Interview with a Cake Maker... How to choose your wedding cake

Interview with a Cake Maker...

How to choose your wedding cake!

If you follow me on Facebook, you'll know I LOVE a good wedding cake!  Cakes bring together my other passions - creativity, prettiness and baking and I'm always sharing some amazing cakes on my page.. I can't seem to resist sharing them with all you wonderful Brides to be & Mums!

A little while ago I did an interview with Sarah Pearce - a fantastic hair & make-up artist who I have not only worked with in the past, but I also trust with my make-up for special occasions too!  I also interviewed the fabulous Emma-Louise Bonnick of ELS-Design to give you some hints and tips on choosing your wedding stationery - her designs are perfection.  From simple & elegant to funky, retro, rustic or glam, she definitely has that creative mind!

Now it's time for Wedding Cakes! Hooray!

I visited the Oatlands Park Hotel Wedding Fair on 27th April and found one of the most amazing cake makers! Yes I did a taste test for you (well 2 taste tests actually!) and can guarantee the loveliness of her wedding cakes!  So who is this lady?  She is the wonderful Jackie Burden of Cakes and Drapes.  We spent a couple of hours chatting about all things wedding related at a recent meeting and Jackie is an absolute wealth of knowledge about cake making.  (Did you know you can't have cream cheese or fresh cream filling in your wedding cake due to health & safety?  I didn't!  It completely makes sense though.  Cream cheese or fresh cream can't be left out of the fridge for longer than 4 hours - and your wedding cake is usually set up around 9 or 10 am and left out until it's cut around 8pm!!)

Jackie Burden is the owner of Cakes and Drapes - a local cake maker based in Walton, Surrey (just down the road from me!)  Her passion for cake making and design has been with her since she was a child and her company was launched in 2001 after 3 years and many requests from her friends, family and colleagues for her to make wedding cakes for their special day!

Jackie loves the creative side of designing cakes and especially adores making cake toppers, people and flowers!  She covers the Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire, Hampshire & London and delivers all her wedding cakes personally!  Never fear though - if you live outside of these areas, just give Jackie a call and she can post her stunning cake toppers directly to you!

We started chatting about how to choose your wedding cake and Jackie told me about the 2 options available to all you lovely Brides to Be.

There are 2 main options for choosing your perfect wedding cake:cakes_&_drapes_vanessa

1.  The cake is everything - some couples want their wedding cake to be the main event at their reception, taking centre stage.  If this is you, then you'll probably design your whole wedding around your perfect cake!  Book in to see your chosen Cake Maker before you do anything else and between you create the most extravagant and beautiful wedding cake!

2.  You want your cake to match your theme - in this case, make sure you have already picked your wedding venue, colours, flowers and dresses before meeting with your Cake Maker.  Show them photos of all of these things or bring along your moodboard, Pinterest board or wedding folder with you!  Cake Makers need to get a real feel of your wedding to create you the perfect wedding cake to match!

So how do you choose a Cake Maker?!

There are so many around and prices vary enormously, right?!  Here's how:

1. See their work.  This doesn't mean just look at photos on their website!  Meet up with them and view actual, real photos in a portfolio. Photos on a website are great - but they can be stolen from other websites (God forbid) or even bought from a stock photo company.

2.  Meet them in person.  Ok so this isn't always possible (but 90% of the time it is!).  But if you can't meet them in person, give them a call.  Any professional Cake Maker worth their salt will happily chat with you on the phone or in person for at least 30-60 minutes tod get a really good idea of you and your wedding.  You need to feel comfortable with them and connect with them.

3.  Tasting.  Obvious right??  Tell your Cake Maker a couple of different flavours that you are interested in for your wedding cake before you meet them.  You can usually taste at least 4 flavours so don't be shy! (Just FYI, when I met with Jackie I tucked in to Baileys, chocolate mud, light fruit and vanilla sponge - delicious!!!)

4.  Recommendations.  Chat with your friends who have got married - who did they choose for their wedding cake?  Speak to your venue as well as other wedding vendors like your photographer.  We have an exclusive list of amazing and specially selected wedding vendors we trust and recommend so don't be shy to ask us!  And yes, Cakes and Drapes is on that list!

What Flavours Can I Have in my Wedding Cake?

Pretty much anything these days!  Say goodbye to the boring traditional rich fruit cake and wave hello to new deliciousness! (yes, it's a word!)

Jackie makes 12 flavours on a regular basis for her wedding cakes and she is always willing to test out a new flavour combination for you!  Her most popular flavours are:

Lemon, Baileys, Coffee, Chocolate, Chocolate Mud Cake, Chocolate & Orange, Carrot,

Banana & Butterscotch, Date & Ginger, Rich Fruit, Light Fruit and Red Velvet


You can pretty much have any shape wedding cake you like - square is very popular at the moment, but you could have heart shaped, round, oval, hexagonal, rectangle or cupcakes instead!

wedding cake surrey

Tips For The DIY Bride

Are you thinking of creating your own wedding cake?  Or would your Mum love to make it for you as a special gift?  Here are our Top Tips to help you out!

1.  Make sure you keep it simple - use ribbons to add detail to your cake if you aren't confident with piping.

2.  Practice first - at least once, a couple of months before the big day

3.  Make sure cakes are level - you can buy cake levellers online

4. Use a LARGE rolling pin for your fondant icing (like this one) - they are not the cheapest things in the world but it will save you a HUGE amount of stress - trust me!

5.  Cornflour will stop your fondant from sticking to your rolling pin and worktop

6.  Smooth out your icing with one of these

7.  Use Cake pillars or dowels to layer your cake.  Note: Pillars you see and dowels go inside the cake!

8.  Buy professional cake toppers to make your cake look more pro!

A couple of things not to do:

1.  Don't use lots of food colouring (again health & safety!)  You can buy paste colours which you only need a tiny bit of from your local cake supply store or Hobbycraft.  Paste colours also don't change the flavour of the cake or make them runny so its a huge win all round!

2.  Glitter isn't edible!  It's actually a smaller version of the plastic glitter that children use at school etc! If you want some sparkle to your cake, add it to areas that wont be eaten - the cake board or toppers.  Cake shimmer or Lustre is edible.  If you are unsure, check with your cake supply store!

3. You can't use fresh flowers directly on your cake - think of the pesticides!  You can use them on posy picks or on to oasis on top of a board.

4.  Don't use pins (even pretty ones) in your wedding cake - not for detailing or to secure ribbons.  Use icing or a touch of edible glue.

That's it for now - check back next week for part two! 

Want to know Jackie's SUPER TOP TIP?  The one thing above all else that needs to make the grade?  How about the most random cakes Jackie has been asked to do?  Read part two next week to find out!

Did you find this post helpful?  Got a question?

Don't forget to leave me a comment below!

Lesley x