The wedding cake is very much the focal point of the reception. It will be displayed in a prominent place, and the design of the cake will reflect the style of the day. An official cake cutting takes place, which is meant to bring luck to the couple in their future life together. It is a fantastic photo opportunity and traditionally the timing of the cake cutting will often be just after the speeches, and before the party starts.
The modern wedding cake is so different to the traditional fruit cakes that were standard, there are now so many different and delicious flavours to choose from. To guide you through the process of choosing your wedding cake with so many options available, I have enlisted the expert advice of Kate, the owner and creator of Dolce Lusso Cakes. Kate is passionate about cakes and her cakes are a work of art and the flavours sublime, all using Italian inspired recipes.
- Do you expect couples to have a clear idea of how they would like their wedding cake to look at the initial consultation? No, not at all – guiding couples to their dream wedding cake is a big part of my value and role. Of course, some come to me with a clear vision, which is fine too. But most prefer to explore options together, collaborating in a process that draws inspiration from their personal story and results in a cake that’s right for their special day.
- At what stage of the planning process do you recommend that couples get in touch with you? Ideally, soon after they’ve finalised their wedding date and venue. I take bookings 12-18 months in advance, and limit orders to one cake commission per week; so it’s best to secure my services early on. From there, we’ll work through individual requirements, as and when other elements of their wedding day have been agreed.
- Talk me through the process of booking Dolce Lusso Cakes from consultation to creation. I like to start with a discovery call that typically lasts about 20 minutes. This helps me and potential clients get to know each other; ask initial questions, and understand more about their plans.Couples can then order a taster box, which includes samples of up to six different flavours from my menù degustazione.In the consultation that follows, we refine their needs into a wedding cake brief, after which I provide recommendations for decorations, ingredients, serving options, and delivery. I support these with mood boards and sketches, so we’re always on the same page.Closer to the delivery date, I liaise with my clients’ other wedding suppliers to ensure their cake fits their theme and logistics seamlessly.Then comes the fun bit: bringing everything to life. Creating sugar flowers takes a lot of time, so I finish these off, before baking the cake during the week of the wedding. It’s the only way to retain its freshness, and a degree of my sanity…
4. I have been lucky enough to experience a gourmet taster box full of Italian inspired wedding cake samples. What made you choose Italian flavours?
I’ve always adored Italy – its culture and convivilità. Nowhere are these qualities more evident than in its cooking.
Eating in Italy is a national past-time, a mix of art and magic to liven up the everyday. I first sampled the country’s gastronomic delights on a business trip to Bologna in the late 1990s. I was so taken by the way Italians approach food. They insist on quality in every ingredient – preferably local and seasonal – elevating them in dishes of simple style and sophistication.
La cucina italiana is an act of love: meals are made to be shared and enjoyed with family and friends – just like a wedding cake.
- Is it possible to have different flavours for different tiers? Absolutely. Everyone’s tastes are different, so offering variety accommodates that. However, if the wedding cake is being served as the main dessert, I’d advise couples to stick to one or two flavours. Balance is key – for guests and caterers. It’s also worth considering portion quantities of each flavour: you don’t want 10 of one and 60 of another…
- It is important for couples to think about their menu choices when deciding on cake flavours? Yes, and it’s a point I always discuss with my couples when they order a taster box. The cake is just like every other aspect of their wedding menu, including the wine. It has to complement the meal’s other components. So, if you’re serving a lemon tart for dessert, choosing a lemon-flavoured wedding cake might overwhelm your guests’ palates.I also recommend couples try flavours beyond their favourites – if something unusual piques your interest, give it a go. The result might surprise you.
- Is it more popular to serve the cake as dessert or later on in the evening? Serving wedding cake later in the evening is a popular and traditional choice. But many couples are now shaking up the rules about when to cut the first slice. They want something that’s as delicious to eat as it is stunning to look at. An edible work of art they can celebrate as the main dessert – often accompanied by a fruit coulis and cream or ice cream.
8. If couples are having a small wedding but want to have a show piece cake, what do you recommend?
My best advice: don’t get hung up on size! A petite cake can still be a real showstopper. The trick is to big up the details – use of colour and decorative elements that stand out; flavours that pop and linger; taste and texture guests will savour. If clients ask for a tall and imposing design, without wanting too much cake, then we can get creative with fake tiers to achieve the “wow effect”. Individual cakes are an elegantly-chic solution too.
- Will you deliver the cake personally to the wedding venue? I personally deliver and set-up each one of my cakes. They’re often large, heavy creations, adorned with delicate decorations, which easily can be damaged in- transit or conveyance. Being on-site means I’m on-hand to finesse the cake’s placement and last-minute touches for that perfect ‘first look’.
- Do you have a favourite cake that you have created? Anything with subtle and intricate detailing – lace work, sugar flowers, texture, etc. The cake featured here is a classic example: its design replicated attributes found in the bridal dress, the wedding flowers and her hair comb. A lot of work, but worth it.