Ingredients for wedding cake

I’m a Hobby Baker – Should I Make The Wedding Cake?

Ingredients for wedding cake

I’m a Hobby Baker – Should I Make the Wedding Cake?

This is a question that is sometimes asked by the bride, groom, or a friend or relative who have a love of baking as a hobby. It is often seen as a way to contribute in a personal way to the wedding day.

So is it a good or bad idea to decide to make your own wedding cake, or offer to create one for a friend or family member? Today I am going to share with you my experience of the pros and cons of baking the 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 Make The Wedding Cake – The Upsides

  • You could save money

Professional wedding cakes are a luxury item and hence can be expensive. You pay a lot of money for the time, skills and professionalism of a wedding cake designer as well as the experience that a beautiful cake offers to you and your guests. If you bake regularly, making a wedding cake can seem like one thing which you, a friend or a family member could do, thus saving on the cost of hiring a professional.

  • It is a way to add something personal to the 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 Make The 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 is unlikely to 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 training and 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 and more informal wedding, such as one hosted at home.

In general however, it is ultimately my view that if you value the experience offered by 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.

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!

For more tips join our mailing list to receive the latest blog posts straight to your inbox.

Suzanne, x

Baker holding decorated white wedding cake



Chocolate layered cake and slice

How to Have a More Sustainable Wedding Cake

Chocolate layered cake and slice

How to Have a More Sustainable Wedding Cake

Wedding cakes are a luxurious treat and a memorable addition to your wedding day. Of course like everything we consume, their production will have some impact on the planet. But there are small decisions that can be made to choose a more sustainable wedding cake. In today’s blog post I am sharing a few of my top tips.

1. Ask your supplier about their sustainability measures and any advice they may have

Many wedding cake suppliers are working to make their businesses and products more sustainable. From improving their supply chain, to greener energy, don’t be afraid to ask more about what they are doing so you can make informed choices. Your chosen supplier will also be a great first port of call for advice on minimising the impact of your wedding cake.

2. Consider a supplier who is as local as possible to your venue

It is important to choose a supplier who aligns with your wedding style and ethos. Most will have to travel a certain distance to deliver your wedding cake to your venue. Do however try to consider this transport cost by finding a supplier you love that is as close as possible to your venue. Do you really need to fly someone in?

3. Choose an appropriate cake size

Food waste can be a big issue with wedding cakes, and over-ordering will certainly contribute to that. Most wedding cakes are an additional treat after a beautiful wedding meal. As such only small portions are needed, and indeed not everyone may choose to take a slice. I recommend ordering 2/3 the number of portions as guests. Cake only has a short shelf life, so excess may end up being thrown out.

4. Make sure your cake is cut and served

Following on from the point above, it is important to ensure that your cake is served to guests to avoid it being wasted. I have heard stories of the cake not being cut at the wedding, and wonder what happens to it. If you think that it won’t all be eaten, do make a plan for what to do with leftovers. For example you might like to freeze the top tier, or serve the remainder to guests the next day.

5. Consider local and seasonal flavour choices, or vegan options

Choosing flavours that are in season may help reduce the food miles associated with your cake. Similarly vegan options may reduce the carbon footprint of your cake. Do ask your cake maker about options.

6. Avoid fake tiers

Fake tiers are often used in wedding cakes to give the illusion of a bigger cake, or for practical decorative reasons. However these are made from polystyrene and generally get thrown out. To avoid this waste, don’t ask for fake tiers, or if you do want to use them, ask your cake designer if you can return them to them so that they can be washed and reused.


I hope these tips were helpful! If you would like to receive more tips and other cake news, sign up to our mailing list today. If you want to find out more about how your wedding will impact the planet, I found this handy wedding carbon footprint calculator on Mindfully Wed.

Suzanne, x

Chocolate layered cake and slice



White wedding cake with sugar flowers

What is the value of a wedding cake?

