A TIER FOR TWO
Wedding cakes have had a long and rich history, their presence flavoured with tradition and symbolism that has effectively withstood the test of time. No matter the size or style, this seemingly simple feature at weddings can poignantly capture the unique personalities of the couple, and aptly top off the celebration. Amelia Mansell seeks the advice of Alana Sanchez, owner of Cake’istry Melbourne, on how to choose and design your perfect multi-tiered wedding cake, as well as the style trends that you can incorporate to ensure your cake makes a unique statement.
Multi-tiered wedding cakes can create a stunning visual statement during your wedding celebration, and with the breadth of unique style options and flavour combinations ready to be explored, it is little wonder that they have risen in the trending ranks of wedding cake designs.
One of the greatest benefits of a multi-tiered wedding cake, whether it be a traditional design with the tiers directly stacked together, or with the layers elevated, is the ability to explore different and complementary flavours for each of the tiers. With each of the levels separated by stabilising cake boards “none of the flavours [are] compromised”, meaning you can cater to different flavour preferences and food requirements within the one cake. Some great flavour combinations Sanchez suggests to her customers include dark chocolate and dulce de leche – which is a form of caramel – and Sanchez’s favourite combination: raspberry or pistachio and white chocolate, and lemon and macadamia or elderflower. “These are only a handful of flavours, but the possibilities are truly endless,” Sanchez says.
Next comes the opportunity for stylistic perks. With the additional surface space and levels to play with, intricate and intriguing designs can be created to make your wedding cake a true feature ready to be enjoyed by your partner and guests. Recent trending requests for wedding cake designs have included “the use of floral accents; edible, fresh and dried, acrylic tiers, isomalt and brushstroke features for ultra-modern tastes”. Popular single-tier cake styles such as the drip cake and naked cake can also be enhanced even further when designing a multi-tier feature.
Acrylic tiers in particular are a fantastic way to create an individual and unique design. This clear tier can be used in countless versatile ways, allowing couples to incorporate inedible decorations such as fresh flowers or lighting, or exploring the dimensions of the cake by creating the illusion of height, without having to truly add another layer of cake. This is especially helpful during times when wedding numbers may be limited, but couples do not wish to abandon their vision of a multi-tiered wedding cake.
When beginning the process of designing a wedding cake with her clients, Sanchez likes to get to know the couple, to find out if they see their wedding cake as more a formality or a feature, if they are foodies, or what their cultural requirements are. “I feel that my part in the process is just to act as a guide to help put all their requirements into a cake that is truly their own,” Sanchez explains.
These ice-breaking conversations with your cake designer can be incredibly helpful for those couples who are struggling to find a style or flavour that encapsulates their unique relationship. But it is always helpful to start the designing process with at least some idea of what styles you like, such as pictures of other cakes and display ideas you enjoy, your favourite flavours, or your chosen wedding colours or theme.
Although designing your wedding cake may not seem like a time-consuming task, it is important for all couples to remember the time and supply restraints that designers may face, especially depending on the intricacy of the design. Fresh flowers, for example, have seasonal as well as importation restrictions, so Sanchez advises “allowing time and discussing seasonal availabilities” to help couples get the result they’re after. It is likewise also important to consider that, depending on the size and height of your multi-tiered cake, transportation may become more complicated and require on-site assembly. So don’t forget to account the time and space for this to happen, while seeking advice from your cake creator.
THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
For those couples looking to create a grand statement with their wedding cake, multi-tiered cakes are a great option when incorporating intricate or elaborate detail, as the increased surface area can “really allow for all the features that a clear design requires”.
Incorporating pop-culture references that are personally significant, or matching the theme of the wedding can be an exciting way to highlight your distinctive personality as a couple. Utilising the benefits of a multi-tiered structure, such as an acrylic tier, enables countless additional ways to achieve the cake of your dreams. Even so, before you get swept away by all the exciting possibilities, and if the reference isn’t tied to a theme in your wedding, it is important to remember that pop-culture references are contemporary – and as such, to consider whether the cake “will be looked back on with fond memories or a little of that 1980’s puffy sleeve feel”.
Understated elegance is a statement in and of itself and can produce breathtaking designs. The use of buttercream, and floral features “with confection accents such as macarons and meringues” has currently been on-trend, according to Sanchez. When combined with the statement height and structural opportunities of multi-tiered cakes, this can be a sweet yet dramatic way of making your cake a true feature of your celebration, as well as tying its design into your existing wedding aesthetic and theme. “Brainstorming these designs with your cake designer is a great way to define a unique cake, while discussing any challenges or additions openly, in order to derive your perfect design,” Sanchez affirms.
Colour is another great utensil to create a beautiful statement with your multi-tiered wedding cake. Colour enables exciting accent opportunities for your wedding cake, with Sanchez listing isomalt, rice paper sails, florals, metallic features and confections as just some of the available options. The amount or way you include colour in your cake may differ depending on the style of your wedding, but the beauty of multiple tiers is that you have many more options to work with. But remember not to overlook how important the icing base is when incorporating colour as well. “Both fondant and buttercream can be coloured, marbled, texturized, and painted to achieve the perfect effect,” Sanchez notes.
Multi-tiered wedding cakes offer a world of design opportunities, with their added level of dimension allowing couples to truly explore and embrace individual styles and flavours, creating unique designs that can become the feature – and most mouth-watering edition – to every wedding.
Image courtesy of Cake’istry Melbourne