Chocolate wedding cake Cove Cake Design

Wedding Cake Flavour Combinations – How to Choose?

Chocolate wedding cake Cove Cake Design

How to Choose Wedding Cake Flavour Combinations

It is not so long ago that choosing wedding cake flavours was very simple. A generation ago fruit cake was the only choice. Even when I got married (16 years ago!) we had a simple selection of Lemon, Carrot or Fruit. Now, in running my own cake business I am passionate about creating wedding cake flavour combinations that delight and surprise guests. The only drawback being that for wedding couples there can be so many delectable wedding cake flavours they are left wondering how to choose?!

Chocolate orange hazelnut cake Cove Cake Design

My Top Tips for How to Choose Your Wedding Cake Flavour Combinations

With years of experience in the wedding cake business and a passion for creating cake flavours of taste, I am delighted to share with you my top tips for choosing your wedding cake flavour combinations.

1. Don’t have preconceptions about what wedding cake flavour combination you would like

Before having your cake tasting you may think that something like, for example, Red Velvet, which has been your favourite cake flavour since you were a child, is the only flavour you want to choose for your wedding cake. I would urge all clients to go into their wedding cake tasting with a blank slate. Your wedding cake designer has tried and tested combinations to create a wedding cake experience for you to remember. They may have a speciality combination which you have never tried before, but which may be exactly the right choice. Be open to new flavours and also consider the advice of your cake designer who knows what is popular with clients and guests alike.

2. Do always think seasonally when choosing your wedding cake flavours

I am a great believer in eating seasonally. Light fruity cake flavours such as Lemon Blueberry Lavender are always more appealing in summer, while we are drawn to richer and warming flavours such as Vanilla Chai Cinnamon Caramel in winter. So while you may be sampling cake at a different time of year to your wedding, do bear in mind what season your wedding will be in and choose flavours accordingly. Also consider if fresh fruit will be used in your cake and whether that fruit is in season at the time of your wedding. Fruit such as, for example, strawberries, will never taste as good when flown from the far side of the world as they do when they are locally and seasonally grown.

3. Choose a crowd-pleasing as well as a more adventurous wedding cake flavour combination for your guests

If you have the option of having two or more wedding cake flavours, it is advisable to choose one crowd-pleasing flavour combination that you know most guests will like, for example a Vanilla or Chocolate flavour. There may be guests, such as children, who would just like a simple cake flavour. However, do offer a wedding cake flavour that will also delight and surprise guests. Our Earl Grey Lavender Lemon or Coconut Passionfruit Black Sesame are two interesting combinations that are sure to offer a memorable wedding cake experience to your guests.

4. Consider guests with dietary requirements

At any gathering the chances are there may be someone, or indeed many people, who have specific dietary requirements. If you want to have a wedding cake flavour that satisfies these requirements it is nice to try and include it as one tier of the wedding cake itself. Do ask your wedding cake designer for advice. Certain cake flavour combinations will work better for different dietary requirements. For example chocolate cakes lend themselves well to gluten-free variations. Often using things like ground almonds as a flour substitute and with the richness of chocolate they can be readily adapted without compromising on flavour. It may be the case that the specific dietary requirements mean that the cake is not suitable for a tiered wedding cake design. In this instance consider mini cakes or single cakes with a dietary-friendly flavour.

5. Don’t forget to convey your delicious wedding cake flavours to your guests!

Once you have chosen your wedding cake flavour combinations don’t forget to convey these to your guests. It is easy to forget that while you will detect the subtle savoury notes in the Chocolate Blackberry Bay cake having had it at your tasting, your guests may not be quite able to quite put their finger on it. And having taken the time to consider your guests and choose flavours that will please them most, you also want to make sure that they know to leave room for delicious cake after dinner!

