FAQs and expert advice about cakes

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Sussex 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@your-sussex.wedding


An autumnal treat

An autumnal treat

Q. How can we reflect our autumnal wedding theme in our big-day bake?

A. Carrie Raymond says: Your wedding cake is the perfect way to bring together the details of your chosen colour scheme, theme or overall vibe for your big day and there are so many ways to incorporate an autumnal feel into it. The distinct colour palette of the season includes bright yet muted colours of dark orange, yellows, rich pinks, browns and greens. These can be brought into play through the use of a floral or sugar flower arrangement, watercolour details, the base colour of the cake or coloured textures. Contrast these with soft, neutral hues for a gentler pop of colour.

The style of the cake can become very organic, with loose foliage, a wide trailing silk ribbon, or a flowing design that encompasses the feeling of being windswept. Including natural textures such as tree bark or stone can also be used to lend it a natural, weathered feel. Dried florals and grasses such as pampas are still popular and these embody the feeling of the seasons turning, as do seasonal fruits, which can be arranged onto the cake, such as blackberries, figs and pears.

You can also flavour your cake to continue the theme. Try swapping out strawberry conserve for fig or blackberry, or adding ginger or salted caramel to your flavour choices for a sweet, warming kick.

Carrie Raymond, Caritas Cake Design


Bloomin' delicious!

Bloomin' delicious!

Q. We love flowers and want to incorporate them into our cake design. What would you suggest?

A. Carrie Raymond says: Flowers are a wonderful way to feature colour, form and detail in your wedding cake. Fresh flowers are the most budget-friendly option and can exactly match your other floral arrangements. There are however a few restrictions as some popular choices are toxic and cannot be placed near food. Your hands are also a bit tied by what's available at the right time of year. Your florist can give you the best advice.

Sugarcrafted flowers are much more versatile, offering any bloom, any colour, and even metallic elements. Sugarcraft is a specialised skill and many flowers are very time consuming to make as they're made petal by petal, so the cost of these will inevitably be higher than the fresh option. However, done well, they provide a very classy finish with an added touch of luxury.

Given the increased demand for rustic-style cakes using dried flowers, foliage and grasses are on trend. They lend a boho vibe and pair well with fresh and sugar blooms. Hand-painted flowers or those created using buttercream add an arty element. Again, these involve specialist skills, so be sure to find a cake maker who has the capability to create the look you love.

Carrie Raymond, Carrie's Party Cakes


This is us

This is us

Q. How can we tell the story of us through our wedding cake?

A. Jo Stevens says: I love working with couples who want to use their cake to show their story! It often leads to some fun designs and always a unique bake for their day. A popular style I've create many times over the years and one that never goes out of fashion, is my hand-painted story cake. This depicts when or how you met, something you love and where you are now. It can also be personalised further to match the colour scheme of your day and allow you to add lots of fun, quirky detail.

Show your personalities through the cake's flavours too – I always suggest a selection and recommend choosing the ones you love. After all, making sure the cake is beautiful inside as well as out makes for a talking point for all the right reasons.

Jo Stevens, Peek-a-boo Cakes


Warming bakes

Warming bakes

Q. We're having an autumn wedding and would love to incorporate the time of year into our cake. Do you have any flavour suggestions or decorations we could choose?

A. Carrie Raymond says: There's definitely a wonderful opportunity here to include colours and flavours that really accent the season. For example, try replacing a raspberry or strawberry conserve filling for blackberry or plum. Also, orange or hazelnut praline flavours can be added to classic choices such as chocolate and vanilla to give them a real boost. Delicious caramel notes are very versatile and have proven popular in recent years, as have gingerbread and spiced carrot cake. These options offer a rich, spicy taste designed to warm the soul.

When it comes to embellishment, decorate your cakes with bold, muted colours of burnt orange, mustard, cream, burgundy and dark green; or focus on grey blues, sage, peach and dusky pink if you prefer a more subtle palette. If you like a classic look, why not swap out the traditional white for an ivory or champagne hue, which will better complement the colours of the season? The use of dried foliage and grasses such as pampas, bunny tails and ruscus is on trend, and adds a distinctive texture with a rustic feel. Lastly, we love rose gold and copper accents, which bring a gorgeous metallic element as the final flourish.

Carrie Raymond, Carita's Cake Design


Spring is in the air

Spring is in the air

Q. We'd love a big-day bake to fit the relaxed springtime vibe of our wedding. What would you suggest?

A. Annie Rogers says: Everyone has different ideas about what their perfect cake might look like, so when deciding on your design you need to think about what reflects you as a couple. A naked or semi-naked cake might be perfect for you and your chosen theme. This has a more informal style that looks just right as the centrepiece at a relaxed wedding. It can be adorned with fruit, edible petals and flowers fitting in beautifully with a springtime theme.

However, if you'd like something more elegant, a classic tiered cake with a spray of subtle handmade sugar flowers would be ideal. Yellow, light greens and soft oranges are the perfect colours to complement the season. Daffodils and tulips are gorgeous reminders that the chill of winter is over and that new life is beginning – a wonderful sentiment to share with your friends and family on your wedding day.

Annie Rogers, Leading Lady Cakes

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