by Pretty Tasty Cake
Cupcakes - soft, sweet morsels of sponge cake, baked in
individual paper cases, piled high with icing and decorated
in a million and one different ways. These cute little cakes
have become a fabulous alternative to a traditional wedding
cake recently. Why?
More Bang for your
If you are planning on having a cupcake for each guest, an
effective way to display them is on multi-tiered stand. The
most popular type being acrylic round tiers separated by
slim pillars - they are almost invisible in the overall
effect, so that the full impact of the cupcakes can be
Depending on the look you
are trying to achieve, acrylic stands come in a variety of
shapes and finishes (even cerise pink!) and are scalable -
carrying up to 150 cakes - enough to cater for most
When comparing price per
portion, a cupcake tower fares well against a tiered cake.
But, whereas a cupcake tower serving 150 would be over a
metre and a half tall, a traditional wedding cake serving
the same amount of people might only be a third of the size,
so with a cupcake tower you normally achieve a much larger
arrangement for your money.
Variety is the Spice
Cupcakes can be baked, topped, decorated and dressed in many
different ways, so the style of the finished product is
almost limitless, giving them the ability to tie in with any
Cupcake cases are a major
way to introduce colour into your cake arrangement. More
traditionally cases would be made of clear greaseproof paper
with silver and gold foil versions lending themselves to
wedding celebrations. They are now increasingly available in
a myriad of pastel and bold colours and you can find
"designer" cases with intricate flower, filigree and
butterfly designs and classic versions with spots and
Cupcakes can be finished
with buttercream, flat discs or domes of sugarpaste (the
stuff you find on traditional cakes), sugar icing (like your
Gran used to make) or even a combination of toppings.
If made traditionally,
buttercream is naturally ivory in colour, but can be tinted
to suit your scheme. It can be loaded onto your cupcakes in
various ways: using a palette knife for a retro, cakeshop
feel, in large elegant swirls, piped smooth like toothpaste
and rose-effect or tall "Mr Whippy" style swirls.
Most good cupcake makers
will make your cupcake decorations by hand, and will take
inspiration from different elements of your day. For very
simple cakes you can opt for sprinkles, which are available
in an ever increasing array of colours and shapes. If you
want to add a subtle shimmer or a touch of bling try edible
glitters. You can then add simple icing shapes, personalised
plaques, sugar flowers, butterflies… the list goes on!
Typically the more
intricate the decoration on your cupcake, the more time it
will take to make and the more it will cost. You can help
keep your cake costs to a minimum, by choosing only a
proportion of your cupcakes with very elaborate design and
placing these on the outside or more visible parts of the
display, saving simpler cupcakes for the middle of your
You can add to your look
further by encasing your cupcakes in delicate wrappers. The
most popular designs are laser cut and give a lace effect
outer to your cupcake and come in several patterns and
pastels shades. If you anticipate that your guests will want
to take their treat home with them, you can even present the
cupcakes on the stand in clear boxes tied with ribbons and
sprigs of flowers or heather.
Choosing cupcakes of a
single design creates a display more in keeping with a
modern themed day, whereas having a selection of cases,
colours and decoration creates a cake arrangement with an
informal or vintage feel - especially if you add some
vintage crockery, lace and pearls.
You CAN Please All Of
If you are having lots of individual cakes, whose to say you
can't have them in a variety of flavours? This way you are
sure to tempt the taste buds of even the pickiest guest. You
can even look after individuals with food allergies with a
special cupcake just for them!
To help guests identify
their favourite, you can work into the display some cupcakes
decorated with little flags announcing their flavours - this
makes them all the more tempting!
Take your cupcake tower
further by incorporating mini cupcakes (perfect for the
smaller appetite and children) or turning your tower into a
full on dessert table, adding in pretty cake stands ladened
with cake pops, biscuits and desert "shots". All colour and
style co-ordinating, this will create an amazing display
that will be making the most of your money and will satisfy
everyone to boot.
Let them Eat Cake
You don't need caterers trained in surgery to cut up
cupcakes (or pay a fee for them to do it!) and if you are
having a relaxed affair, guests can simply help themselves
from the display.
But whereas guests will
gladly nibble at a piece of wedding cake that is placed
directly in front of them, they may be more reticent to take
a cupcake from a beautiful display. To avoid leftovers, make
sure your display is placed in an accessible spot, make an
announcement asking guests to take a cake or even add little
"Alice in Wonderland" signs to the odd cupcake saying "Eat
Timing is also important in making sure all your cupcakes
get eaten - think about at what point during your day (or
evening) your guests will have enough appetite or be in the
mood for a cake.
Finally, some guests
might cringe at the idea of eating a cake as they would a
canapé whilst dressed in their finery, so you might want to
provide an artful stack of side plates on your cake table.
And if these were pre-owned china pieces, it would add to
any vintage theme that you have going on - gorgeous!
Whether you choose a
traditional cake, cupcakes or a combination of treats for
your wedding cake table, make sure that you enjoy!
Pretty Tasty Cake is a one-woman baking machine based in
Cheshire. Creating unique and beautiful wedding cakes,
cupcake towers and dessert tables, all of their sweet treats
are made from scratch and to order, to provide truly
individual confections to complement your occasion.