I have a few suggestions for letting guests know what wedding cake flavours you have chosen for them. The first is to add your wedding cake flavour combinations to your wedding dinner menu. The second is to have a specific wedding cake menu on display beside your cake. Finally wedding cake flavour cards beside each flavour as they are being served at an evening buffet allow guests to see the flavours and choose their favourite.

Wedding Cake Flavour Cove Cake Design

I hope this is helpful to wedding couples embarking on their wedding cake design process. If you were tempted by all this talk of cake, take a look at our menu for more wedding cake flavour inspiration!

Suzanne, x


Pretty sugar flowers Cove Cake Design

Should I Choose Fresh or Sugar Flowers for My Wedding Cake?

Pretty sugar flowers Cove Cake Design

Should I Choose Fresh or Sugar Flowers for My Wedding Cake ?

Flowers are widely used to adorn wedding cakes, and are definitely a signature feature of my designs. From just a few simple blooms to oversized arrangements, flowers can be added in a myriad of ways to create a style reflective of a client’s wedding day. One of the biggest decisions for my clients when ordering their wedding cake is often whether they should choose fresh or sugar flowers on their design. There are pros and cons to each which will ultimately determine which are most suitable for each individual client.

I have worked with fresh and sugar flowers throughout my years making wedding cakes. Here I am going to share my experiences in the pros and cons of each.

Ganache cake with edible flowers Cove Cake Design

Fresh Flowers

I looove the above example of a classic ganache-coated wedding cake adorned with fresh organic dahlias and roses, sprigs of rosemary, and macarons.


  1. Cheaper: Fresh flowers are much cheaper than sugar flowers which is largely due to the time consuming nature of making handcrafted sugar flowers. If your budget is tight fresh may be the best option.
  2. Natural: Fresh flowers of always look beautiful and of course can smell amazing too, something which you can’t get from sugar flowers!
  3. Wedding flower continuity: By choosing fresh flowers you may be able to use those being supplied by your florist (provided they are food safe, see below), which ensures continuity throughout your wedding flower scheme.


  1. May be unsafe for food contact: Not all fresh flowers are safe for contact with food. Many flowers from florists have been pesticide treated and some may even be toxic if ingested. You hence may not be able to use some, or any, of the flowers that you are using elsewhere for your wedding on your wedding cake. Be sure to check with your florist or wedding cake designer if your wedding flowers are suitable for use on food. There are many flower suppliers who specialise in organic flowers and supply non-toxic and edible varieties which are perfect for use on your wedding cake. Bumblebee Farm is one of my favourite suppliers in Ireland. Think of using herbs as a safe alternative to greenery too.
  2. Fresh flowers will wilt: Fresh flowers can only be added to the cake at the last minute as of course once out of water they will begin to wilt. If it is a warm day this may occur more quickly than desired.

White and green sugar flowers Cove Cake Design

Sugar Flowers

The above classic white wedding cake was designed for my branding photo shoot and features a variety of intricate sugar flowers in shades of green and white.


  1. Food safe: As handcrafted sugar flowers are made from sugar, all are suitable for use on a cake. Those on a wire can be placed in a posy pick before being inserted into the cake. You can therefore have whatever flower types you want on your cake without restrictions. A flower type that is out of season, or one that you are using in your wedding flowers that is not food-safe, can be recreated in sugar and used to adorn your cake.
  2. Long lasting: Sugar flowers last for a long time. Not only will they not wilt while your wedding cake is on display, if they are removed carefully from your wedding cake and stored in dry conditions away from danger of breakage, you can actually keep them long after your wedding day.
  3. Works of art: Sugar flowers are work of arts, taking days of skill and love to make by hand. The will hence turn your wedding cake into a piece of art, that will be appreciated and admired by guests.


  1. Expensive: Sugar flowers take hours. and more often days, to make, as each petal is cut and shaped by hand before the the flower is assembled and brought to life through dust colours. If choosing sugar flowers this time-intensive labour adds a significant cost to your wedding cake.
  2. Sugar flowers can break easily: Sugar flowers are very fragile and can break easily if knocked. This is something to take into consideration if you are collecting your wedding cake yourself, or if you wish to have your venue remove the flowers to keep for after your wedding.

