To help you navigate the minefield of your wedding we spoke to two Cairns wedding cake makers to find out the sweet and sour of choosing your wedding cake:
Iain from Passion for Cakes & Susan from Sue’s Sweet Delights
Photography by Focus Imagery
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A WEDDING CAKE?
Sue – A wedding cake should be the showpiece of your reception and should reflect the theme and style that you have chosen for your special day. It can be quirky, traditional, modern, contemporary or outside of the box! But it should be stunning!
Iain – Consider a multitude of things size/shape/style/colours so your cake ties in perfectly with your theme. We suggest you bring along pictures/colour samples even your invites as this can help with your cake design. Some couples like to surprise their guest with some strange combinations however we would recommend that you keep it uncomplicated and stick to flavours that you know most people like.
WHAT IS IT IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A CAIRNS CAKE MAKER?
Sue – Make sure your cake maker is aware of your budget, colour palette and theme. It is important to also find out if they deliver and set up your cake, if not you will have to trust someone to do this very important job! Make sure your cake maker has the types of cake you like, ask if you can attend a taste session where you are able to taste the cakes on offer. Let the cake decorator offer you some suggestions regarding the decorations, as they will have a wealth of knowledge.
Iain – When choosing a cake maker/decorator it is advisable that they are professionally trained with extensive experience within the industry so there are no issues down the track. They must have a Food Business Licence (it is illegal to work without one). This shows that the company and their premises have been checked and are abiding by the health & safety rules and regulations.
ARE THERE ANY TRAPS TO WATCH OUT FOR?
Sue – The person you select may not have made many cakes and be confident with your design. They should be registered and insured and hold a certificate of competency for Food Handling. Make sure that the work they show you is their work, it is too late on the day to find out that they are not who they seemed to be. Ask around for customer reviews. A dear cake is not necessarily better than a less expensive cake and a cheap cake is often just that, cheap!
LOVE IS WHEN THE OTHER PERSON’S HAPPINESS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR OWN.
WHEN SHOULD BRIDES CHOOSE AND ORDER THE CAKE?
Sue – During the Wedding Season we cake makers, like many wedding suppliers book out early. I like to concentrate on one cake a week to give that bride the best cake I can.
Iain – The sooner the better especially if you’re getting married between June & October being height of the wedding season. We limit the amount of cakes we do per week/weekend and popular months fill up fast. It is advisable to call and see if your date is available. If it is we can then schedule a consult. Alternatively you may e-mail any pictures you like. Let us know how many people
you are catering for and if your cake is for dessert/part of or as token portions as this will determine the size of cake you will require.
IAIN TELLS US…
The difference between buttercream and rolled fondant is Italian buttercream is made from Italian meringue with butter whipped through it. It is the most popular icing used on cup cakes and if you like the rustic or textured appearance on tiered cakes then this is the icing to use. Rolled fondant is sugar paste not marzipan, it tastes a little like marshmallow and gives a perfectly smooth traditional finish.
WHAT ABOUT QUANTITY?
Sue – Cake makers have a guide to the number of pieces or serves each cake will cut in to. The bride needs to be guided by this in the final decision for the size of the cake.
Iain – It’s advisable to order enough cake for all of your guests, as it can be a bit embarrassing if you run out of cake!
WHAT’S THE CRAZIEST CAKE YOU HAVE MADE?
Sue – You get lots of different requests but one of the craziest yet effective cake I made was a four wheel drive stuck in a mud puddle throwing mud onto the cake. The front of the cake was embroidered and beautiful but the back showed the personalised 4×4 in the mud.
WHAT SHOULD A BRIDE EXPECT TO PAY FOR THEIR CAKE?
Iain – Relatively speaking the wedding cake is one of your least expensive items for your wedding. Most couples spend between $300–$800 on their wedding cake. The more intricate the design, the more time will be spent on creating your cake. Labour is a big portion of the cost.
WHAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT FROM THE OTHER CAIRNS CAKE MAKERS?
Sue – I try to make each and every couple feel that their cake is a one of and to date I have not duplicated any of my cakes. I pride myself on attention to detail and to listening to my couples needs and wants. I enjoy being allowed to design a cake just for the couple keeping in mind their theme, colour palette and reception venue. I make all my own flowers, models, and decorations which go into making a stunning wedding cake. I keep up with modern trends but can turn my hand to the more traditional styles as well.
Iain – Passion for cakes has been in business since 2002 and is a boutique custom cake business, specialising in Wedding Cakes. Both Lorraine and Iain are professional chefs with a great deal of experience under there belt, working for companies such as Hilton, Park Hyatt, Sheraton, Intercontinental Hotels, Ritz Carlton to name just a few.