Cake Ingredients

Should I Bake My Own Wedding Cake?

Cake Ingredients

Should I Bake My Own Wedding Cake?

‘Should I bake the wedding cake?’ is a question that is sometimes asked by some brides and grooms who have a love of baking as a hobby. Similarly, close relatives often consider offering to bake a couple’s cake as their way of participating in and helping with the wedding day.

So is it a good or bad idea to bake your own wedding cake, or bake for a friend or family member? Today I am going to share with you my experience of the pros and cons of baking your own wedding cake if you are an amateur baker. Read to the end to see what my ultimate opinion is!

Baker mixing bowl of cream

Should I Bake My Own Wedding Cake – The Upsides


  • You could save money

Professional wedding cakes are expensive. You pay a lot of money for the time, skills and professionalism of a wedding cake designer as well as the experience that they offer. With all the other expenses of a wedding, it does add up. If you bake regularly, making a wedding cake can seem like one area which you or a family member could easily do, thus saving on the cost of hiring a professional.

  • It is a way to add something personal to your wedding

Weddings are personal experiences, with all the details relevant to and inspired by the couple themselves. A cake made by the bride or groom, or close relative, adds another element of family to the wedding day.

  • It allows you to explore your creativity

Many amateur bakers love the opportunity to try new flavours or techniques in their cake making. There are only so many cakes one can bake on a weekend! So an upcoming wedding may seem like the perfect opportunity to push yourself to the next level in your cake making.

Baker pouring nut praline into bowl

Should I Bake My Own Wedding Cake – The Downsides


  • It may not save money

Most amateur bakers who decide to make their own wedding cake, or that of a friend or family member, will be unlikely to embark on the project without doing at least one trial run. This could involve a few tests of the cake flavour or recipe, as well as some experimentation in the cake decoration. This may require the purchase of some books, tutorials or lessons to make sure you are confident in your techniques. Additional equipment, such as larger cake tins or decorating tools, may also require purchasing. It is worth considering these potential purchases in working out the cost of making the cake yourself.

  • It can be very stressful

Ask anyone who has started a cake business and they will no doubt tell you how stressful making a wedding cake can be. There are many factors that feed into the elevated expectations of a wedding cake, not least the increased wow-factor required, the magnitude of the event, and the numbers of guests. Other factors include the cake size, delivery and things that are firmly outwith your control, such as the weather. With years of experience, professionals develop systems, techniques and confidence to manage all of these details. Without that experience, it can be a stressful process. Transporting a wedding cake for the first time in the height of summer anyone?

  • It may not comply with food safety legislation

Professional wedding cake makers are trained and certified in the legislation of food safety and food handling practices, giving them the knowledge and expertise through all stages of the process to make cakes that are safe for consumption. They are also fully insured, in the unlikely case that someone does suffer adversely from the product. Many venues may require proof of food safety certification and insurance prior to the delivery of a cake, something that is indeed good practice. Bringing a homemade wedding cake to a venue to serve to a large number of guests, without experience in food handling legislation, is very much at your own risk.

So, What do I Think?

Making your own wedding cake, or that of a close family member or friend, is a way of contributing to what is the most personal and exciting of days. If you love to bake and decorate cakes, then it is a great opportunity to practice your skills, and may be a good decision for a smaller more informal wedding, such as one hosted at home.

In general however, it is ultimately my view that if you value a beautifully made and designed wedding cake, then it is best to hire a professional. I personally know the pressure of making wedding cakes, and the skills required to reach a point of creating exquisitely delicious centrepieces with confidence, and in compliance with food safety regulations.

It’s worth considering how we don’t ever hear of anyone offering to make the canapés for the drinks reception at a wedding, despite them being great home cooks. Professionals are employed for a reason.

So tick one more thing off your to-do list by booking your wedding cake designer. Enjoy the the wedding cake design process, and delight in having a wow-factor experience to share with your guests as you relax on your wedding day!

Suzanne, x

Baker holding decorated white wedding cake

How to arrange sugar flowers Cove Cake Design

How to Arrange Sugar Flowers on a Cake -Top Tips

Arranging Sugar Flowers

How to Arrange Sugar Flowers on a Cake ?

There is no shortage of tips and tutorials on making sugar or gumpaste flowers, but somewhat less information is available on how to arrange sugar flowers on a  cake. I have taught many group and private sugar flower classes and whilst students always embrace exploring new techniques in making the sugar flowers, the actual arrangement of their creations on the cake is something that seems to strike fear. I can relate to that completely! In my early days of sugar flower and wedding cake making it was the part of the process that I least enjoyed, and decorating day was hence the most stressful. I was so terrified of breaking them and generally lacked confidence. I have developed techniques though, such that I can now arrange with my sugar flowers with ease. Sugar flower arranging for me is now something that is actually hugely satisfying. I hope to help others reach this stage by sharing my tips today on how to arrange sugar flowers on a cake.