Sugar flower wedding cake Cove Cake Design

So What is The Best Advice on Which Flowers to Choose for My Wedding Cake?

If your wedding cake budget is limited I would suggest organic food-safe fresh flowers for your wedding cake. Should food-safe options not be available, your cake designer should ensure that they do not come into contact with the cake. Alternatively, consider choosing an unadorned cake and creating a dramatic table arrangement or backdrop with fresh flowers from your wedding florist.

If you love the idea of having sugar flowers that will elevate your cake to a work of art, choosing just a few choice sugar flowers will work not work out hugely more expensive than a larger number fresh flowers.  If budget allows, going for a large adornment of sugar flowers will really create an incredibly beautiful centrepiece, and give you something that you can keep forever afterwards!

To see some fresh or sugar flower wedding cakes view more designs over in our portfolio.

Suzanne, x


To make sure you don’t miss out on any of our posts, join our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter and occasional notes on all things cake!

Cove Cake Design wedding tasting boxes

Wedding Cake Tasting Boxes – FAQs

Cove Cake Design luxury tasting boxes

Cove Cake Design Wedding Cake Tasting Boxes

At Cove Cake Design, we operate our wedding cake tastings via a postal luxury tasting box service which is dispatched prior to wedding season each year. This has been hugely popular with clients, with many saying it was one of the highlights of their wedding planning process. The postal box service allows clients to sample a selection of wedding cake flavours in the comfort of their home, discussing options and their preferred choices at leisure. It’s the perfect excuse to grab a glass of Champagne and even get some friends or family round to join in the fun!

Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Rosemary Cake Cove Cake Design

Wedding Cake Tasting Boxes FAQs

If you are planning your wedding, find out more about our wedding tasting box service with these Frequently Asked Questions below.

1. So how does the postal wedding cake tasting box work?

Once you have secured your wedding date with us with your booking fee, we will note your address details and add you to the wedding cake tasting box waiting list. A tasting box dispatch takes place at the start of every year. We will contact you a week or two in advance to confirm the date that your tasting box will be delivered to you.

2. Can I have a tasting box before securing my wedding date?

If you wish to sample some of our delicious cake flavours prior to securing your wedding cake date, wedding cake tasting boxes can be purchased for €65 which can subsequently be deducted from your wedding cake booking fee should you proceed to order. However it must be noted that purchase of tasting boxes is subject to availability, as priority must be given to clients who have secured their date with their booking fee.

3. How are the wedding cake tasting boxes packaged?

Our wedding cake slices are beautifully packaged for postage in our luxury branded boxes. We have worked hard to minimise packaging and the environmental impact of our boxes, with cake slices wrapped in compostable food grade cellophane, before being nestled in sustainable branded tissue paper within our reusable or recyclable box. Every element is however luxurious, our clients deserve it!

4. How are the boxes shipped?

We dispatch our wedding cake tasting boxes by guaranteed next day delivery with An Post, to ensure that they arrive at your door in the freshest condition.

5. I live outside Ireland, can I get a tasting box posted to me?

Our cakes are made with only the freshest of ingredients and never use preservatives. As such it is not possible to ship our boxes outside Ireland due to the longer shipment time that would be required. If you however plan to visit Ireland prior to your wedding date, do let us know and we may be able to arrange a box for you then. Alternatively if you have friends or family in Ireland you could nominate them to do the tasting for your. I am sure they would oblige!

