Your wedding cake is the grand finale of your wedding reception, so it should be both delicious and beautiful. You’ve probably seen dozens of wedding cakes in bridal magazines and you know that there are lots of options for cake decoration. But are some better than others? And, which one is right for you? Before you talk to your wedding cake baker, you should become familiar with the most popular types of wedding cake decoration. Then you’ll be able to explain exactly what you want on your cake and you’ll connect with your baker by speaking his language.
Here are some of the most popular types of decoration used on wedding cakes:
Buttercream icing is essentially made up of creamed butter and sugar. It is the classic wedding cake icing and you’ve probably had it before on a wedding cake or birthday cake. Buttercream is very sweet and can give wedding cake designs a soft and creamy look. Easy to color, buttercream can be used to create flowers and other designs and is usually less expensive than other types of cake decoration. The one caveat with buttercream is that because its base is butter, it does not do well in warm temperatures. If you are having your summer wedding reception outdoors, buttercream is not your best choice.
If you’ve seen a cake with wild shapes and exquisite flowers in a range of different colors, it was probably created with fondant. Fondant is made from gelatin and corn syrup and it can give wedding cakes a look that is both stiff and silky smooth. Fondant is less tasty than buttercream, but fondant can stand up to warmer temperatures without melting and can also be used to create extraordinary designs. Flowers, lace, swirly shapes, butterflies and almost any shape you can think of can be created from fondant.
Marzipan is a confection made from sugar and ground almonds. It’s used often on wedding cakes, but can also be found in gourmet shops as brightly colored fruit candies or as the filling inside chocolates. Marzipan can be formed into realistic shapes and is classically used to create fruit shapes like pears, berries, apples and oranges. It can also be used to create flower shapes and can be rolled out and glazed to be used as the main icing on a wedding cake.
Ganache is made from chocolate and heavy cream. It is delicious and very rich. Because chocolate ganache is dark brown, it hasn’t completely caught on as a popular way to decorate wedding cakes since most couples want cakes with more lively colors. But when a couple chooses a wedding cake decorated with ganache, it can look extremely sleek and add something wonderfully unexpected to their wedding reception. Unfortunately, like buttercream, ganache should not be used for outdoor receptions in warm weather.
Knowing these cake decoration methods will help you choose the wedding cake that’s right for you. When you understand what the different wedding cake decorations are, you can get exactly the kind of wedding cake you want – and that’s sure to give your wedding a very sweet outcome.