Arranging Sugar Flowers

My Top Tips for How to Arrange Sugar or Gumpaste Flowers on A Cake

I am delighted to share with you here my top tips for how to arrange sugar flowers on a cake and hope that this will be helpful to sugar artists who are in the process of developing their sugar flower skills.

1. Source inspiration for your sugar or gumpaste flower arrangement

I have a Pinterest board where I save pins of flower arrangements which inspire me in creating arrangements of sugar flowers on my cakes.  I always look for something a little different, for example is there a flower protruding in an unusual way? Or indeed an unusual flower or element in the arrangement that could add interest to the sugar flower arrangement on the cake? Looking at arrangements can also give you an idea of the number and type of flowers you may need, and sizes or colours that work well together.  You may not always need to do this step. There may be times when you are happy to go for it and let your own creativity lead you in your arrangement, or indeed you may have a prior arrangement that worked that you can replicate on a subsequent cake.

2. Group your sugar or gumpaste flowers together in ‘micro’ arrangements

When I have all my sugar or gumpaste flowers made, dusted and steamed, I tape together the stems into little groups, or micro-arrangements as I call them. I may leave a larger flowers on it’s own, or at most attach a few little leaves to it. Smaller flowers, buds and foliage I tape into varied groups, some compact and short to perhaps fit into gaps in the sugar flower arrangement, and some longer and/or more sparse to add at the edges to give length and movement. I always leave a few stems loose too – they may need to be added onto an existing group or used individually at the end.

3. Make a mock-up of your sugar or gumpaste flower arrangement in advance

I generally make a mock sugar flower arrangement in advance, by loosely placing my flower groups on a piece of styrofoam or a dummy tier to see how they fit together. You can use your saved inspirational flower arrangement pictures as a guide.  I often do this the day before, or even a few days before, the final decoration of the cake, it makes it so much quicker and more stress-free to place your flowers on the cake on decorating day. It is also beneficial to do this at this stage so you can also check that you have enough flowers and fillers. Take care when making your mock arrangement, you don’t need to put the flowers too close together and risk breakage, it is just to get a general idea of what you are going to do before you put them on the cake.

4. Place your sugar or gumpaste flowers securely on the cake

When it comes to placing sugar flowers on the cake, take your micro arrangements and put them into appropriately sized posy picks (available from cake decorating stores, posy picks are to prevent contact of the wires with the cake). I often add a tiny piece of fondant paste into the posy pick to anchor the sugar flower stem and stop it moving around. I generally start at the centre of the planned arrangement, placing smaller pieces that are coming out from underneath first before placing larger flowers next, then work outwards. You may sometimes need to take a flower out again to allow yourself room to add in a filler before replacing the flowers. Always push the posy pick at an angle in to the cake, if you put it in vertically and too close to the edge you may push out some of the cake and break the outer icing. Push the pick in to the cake such that it cannot be seen, visible stems are however perfectly acceptable. If you have a particularly heavy flower that is placed close to the cake surface you can put some royal icing behind it for added security.

5. Don’t be afraid and allow yourself to be creative

I always suggest reminding yourself to relax when you are arranging your flowers on the cake, it can be stressful but trust in yourself! Stand back and see if your arrangement is as you wish, you may need to add or remove something that doesn’t quite look right. Bend stems and leaves to add movement and create a more natural feel. Don’t be afraid to let your creativity lose a little too.  And finally, don’t worry about any little breakages that occur in the process – remember real flowers are not pure perfection, a few small breakages can add to authenticity and no one will ever notice anyway.

6. Prepare your sugar or gumpaste flower arrangement for transportation

I generally arrange as much as I can before delivering the cake. I slip pieces of bubble wrap or kitchen roll in between any flowers that may knock off each other. Some buds and leaves can be bent out of the way for transport too and then bent back when on site. If there are any particularly loose, wobbly or precarious flowers I may remove that particular stem for transport.

7. Be proud!

Don’t forget to stand back and admire your work. And the more you do it the more confident you will become!

Sugar flower wedding cake

I hope anyone struggling with their sugar flower arranging skills finds these tips somewhat useful. If you would like to see some more of my sugar flower arrangements please browse my portfolio.

Happy arranging!

Suzanne, x