The covering is then layered with icing. There are two main types of icing used on traditional Wedding cakes, and they are as follows:
Sugarpaste Icing: This can be coloured and moulded for almost any cake design imaginable - it is the type often used on shop bought birthday cakes and results in a smooth outer surface. This is sometimes referred to as Regal Icing.
Royal Icing: By changing the consistency, this icing can be used for a multitude of purposes. It can be used to smooth ice a cake - where it will leave smooth, satin like finish which can then be painted or sprayed. It can also be used for ‘peaking’ a rough icing (now imagine one of those snow covered Christmas cakes) as well as for creating intricate piping designs. The outer layer of this icing sets hard to the touch and as before can be coloured any colour required.
For pure chocolate cakes, chocolate paste can be used in place of traditional icing and many people feel that it better complements the chocolate sponge filling. As the name suggests, this type of icing is similar to sugarpaste icing. However, don't assume that in using chocolate paste your cake will be brown…chocolate paste (in much the same way as sugarpaste) can be coloured, painted and sprayed to meet any design scheme you demand.
The other option for chocolate cakes is a satin icing - made with real chocolate and single cream it produces a shiny, smooth liquid which sets slightly when poured over the cake. Though be warned, satin icing will never be dry to the touch - a fork is strongly recommended and we suggest you also keep a pack of wet wipes handy for the youngsters!
Adding Finishing Touches
Once the outer layer of icing is set, the final touches can be added to your cake and can really help to tie the wedding cake in with the theme or style of your day. Let's take a look at the most popular options.
Real flowers will work with all types of cake, though wouldn’t ideally sit on the satin icing of a chocolate cake. They can be used on the top tier of a layered cake or a small display placed in between each tier - perhaps hiding the pillars to create the illusion of each tier sitting on a bunch of flowers.
Edible Flowers can be made from chocolate or standard icing and can be used to decorate the sides of a cake as well as the top. Consider flowers made in the same colour as the rest of the cake to create a timeless, tasteful look. Don’t worry about combining flowers made with standard icing with a chocolate Wedding cake - your guests will be so impressed that they will easily forget the fact that the two taste different to one another.
Chocolate curls give a beautifully contemporary feel to any chocolate cake. With this design, the icing can be omitted if you wish, alternatively your cake maker will apply a sticky ganache sauce over the icing to attach the curls. Chocolate curls come in white, milk, dark or marbled chocolate, however it may be best to team them with a chocolate cake than a regular sponge. Cholocate curls can also be used in conjunction with some of the other suggestions here - particularly flowers (edible or fresh), fruit or chocolates.
Fresh fruit is suitable for most cakes however it works exceptionally well with chocolate. This could be because of the resulting taste, but more likely it is the fact that creamy white chocolate or the warm tones of milk or dark chocolate work work well visually with fruit, be they berries, cherries, oranges etc.
Sugarpaste art can turn your Wedding cake in to a fairytale castle - not for the faint-hearted but your only limitation is your imagination. Make sure you see pictures of some intricate cakes made by your chosen cake maker to ensure they are up to the task before heading down this route.
Marzipan art is usually used to create figurines, either people or cartoons, as an expert can spray and paint it to create amazing results. We have seen some wonderful caricature marzipan art figures and if your cake maker has an eye for flair, you may want to even head down this route yourselves!
Belgian truffles/chocolates or similar. Great around the edges of a layered cake or even better, sit them on top of individual tiers and combine them with chocolate curls round the edge.
Sweets have become a big thing in recent years. Love Hearts, sugared almonds or even flying saucers add a whimsical and romantic feel to the cake due to their pastel shades. These could be particularly appropriate if you are marrying your childhood sweetheart!
Ribbon can be used to create a traditional but classical look. A simple band of quality ribbon, matching one of main colours from the Wedding, pinned around each tier of the cake will always look elegant.
Combining great taste with a great design is the secret to a great Wedding Cake. So choose wisely and you will be licking your lips in anticipation well before the Big Day!