Five two-carat diamonds, 1,000 edible pearls, 5,000 hand-crafted iced flowers, and consummate pastry expert Wolfgang Wagenleitner’s team hard at work for five days straight – if you know anything about those AED 55 million heels that made the news last year, you’ve already sensed that Debbie Wingham of The World’s Most Expensive Presents and Billionaire Babies fame was involved.
The couture-designer-turned-caketress-extraordinaire recently returned to our shores to bake up a storm for BRIDE Dubai, revealing a record-breaking 120kg creation that was modeled after a traditional Arab bride at the show. Here, Savoir Flair taps Wingham for her ultimate tips on wedding cakes – take note if you’re a bride-to-be.
Dress and Address
“Don’t even think about your wedding cake until you have finalized both your wedding dress and the location. Otherwise, you will feel overwhelmed with confectionery conundrums and run the risk of clashing the aesthetics – and that’s a big pastry faux pas!”
Details Done Right
“Do think about tying your wedding cake with a subtle element; the fabric of or embellishment on your wedding gown will make an excellent starting point for a sugar artist. Long gone are the days when a cake artist would duplicate the wedding invitation – smaller accents of inspiration translate in a much more sophisticated manner.”
“The taller the cake, the more dramatic it is. If you can see the cake from anywhere in the room, then it’s truly making a statement. What also matters is the number of guests as it’s a shame if cake is wasted. To work around this, select your flavor profiles wisely and ask for a variety.
Not only will your guests have several options to choose from this way, but many cakes also remain moist and delicious for days. You can then save some tiers of the wedding cake for the days to come, following a tradition that seems to be catching on worldwide: gifting the smaller tiers as thank you gestures to loved ones.”
Location, Location, Location
“To create a statement showpiece at your wedding, place the cake somewhere in the room that draws the eye. If it’s a tall cake, it will grab peoples’ attention anyway, but if it’s placed under a chandelier or complements the wedding’s color palette, it will take the wow factor up a notch and look stunning in photographs.
If your guest list isn’t huge and a smaller cake makes more sense, then some of the height can be created by having a custom cake stand made – it will later serve as a wedding keepsake.”
Taste Trumps All
“Make sure the cake tastes as good as it looks! When it comes to food, you may fall in love with your eyes, but it’s the taste buds that seal the love. If your guests see something stunning and love the flavor, then you have truly hit the wedding-cake jackpot. I believe that offering a selection of flavors is key because everyone has their own preferences – you can’t go wrong if you opt for a moist chocolate ganache, something citrus-based, and a base of vanilla with fresh berries.
In my experience, the most popular option is chocolate, with different kinds for different tiers. For example, you could do one tier of white chocolate, one tier that’s milk chocolate infused with hazelnuts, and so on. Chocolate is ideal because it makes for a very stackable cake with a great setting ratio. Of course, whatever flavor you choose, it can then be covered in fondant or frosting to create a piece of edible art that you wouldn’t even want to cut into – that’s the mark of a statement cake.”