Expert advice about cakes

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Surrey 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


Just one slice

Q. My wife-to-be and I want a cake that's on-trend. What's popular right now?

A. Shenaz Lake-Thomas says: Naked and semi-naked cakes have been a popular trend for the past few years. It's great for clients who don't like soft icing, and can be decorated with fresh flowers, herbs and fruit. The individual tiers can be flavoured differently to give your guests a variety to choose from.

Another trend is buttercream bakes. These are suitable for all weddings, but if you're getting married in the summer make sure it's stored in a very cool place. You can adorn your bake with blooms, fruit, sugar decorations and quirky toppers.

Iced (sugar paste) cakes are still popular and marbled patterns with metallic elements can be a great way of contrasting your décor.

Shenaz Lake-Thomas,Lake Thomas Cakes


Oh crumbs!

Oh crumbs!

Q. How can we incorporate our summer-themed wedding into our cake?

A. Shenaz Lake-Thomas says: Now you've decided on a theme the next step is to think about how to decorate it. Decide whether you want an iced, buttercream, semi-naked, or naked wedding cake.

- Use flowers, flavours, textures or icing to incorporate your theme. Blooms such as peonies, roses, sunflowers and foliage are great options. Alternatively, you could adorn the bake with ribbons paired with summer flowers.

- Colours play an important part in your design. Use bright colour such as yellow, cream or orange both inside and out.

Shenaz Lake-Thomas,Lake Thomas Cakes


Colour pop

Colour pop

Q. My wife-to-be and I love strong colours and want something unusual for our cake. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Nia Cummings says: If you love strong colours, then go for it! It's not an unusual choice anymore with lots of couples moving away from pastels in favour of statement hues. Painted cakes, strong concrete-like metallics, cakes that follow the lines of the bride's dress, designs rooted in modern art, sculptures and patterns are all great places to start if you're thinking about trying something different.

I love mixing the traditional with the unexpected. Huge, bold coloured sugar-flowers against a traditional, white canvas can look amazing. I'm also a firm believer that anything can be made to look beautiful. I've nestled flags, family silhouettes, models of the wedding venue, sketches of significant places amongst beautiful flowers and clean designs. There's no reason why you can't add vibrant personality to simple elegance.

If you're after something bespoke, I would stop looking at cakes and go for a walk together and see what flowers, textures and colours take your fancy. Alternatively, think about a painting that you love or a place you have travelled to and ask your cake designer to incorporate elements of it into your design. I based my wedding cake around some old wallpaper, everything from the buttonholes to the stationery had a tiny hint of it running through. I have built my brand on the whole idea that every cake tells a story, so think about what reflects you and find a designer that can tell your story.

Nia Cummings,Cakes by Nia Cummings


Just one slice

Just one slice

Q. We'd love to have a luxurious cake on our big day, but we're worried about the price tag. Do you have any ideas for keeping the cost down?

A. Achintha Illukkumbura says: - Keep it simple.

- Serve your cake as dessert.

- Opt for a sponge creation, as more adventurous flavours cost more.

- Use fake tiers. This will give the appearance of a larger bake without the hefty price tag.

Achintha Illukkumbura


Summer loving

Summer loving

Q. We're having a summer wedding and would love to incorporate the season into our cake. Do you have any ideas?

A. Shenaz Lake-Thomas says: - Think about where you'll be holding your reception as the weather can affect the overall appearance of the cake.

- If you've chosen an iced, buttercream, chocolate, naked or semi-naked design, then you'll need to display the bake in a cool area. If you're unable to do this, then consider storing your showstopper somewhere cold and bringing it out during the reception.

- Summer produces a variety of beautiful flowers and fruits. Fresh blooms look stunning and will tie in with your theme perfectly.

- Incorporate bright yellows, oranges, pinks and pastels.

- Decorate your creation with textures such as ribbon or lace.

Shenaz Lake-Thomas


The big-day bake

The big-day bake

Q. How can we make our cake personal to us?

A. Elsa Laima says: A wedding cake can be personalised to suit each couple, whether it's a love for comics, Lego or other childhood memories, all can be incorporated into the cake in different ways. Characters can be hand-painted, made of fondant or actual Lego/ figurine characters can be used for cake toppers.

Another fun way to personalise a cake is through the different flavours of each tier, perhaps selecting the bride or groom's favourite. It doesn't change the price yet gives guests something extra special by offering a choice of flavours to pick from.

Elsa Laima

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