Marks & Spencer have a range of wedding cakes in all different styles and sizes but we chose to style their budget wedding cake range with prices that start from just over £50.00 for a three tier wedding cake. The beauty of the basic Marks & Spencer supermarket wedding cake is that it’s a blank canvas that you can truly make unique and put your own individual stamp on it with a few simple DIY ideas. There is no limit to the fun and creativity you can bring to it. And that is exactly what we did. When we were asked to decorate the cake in our own individual style we really went to town, we didn’t just create a couple of looks, oh no. We are giving you lovely lot a whole host of do-it-yourself wedding cake ideas that won’t blow the budget and are guaranteed to make your wedding cake rock!
While I'd love to go into the many options of cake decorating, right now I don't have the time, so just a brief mention of royal icing. This is made using icing sugar and egg whites, or from a pre bought mix, and is a pipeable icing that dries very hard. It can be coloured before piping, or painted after, and is great for adding detail such as beads and borders to cake. While I used none on the poppy cake, a sprinkling of piped pearls or a bead border around the top edge can be great for covering up flaws and cracks in the icing, while enhancing the overall look of the cake.
Unlike wedding venues and florists, which usually adjust their prices according to the time of year and season, wedidng cake costs don’t tend to follow the same pattern. Whilst the height of August will be a much busier time for wedding cake suppliers, you shouldn’t expect to see too much increase in the price depending on the time of year you’re ordering for.
Cupcake wedding cake – You typically order cupcakes by the dozen. If you have 100 people at your wedding, you will need 9 dozen for those who will eat more than 1 cupcake. Let’s use $25 per dozen of wedding cupcakes. So, for 9 dozen would be a total cost of $225. This is double the cost of your sheet cake at Costco but still less than the picture perfect classic wedding cakes. In addiction, think about all the different flavors of cake, frosting and fillings you can have with 108 cupcakes.
The base of any fruit cake recipe is the fruit mix. The cake batter is essentially just there to hold all of the dried fruit together. Although I have provided the recipe I used, as long as you end up with roughly the same total weight at the end you can alter the proportions to your taste. In this recipe I was short on mixed peel and currants, but bulked up with dried apricots scrounged from my baking cupboard. It's a very flexible type of cake.
When it comes to frosting, you have a number of choices. Buttercream (made from butter and sugar) is smooth and creamy and it stays soft, making it easy to cut, color and flavor. Fondant is another popular option—it's rolled out before it's draped over the cake and makes a smooth, firm base for decorative details. Before you dive into one type of icing over the other, consider the weather (buttercream could melt in the heat and/or sun), your budget (ornate fondant designs can get pricey quickly) and taste preferences.
In the world of frosting, there are two big hitters: buttercream and fondant, and there are pros and cons to each—including cost. Buttercream is typically less expensive. Fondant, on the other hand, requires extra steps and materials, and can be difficult to work with, making it more expensive. But do your due diligence regardless and don't assume your cake will be less expensive with buttercream: You might want a smooth, seemingly simple appliqué finish on a buttercream cake, when in reality, this pristine style requires precision and time. Long story short, you may not save as much as you'd hoped. And some bakers may charge you extra for fondant, especially if you're requesting a lace appliqué or a detailed pattern design, so it's good to ask your baker these questions up front.
Once you have your smooth surface you can take care of any flaws that are left. Marks and cracks in the icing can be hidden by taking a small ball of icing, dipping it in some cornflour or icing sugar, and rubbing it over the problem area. The icing sugar will fill the crack and blend it into the surface, smoothing it out. Other marks such as cake smears or food colouring can often be removed by brushing on a little clear alcohol, such as vodka, and then rubbing lightly with some kitchen towel. Once the liqour has dried smooth out the surface again.