I was recently inspired by another lovely baker Sarah at Simplicity Cakes (Sarah’s work is incredible so do check her out!) who created a blog post of an A-Z of cake.
I absolutely loved reading it and wanted to create my own but more about aspects of what I do within my little business and your journey having a wedding cake created by myself. So here goes...
A – Ask Questions and Advice
When planning your wedding you no doubt have lots of questions and need advice. I would hate for someone to feel ‘silly’ asking a question no matter how basic it may seem. You don’t often order a wedding cake after all and is (usually!) a once in a life time purchase. I consider myself very friendly, so always just ask away and I am always happy to help.
B – Baking
Often you can be so wowed over by the design; you forget a wedding cake needs to taste delicious too! I bake all my own cakes from scratch with recipes I have perfected over the years. I believe baking with quality ingredients is key for a delicious cake and also baking on a low temperature and wrapping each tin with wet baking belts produces a moist and light edged cake. I use a large Buffalo oven which I highly recommend to anyone baking lots of cakes!
C – Consultations
Out of peak wedding season, I adore meeting couples for a consultation. A consultation is really just a posh word for a natter and a free box of cake samples! I like to keep things fun and informal and meet a mutual place where we can discuss your wedding day and cake design. Meeting in person is brilliant as I get to know more about your wedding theme, flowers, colours, venue and so on…all these little bits of information allow me to create a perfect wedding cake.
D – Drawing and Design
Every single wedding cake is different and goes through a design process either via a mixture of inspiration you may have seen, a Pinterest board of ideas or an actual sketch I have drawn. Complex designs are much easier to meet for a consultation so I can draw a sketch of your wedding cake design. Naked and semi naked wedding cakes are obviously very straight forward therefore I send postal sample flavour boxes.
The design is very important and so much inspiration can come from a variety of sources such as your bouquet, bridesmaid dress colours, decorations, materials used, your wedding dress or lace pattern, stationary design, textures at your venue or nature. I absolutely adore couples giving me free reign to create something special, I understand very few people are this relaxed but I personally think my best work was created when a customer has believes in me and allows me to create a design.
I love sharp edges! They make a wedding cake look professional, striking and modern. Sharp edges are very on trend and although a lot more work, they do look fantastic. I achieve my crisp edges by spending time ganaching each cake so it’s perfectly flawless before icing. I then smooth icing at various angles and smoothers to get the edges sharp. The whole process does take an extra day but the results make a cake look flawless.
F – Flavours
I have baked all sorts of flavours over the years and have a big menu to choose from too but my two favourites are cherry bakewell and Biscoff. Cherry bakewell is a almond sponge with swirled Morello cherries, almond frosting and Morello cherry jam. Biscoff is a brown sugar cinnamon sponge with crushed Lotus Biscoff biscuits filled with Biscoff spread and frosting - its just awesome!
Remember you can have a different flavour wedding cake for each wedding tier at no extra cost.
G – Ganache
Ganache and I are best friends! Ganache is made with dairy free cream and vegan white, milk or dark chocolate and is so luxurious. I also use it to seal all my wedding cakes which achieves sharp edges and a flawless finish before icing and also can whisk up to make mouth watering fillings.
H – Handmade
It may be obvious but I don’t think people realise how I hand make everything! I am just a one girl team so I create everything myself and do not outsource anything. I do my accounts, admin, website design, stationary, ordering, stock control, consultations, baking, decorating, toppers and every single sugar flower. I won’t lie…its hard work and my normal working day is around 10 -15 hours and often work during the night in peak season.
I – Ingredients
Such an important aspect to your wedding cake is the ingredients used. Good cake isn’t cheap and cheap cake isn’t good is a very truthful quote. My average 3 tier wedding cake costs me in just ingredients £110, plus more for materials to create sugar flowers and decorations. Its pointless ordering a wedding cake if it won’t be eaten! I use the highest quality sugar paste to ice my cakes, preserves with a minimum of 55% fruit percentage, real vanilla pods, real fruit zests, dark chocolate in my chocolate cake batter, handmade curds and caramel and supreme sponge flour.
K – Keepsakes
Many couples love keeping their cake decorations and sugar flowers as keepsakes from their special day. Sugar flowers do need to be treated with care as they are very fragile however can store for years (and years!). I advise to keep in a dark box so they don’t fade and ideally not an air tight box but cardboard ideally so the sugar doesn’t sweat. I have heard of couples making keepsake frames with sugar flowers in on the wall and basket or box displays. You could even consider using them for a future anniversary or christening cake for example ;)
L – Lucie
Yep that’s me, the person behind all the wedding cakes!
A little more about me… I am 29 and live with my partner Matt and our bunny John. I discovered my love for baking and cake design totally by accident when being unwell and not being able to go out often. I wanted to explore a hobby to express my creativity and eating it after was a nice bonus!
I am self-taught and truly passionate about cake decorating and continuously learning. You could go as far as saying I am cake obsessed! If I am not talking, baking, decorating, designing or eating cake, I love nature and wildlife. I adore anything woodland related and the New Forest and also love drawing childrens illustrations with a woodland theme. I am a huge animal lover and always been vegetarian but the last few years explored a vegan diet so love eating out and trying new foods. My best friend is my
Mum so I like going out on little adventures with her and spending time together.