What is the Value of A Wedding Cake

There are many articles and discussions on what the price of a wedding cake is or what budget you should allocate. But in considering this, what the value of a wedding cake is and what it adds to a wedding day may not always be considered fully, with the budget allocation for a cake often down the list of priorities.  In this blog post I am sharing a few reflections on what value a wedding cake brings to a wedding day and why it is hence worth paying for.

1. The Wedding Cake is a Tradition

Wedding cakes are a tradition, apparently dating back to ancient Rome, and a lovely tradition at that.  Within the tradition of having a wedding cake however, there are no hard and fast rules any more. The style of cake, when to cut it, and whether to keep the top tier, are all aspects of the tradition that the couple can make their own.

2. The Wedding Cake is a Luxurious Treat

Along with other wedding details such as floral arrangements, wedding cakes are very much a luxury item. But who doesn’t love to treat themselves, especially on their wedding day. Luxuries are expensive, but worth it.

3. The Wedding Cake Contributes to the Overall Wedding Design

Wedding cakes contribute to the overall design of the wedding, with the cake design, flavour and styling complimenting the overall wedding style, and reflecting the location, seasons or personal tastes of the couple. The cake is often a stunning focal point for the reception design too.

4. The Wedding Cake is a Visual and Taste Experience for Guests

A wedding cake is not just a cake. It is an experience for guests. Visual edible cake art and tasting mouthfuls of deliciousness are one of many experiences for guests at your wedding.

5. The Cake Cutting Ceremony is a Classic Photo Opportunity

The cake cutting photo is quite often the one that is taken by all of your guests and widely shared too. From my experience, any photos I have seen of this moment are fabulously fun and filled with smiles and laughter. Something that is priceless!


I hope these insights were helpful! If you would like to receive more tips and other cake news,  sign up to our mailing list today.

Suzanne, x


Bride and groom cutting the cake

Image credit: Petar Jurica

White wedding cake styled with green foliage

Wedding Cake Budget

Modern luxury white wedding cake

Wedding Cake Budget

How much to allocate to your wedding cake budget is a difficult question. Like all aspects of your wedding, there are a huge range of price options available. These ranges reflect variations in the quality, size and detail of the cake itself, as well as the skills, choice and level of service offered by the wedding cake supplier. What you choose will depend on how much you value a small simple, or larger more extravagant wedding cake.

Why Are Wedding Cakes So Expensive?

Firstly it is a good idea to address why wedding cakes are deemed to be expensive. Wedding cakes may seem expensive but they are made by skilled professionals, often on a bespoke basis and on a very small scale. Even the simplest of cakes involves many hours of work, from consultation and tasting through to the creation and set up of your cake. The cost of the product, business overheads and investments also need to be factored in. They aren’t a highly commercial product, but rather a handcrafted artistic item, that is a visual and tasting experience for your wedding guests.

Layered chocolate cake and slice

Average Wedding Cake Prices

Wedding cakes are not a priority for everyone, which is perfectly ok. If you do however value a high quality or intricate cake, or need a large wedding cake, it is important to set a realistic budget so that you can get a wedding cake suited to you.

A recent survey by Weddings Online puts the average wedding cake price at €350. Another survey by One Fab Day gave a figure of €700 as the average cost of a wedding cake. Actual cake prices can vary from below these figures to several thousand euro. So what will various price ranges actually get you?

Wedding Cake Budgets – What You Might Expect

After a little research and based on my own pricing, I have compiled a rough guide for what you can expect to pay for quality wedding cakes in Ireland in 2023. There will of course be variations depending on your requirements and your supplier.

It is important to remember that these prices generally include not only the cake itself, but a tasting, consultation and the premium service offered by cake makers to wedding clients. Delivery, stand hire and props, such as florals to decorate the cake table, are usually extra. Do therefore bear that in mind when allocating your wedding cake budget. These details may push your price into the next range.


This range is really the minimum you can expect to pay for a wedding cake. At the lower end you will get a nice single tier wedding cake, with beautiful decoration. Mid-range will get a nice decorated 2-tier cake, while at the higher end of this range you can expect a 2-tier cake with a choice of intricate decorative detail. The upper end will also generally get a simple 3-tier cake, perhaps decorated with fresh flowers. Expect to choose from a standard or limited range of designs or flavours, rather than detailed or custom design.

