25 Jul 2011
Pretty little desserts like cupcakes and mini cakes can bring a unique touch to your special day, as Gillian Hook discovers
Couples are going mad for mini cakes. As weddings have become more informal, groups of small delicate cakes have grown in demand as an alternative to more traditional wedding cakes. They come in various forms, including fairy cakes, cupcakes and mini versions of the traditional cakes, and are usually presented stacked in tiers. ‘Weddings are more fun and informal these days and couples can mix and match these mini cakes to fit in with their theme, making them more bespoke,’ says Lynette Horner, who runs Cakes By Lynette in Goole. ‘They’re ideal for smaller weddings because guests can take home an individual cake,’ says Trevor Backhouse of Patisserie Viennoise in Otley.
‘You can have guests names on the cakes or the initials of the couple, making it all much more personal,’ adds Jenny Aston of Imaginative Icing in Scarborough.
The trend for small cakes has been popular for a while now, but shows no sign of abating. ‘We first noticed demand for them in the year 2000 and they’ve grown in popularity since then,’ says Trevor. These little cakes are usually stacked in three tiers or more, making a really eye-catching display. They can be one colour to match the bride’s theme or a bright splash of many different colours. The top tier can simply hold more of the same mini cakes, a display of flowers or even a ‘topper’ cake. Many couples opt for the latter because they want the ‘cake-cutting’ photograph. ‘Newlyweds like this ceremony because it symbolises their first act as a married couple,’ explains Jenny. There is a range of mini cakes from which couples can choose. The smallest and most delicate are fairy cakes, decorated with swirls of icing and studded with hearts, butterflies and flowers.
Or you could opt for the slightly larger cupcakes smothered with smooth fondant icing and maybe decorated with the couple’s initials, roses or stars. Small versions of the main cake are a popular choice. They’re made from either sponge or fruitcake and each is covered in smooth royale icing and decorated to match the ‘topper’, ensuring every guest has their own personal wedding cake.
For a continental touch, you could opt for chocolate-covered mini cakes filled with truffle, chocolate sponge and raspberry liqueur and topped with fresh fruit - very sophisticated. ‘The nice thing is, if it’s done right, even at a small wedding you can make 20 mini cakes on a stand look impressive, and they will be the one thing everyone is talking about,’ says Trevor.
If you opt for mini cakes, don’t sit back and think you can leave it until the last minute because they’re only small. ‘Once you’ve decided you like that style, book your cake-maker straight away,’ advises Lynette, who is already taking bookings for 2011. ‘They’re more intricate and there’s a lot more involved in making them than you realise,’ adds Jenny. ‘Some brides decide they want to make the cakes, or perhaps the bridesmaids will get together to make them,’ she says. ‘It’s nice because it brings people together, but it always takes longer than you think - and make sure you do some practice ones first’ she smiles. The popularity of mini cakes seems secure in the immediate future, but already Lynette has been called on to create something different yet again - cookies. ‘My flower-shaped cookies are popular as favours, but I’ve also been asked to add them to a stand of wedding cupcakes,’ she explains.
Imaginative Icing,York and Scarborough | Tel: 01723 378116/01904 654635, www.imaginativeicing.demon.co.uk
Cakes By Lynette, Goole | Tel: 01405 860474, www.cakesbylynette.co.uk
Patisserie Viennoise, Otley | Tel: 01943 467927, www.otleypatisserie.co.uk