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


Great cake expectations

Great cake expectations

Q. We love cake but can't agree on what to have for our wedding because there's so much choice. Any ideas to help us decide?

A. Alexandra Bishop says: Alexandra says: Despite being one of the oldest wedding traditions, cakes for the big day have changed dramatically over the years and continue to evolve. Trends vary from year to year, which is exciting for us. Every couple has their own concept and ideas and we have the honour of bringing them to life. Here are a few of the trends currently causing a stir to help inspire you.

- Rather than a traditional tiered creation, there's a move towards having a range of sweet treats instead. We've been creating towers of brownies, doughnuts and even individual cheesecakes. This is a fantastic way of making the cake more accessible to guests, as they can help themselves, with no waiting for the cake to be cut. Plus, who doesn't want to be dancing the night away, doughnut in hand!

- Naked cakes remain popular and I reckon they're here to stay, along with buttercream designs. Many people are looking for alternatives to the usual icings and are choosing softer gooier options. Influenced by dwindling love for traditional fruitcake, couples want their guests to be really excited to eat their cake. Decorations have become lighter too, with the use of fresh ingredients proving increasingly popular. I mean who doesn't want to eat a cake covered in delicious fresh berries! To add to the more relaxed look, fresh flowers, rather than sugar ones, are a popular choice. This is a great way for couples to tie in other elements by incorporating blooms used for the wedding flowers.

- Dramatic illusion cakes are a hot trend for next year and beyond. Made to look as though they're floating, or with clear boxes used to separate the tiers, they're a real statement piece and fantastic talking point. It's also a great way to add height, without the need for too much cake. We have some fantastic new designs in mind using these techniques and can't wait to showcase them in the coming months.

Alexandra Bishop,The Pastry Corner


All in the detail

All in the detail

Q. We're both great cake lovers and want a real showstopper to complement our seasonal wedding theme. Any ideas?

A. Alice Gates says: Alice says: Rather than opting for bright white or pale ivory, consider darker ivory, rich caramel and more decadent taupe colours which are warmer, in-keeping with an autumnal look.
For me, it's not just about making the cake look beautiful, it's also about the presentation and setting when it's on show at the venue. Whether it's bringing the outdoors in, using a variety of woodland foliage around the cake, a crisp layer of delicate orange leaves and pine cones or simply using a gold-toned stand to enhance the warmth in the colour palette; these small details can really make a big difference to the overall impact of your cake.

Alice Gates


Sweet greens

Sweet greens

Q. We're massive cake lovers and want a real showstopper for our big day that not only tastes delicious, but has eco-credentials too. Can we have our cake and eat it?

A. Lucie Rumsby says: Choosing a vegan option for your wedding cake is a kinder, greener choice and a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of your day. What's more they taste great and most people can't tell the difference, so it's a win, win. Instead of animal-derived ingredients, I use natural plant-based alternatives as a more environmentally-friendly option for my vegan wedding cakes. Other smaller things that make a difference include wrapping samples with compostable cellulose, using recycled cake boxes, printing marketing and business cards on recycled card using vegetable inks as well as eco-friendly cleaning products which can be refilled to avoid plastic packaging.

Lucie Rumsby


Sweet sensations

Sweet sensations

Q. We're great cake lovers but have no idea what style, colour or flavour to choose for our big day. What would suggest that's on trend and will make a great centrepiece?

A. Sally Beedles says: This year I'm seeing some wonderful new ideas coming through as well as continued love for some trends from last year. Here are few of my favourites:

- Extravagance – my 2019 diary is filled with four- and five-tiered cakes full of textures like ruffles, sequins and glitter to give your wedding cake the wow factor.

- Semi-naked or buttercream-covered cakes remain a popular choice; adorned with fresh spring flowers and foliage. This style is perfect for couples on a budget and you can always add some colour to the icing for something a little different.

- Plaques and motifs are the perfect way to personalise your wedding cake and can come in a range of styles to suit your theme.

- Think blush pink, teamed with either grey or navy or even a marbled effect, which is still very popular.

- We can't ignore Pantone Colour of the Year Living Coral, although my preference is for a slightly paler tone or peach shade.

- Metallics – silver, gold, rose gold, copper, sequins and glitter for extra glamour.

With multiple tiers come multiple flavours so why not treat your guests to a selection? We have an extensive menu to choose from but these are our top three favourites:
- Champagne and raspberry
- Lemon
- Salted caramel

Sally Beedles


Seasonal stunners

Seasonal stunners

Q. What type of cake would you suggest to complement a winter wedding theme that will taste as good as it looks?

A. Jennifer Bronsell says: For a showstopping centrepiece, you can tie in the design, colour and decorative details with other elements from your day and present it on a styled cake table with seasonal touches to add to the wow factor. Adding a dash of sparkle to a white tiered creation is perfect for a romantic fairytale design while cascading sugar leaves provide the perfect finishing touch to add an outdoorsy, natural feel. For something different and mouthwatering, a Christmas themed croquembouche is sure to impress; delicious with glistening toffee snowflakes, finished off with a festive wreath.

Jennifer Bronsell


Cake for all

Cake for all

Q. We want something different to the norm for our wedding cake that will appeal to all our guests, including our vegan friends. I know it's a tall order, but what would you suggest?

A. Penelope Hurst says: Just because you need to cater for guests with different dietary needs doesn't mean that you can't indulge in something original, spectacular and beautiful. Tiered cakes can accommodate many different styles and flavours and semi-naked creations, decorated with fresh flowers, are a great way to combine layers. If you want your centrepiece iced, then that shouldn't be a problem either, as there are vegan fondants on the market that can be used to cover the cake and make beautiful decorations.

At Cocoa & Whey we love combining sweet and savoury options. The cake (pictured) has a tier of rhubarb, orange and lemon verbena with lemon buttercream at the bottom; feta, tomato and basil with cheddar and red pepper cream in the middle and a chocolate vegan cake on top with vanilla vegan buttercream. We decorated it with fresh edible flowers supplied by the wonderful Blooming Cow Flowers together with fruits and herbs.

To suit a range of tastes, you can always combine your main cake with cupcakes in any flavours you want. The ones pictured include lime and coconut; cheddar, olive and tarragon; and chocolate fudge.

Penelope Hurst