Choosing a super special holiday cake
An outstanding cake is the focal point of your holiday celebrationThere are cakes, there are special cakes, and then there are super special cakes for super special weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and other never-to-be-forgotten celebrations.
Not surprisingly, very few people have the talent, skill, know-how, or equipment to create a marvelous cake at home. When nothing but the absolutely best and most memorable cake will do, it’s time to bring in a professional.
Deciding what you want for your special holiday cake takes time, thought, and research. Professional cake companies have online catalogs where you can browse through photos and descriptions of the various types of cakes they specialize in. These provide a wealth of ideas for adaptations you might like to make so that your own cake is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece specific to you and your occasion.
Most extra-special cakes need to be ordered several months in advance, so once you’ve decided which company you want to order from, contact them by email or phone as early as possible. Tell them what type of celebration you’re planning, when it will occur, and how many people you’re expecting. Then discuss the cake style, design, ingredients, flavors, decorations, and colors you want. They will be happy to consult with you and may give you some additional options you might not have considered.
Special holiday cakes
While wedding cakes account for the majority of gourmet cakes, many additional celebrations, holidays, and special occasions may also call for a super special cake. These include:
- milestone birthdays,
- milestone anniversaries,
- baby showers,
- corporate milestones,
- Mother’s Day,
- Super Bowl Sunday.
And don’t forget that cakes don’t have to be made out of cake batter. Specially decorated cheesecakes and ice cream cakes are unique and delicious alternatives to traditional cake.
Traditional wedding cakes
Wedding cakes can be as traditional or as modern as you wish. Take into consideration where and how formal the wedding will be, where and at what time of day the reception will be held, how the reception venue will be decorated, and the approximate number of guests expected to attend.
A traditional church wedding and reception usually call for a traditional wedding cake. This is where the tall multi-tiered cake shines. But it doesn’t have to be the quintessential round white cake with white icing, delicate rosettes, and a bride and groom figurine on top. Today’s cakes can be square, oval, rectangular, or asymmetrical in shape and the tiers can be of alternate flavors or even a different flavor for each tier. Sugar flower drapes on white or ecru frosting also are very popular today. The flowers can be of any kind and color and are often accompanied by green leaves and/or vines. A “bouquet” of matching flowers, real or sugar, makes an elegant top-tier adornment.
For a slightly less traditional but very elegant look, consider a metallic frosting of pale gold or silver with one of the middle tiers adorned by a single large sugar flower. If an entirely gold or silver cake seems like too much glitz and glam, edible metallic glitter adds all-over sparkle to plain white frosting.
Another modern trend is to have the couple’s new shared monogram incorporated into the frosting of one or more of the cake’s layers. The monogram itself can be “hand-painted” frosting on a frosting medallion. Or try a light-weight lacy metallic monogram on a frosting medallion.
Non-traditional wedding cakes
A wedding and reception held at a hotel, country club, park, beach, or other outdoor location can still feature a traditional wedding cake if desired, but often the cake is less formal and more whimsical.
Consider any special plans the couple has made. If they’re headed to Hawaii for their honeymoon, a tropical- or ocean-themed cake might be just the thing. If they’re setting up housekeeping across the country or across the world, layer cakes can be made in the shape of any tall building (a skyscraper, a lighthouse, the Eiffel Tower, etc.) and decorated so as to resemble the actual building.
If the couple shares a particular passion, this, too, can be the inspiration for a very special and personalized wedding cake. Bookworms or writers might like a layer cake with the layers made to look like stacked books. Travel afficionados might prefer their cake tiers to look like various pieces of luggage. Artists or art lovers might want a “painted” cake that looks like marble, stained glass, or even a soft blended-colors Impressionist landscape. Wedding cakes have even been known to take the shape of wine bottles, motorcycles, footballs, action figures, and any number of other things not usually associated with weddings per se!