FAQs and expert advice about cakes

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Berks, Bucks and Oxon 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@yourberksbucksoxon.wedding


Icing on the cake

Icing on the cake

Q. We're having a micro wedding in the summer but still want a fabulous cake! It will only need to feed 15 guests so what do you suggest?

A. Lorna Sansom says: Lorna says: I have always preferred two-tier cakes like these pictured, and it's the smaller cakes that I love to make. It's simple to reduce the tiers down a size and a two-tier design comprised of a 15cm (6-inch) and a 10cm (4-inch) layer would feed 15 guests perfectly. If you have set your heart on a three-tier cake then I would suggest adding a dummy bottom tier which is just for show.

I prefer to use sugar flowers rather than fresh ones on a wedding cake because they can be made in the ideal shade and size, and will keep long past the wedding day. If you decide to have a party later on when restrictions have lifted, you can reuse the flowers.

At a larger wedding, many guests won't even notice the cake so the good news is that, with only 15 guests, they'll all get to see it. Rather than positioning it in a corner somewhere, think about incorporating the cake into your tablescape and make it a real feature. Choose your stand carefully, one with a tall, slender stem decorated with climbing flowers or chiffon ribbon would look wonderful topped with a small cake. Above all, make sure that everything is colour-coordinated.

Lorna Sansom, Sweet Marguerite Cakes


Icing on the cake

Icing on the cake

Q. We are planning a micro wedding for spring 2021 so can you give us some ideas for a wow-factor cake?

A. Eva Cockrell says: Eva says: If you're planning a stylish small wedding and have your heart set on a large cake then why not consider a dummy tier? They look like the real thing and are very cost-effective. Alternatively, one slightly taller tier can be topped with your favourite sweet treats including meringue kisses, or created with a dramatic drip design that looks fabulous in photographs.

Finally, sweetie tables are still trending and if you speak to your venue, they may serve your guests without them having to leave their seats.

Eva Cockrell, Euthymia Cakes


Icing on the cake

Icing on the cake

Q. We are planning a micro wedding for spring 2021 so can you give us some ideas for a wow-factor cake?

A. Clare Hartland-Brown says: Clare says: If you're planning a small yet perfectly formed wedding then there are plenty of options for a spectacular wedding cake other than the three-tiered design that might not get eaten.

A smaller cake doesn't mean less impact. Choose your decorations wisely and it will still look as stunning as a larger design. A four-inch tier on top of a six-inch tier will serve 20 finger-sized portions after the coffee and speeches when guests are already full. If you have your heart set on a three-tier design then why not serve it as dessert?

Consider having cupcakes that look so cute displayed on a vintage-style cake stand. A cupcake tower offers a more contemporary look and the cupcakes can be themed – I have made superhero ones for a wedding before! They are quick and easy to set up which is ideal for the social distancing measures in place.

If you're not so bothered about the cutting of the cake then consider having a cake buffet. Brownies, cookies, scones and a Victoria sponge cake are perfect for this, and I could bake a selection while you ask your guests to get involved and bring something along (you'll need to check that the venue is happy with this idea first).

Other popular ideas are a doughnut wall, candy cart and dessert trios served instead of cake. Finally, consider going savoury with a cheese and pork pie tower (which is what I did at my wedding). Fill cake stands with your favourite cheese varieties and provide individual plates of crackers and small bowls of pickles – you're set to enjoy a wedding day that's truly unique and no less memorable for being just you and your nearest and dearest.

Clare Hartland-Brown, Betty Bee Bakes


Cake, cakes and more cake

Cake, cakes and more cake

Q. My hubby-to-be and I would love to wow our guests with a flavoursome wedding cake. Which interesting flavour combinations do you think work well and will keep our guests talking about the big-day cake long after the wedding?

A. Lynne Hassani says: Think about what flavours make you really joyful, or even nostalgic. If Jammie Dodgers are your favourite sweet treat why not recreate it with a buttery vanilla cake with sweet sticky raspberry filling? My chocolate orange sponge is always a hit at tasting sessions – perfect for chocoholics in need of a twist! Dark chocolate sponge with hazelnut filling or caramel mocha cake are sure to tempt your guests and energise them for the dancefloor.

Floral flavours are wonderful for summer weddings, or for creating the illusion of summer if it's dreary! Rose water, orange blossom, elderflower, lavender or even Earl Grey tea all make for delicate sponges that smell irresistible.

Boozy cakes can divide opinion but there are options here – champagne sponge with strawberry filling can add some subtle sophistication, or for the braver guests you could offer sponge with rum soaked raisins and honey buttercream filling or an Amaretto and coffee sponge.

Even in 2020 some people still say a wedding cake should be a fruit cake… you can play with this though – how about a nutty carrot cake or a warming ginger and currant loaf style cake? The beauty of a multi-tier cake is you can have a range of flavours – go with what you love and your guests will be very happy.

Lynne Hassani, Lynne Hassani Wedding Cakes

Our on-line advertisers

When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention Your Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wedding when making any enquiries.

Buckinghamshire Railway Society
Outdoor 365 Group
Sweet Marguerite Cakes
Jolliffes & Co