What to Know About Baking Your Own Wedding Cake
There are many reasons you might consider baking your own wedding cake, from budget savings to using baking as a therapeutic exercise. Even if you're a very experienced baker, making a wedding cake isn't the same as baking any other layered dessert. While the ingredients might be similar, there's a lot more planning and research involved when you're baking a cake for 100-plus guests. If you're thinking about making your wedding cake as your big-day DIY project, heres what you need to know before you start.
Research, research, research!
Most people who decide to bake their own wedding cake are doing so not just to save money, but also because they love baking and feel confident that they're experienced enough to take on this task. Even so, you may still want to read up on what goes into making your own wedding cake, watch video tutorials, or take a workshop if possible. Part of doing your research might also include practicing. Maybe you can make a sample tiered cake for a friend's birthday or wedding and learn everything that goes into the process long before your wedding day. Make sure you find out all the supplies you'll need!
You'll want to make a time-management plan.
You'll likely want to plan ahead for how you'll manage the cake making process. Give yourself time to gather all the tools and ingredients you'll need. Then, time to bake and freeze the cake layers. You'll also need time to make fillings and frostings. Next, time to arrange the cake and transport it. And finally, to decorate the cake and hand it over to your venue. This might take place over weeks if you're able to properly store baked cakes in a large freezer.
Don't forget you'll need a place to bake, decorate, and arrange everything.
Most conventional ovens will have size limitations. If you're planning a tiered cake, this may mean that you have to bake your bottom tier somewhere other than your own kitchen. Will you be able to arrange and decorate the cake at home, or will you need to do this at the venue? All of these details need to be sorted out and confirmed with your venue while you're in planning mode.
You need to have a transportation plan.
Many professional cake makers box and transport cakes fully assembled and decorated (unless they're using flowers from the florist, which they'll get on-site at the venue). It might be easier for you to transport your cake in layers, depending on your cake's ingredients and decorations. Either way, you'll want to use a box for transportation so your cake is protected from the elements in transit, but also so it can be stored in the refrigerator at your wedding venue since you'll likely drop it off the day before or early on your wedding morning.
Don't let this task overwhelm you.
If you just love baking and want to find a way to create something for your wedding, but can't be bothered with finding a commercial-sized oven and transporting a large cake on your wedding day, consider baking something else instead. Maybe you'd be more comfortable making a groom's cake or a batch of mini-muffins for guests' welcome bags. It's important to be realistic about how this task factors into the schedule of your wedding week. If it's a major priority, just make sure you have help when you need it, and that you feel good about tackling this project.