We must confess to being a little bit smitten by all things cake. So when we heard tale of one of our real life brides starting her own cake business, Lainey Bakes
, we were keen to find out more. With a love of baking that goes back to her childhood Elaine shares why she baked her own wedding cake and her top tips for making cake look as good as it tastes…
Where does your love of baking come from?
I have many memories of baking with my mum and granny as a child and I have certainly always loved eating cakes! I properly started baking in the last 5 years and my love of it has grown and grown.
What inspired you to make your own wedding cake?
I guess I felt that while professional wedding cakes usually look impressive, the actual taste can be a let down. For me, the most important thing about a cake is how it tastes. I knew I could make a cake taste delicious. The challenge was whether or not I could make it look beautiful and make enough to feed all our guests. It also worked out a lot cheaper (although you may not have thought that when you saw the enormous pile of butter, sugar, eggs and flour in my kitchen!)
What style did you go for?
In the end, I opted for a selection of different flavoured sandwich cakes. I made one 2-tiered cake as the central cake for cutting. I liked the idea of a cake table and this more ‘casual look’ fitted in well with our rustic, barn wedding. I made two of each sandwich cake (chocolate & raspberry, coffee & walnut, Victoria sponge, chocolate & caramel) and a traditional fruit cake.
Any soggy bottoms along the way?
The biggest challenge was working out how to keep the cakes tasting and looking fresh while allowing me time to bake 9 cakes the week before getting married. I chose or adapted recipes which helped to keep the sponge moist e.g. by adding ground almonds. Despite loving the look of ‘naked’ cakes, fully covering a cake in icing helps to retain moisture in the sponge. I would have loved to have served the Victoria sponge with fresh cream or have a carrot cake with cream cheese icing but these wouldn’t have kept so I had to be realistic with my choices.
Which part did you enjoy the most?
I loved having a reason to try out loads of different recipes and then adapting them to suit my requirements. I’d only ever followed recipes before this but now I have so much more knowledge and confidence when baking.
Ever feel like you’d taken on too much?
Yes, all the time! I am such a control freak; I spent so many nights going over every single detail in my head. I ended up having to keep a notepad beside my bed so I could write down ideas before I could fall asleep (it’s a wonder my poor husband turned up on the day!)
– Plan: It makes this process a whole lot easier and you’ll end up being a much calmer bride if you are prepared.
– Test: Trial run your recipes a few time so you’re confident and have ironed out any potential mishaps.
– Keep notes: It’s amazing all the little things you forget. I noted down all the timings for different parts of each bake so I knew how long I’d have to do something else. I also weighed all my empty mixing bowls so I could easily calculate and measure out different proportions of the mixture.
– Take photos: This is useful when comparing decoration styles and to jog your memory – your mind will be occupied with many other things in the lead up to your big day!
Check out Elaine and Nick’s barn wedding. Feeling inspired to bake your own cake, or happier leaving it to the experts? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Alie x