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Wedding Cake Demystified


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Join us at “The Wedding Gallery” June 5, 2012  6:30 pm – 7:30 pm for


1701 S. Veteran’s Parkway  Bloomington  IL (Next To Starbucks at Veteran’s and Morrisey Dr)

A cake workshop to help you figure out cake…yes come join the Premier Bakers of Bloomington and find out what cake you like.  Learn about pricing, how they are made, choices for icing.  Cake is an individual thing.  This is an opportunity to meet several Bakers in a quiet atmosphere and actually enjoy finding out what is available.   What a concept!  Unlike a Bridal show where you feel like cattle going through the aisles instead  you can sit down, learn a little, and taste great cakes all in one spot at “The Wedding Gallery”

You have no doubt gone through all of the wedding magazines you could get your hands on.  You’ve looked at hundreds of pictures of cakes.  Now, what is it going to cost you?  Well that depends on how elaborate you would like to get.  You must realize that many hours can go into creating the fantastic cakes you will see on ‘WETV” and that costs money.  The cost of your cake will be determined by the type of icing, how the cake is decorated, and the size of the cake, and also whether there is a brick and Mortar store (remember Girls these people make their living at this.)   The number of servings will determine the number of tiers you’ll need.

Cake is an individual thing.  I mean everyone has different tastes.  I can be at a wedding and think, OK the cake is good (not great in my opinion)  but my partner will be going crazy about it.  When someone tells you, “You just have to have “so and so” for your cake they are fantastic!”  Maybe they are but to you they may not be that great.  TASTE THE CAKE!

Before you run around like a maniac, you should by now know whether your reception venue provides a cake.  If so, then this is one thing you may not have to worry about.

ADVICE:  Make sure you taste the cake from your reception vendor if they provide it.

Why? What if you don’t like it?  If you don’t want their cake, see if they will give you a credit on the cake and find your own.

WARNING!  Make sure you will not be charged an extra cake cutting fee though. It can range from $1 per person to $4 per person.  I hate that fee.

Also, if you are providing the cake to a reception hall venue, for example at a hotel, they may require that the person making the cake holds a State Food license. Make sure you check on that, you would hate the day of the wedding to find out and not be able to serve your cake.

Let’s talk Cake.

Icing – Frosting, what is the difference?  Is there a difference?  What is fondant anyway?  Ganache, what’s a ganache?

There is no difference.  Icing and frosting are two words used for the same thing, it just depends on what part of the country you are in.  In the South, they call it icing.  No one “frosts” their cakes down south; they “ice” them.  We northerners “frost” our cakes.
  1. Frosting/Icing The more labor intensive the more expensive it will be.

You will have the choice of: fondant, marzipan, royal frosting (icing for you southerners), chocolate ganache, and flavored buttercream.

  • Fondant is a paste made of sugar and water. This paste is rolled and flattened then placed on top of a cake previously frosted in order for the fondant to “glue” itself to it. Fondant is a thick chewy form of frosting.
  • Fondant and marzipan are the most expensive, because of the labor involved in rolling it to a perfectly smooth surface.
  • Marzipan is an almond and sugar paste used to ice cakes and other pastries or sculpted into a variety of shapes.  It can also be eaten as candy as well as used for cake decorations.
  • Royal icing is a hard white frosting, made from softly beaten egg whites, powdered sugar, and sometimes lemon or lime juice.  It can be used either as a smooth covering or it can be used to create decorative flowers or other decor.  Royal icing can be piped into shapes which are then allowed to harden.  They can then be arranged to create edible decor on your cake.
  • Ganache is a rich mixture of chocolate and cream which can be used as a frosting or filling.  Depending on the intended use, different ratios of chocolate to cream are used, to create anything from a light glaze to a creamier frosting consistency.  It is very rich.
  • Buttercream is the simplest type of frosting.  It is made by creaming butter with powdered sugar, although other fats can be used, such as margarine, shortening, or lard.   It is then flavored with a variety of options. CAUTION:  Outside wedding in August?  Buttercream melts so be careful.

