Your wedding cake or wedding cake alternatives, depending on how traditional you want to go, are going to form a centrepiece of your wedding. It is important that it not only fits in with your overall theme, but also speaks to the creative aspect of your very own personal and unique style.
You want your wedding to be unforgettable. This means trying to accommodate dietary requirements for your special guests as best you can. The secret to making your wedding the one that stands out from the rest is most definitely in the food.
We recently caught up with some of our very own wedding cake bakers and caterers who would love to share some of their tips and 2020 wedding cake and catering trends to help make your wedding the one that your guests don’t stop speaking about for years to come.
Joy from Sweet Joy embraces the typical traditional beautiful white wedding cake with hand crafted sugar flowers but what is defiantly back for 2020 is gold and rose gold leaving silver taking a bit of a rest for now. Textures are huge and really bring out the intricate design of the cake. Sweet Joy loves working with brides (and grooms) to bring in a little bit of themselves into their wedding cake design by gently leading them to trend ideas within their comfort zone.
Joy, being Vegan herself, is all about helping plant-based brides ask the right questions. Is gelatine used as a setting agent? Are egg whites used for those beautiful piping details? Is the food colouring safe? And a personal tip, dark chocolate and dairy free cream is a great substitute for a decadent chocolate ganache filling!
Trending wedding cake alternatives to consider are donuts, rice krispie cakes or a cake table with a variation of smaller cakes, cupcakes or sweets fit for everyone’s unique tastebuds.
Anmar owner of Crumb Cakes believes that your wedding cake should be something that you personally want as a cake and she is always ready to create just this with the brides she works with. One cake trend that remains is different flavours for every tier and interesting tropical as well as salt inspired flavours.
Wedding cakes inspired by natural elements with pops of colour and textures like torn and manipulated fondant, dried foliage and flowers especially bunny tails, dried seeds and feather tip grass as well as dried fynbos are hot for 2020 wedding cakes!
Always try and source the flowers for your cake from the florist doing the wedding flowers, as this ensures everything is uniform and matches throughout. A really great tip! Thank you.
Metallics are very popular. A touch of edible gold paint like a gold leaf can really make your cake stand out. Sugar flowers are making a comeback. Dainty little blooms with lots of filler flowers and leaves with large statement flowers are beautiful. Single tiered cakes are a growing trend and are often paired with beautiful curated dessert displays.
Veganism has such a big global following that most wedding cake bakers are able to produce Vegan wedding cakes by now. Interesting ingredients like aquafaba (the brine from boiled chickpeas) can be used as an egg alternative resulting in airy light sponges, smooth Swiss meringue buttercream and even macarons and meringue kisses. Plant based milks form the base of many of these cakes, and Vegan never has to mean boring as delicious homemade jams can be incorporated. Various brands of luxurious chocolate are completely Vegan and even lemon curd can be made using coconut milk.
Nikki from Sweet Lionheart sees a sculptural approach to cake designs incorporating décor, colour and surface trends - concrete finishes, terrazzo, tapestry textures and terracotta tones. A lot of brides are asking for Victorian style piping and varying tier heights for movement in sizing. Vegan dark chocolate ganache makes for the greatest covering of a cake, so if you’re Vegan and a chocolate fan you’re in luck! If a wedding cake is not your thing and you are looking at alternatives then dessert tables with attention on interesting flavour profiles of simple items like deliciously different cookies, meringues, macarons and dessert verrines can work really well.
Pies - because everyone loves a good pie! We have a couple coming up that we are doing a few dessert items and heaps of pies think pecan pie, apple crumble, pumpkin pies… Beautifully curated cheese boards are sure to stick around in 2020!
Enrika from By Word of Mouth is all about hand painted cakes with 3D sugar flowers and adds that fondant icing is definitely becoming a thing of the past. There are so many wonderful Vegan cake recipe ideas and plated Vegan menus that she would be more than happy to share with you!
