The wedding cake is one of the age-old traditions that even the most modern of brides usually retains. However, the advancement of time and the changing of tastes have meant that brides may opt for something other than the multi-layered white tiers that have been the firm favourite for many years. That does not mean that the classic style of wedding cake is no longer desirable. Cake decorators are capable of impressive feats, using marzipan, fondant or icing sugar to create the cake of your dreams. Indeed, by using different kinds of cakes (e.g. carrot cake or white / brown chocolate mousse cake) and by decorating the cake in a unique and innovative way, many brides have ensured that their day is as personalised as they desire, without having to abandon the traditions of yesteryear.

These cakes can be round or square and the layers do not necessarily have to be placed symmetrically on top of one another. Polka dots, humorous figures made of fondant, or a spray of real flowers can be added to the finished product. These small variations all lend an air of imparting the personality of the bride and groom.

Another popular trend has been that of using cupcakes or individual cakes to make up a larger wedding ‘cake’. This introduces a sense of fun or even elegance, depending on what decorations and colours are used. It also allows for greater flexibility in terms of what cakes are used. Individual tartlets can be made of cheesecake, trifle, or even pavlovas. Small cupcakes can be made of different flavoured sponges and can each have a personalised topping, perhaps even the name of the guest, or a brief ‘thank you’ message in icing or on rice paper.

The traditional French wedding cake, the croquembouche, is made up of cream-filled puff pastry, piled in a pyramid and covered in a web of spun sugar. This can be updated slightly by using individually wrapped luxury chocolates, Turkish delight squares / balls or fruits (such as strawberries, bananas or grapes) dipped in milk- and white chocolate.

For a couple that prefers to end off the event with tasty cheeses, or who served a rich dessert after the meal, a cheese platter is a great idea or even a savoury wedding cake. Using different flavours, and including a variety of fruit and crackers in a tasteful display can be every bit as elegant and tasty as the traditional fruit cake.

Some of these options do not call for the cake to be cut (e.g. cupcakes). This is often preferable. However, there is a great significance to the cutting of the wedding cake. As both the bride and groom share the job of making the first cut in the cake, this custom is supposed to link the two together and signify the joining of their lives together. The cake is usually a fruit cake so that it stays fresher for longer. It is traditional for the bridal couple to send pieces of the cake to those guests that were unable to attend. It is also customary to keep the top tier of the cake in the freezer and eat it on the first anniversary of the couple’s marriage.

It takes only a little imagination to use your resources wisely and create a cake, or appropriate version thereof, that is iconic of you as a couple and aptly represents the ambience and theme of your wedding day.

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