€700 – €1,000

This lower end of this range will get a premium intricately decorated custom 2-tier cake.  This range will also generally get a premium 3-tiered cake, simply iced with fresh flowers, or with some decorative detail such as piping or sugar flowers. 4-tier cakes will probably start at the upper end of this range.

€1,000 – €1500

For this range you can expect to get a premium 3 or 4-tier cake with more intricate handcrafted decorative detail, such as  piping or sugar flowers.  Custom design options, and additional services such as table styling may be available. 5-tier cakes will probably start within this range.

€1,500 – €2,000

This price range will get a premium custom designed 3 to 5-tier cake as before.  A higher level of intricate handcrafted decorative work, such as sugar flowers, or piping will be an option on the smaller sizes. A certain level of decorative detail will be possible on a 5-tier cake.

€2,000 +

A budget over €2,000 will allow for an exceptional 3, 4 or 5-tier wedding cake. You will be purchasing from a premium supplier and choosing a high level of intricate detail.


I hope you find this rough guide useful. You might also be interested in our post on How to Save Money on Your Wedding Cake – Myths and Tips!

If you would like to receive more tips and other cake news,  sign up to our mailing list today.

Suzanne, x

Wedding Cake Display


Wedding Cake Styling

Wedding Cake Styling and Display

Wedding Cake Styling

Top Tips for Wedding Cake Styling and Display

You have chosen your cake flavours and finalised the design. All that is left to do now is enjoy it on the day, right? Well there is one last yet extremely important thing to consider – planning your wedding cake styling and display.

Having spent so much time in the process of creating your deliciously beautiful wedding cake, displaying it so your guests can appreciate it, and that your photographer can record it, is an essential thing to do as part of your wedding planning process. Dark lighting, a poor backdrop or inappropriate props can really detract from a beautiful cake. Conversely considered styling and the right location can elevate even the simplest of cakes to something spectacular.

Read on to hear our top tips…

Wedding Cake Styling

1. Add cake styling to your wedding to-do list

With so much to do in organising your wedding day, don’t forget to allow time and budget for the styling and display of your cake. Those last details are so important to ensure that your cake is a beautiful centrepiece to be admired and enjoyed by you and your guests. Add styling and display to your to-do list, and leave at least a little of your cake budget for those final important details such as stand hire, candles or florals.

Wedding Cake Styling

2. Ask your cake maker and other vendors for advice

Pinterest is a great source of cake styling ideas but also use the expertise of your wedding vendors. Your cake maker is of course a first point of call, but also liaise with your wedding planner, stylist and florist for ideas on how to show your cake off to maximum effect. Their creativity may lead them to suggest something fabulous that you hadn’t thought of before.

Wedding Cake Styling

3. Consider the location, lighting and backdrop

Many venues have a standard location for the wedding cake. Unfortunately this is often a table in the corner of the function room which may not have the best lighting or indeed backdrop. When visiting your venue, if the standard placement is not ideal, discuss with your coordinator alternative options for positioning your cake. Locations such as the drinks reception area are a great choice. Not only do these areas often have better lighting, or perhaps more choice for a backdrop, the location will allow guests to appreciate and take photos of the cake in a more intimate space. Don’t forget to discuss location with your cake maker or wedding planner too. With their knowledge of the venue they may have experience as to what has worked well for previous clients.

Wedding Cake Styling

4.  Choose the right cake stand and props

Props to consider for your cake table may include a cake stand, display options for sweet treats, candles and cake menu/flavour cards. Many venues will include a cake stand as part of your package, but check the style before committing to this. Quit often the only options are large, more traditional stands, which don’t suit many of today’s modern cake styles. Your cake maker will most likely have stands and props for hire. If you are using a stand of your own, be sure to ask if it will be suitable for the size and weight of your cake.

If you are using candles or floral on your dining tables, include an order for some of these to use on your cake table to ensure a cohesive decor.

