake

Cake tasting is properly the most enjoyable part of the cake shopping process.  Traditional flavors such as chocolate, fruit and nuts are popular.  Less traditional ones such as taro, green tea and black sesame are gaining popularity in recent years.  The final step is to figure out "how much" cake to order.  This will be dictated by the number of invited guests.  Your wedding cake vendor should be able to provide proper guidance on it.

Do you have guests with dietary restrictions?  If you are not sure, you may want to find out soon.  Is your wedding reception indoor or outdoor?  Keep in mind that certain types of cake will not hold up outside on a hot summer evening.

What about wedding cupcakes?

Wedding cupcakes are very popular and they are great for more casual weddings.  Wedding cupcakes are slightly cheaper than traditional wedding cakes and are easy to transport.  Kids love them.  You can set them on up a cupcake stand and then decorate the cake table with items that goes with your wedding color.

I am not sure how much to budget for a cake.  What is the average price of a wedding cake in Toronto?

Wedding cakes are priced based on the number of servings.  For example, a 200 guest wedding will require 200 servings of wedding cakes.  The average price per servings in Toronto is about $5.5.  This should give you a rough idea on how much you should allocate to the cake budget.

traditional-wedding-cake

After I have made a decision, how much time in advance should I put in my order?

The recommended lead time to order a wedding cake is at least three months.  There is usually a 50% deposit upon order, and the rest is due 2 weeks before the cake is ready.  Some smaller bakeries have a quota on how many orders they can accept  per weekend.  Therefore, the earlier you place the order, the better.  Another question you should ask is cake delivery.  Some bakeries deliver and setup the cake for you.  Others do not offer such service.

About Sugar Tiers

Rosalind and Evalin are co-owners of Sugar Tiers, an established bakery in Toronto.  Besides wedding cakes, you can find a full range of pastries, cupcakes and macarons at their shop.  They also offer baking and cake decoration classes, as well as high teas.