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


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


Cake palettes

Cake palettes

Q. I love the blush colour palette but think it's been over done this year. How can I still incorporate my favourite hue with a new twist?

A. Eleanor Gerrish says: The blush palette continues to hold strong as it brings such a romantic, feminine feel and is so versatile. Adding an accent of blush to a mostly white cake design links to the theme of your general wedding décor.

Having a touch of this hue with a feature tier, or through the flowers, softens the feel. Blush pairs fabulously with metallics, greys and greens for a contemporary edge.

With this year's UltraViolet Pantone Colour of the Year some designs are including pops of deeper, more intense colours. For example, blush pinks and creams punctuated with deep red hues to add warmth and depth. Pairing this with more loose and wild floral designs enhances the modern feel of the cake design.

Watercolour brushstrokes of blush hues on white sugarpaste creates a fabulous backdrop to your design. Distressed gold or silver leaf, and feature sugar flowers, finishes the look. Edible glitter on blush sugarpaste brings a gorgeous sparkle to your design. Touches of blush in a buttercream-textured design is great for a relaxed vibe.

If you love the idea of marbled fondant, consider your favourite hue with a hint of peach and perhaps paint-strokes of metallics to accentuate the pattern.

Use of geometric design on a blush-coloured background is also a hot trend currently; gold seams for a Kintsukuroi-inspired design, the Japanese art of repairing broken items with laquer mixed with powered gold or silver.

Eleanor Gerrish

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