6. What cake flavours are included in the wedding cake tasting box?

The boxes contain a tasting of our 8 wedding cake flavours from our menu:

  • Vanilla Bean Basil Strawberry
  • Champagne Elderflower Rhubarb
  • Prosecco Peach Thyme
  • Earl Grey Lavender Lemon
  • Lime White Chocolate Pistachio
  • White Mocha Irish Whiskey Salted Caramel
  • Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Rosemary
  • Chocolate Guinness Roasted White Chocolate

Occasionally a flavour may have to be substituted for an alternative from the menu if seasonality affects availability of particular ingredients. However we can assure you that all cakes will be delicious!

7. What if I want a flavour that is not included in the tasting box?

In addition to our carefully curated wedding cake menu, we are also delighted to offer a bespoke wedding cake flavour design service. Collaborate with us to design a flavour that is nostalgic, unique or seasonal for your wedding day.

8. How should I enjoy my wedding cake tasting box?

It is recommended that you enjoy your cake samples within 48 hours of receipt to ensure that you sample them at their best. They should be stored in the refrigerator on receipt before bringing to room temperature before consuming. I always suggest taking tasting notes too, it is easy to forget what your thoughts were!

Lime White Chocolate Cake Cove Cake Design

I hope you have been tempted by all this talk of cake! Head on over to our wedding cake flavour menu to see all flavours options available, or contact us if you wish to book your wedding date.

Suzanne, x


Ganache cake with edible flowers Cove Cake Design

How to Save Money on Your Wedding Cake – Myths and Tips

Ganache cake with edible flowers Cove Cake Design

How to Save Money on Your Wedding Cake

Weddings can be expensive and with so many different items to pay for, from stationary and photographers through to cakes and musicians, it is prudent to set a budget for each item and try to stick to it. So what should you budget for your wedding cake and what are the ways of sticking to that budget?

Your Wedding Cake Budget

Wedding cake costs vary hugely but your budget has to be realistic. In your wedding cake you are getting the full attention of your qualified cake designer who will create a bespoke centrepiece for your wedding day. Their professional experience and creative skills will guide you on the ordering journey, which will generally include a tasting of their delicious cakes on offer, a customised design process and the final execution of your high quality and perfectly finished cake. Allow your cake the budget it deserves and matches with your overall wedding style. Remember you want to offer your guests the best wedding cake experience you can afford. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it is so important that it tastes amazing and looks good too….a simple quality cake can then become an incredible feature of your day with some simple tips!

Deckle Edge Wedding Cake Cove Cake Design

Saving Money on Your Wedding Cake – The Myths

There are many tips out there for saving money on your wedding cake. From my experience some of these are myths, let me give you my view…

Myth 1: I can save money by ordering a fake cake from a cake designer for display, while serving a cheap cake from the kitchen to guests

There is a circulating myth that you can save money by getting a cake designer to decorate polystyrene tiers to make a beautiful cake, while serving a cheap cake from the kitchen, and guests won’t notice. There are numerous reasons why this is a myth.

Firstly, who wants to give their guests a fake experience or indeed cake that doesn’t live up to its looks? A good cake designer wouldn’t agree to this idea either, the damage to their reputation of having their ‘cake’ on display while serving a cheap cake bought elsewhere would be too great.

Secondly, fake tiers don’t save a lot of money. A significant fraction of the cost of your wedding cake will go towards consultation with your cake designer on your design and the subsequent time taken to execute this design, be it on real or fake tiers.

Finally, polystyrene tiers are also environmentally unfriendly, being a plastic product that is likely to be discarded after your wedding day. As the world moves towards a greener future, businesses and individuals are shunning unnecessary waste.

Myth 2: I can easily make my own cake to save money, or get my Mum/Aunt/Friend to make it

Flour, eggs, sugar, butter and mix…making a cake is easy! And indeed a lovely weekend cake is easy to bake. There is definitely more pressure when making a wedding cake and significantly more skill involved in creating a larger cake that may be stacked and displayed for several hours. I toyed with the idea of making my sister’s wedding cupcakes not long after I started my business. However as chief bridesmaid I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t possibly  make wedding cupcakes while also managing other bridesmaids tasks. Importantly, I didn’t want to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone was enjoying themselves and getting their nails done!

