FAQs and expert advice about cakes

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Hampshire and Dorset Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourhampshiredorset.wedding


Big-day bakes

Big-day bakes

Q. We're having a summer wedding and would love to incorporate the season into our cake. How can we achieve this?

A. Ali Painter says: When I think of summer, colours and flavours come to mind. Think fruity tastes, along the lines of lemon and elderflower, mango and passionfruit and strawberry and prosecco. Pick bright or pastel shades for the cake, whether this is incorporated into the decorations or the overall bake. Also, remember that the weather and the venue can make a big impact on your cake as buttercream and heat don't always mix well – be mindful of this.

Ali Painter, Gray’s Cakes & Bakes


A slice of the action

A slice of the action

Q. We'd love to have a luxurious cake on our big day, but we're worried about the price tag. Do you have any ideas for keeping the price down?

A. Sam Stringer says: Share your budget with your cake designer and talk through the theme of your wedding; they can then draw a design from the information provided. Every cake designer is different; what one finds easy and quick, another may find complicated and lengthy – it's always best to have a chat first about your ideas.

For those looking for a rustic style, a naked or semi-naked cake would be perfect. If you're looking for a tall cake, dummy tiers are a great option for extra height and impact. Yes, this won't cost as much as an actual cake, but the decoration and time involved does still increase the cost – just keep in mind that you might not save as much money as you think with this option.

Don't try to cater to every guest unless the cake is used as a dessert. I always recommend reducing the numbers to minimise wastage, which also helps decrease the cost. For example, cater for 70 people if you're having 100 guests.

Sam Stringer, Treat me Sweet


Sweet dreams

Sweet dreams

Q. How can we make sure our wedding cake looks and tastes great and complements our autumn theme too?

A. Suzanne Glew says: Suzanne says: With weddings getting back to normal, big cakes are returning! Naked and semi-naked creations are a popular option and can be tailored to reflect the time of year using different types of seasonal fruits and flowers. Ivy or fern decorations and earthy colours like orange, brown and yellow add an extra autumnal feel. 

Cakes made to look like log slices are another favourite, decorated with autumnal leaves, fir and pine cones, forest animal designs or flowers. Couples often like to have their initials or names added to look like a carving on a tree trunk, which adds a lovely personal touch. 

As for the taste, classic vanilla is always a winner, along with lemon or salted caramel. Fruit cakes with a twist, including papaya, mango or pineapple pieces is another way to add flavour and pops of autumnal colours to surprise your guests when the cake is cut.

Suzanne Glew, Ditsy's Cakes


Cake creations

Cake creations

Q. We're great cake lovers and want a showstopper for our wedding that's right on trend. What would you suggest?

A. Helen Jalim says: Helen says: Large three- or four-tier cakes are still the most popular choice, however if you're having a more intimate wedding, two tiers can look just as fabulous dressed using a mix of beautiful sugar flowers and natural dried ones to add height. Other key trends include:

- Pretty florals using stunning dried, edible and handmade sugar flowers are very popular. I absolutely love creating sugar flowers as they are the perfect addition to a beautiful cake. Team them with a little pampas or dried bunny tail grass for a stunning design that your guests will be swooning over.

- Decorative details such as marbling with metallics and different textures like ruffles are also a big talking point and will make your cake stand out. Alternatively opt for a clean simple style using pretty green foliage for a minimalist look. Semi naked and buttercream creations remain popular and are great for a beautiful rustic theme.

- Bold colours can look dramatic and create a real talking point. Black is incredibly striking dressed with the right flowers and you'll certainly wow your guests with deep rich hues teamed with stunning florals.

- Display your wedding cake perfectly on a pedestal cake stand, raising it up high for all to see. Make it a real focal point by creating a whole table with matching mini cakes and beautifully iced biscuits for all your guests to enjoy.

Helen Jalim, Helen Jane Cake Design

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