Real Wedding-Natural and Elegant Wedding Cake Styling

It is always a delight when a finished wedding cake display exceeds all of your expectations. Such was the case for a recent cake table we styled in the gorgeous garden room of Powerscourt House. Our client had a beautiful vision for her cake and the finished display exemplifies how a little thought and some simple yet considered styling can really give your wedding cake the wow factor.

Our client chose a simple textured white iced cake adorned with fresh greenery and lisianthus, in keeping with the green and white scheme of the gorgoues wedding flowers by The French Touch. Delicious cake flavours of Guinness Chocolate with Caramelised White Chocolate, and Lime White Chocolate and Pistachio were accompanied by fluffy Coconut Marshmallow and Pistachio Macarons.

With a stone wall backdrop and flooded with natural light from the grand windows overlooking Powerscourt Gardens, the garden room was the perfect spot to create a stunning wedding cake centrepiece. A natural stone-coloured linen tablecloth complemented the rustic stone walls. Cakes and treats were displayed on pristine white stands and plates, surrounded by natural greenery interspersed with hurricane and antique votives. The final flourish was the floral gold hoops by wedding planners The Wedding Festival. I had no idea these were part of the display until I arrived, and oh my they were just fabulous!

Props used in this table styling and more are available to hire from Cove Cake Design. Contact us to discuss your wedding cake styling!

Cascading Peonies and Ballyfin

 

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Every once in a while a cake deserves a little more attention than a photo and quick mention on Facebook and Instagram. I’m sure all cake decorators can recognise the delight when the loveliest of clients walks through your door with a fabulous vision for their wedding cake, a stunning venue and a dream team of suppliers lined up. Such was the case for a recent order for a peony cascade cake at Ballyfin.  

The design and stature of the wedding cake was in no doubt influenced by its final setting in the palatial surroundings of Ballyfin Demesne. Built in the 1820s, Ballyfin is probably Ireland’s finest regency mansion and I have to confess that I had been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to visit due to a little bit of personal interest…for much of the 20th century Ballyfin was run as a boarding school which was attended by my father in the 1960s. The eventual closure of the school led to a state of disrepair before an eight year restoration project resulted in it’s reopening as a luxury 5 star hotel in 2011. And it is not hard to see where the eight year’s went….the interior is breathtaking. From stunningly restored architectural detail to sumptuous furnishings and fine artwork, it is a luxurious step into another time and place. Quietly exclusive it caters to around only 10 weddings per year.

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(Images courtesy of Ballyfin.com)

The cake itself was from an original design by the fabulously talented Peggy Porschen, a design that my client had fallen in love with on a visit to the famous cake parlour in London. Four tall tiers were swathed in a sugar peony cascade matching the shades of pink in the bridal bouquet.

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Being displayed in the Rotunda room at the heart of Ballyfin, the cake was to be a centrepiece to be viewed while guests mingled over welcoming drinks (before of course being tucked into later!). A key to this design was therefore to ensure that the cake was of equal beauty when viewed from all angles, hence the continuation of the floral cascade around the back of the cake and neat little bows to hide the joins of the ribbon. The final flourish was to be a base of fresh roses and peonies by the amazing Joeanna McCaffrey flowers, sadly I had to leave before seeing this final detail in situ so I can’t wait to see the final photos!

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People have asked how many hours it takes to make sugar flowers and to be honest I lost track of these! Made over several weeks whenever I had time, over 700 peony petals were cut, veined and shaped, along with an array of peony buds, stephanotis, buds and leaves. Fixing the flowers on the cake took nearly four hours! It was my first time working with this many flowers and I was thrilled at the outcome of the challenge.

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My final glimpse of this cake  through the ornate doors of the Rotunda would be the first view seen by the bride and groom and their guests. I hope that this view, and the luscious layers of Guinness Chocolate and Lemon Coconut Raspberry cakes to be served later that evening, were well received!

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Choosing Wedding Cake Flavours

 

With many of our 2016 brides and grooms in the process of choosing their wedding cake flavours I thought I would write a little post to take a peek inside our cakes and offer some tips on flavour choices!

Our Cakes

Our ethos at Cove Cake Design is first and foremost to create delicious cakes for all to enjoy. Yes we love to decorate in our own unique style but the foundation of this is simply yummy cake!

Each of our recipes is chosen to reach our essential and strict standards for wedding cakes: interesting flavours; visual appeal; moistness; ability to stay fresh; and finally, ability to be cut neatly into portions. And it doesn’t end there…we take time and care to level each layer to exact measurements before syruping and generously filling with buttercream, with the final cake containing four layers of cake, three of filling and measuring 5″ high. Cakes are then coated according to design in a buttercream finish, or in a layer of ganache prior to a thin 3mm of fondant icing. It is only after several hours of work to create a perfect cake that the decoration can begin!

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Our Flavours

So what is on our menu! We have recently edited and perfected our menu to incorporate eight delicious and crowd-pleasing favourites. We do believe every one is a winner!

