I asked my baker friend, Rachel Solero, for some helpful tips and useful information on wedding cakes. As many starts up tend do, Rachel bakes out of her home. She has baked cakes for weddings and showers as well as cupcakes and cookies for different occasions. I am going to focus this article on some of her money saving advice. In the coming weeks, I will tell you more about our lively cake conversation. Stay tuned for articles on Groom's Cakes and Favorite Cake Fads.
As an introduction....here's some of her lovely work:
This was a bridal shower cake she made in 2013. Yup ladies, a Christian Louboutin Cake! This was a yellow cake with coconut buttercream frosting. It's amazing! All edible!
We worked this 2011 event together. Rachel baked these amazing chocolate cupcakes with chocolate filled buttercream. It was an Alice and Wonderland, Mad Hatter themed baby shower. (I designed and assembled the notes that identified all the food and tea. Aren't they cute?)
Here's a little bit of our conversation. I asked:
Q: What goes into the cost of wedding cakes?
Here's what Rachel says......Making a wedding cake is a big job. Choosing a cake design may seem simple, but putting it all together certainly isn't. Once she has received the design from the couple, she starts by making a list of ingredients and supplies that she will need. This "grocery list" can easily grow if design changes take place. Her supply list includes layer boards, tools and molds that she will use to create the edible art. She usually works on one wedding cake for over a week. But before that, she spends weeks on the design elements. Come wedding week she is spending days creating sugar flowers that look so realistic you have to ask "can I eat these?"
Q: What else do brides need to know about wedding cake costs?
In short......Cheap cakes are cheap! They will look cheap and taste cheap. So be realistic with your budget and your expectations.
Rachel says that fondant work is expensive. Having good quality ingredients comes at a cost. She orders her fondant from Switzerland. One bucket costs $100!
She says that cheap fondant will look dry and cracked. The stuff she uses looks shinny and smooth. But it's also difficult to work with. Skill is needed to shape it quickly before it forms. As usually is the case, you get what you pay for.
The alternative to fondant is buttercream frosting. This is a wonderful way to keep some costs down. I personally love buttercreams! These cakes can be just as beautiful! The buttercream cake below is from a New Jersey baker, A Little Cake. (Click on the cake to see their website.) I think it's stunning.
This beautiful 5 tier wedding cake is finished with pearlized buttercream rosettes and crystalized sugar. To add to the sparkle of this cake we added rhinestone bands, sugar bows and brooches. As stunning as this wedding cake is, it is also delicious. All 5 tiers are filled lemon sponge cake layered with a raspberry and blueberry curd.
Rachel suggests that Brides on a budget choose simple designs with little hand crafted pieces and rounded corners.
And speaking of corners....sharp corners, such as the one seen in the cake below, take skill and time. If you choose this style cake, it will come at a cost.
The more I spoke to Rachel, the more I realized that I wasn't just speaking to a baker. Rather, she's a craftsman, an artist and a designer. And that, of course, means that what you are paying for is not just simply cake ingredients or the labor but the art of cake making.
Here was my favorite little nugget of information....if you are having an outdoor wedding, stay away from buttercream frosting alone. Anything that "flies" in the wind can potentially land and stick to your cake. Fondant is the way to go for outdoor weddings.
Visit Rachel on her website: www.prettysweetbyrachel.com
Let her know you read all about her Louboutin's at Cynthia Holt Events. You can also follow her on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/PrettySweetByRa/
For the Love of Weddings...
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