Bakers Making a Wedding CakeWedding cakes are often chosen for both aesthetics and flavor. Some couples derive inspiration from Pinterest or Instagram, searching for artistically crafted confections that fit in with their themes and décor. While it’s no secret that a great deal of work goes into baking, frosting, and decorating these towering wonders, the magic completely manifests when the cake is assembled for display at the reception. How do these practiced professionals pull it off? It takes skill and a carefully executed process to produce such an exquisite final product.

Preparation Begins at the Bakery

Before your cake is even delivered to the reception venue, your baker prepares meticulously for its display. In a July 2018 Martha Stewart Weddings article, writer Jenn Sinrich documents the process as described by the owner of a bakery in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Once the cake’s layers have been baked, wrapped, and are resting inside a cooler, the baker then selects the drum boards that will be used to support the cake. One heavy drum board sits underneath the bottom layer, typically covered in either food-safe wrapping or fondant icing.

Once the cake layers have finished cooling, they’re then unwrapped and cut in half horizontally, with the bottom layer placed on the prepared drum board. Each of the cake’s tiers consists of between two and four of these cut and stacked layers. Once the layers are filled, they’re covered in crumbs or a thin coating of buttercream icing before being placed inside the cooler to chill again. Later, the tiers are pulled out to apply the final coats of icing plus any textures, finishes, airbrushing, and decorations before returning to the cooler once more.

The Art of Setup and Delivery 

Depending on the cake’s design, part of its assembly may occur prior to transport. In most cases, a dessert with three or four tiers can be stacked at the bakery and then taken to the venue, with only some minor setup required after arrival. However, there are some cases in which the baker may transport tiers separately and set up the entire cake at the venue:

  • The cake’s design includes more than four tiers.
  • Pillars or columns are being used as support between tiers.
  • The design is elaborate and incorporates elements such as multiple cake stands, decorative staircases, or extremely intricate details.

As another Martha Stewart Weddings writer, Sara Dickinson, explains, the employers handling this process will transport your cake in a refrigerated van and carry the tools they need for assembling it and putting on the final touches. For cakes whose tiers appear to sit directly on top of each other, supportive dowels are usually placed inside each tier to help bear the weight of the one immediately above it. Once any decorative elements such as flowers, toppers, accents, and 3D details are applied, assembly and set up are complete.

Tips for a Perfect Presentation

Assembly can be as simple or complex as the cake’s design dictates. Dickinson recommends that deliveries be scheduled for around 90 minutes prior to your guests’ arrival. Meanwhile, The Knot’s Lauren Kay advises prospective newlyweds to work out delivery and setup details directly with the bakery. This information will appear in the contract, but you can also ask the vendor to estimate how long the process will take. Finally, most experts strongly recommend against transporting the dessert yourself. Besides lacking the proper assembly tools, you’ll have to replace the cake on your own should any mishaps occur.

Wedding cakes are towering marvels of sugary goodness, but a lot of grunt work goes into bringing them to peak perfection. From painstaking design to expert assembly and setup, the behind-the-scenes process is both fascinating and labor-intensive. Keep this in mind as you order your sweet treat and plan for its delivery at your main event.


Category: Wedding Materials Wedding Planning

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