Top L-R:

Dark Chocolate and Raspberry; Lime White Chocolate and Pistachio; Orange, Almond and Rosewater; Lemon, Coconut and Blueberry; Apple Caramel, Brown Butter Icing and Blackberrry

Bottom L-R:

White Mocha and Irish Whiskey Sea Salted Caramel; Guinness and Caramelised White Chocolate; Champagne and Strawberry

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Cake Flavour FAQs!

And finally some answers to those most frequently asked flavour questions:

Can I have a different flavour in each tier?

Yes of course. Do bear in mind though that as the tier sizes get smaller there will be fewer portions of these flavours. So for example for an 8″/6″/4″ cake the portions will be 40/20/10. In this instance a separate flavour in the 4″ tier only gives 10 portions so I would recommend a total of two flavour choices, one for the base tier and one for the two upper tiers giving a relatively even spread of portions for each flavour.

What flavours I should choose?

I always firstly recommend to choose your own personal preferences! Secondly, it is worth bearing in mind what season your wedding will take place in, so for example Lemon, Blueberry and Coconut is a lovely Spring/Summer flavour while Apple Caramel, Brown Butter and Blackberry is perfect for Autumn weddings. Lastly, most couples choose one chocolate flavour for all the chocoholics amongst their guests (!) as well as their favourite sponge flavours.

What are your most popular flavours?

Guinness and Caramelised White Chocolate is a clear favourite (and a great one for the male guests!), as is the celebratory Champagne and Strawberry!

Do you cater to special flavour requests?

Of course! We know our flavours work but we are happy to discuss your particular requirements or preferences. That is what bespoke cake making is about!

Anything else to consider?

If you are opting for a naked or semi-naked buttercream finish bear in mind how the exposed layers will look for each flavour. Also bear in mind any allergies amongst your guests.

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For further details on our menu see here!

 

 

Styling and Displaying your Wedding Cake

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The display and styling of your wedding cake is something that I ask all my clients to consider. After many months of work, it is worth making that last little effort to ensure your cake is a stunning centrepiece and a talking point for your guests. For those on a budget, it is also a way of keeping costs down by opting for a simple cake while using inexpensive decorative flourishes to display it beautifully.

I recently had the pleasure of working with Betty from Lulabelle Wedding Styling and Design to create cakes for  a wedding in the gorgeous surroundings of Tankardstown House. Her styling of our cake and sweet treats on this stunning table are a perfect example of how to successfully display your cake! The ornate table, symmetrical display, simple background…and just look at those eye-catching antlers! (Photograph by Charlotte La Chaussee)

Here are some tips on what to consider in order to achieve cake table perfection like this!

Location

Do ask your venue or planner where your cake table will be located.  If it is normally assigned to an inconspicuous corner of the room don’t be afraid to ask for alternatives! The floral cascade cake in the image below was in the centre of the reception room, taking pride of place for all to see. Another nice alternative is to see if there is a suitable place in the area where your arrival reception will be held. This is often the perfect time for your guests to view, talk about and photograph your beautiful wedding cake. Also consider practicalities of location such as keeping your cake out of direct sunlight or heat, especially in the summer.

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Table

Many venues, especially period properties may have beautiful tables or sideboards which are a feature in their own right. If the cake table is a standard table do ask your venue or planner to ensure that it is stable and covered in freshly ironed linen.  In the image below, The Wedding Consultant turned an ordinary glass topped table into a glamorous setting for this cake by elevating the glass and filling the gap with beautiful fresh hydrangeas. Buying a tablecloth that complements your cake and theme is also another way of giving your table a wow factor, eg. glitter, stripes etc.

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Background

Think about the background to the cake table. If it is in front of a wall or curtains, will the colours or textures compete with your cake? How will it look in a photograph? Also be aware of anything unsightly that might come into field in your photographs, such as wires, speakers etc. In this beautiful styling by Style Serendipity at Horetown House, a plain wall with the texture of old stone and greenery of a floral wreath is a perfect backdrop for these cakes.  (Photo courtesy of Paula McManus Photography)

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Cake Stand

Many venues include a cake stand in their package for use by their clients. In many cases this is a traditional silver stand. Do ask to see it and request a polish if needs be! Is it an appropriate size for your cake?  Also consider whether a traditional silver stand is most suitable for your cake style. For example, milk glass stands such as that in the image below are modern and elegant, while wooden ones add a rustic feel. Ask your cake designer if they have any for hire, most of them have a large collection (otherwise known as ‘cake stand addiction’!!).

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Display and props

Betty styled this cake table using the antlers as the main prop, a nod to a deer farm once owned by the bride’s family (love a little story behind the detail!). Coupled with the ornate table this creates a stunning display for the simple, elegant cake. The amount of props needed will depend on your cake and theme, for example vintage-style cakes look beautiful with lots of flowers and quirky vintage props.

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Happy styling!