M – Mummy and Matt
My Mum and my partner Matt are who helps me daily to create such wonderful wedding cakes. Without them and their support I would struggle as they are always there to help me. They let me talk about cake ALL day, cry when things don’t go to plan, give honest opinions of my work, believe in me and help me with the never ending pile of washing up! In the past they have helped me deliver wedding cakes when I didn’t drive and even lend a hand…Matt once had to help me make a few cakes in the early days and got rather good at cutting out little flowers!
N – NO Worries
Hiring a professional to create your wedding cake is often worth it just to not have to worry about anything. I liaise with your venue and contact them 1-2 weeks before to check timing and always arrive on time (or usually early) to deliver. I am experienced at delivering wedding cakes and even bring spare sugar flowers and my tool box for any problems if they did arise. I set up every wedding cake so I know it’s 100% perfect, at the best angle and location. When I leave I require a signature from the venue that they are happy too and provide all the legal allergen information.
O - Ordering
To order a wedding cake is really straight forward! If you like my work then in first instance contact me to see if I available on your wedding date. I advise to get in contact as soon as you have set your date as I can only take on a limited amount of work each month.
If I am available for your date I would love to know more about your wedding day to help gain a better insight and provide an approximate quotation too.
Things I will ask is your chosen wedding venue for delivery and set up, how many guests will be attending and if your wedding cake is the main dessert or not and finally anything you may have chosen such as your colours, wedding theme, decorations or any inspiration images you have seen so far.
If you would then like me to create your wedding cake I send over my terms and conditions and an order form with everything discussed. I take a £50 non-refundable save the date retainer fee and the outstanding balance isn’t due until 4 weeks before your wedding day. In this time I love to meet and come up with a design, provide a sample box and can then give an exact quotation after a design has been confirmed. I am always happy to design a wedding cake around a certain budget and can provide lots of ideas if you are on a budget to reduce costs too.
P – Public Liability Insurance
I am fully insured up to 5 million and also registered with Dorset council with the maximum food hygiene rating. I have heard awful stories of brides ordering a wedding cake and the venue having to refuse to accept the cake due to not being insured or food safe. Insurance and food hygiene laws maybe a boring aspect on my A-Z but very important and are there to protect everyone.
Q – Quality
I would never ever deliver a wedding cake I was not happy with! Quality is so important and I like everything to be perfect. I would truly hate for a customer to feel disappointed on their special day and never had a compliant to date. I am a perfectionist and would never deliver a cake I wouldn’t want personally on my own wedding day.
R – Recommendations/Reviews
I love your kind words and reviews, it makes all the hard work so worth it and always makes my day! I get so many enquiries via recommendation which is really special to me too. Leaving reviews really helps little businesses like mine grow as new customers like to read what other brides and grooms feedback is. You can find my reviews on Facebook and Google.
S – Servings
A very important aspect of ordering your wedding cake is approximately working out how many servings are needed. If you already have a dessert then a token gesture portion is ideal and I have a very helpful portion guide on my pricing page. Left over cake can be frozen if wrapped twice in cling film and once in tin foil so nothing is wasted. It’s a lovely idea to do this so you can have a slice of wedding cake whilst browsing your wedding photos or arriving home after honeymoon.
T - Tasters
Probably the most exciting aspect of ordering a wedding cake is choosing your flavours! I am really proud of my yummy cake flavours and provide a free sample box to every couple who order their wedding cake from me. The sample box always contains my most popular flavours and usually a seasonal or slightly unusual flavour. My sample boxes are given in person during consultation or I post out sample boxes for wedding cakes that do not need a sketch or designing.
U – Unique
Every single wedding cake is bespoke and unique to that couple therefore I will never copy a design from another cake maker or create the exact same cake twice. I am happy to use previous designs as inspiration but each cake should be unique to your wedding day not someone elses after all.
V – Vegan
I am really passionate about baking vegan cakes! I have been a vegetarian all my life but 4 years ago I discovered I had a dairy intolerance and started exploring a vegan diet. The first thing I wanted to do was create delicious vegan cakes that were as good as ‘normal’ cakes. There isn’t a great deal of information yet on vegan baking so the experience was a challenge but I loved it! In summer 2018 I decided to make the change to all vegan wedding cakes and its been the best decision I have ever done by following my heart. More than half of my customers are not vegan but book with me to create their wedding cake because they have tried one of my cakes at a friends wedding, been recommended or love my style/work. My vegan cakes are much more moist and flavoursome then typical wedding madeira cake and I promise you or any guests would never ever know it was vegan!
W – Website
I have never created a website before I made mine but I am loving learning and adding to it regularly. I have my favourite work in my gallery and also lots of helpful information such as pricing list, terms and conditions, flavours and upcoming consultation dates/events. I am open always open to suggestions too - www.lucielovestobake.com
….I know I am missing J, X, Y and Z but I got a little stuck. Any ideas do let me know!
Love Lucie xx