As long as I can remember I’ve been into baking, be it cakes, scones, biscuits or flapjacks. It’s a well-known fact among my friends and family, who frequently request baked goods when we meet up (chocolate Guinness cake being the most requested).
So when one of my best friends got engaged at Christmas and rapidly sped into planning mode, it was me she came to about the wedding cake.
Why not buy it from a professional you ask, and risk any potential disasters? But with prices starting at £500 for a personalised wedding cake, and even £100 for a ‘budget’ M&S version, this wasn’t an area they could splurge on.
While I might be good at baking and enjoy pottering around in the kitchen, I’m no Mary Berry and have no real clue when it comes to intricate decorations. Despite this, I agreed (after some gentle persuasion) to make it and started planning the big bake.
After much research and Pinterest scanning I went for a ‘naked’ wedding cake. This is a plain sponge cake covered in icing sugar and flowers – a bit of a cheat’s option as it avoids any icing dilemmas.
I made several practice cakes, with varying success, in the months leading up to the big day – these went down very well with the MSE team. I made the real thing the day before and it all went pretty much to plan.
All the ingredients for the humongous cake (feeding 100 guests, plus extras) came in at £40 for the day, plus about £30 for the practice versions – a saving of £430 compared to buying a professional personalised cake.
A continual shower of praise from impressed guests, combined with being able to really get involved with her big day, made the hours spent staring into my oven praying for the cake to rise and not poison all the guests worth it. And while it would have been easier to give cash or something from the wedding list, this was a present that really meant something to her and helped out on the day.
But while it’s significantly cheaper to go for a DIY wedding cake, it’s definitely not stress-free.
So if you’re going down this route for your wedding, unless your baking (and organising) skills could see you through to The Great British Bake Off final, pick a friend to do it for you.
Have you made a wedding cake before? How much did you save? Do you have any tips you could share? Please let us know your opinions in the discussion below or in the forum.