If you do wish to make your wedding cake, or someone else offers, this can be a lovely way of making your wedding day personal. It might be a good idea though to make something like fruit or chocolate biscuit cake that can be made in advance, so that the baker can relax before the day. Whatever you choose to make, do a few trial runs so you are confident in your abilities.

It should also be noted that many venues require proof of insurance and food safety certification from wedding cake designers. This is a very responsible policy in ensuring that all food served meets food safety standards. Venues may hence not be willing to accept a homemade cake for serving on their premises.

Myth 3: I can serve my wedding cake for dessert and save money

The cost of getting a wedding cake to serve for dessert will be significantly more than the cost of getting one to serve at an evening buffet. Firstly you will need a much larger cake to ensure there are enough portions in a choice of flavours for every guest, as well as allowing for wastage of edge pieces which may not be able to be served. Venues or caterers may also charge a plating or serving fee for portioning and serving your cake. The concept may not work out significantly cheaper then than having a dessert and a small cake.

The second thing to bear in mind is that wedding cakes and desserts are different things. For dessert, people generally choose things that are perhaps fruity, light in texture and served with accompaniements such as cream, ice-cream or coulis. Layered wedding cakes on the other hand are best eaten when people are a little more hungry, and don’t need any accompaniements, which may in fact detract from their taste profile. Wedding cake is hence best served either on arrival as part of the reception or at an evening buffet. Some can also be kept for the day after the wedding.

So How Can I Keep The Cost of My Wedding Cake Down?

With my experience of making wedding cakes here are my tips on how to keep the cost of your wedding cake down while not compromising on quality.

Be Realistic

Be realistic with your wedding cake budget at the outset. It isn’t after all just any old cake. You will be paying for the experience and expertise of your cake designer much in the same way the expertise of a florist or photographer is required for your wedding. Consider what it is that you really want. Is the cheapest bakery cake, perhaps made using packet mix, really what you want to offer your guests? Opt for the best tasting and best finish of cake that you can afford and that fits with the standard of experience you are offering to your guests at your wedding. Don’t worry as much about how much decoration you can afford, first things first make sure you buy something that tastes amazing and is expertly finished.

Choose A Smaller Cake

You may have 100 guests but you don’t need cake for 100 people if the cake is being served as part of an evening buffet. There will be guests who will be too full or even too busy dancing to eat it. Go for fewer portions of good quality cake and serve it all. When it’s gone then it’s gone! Another option is a smaller cake and a selection of more inexpensive sweet treats to create a cake table display

Choose Cost-Effective Decoration

Your cake designer can suggest decorative elements that are striking but cost-effective.  Are there different icing finishes that add to the cost of your cake, eg. fondant versus ganache or buttercream? Are there decorative finishes that look impressive but actually don’t add a lot to the cost? For example, sugar flowers are an expensive decoration due to the time and skill involved in making them. Your cake designer may also offer decoration with fresh organic flowers which will probably be cheaper.  If your budget doesn’t stretch to much in the way of decoration, your designer may be able to offer styling advice on how to use props to create a wow-factor cake table with a simple but delicious cake…..

Style, Style, Style!

Intricate wedding cake decoration can be expensive. But you can easily create a wow-factor cake with considered and cost-effective styling. Look around your venue, is there a gorgeous table or backdrop that can be used? Think about your flowers, is there a stunning arch or arrangement at the church that could be repurposed for the cake table? Consider props such as linen, candles and cake stands, they make all the difference and can be either hired from your cake designer or bought inexpensively. Ask your cake designer or browse Pinterest for ideas.

Chocolate orange hazelnut cake Cove Cake Design

I hope these tips on how to save money on your wedding cake will help to get the most for your budget. Don’t forget delicious quality cake is something that can’t be compromised on though! View our price guide for information on our base cake prices for different sizes and finish of cake.

Suzanne x