One of my customers again recently asked me about the right size for her wedding cake.

“I have been to weddings where so much of the cake went to waste. I am worried that might happen at my wedding”

Now, this would never happen at a wedding in my family, as we are all complete cake lovers! But that’s beside the point. I totally understand why you might worry about this. At the same time, you also want to make sure that everyone who wants a slice of cake gets one. Of course.

Tricky balance?  Not so much…

if you read some of those top tips I have shared with my customers in the past:

Go for deconstructed –

Rather than opting for a tall tiered cake, get right on trend (I am talking to you from 2017 here) with a deconstructed collection of smaller single tier wedding cakes. Or perhaps mix it up with one 2-tier wedding cake. Use different finishes and heights that compliment each other. Why is that clever? If some of the cakes don’t get eaten (you don’t have to cut them all at once), pop the extra one(s) in cake boxes. Freeze them (of yes! read more about this below, about freezing guidelines and the best way to defrost them), or why not give them to foodie friends and family to enjoy over the next few days? It’s a lot easier to box and dispatch single tier cakes than a large tiered one, believe me.

Separate them –

Again rather than one tall and big tiered wedding cake, why not ask your florist to create beautiful separators on which each cake can be stacked on. When I work on cakes with that type of design, I normally supply the florist with sturdy polysterene dummy cakes that they can insert inside a crown of flower foam (they need to foam layer so the flowers stay beautiful and fresh, but the foam is sometimes not strong enough to support the weight of the cake). Once the cake is “cut”, it can be simply unstacked and cut tier by tier, or only a few tiers at the time. And again, any “leftovers” can be boxed and saved for later or shared.

Opt for a smaller cake with a twist –

OK, so you may want a more traditional tiered cake. If you have 140 guests in the evening at your wedding, how about having a 3 tier cake that gives you about 100 portions, and a couple or 3 “kitchen cakes” (single tier, less decorated but following the same recipes that your tiered cake). Those kitchen cakes are your back up if you want. If you need them, great. If you don’t…as they are often plain in term of decorations….you can even  glam them up for another occasion like a birthday!

Go individual –

Individual dessert towers (with a topper cake if you’d like to keep the traditional “cutting the cake” moment) often means you might have leftover portions, but easier to use either the next day for dessert if you have family or friends staying over for a few days; or again to share, perhaps with your neighbours…or your colleagues at work?

Innovate with a table cakes concept –

This will work if you are happy not to have a big tiered wedding cake. You could have a highly decorated tier cake for your table, that you cut, following tradition. Then, a cake big enough for your guests to share, brought to each table. It’s a little more quirky but it’s also lots of fun as those cakes can be personalised following your table names,…It’s also brilliant if you have guests with food allergies or intolerance (you could have gluten free cakes on some tables…). And it gets the conversation going, if not all the guests know each other well. The table cakes don’t have to be big. They can also be your dessert course!

Now, a couple of extra tips for you……

Ask for extra boxes –

If you think for a minute that not all your cake might get eaten, it’s worth mentioning it earlier on to your cake maker, so they can provide you with spare cake boxes. Your caterer might not have any of those available on the day. I often supply extra boxes for this reason.

Check freezing guidelines –

If you are thinking of freezing your leftover cake, ask your cake maker whether they think some recipes might freeze better than other. Generally, ganache based and buttercream filled cakes freeze well. I am not personally sure about cakes finished with fondant icing as I don’t work with it at all, but your supplier will know.

I always advise my customers to freeze the cake in its box, wrapped in cling film, and defrost them overnight in a cool room or in the fridge. You’ve got to be gentle with this step if you want your cake to taste delicious.

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Have you found any other solutions to sort out the question of not wasting cake whilst making sure you have enough? What do you think of the tips above? Let me know.

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