2. Cake Decorating  The more labor intensive, the more expensive it will be.

  • Your cake decorations will depend on the type of frosting you pick.  Rolled fondant allows for amazing decorating because the surface is smooth.
  • Buttercream, the best choice for decorations of fresh or silk flowers.  When you use buttercream the cake is decorated with patterns or swirls.  You will often see decorative satin ribbons around each tier.  Caution:  buttercream is delicious (my favorite) but it melts.  Ask me about the tent wedding in July and the cake melting incident.  I felt so bad for the girl delivering that cake.  Buttercream will not stand the heat.

Things you should ask the Baker:

  1. Will you do a custom wedding cake, or are there a set number of designs for us to choose from?’
  2. How adaptable are wedding cake designs, especially due to budget concerns?
  3. Do you have or can you rent items like cake toppers, stands, tiers, fountains, and cutters?  Will we be billed extra?
  4. If I want to use fresh flowers on my cake, will you coordinate with my florist, or will I have to manage getting the flowers to you?
  5. What ingredients do you typically use?  What kind of icing do you use?
    (Better ingredients will cost more, but will make the cake taste better)
  6. How long before our wedding are the cakes prepared?  How long does it take to make a cake?
    (The closer to your wedding that the cake is prepared, the better it will taste. BUT, anyone who tells you that they can bake a wedding cake in a day is not telling you the truth, or isn’t being realistic.  Due to the complicated nature of wedding cakes, they usually take between three and five days. )
  7. Are your wedding cakes priced by the slice?  Is there an extra cost for special fillings or details?  Will you charge extra for my design?  Is there a price list I can take home with me to study?
  8. Can you give me a written proposal I can take home?
  9. Do you do deliver?  How much does it cost?  Will the delivery person be able to make emergency frosting or decoration repairs and arrange the cake table?
    (For anything even slightly complicated, getting them to deliver is best. You won’t want to be stuck with 150 ruined pieces of wedding cake at $8 per slice, much less on the morning of your wedding.)  You can find these questions on


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How much will I need?

Approximate Wedding Cake serving for finger size portions for a Round tiered Wedding Cake

Servings Round Tier Cake Approx Prices
up to 30 people 5 and 8″ (2 tier) $2.25/slice – $5.50/slice on up
up to 50 people 6 and 10″ (2 tier)
up to 75 people 5, 8 and 10″ (3 tier)
up to 100 people 6, 9 and 12″ (3 tier)
up to 125 people 6, 9 and 14″ (3 tier)
up to 150 people 6, 10 and 16″ (3 tier)
up to 175 people 7, 12 and 16″ (3 tier)
up to 200 people 5, 8, 12 and 16″ (4 tier)
up to 225 people 5, 9, 12 and 18″ (4 tier)
up to 250 people 6, 10, 14 and 18″ (4 tier)
up to 300 people 5, 9, 12, 14 and 18″ (5 tier)
up to 350 people 6, 9, 12, 16 and 20″ (5 tier)
Approximate Wedding Cake serving for finger size portions for a Square tiered Wedding Cake
Servings Square Tier Cake Approx Prices
up to 25 people 5 and 8″ (2 tier) $2.25/slice – $5.50/slice and up
up to 50 people 6 and 10″ (2 tier)
up to 75 people 8 and 12″ (2 tier)
up to 125 people 6, 9 and 12″ (3 tier)
up to 250 people 6, 8, 12 and 16″ (4 tier)

Prices may fluctuate from region to region.*


Receive Tips and Free Workshop Events at “The Wedding Gallery”
Please provide us with your Email and we will send you a weekly update:

At Tiers Designer Cakes in Bloomington, Jessica does amazing cakes!  Obviously you can see the pictures.

At MadHouse Cakes you’ll love Erin and her cakes are fantastic!  Check her out

Sugar Art

Kamra is a trip, you will love her sense of humor and her daughter is so sweet.  Kamra Pierce has been designing cakes and preparing food for over 30 years.  

Receive Tips and Free Workshop Events at “The Wedding Gallery”
Please provide us with your Email and we will send you a weekly update:



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So, you are getting married. Keep it in perspective. Enjoy the moment!

2012 Margaret Moore,
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Event Planning entrepreneur Margaret Moore with Simple Elegance Events and Wedding Designs publishes this weekly e-zine. Get your FREE “My Dream Wedding without the Nightmare” at

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