The Stages of Making a Wedding Cake

Oct 19, 2018

Have you ever wondered about the stages of making a wedding cake? It’s a process. Like anything creative. There’s a lot involved in making a wedding cake. Loads of things happen behind the scenes to make sure your cake is perfect on your big day. I get asked a lot of questions about some of the things in this post. People ask me if I do the deliveries myself and as well as all the baking, decorating and planning. Well, the answer is yes! I am a one-man band and I do ALL of it. So here is what’s really involved…  
Keeping in touch
I keep in constant contact with my couples. From first email enquiry to the last email the week of the wedding to check in and let them know all is on track. Everything in between too. Some clients might order two years in advance, so there is lots of emailing involved.
As part of the service I offer, I create detailed digital sketches for my clients so there will be no surprises on the big day. Sketches can take time. I work on them and tweak them until all the details are as the couple want them.
Five tier wedding cake sketch idea- the stages of making a wedding cake

This detailed sketch is an example of what I create for my clients

Tasting sessions and preparation
Taster sessions aren’t all about free cake I’m afraid. I charge for my taster sessions, but do deduct the taster session fee from the final amount for the cake. Taster cakes have to all be baked, filled, cut to size and boxed up on the day of the taster session. I hold a lot of my taster sessions in Central London, but also travel all over London to visit clients if they can’t get to central London. They’re a great opportunity to meet with your cake maker face to face and ask them all the questions you like. As well as eat cake, of course!
Tasting session- the stages of making a wedding cake

At a taster session, couples will get a box with four cake flavours inside to try

Calculating the cost
As all the cakes I make are bespoke, I cost each one up individually down to the finest detail. In fact, cakes are mainly priced on the amount of detail in the design. Therefore the amount of time it will take to make the cake and the number of servings needed. Maths isn’t my strongest skill but I have my trusty Excel spreadsheet for this!
Sourcing ingredients equipment and materials
Once my client has made a final payment, I have to get cracking on this! Things like cake boards and boxes for transport need to be ordered. I keep a stock of these but I have to check I have the correct sizes. Cake stands and cake toppers need to be ordered or made. I make sure I have ordered all my ingredients in for the week I will be making the cake. I have to make sure I have all the equipment I need if I am making a cake than involves a new technique.
There is a lot of planning involved in cake making. Some decorations need to be made ahead so they can set, others need to be made after I have made the cake, so it’s important I plan my time for each cake project. I also have to plan my delivery days so that each cake can be delivered and set up at the best time.
Finally we are on to actually baking the cake! And you thought that was the first step, right?! I try to do all my baking in one or two days of the week depending on my schedule for that week. As I work from my home kitchen, my mixer and oven space is limited so it takes time to bake a large wedding cake.
caking a wedding cake- the stages of making a wedding cake

Baking on a large scale behind the scenes…

This is the part that takes the longest. If I am working on a new design or something I have never done before, I have to estimate how long I think it will take me. It nearly always takes longer! With the average wedding cake it can take a whole day, if not longer, just to do the covering of the cake and ensuring I get a good finish. There are lots of different stages involved using the fridge, the freezer and then returning the cake to room temperature, which also takes time and organisation.
Making decorations
This part can also take a lot of time, which is why cakes are priced according to how much detail they have. I can sit at my kitchen table and spend three days making some of the decorations I make for wedding cakes. I might be making a custom cake topper or cutting out hundreds of wafer paper triangles, for example.
decorating a wedding cake- the stages of making a wedding cake

A lot of time and practice goes into decorating cakes to create a well finished look

Delivery and set up
Some deliveries are much simpler than others. I might be delivering a one tier cake to be brought out in a restaurant, or a five tier cake with details in between the tiers. The latter requites delivery and set up at the venue. I stack a lot of the cakes I make at the venue as they are so heavy when stacked that sometimes I can’t lift them! If you’re having lots of decorations on your cake these can also be transported separately and then put on the cake at the venue. In total, delivery and set up can take half a day per cake.
Added Extras
I go above and beyond to make sure that your wedding cake is presented in the best way. I spend time sourcing cake stands that are custom made and perfect to suit specific cake designs. I work with a number of suppliers for my cake stand designs as well as other bespoke items like cake toppers. If you’re looking for a modern and unique cake and you like the sound of what I do, let me know about your wedding plans. I’d love to hear them! K x I’m Katie and I make modern and unique wedding cakes in London. You can follow my cake life on instagram and check out what I get up to behind the scenes with my wedding cakes on insta stories.
Me and a wedding cake all set up- the stages of making a wedding cake

About the writer and cake enthusiast…

Hi! I’m Katie and I have been fully cake obsessed since, forever…

Malarkey Cakes is built on a mixture of all my passions. My work is inspired by my background in art and design and I’m honoured to make wedding cakes for couples in love in London and the South East.

I’m passionate about blogging to share my knowledge and give guidance on the ins and out of ordering a wedding cake, making the most of it and making sure it gets the attention it deserves. I also share my tips on wedding planning and team up with fellow suppliers I am lucky enough to work with and who I highly recommend.

When I’m not designing, making or eating cake, you’ll find me trying out new food in London’s amazing restaurants, drinking great coffee, taking in stunning architecture, on long walks, smashing a decent weights workout or exploring the world.

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