With over 25 years’ experience and in the region of 10,000 wedding cakes in her portfolio, including cakes for Pierce Brosnan, Sir Paul McCartney, Gordon Ramsay and David Beckham, Mich Turner MBE shares her top tips for creating the perfect DIY wedding cake.
“It can be a moment of madness to decide to make your own wedding cake – or trust the task to your bridesmaids or the mother-in-law! Best intentions can often turn to fear, anxiety and stress. As my husband has quickly realised: “a happy wife is a happy life”. With my top tips, I hope you can enjoy the big day and learn to Have Your Cake and Eat It.” – Mich Turner MBE
GO WITH THE FLOW
Be relaxed about creating your own wedding cake or having close friends and family make it for you. It is the thought that counts. Lower your expectations and don’t expect a Turner Masterpiece (see what I did there?). cakes made with love, best wishes, your favourite flavours and personality will be the most treasured, enjoyed, talked about, and remembered.
Ask your flower girls and page boys to each make an animal or flower with sugar paste that can be featured on or around the base of your wedding cake. Provide them with tools and they may even like to do this whilst you are enjoying the wedding breakfast to keep them occupied. Their creations can then be added to the wedding cake as the bride and groom stand to cut the cake.
Baking cupcakes for a wedding or bridal shower can be quicker and less daunting, as batches can be made more quickly and therefore freshly prepared. Any mishaps or mistakes can be discarded and topper decorations made from sugar or papercraft can be prepared well in advance. Consider a selection of flavours to offer a choice to the guests.
Consider serving the wedding cake for pudding to keep costs down. This will also ensure that the cake is more likely to be eaten and enjoyed. Choose indulgent flavours such as Chocolate and Salted Caramel, Lime and Coconut, or Luscious Lemon, and serve with fresh, local, seasonal berries and ice cream. One of my favourite ideas is a tiered stack of different flavoured cakes, covered in smooth buttercream with a white or dark chocolate drip decoration, The cake is then finished with meringue kisses, macarons, chocolate truffles, and fresh edible flowers.
Fresh flowers are a simple and effective way to dress cakes. Stack cakes with a simple textured vanilla buttercream finish. Tie small posies of fresh flowers and herbs together with organza ribbon. Dress the cake or table with a ‘Mr and Mrs’ handmade craft decoration.
PEARLS OF WISDOM
For a simple and effective design, hand pipe a cascade of pearls over a stacked cake covered in sugar paste. Colour the icing to complement or contrast with the wedding. Then, finish with a pastillage heart on the top, decorated in a similar design. Use a cocktail stick or dowelling rod to support the heart in position.
Use a series of different widths, textured and patterned ribbons around simple iced tiers to maximum effect. Lay the bridal bouquet on the table next to the cake for an uber chic effect.
A GRAND MASTER
To create a truly one-off masterpiece, consider hand painting on your wedding cake. This technique is effective and completely bespoke. I like to use melted cocoa butter and edible colour dusts to create a wonderful oil effect painting.
DO ME A FAVOUR!
Wrap individual slices of wedding cake in greaseproof paper and present these in beautiful boxes or bags, finished with a ribbon and handmade label. My favourite messages include classic movie quotes or song lyrics, a special ‘thank you’ from the Bride and Groom, or a tongue-in-cheek quip.