EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about cakes

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your North East Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yournortheast.wedding

Sweet Treats

Sweet Treats

Q We'd love to have a luxurious cake on our big day, but we're worried about the price tag. Do you have any ideas for keeping the cost down?
A Debra Douglas says: When planning your wedding cake, set yourself a budget, do some research and look for a designer who makes the style of cake that you love. Most suppliers will have a starting price for a blank canvas cake on their website to give you an indication of how much it will cost. Be open with your designer and they will help you design within your budget. We all understand that what may be someone else's budget may not be your budget, so don't be afraid to ask. Cakes are priced based on work; the more hours it takes to make, the more it will cost. Less can be more. For example, an elegant cake with a clean, sharp edge and a beautiful bow can be just as stunning as a cake with lots of sugar work. If you have an idea for a cake that is elaborate, speak to your designer so they can work with you to create a similar look. Communication is so important. Another cost to consider when planning your wedding cake is delivery and set-up. A local cake maker is likely to save you money with less travel time and mileage. Don't be tempted to save money by booking someone who is not registered, trained and insured, as it may lead to disappointment.

Debra Douglas, Jellicoe Cake House

Blooming baking

Blooming baking

Q We love flowers and want to incorporate them into our cake. What should we look for?
A Graeme Venus says: There are several options that can be taken into consideration. If you would like your cake to match with the flowers your florist is dressing the venue with, we would ask to speak to them and have them supply some extra flowers on the day. This way, when we set up the cake, we can dress it with the same flowers and colours that you have already chosen, and the cake will fit in with everything else. However, with real flowers we would also have to dip them in a food grade wax, or coat the cut stems, so sap doesn't affect your wedding bake.

You can also use sugar flowers on your cake. This option can be useful when specific colours, designs and positions are required, that are difficult to obtain with real flowers. This option, however, is more expensive, as these are made by hand. Plus, if there are a lot of flowers required, it can add a lot more cost to the cake.

Finally, why not consider silk flowers? There are some fantastic ones out there with no restrictions when adding them onto your cake. However, it can be difficult at times to match specific types of flowers and colours.

Graeme Venus, Sticky Sponge

Say cheese

Say cheese

Q My wife-to-be and I love strong flavours and want something unusual for our cake. Do you have any suggestions?
A Lyn Dunn says: I have five words for you: a cake made of cheese! As you love strong flavours I would recommend our oak smoked cheese; this is lovely cheese that's smoked over oak chippings to create a bronzed outer core with a beautiful smoky taste. The other cheese in regards to strong flavours would be our Elsdon goats' cheese, which has a delicate flavour with a clean refreshing finish to the palate. Our bestselling cheese, which is our Northumberland Nettle, would be something a little different to finish the cake off – it has a gorgeous green flecked appearance and is always a talking point. Plus, as our cakes are made to order, you can select which order you would like the cheeses to be placed in, to ensure you enjoy lots of your favourite flavour.

Lyn Dunn, Northumberland Cheese Company

Boho babe

Boho babe

Q We're having a boho-inspired wedding and we'd love to incorporate elements of our theme into our cake. How can we achieve this?
A Helen Edwards says: Boho-style weddings are extremely popular at the moment and would be perfect if traditional weddings are not your sort of thing. The whimsical and romantic style allows you to be slightly unconventional and lets your artistic nature run wild. There are many beautiful elements linked to this theme, think dried flowers, feathers, pampas, succulents, macramé pieces and heavy lacework. The above cake has a wonderfully sentimental feel as all the flowers used were cut and dried from family members' gardens – what a fantastic idea!

Helen Edwards, Vanilla Teas

Bloomin' beautiful

Bloomin' beautiful

Q We love flowers and want to incorporate them into our cake design. What do you recommend we look for?
A Gabriella Grace Rottiers says: I prefer sugar flowers to fresh florals on cakes because you won't have any issues with them wilting throughout the day.

I try to match the blooms and colours incorporated in the bouquet and there are so many options for displaying them on the cake. Do your research to find some examples of layouts you like to show your baker.

If you've gone for a wild-style bouquet, tie this in with the cake and have a more free and explosive arrangement. If you've opted for a more traditional and tighter design, maybe have small tight clusters of flowers to reflect this.

Gabriella Grace Rottiers, Gabriella Grace Cakes

Festive bakes

Festive bakes

Q We're having a Christmas extravaganza wedding and want an impressive cake that will wow our guests. Do you have any ideas of how we can achieve this?
A Graeme Venus says: Here at Sticky Sponge Cake Studio, we create many extravagant and unusual cakes that add the wow factor to any big day.

Festive-themed bakes are very popular with Christmas just around the corner. The designs can be anything from a stylish Christmas tree to snow-covered mountains. Pull together the theme, wedding decorations and colour scheme, while still adding that personal touch to make the day even more special to you both. 

To create a showstopping cake, we find a non-traditional sculpted or painted cakes catch peoples' eyes and the details will get everyone talking.

Anything is possible when it comes to creating a cake that ties into your venue and a festive theme, so it's a good time of year to let your imagination run wild!

Graeme Venus, Sticky Sponge Cake Studio

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