Wedding Cake Styling

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

An easy detail to forget is conveying your cake flavours to your guests.  With wedding cakes nowadays offering such delicious combinations, be sure to entice and inform your guests with a cake menu or flavour cards. Your stationer may be the best person to talk to about this but again your cake maker or wedding planner may have creative ideas too. Calligraphy cards, acrylic signs or menu frames that match your theme are all great options.

Wedding Cake Styling

For more wedding cake planning ideas read our tips on wedding cake flavours or which flowers to choose for your cake.

Suzanne, x

Wedding Cake Sustainability

Wedding Cakes and Sustainability

Wedding Cake Sustainability

Wedding cakes and sustainability

The impact of human activity on the planet is without a doubt one of the biggest challenges of our time. As business owners and creatives in the wedding and events industry, we have a responsibility to look at how we do business and put sustainable protocols and strategies in place to the greatest extent possible.

At Cove Cake Design we are committed to reducing the footprint created in making our wedding cakes. Our business is not perfect but we do believe that by being aware of the impact of what we do, and constantly trying to improve one step at a time, that we can be part of the movement that makes a difference. It can without doubt be a daunting task working out how to run a business in a more environmentally-friendly way. But we are constantly inspired by small changes other businesses make, so we hope that by sharing a few of the positive things that we are doing, that we may inspire others too!

What we are doing to be more sustainable

1. Saying no to fake tiers

Fake polystyrene tiers are a feature of many wedding cakes, creating the illusion of larger cakes without having too much cake to eat. It is an unnecessary waste of polystyrene, as these tiers inevitably get discarded after the wedding day. We no longer offer fake tiers even on request. We believe in real cake for the appropriate number of guests. Who wants fake cake?

Wedding Cake Sustainability

2. Minimal impact packaging

Thankfully as we deliver most of our wedding cakes ourselves using sturdy reusable cardboard boxes, we don’t have a lot of packaging in general. We do use packaging for a our wedding cake tasting experience. This has been minimised by packing cake samples in eco-friendly tissue paper inside recyclable cardboard boxes that are placed in an outer paper envelope (no need for padding).

Sustainable packaging

3. Considered ingredients

We try to buy seasonally and locally where possible. Irish dairy produce, free-range eggs and seasonal berries are a few of our preferences. We use chocolate from a source that commits to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers. We also offer a small range of vegan cake options (limited decorative options).

Sustainable Ingredients

4. Solar electricity

We have solar panels which provide some of our electricity, cakes literally baked by the sun, what could be better!

Unfortunately we don’t have capacity to get all of our electricity from our own source especially on darker winter days. On our to-do list is to switch to a green electricity supplier to provide the remainder of our electricity needs.

Wedding Cake Sustainability

5. Giving back

We are proud to have become a restoration member of Hometree, an Irish charity who’s aim is to establish and conserve permanent native woodland in Ireland, encouraging land regeneration and biodiversity through afforestation, restoration and education. On behalf of our customers, our membership funds the planting of 2 native Irish trees every month, sequestering 1kg CO2 every month.

Environment Cove Cake Design





Let’s not greenwash

While we are proud of being aware of the need to improve sustainability and make positive choices and changes in our business, we know that there is still lots more to be done.

Some of the things on our task list for 2022 include the following:

  • Switching to green electricity provider for our additional electricity needs
  • Reviewing our ingredients to assess whether further conscious improvements can be made in sourcing raw materials and supplies
  • Reviewing our processes to assess whether waste can be reduced. As an example we currently use plastic cake dowels and flower picks which are wasteful
  • Working with our suppliers to minimise packaging in the goods we purchase

Wedding Cake Sustainability

We would love to hear what other cake and wedding industry businesses are doing. It is through each other that we find inspiration. And as Anne Marie Bonneau said: ‘We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly‘.

Suzanne, x



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!

Wedding Cake Tasting Box

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. Dispatches take place throughout the year apart from the summer wedding season. We will confirm a date with you and 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 €75 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