Delana's Cakes is thrilled to share some tips and trends with you. Naked, semi-naked and textured iced wedding cakes perform very well. They are super versatile and can be dressed up or be as plain as the bride wants them to be. The latest trends are to bring in a splash of gold or rose gold. Fynbos type flowers with proteas are by far the most popular requested flowers and then also the ever-popular roses - and even a mix of both. The foliage of the day is definitely Pennygum (Eucalyptus). Blush pinks combined with deep reds / burgundy and greenery are also favourites.
I have seen a couple of wedding set up's recently where the brides got creative with donuts as one of the sweet treats. "Donut Walls" seems to be popular in 2020!
Fondant covered cakes are still the more expensive type of cakes and I have found that these cakes are often designed to suit each bride's individual style. It is therefore harder to recognize a specific trend in these cakes, however I have found the sleek, uncluttered look combined with a bit of marble and metallic gold, silver or rose gold to be trending at the moment.
Here are some tips from Delana for brides planning their wedding cake with a restricted budget.
Try to have the wedding cake as your main dessert and then rather choose a semi-naked cake design as opposed to a fondant covered cake.
Where the venue insists on also including desserts on the menu, but you still want a wedding cake as well. Do try to opt for a smaller cake or one or more tiers being fake / dummy tiers. A single or 2 tier cake displayed on a beautiful cake stand along with the other desserts on the dessert table can look just as grand a large wedding cake.
Consider using real flowers on your cake as opposed to handmade sugar flowers. They are time consuming to make and your cake provider will most certainly charge more for handmade flowers.
Try to plan ahead as far as possible to avoid the stress of trying to find a reputable baker at the last minute and incur added costs for last minute orders.
Try not to enquire about a "general" price / price list for wedding cakes. There are so many options and cake styles and often busy bakers will ignore these types of requests. Try to have a vision of what you'd like your Wedding cake to look like and in your initial enquiry, also include how many guests must be served as well as where the venue is located.
Watch out for providers just throwing prices at you with not much of a description of what that price entails or what services are included in the price. A provider's initial replies will tell you a lot about them.
Kelly Jayne Cakes shares loads of wedding cake alternative ideas to consider like donut walls, cinnabons, macaroons, cheese cakes, ice cream cakes even chocolate pinata cakes are a thing! But if a wedding cake is what your heart truly desires then consider white with a punch of bold colours. So possibly a large overrated flower in a bold colour on a plain white cake, mosaic and geometric patterns, metallics colours with bronze being the most dominant and last but not least, alcohol infusions are hot in 2020 for example pink champagne, whiskey and amaretto.
Shona from Food Fanatics speaks all about wedding catering in 2020. People are being more conscious about their food preferences & dietaries, which is the obvious result of the growing food culture, social media, product awareness and environmental responsibilities. Food Fanatics prides themselves in a green kitchen. Weddings are ultimately about brining two families together and what better way to bring people together is through one’s stomach. Brides and Groom’s are stepping away from the traditional set plated menus and are looking towards family-style menus such as, The Feast To The Table, menu which lends itself as if you were at your in-laws house and sharing a meal together. This menu allows guests options and creates a relaxed ambience and a bit of banter at the tables.
At Food Fanatics we are celebrating over 21 years as the Cape’s favourite caterers.
By Word of Mouth (voted Best Caterers in Johannesburg) has built a reputation for producing the most talked about, polished events and parties in South Africa.
Sweet joy designs and creates luxurious delectable art works for your wedding day.
Born from a love of stealing hearts with sweet, sugary things
This amazing mother and daughter duo have been featured in many magazines and have won prestigious awards like 1st place in the 2014 Good Food And Wine Show Wedding Cake Challe...
From a cozy home-based cake studio comes a BIG passion for beautiful cakes!
Crumb specializes in bespoke wedding and celebration cakes, highly creative dessert displays and edible sweet treats & gifts.