We know that weddings are expensive. In fact, the average cost of a wedding in the UK now stands at a whopping £24,109, and that is on the rise! Because of the increasing costs of literally everything, many budget friendly couples might be swapping the lavish wedding cake for a more simple, DIY option (or asking their most creative family member to do it for them). But how early can you make a wedding cake? You don’t want the pressure of making a cake for the most special day of your life to add to the mountain of stress that you’re already under due to planning the most special day of your life. We’re here to answer all your burning questions in our handy guide on how far in advance you can make a wedding cake!
How far in advance can you make a fruit wedding cake?
If you are going for the traditional wedding cake, then the bulk of it will be fruit cake. The beauty of the fruit cake is that it can be made months in advance - in fact, the earlier the better! The most common length of time to mature your fruit cake for is 3 months, and as long as it has plenty of booze in it, it can keep for 6 months to a year when stored in the freezer!
Your fruit wedding cake can be iced two weeks before your special day, giving you plenty of time to perfect it without adding to your existing wedding stress!
How far in advance can you make a sponge wedding cake?
Sponge cakes, however, are a different story. The majority of our couples have now veered away from the traditional fruit cake towards a more modern taste. Sponge wedding cakes can come in all types of flavours - with couples even choosing to have multiple flavours across the different tiers. Flavours such as classic vanilla, zesty lemon and luxurious chocolate are the most popular wedding cake flavours now, according to Bride Magazine.
However, choosing a sponge wedding cake if you are BIYing (baking it yourself) could be the more stressful choice over it’s traditional counterpart. This is because sponge cakes don’t keep for anywhere near as long as fruit cakes as they (usually) aren’t soaked in alcohol to preserve them.
Depending on the type of cake, sponge cakes can be baked up to three days before you serve them. However, if this doesn’t give you enough time to complete any intricate decorations, or making it this close to the wedding day will bring you up in a rash of hives, you can freeze it.
Most sponge cakes can be frozen for up to three months without ruining their moisture or flavour. To defrost, simply transfer the cake from the freezer to the fridge up to 24 hours before you need to serve it. This will allow your cake enough time to thaw out, and will still leave time for the all important icing and decoration! Make sure not to start decorating until your cake is completely thawed!
However, if you are planning on a more intricate design on your cake, you may need to defrost the cake with more than 24 hours to spare. Make sure you don’t surpass the three day mark though - as this will mean the flavour and texture of the cake will be destroyed before you even serve it to your guests!
How to freeze cakes correctly
To ensure that your cakes stay moist and don’t get freezer burn, properly preparing your sponge is key.
First of all, make sure that the cake is completely cool before packaging it up. If you freeze it before it has fully cooled, you’re at risk of the warm cake thawing out other items around it, which is unsafe. As well as this, it takes longer to freeze something that is warm than it does to freeze something that is already cold. This longer freezing time could lead to bacteria, which again, is a safety hazard.
After allowing your cake to fully cool, it is important to take the necessary steps to preserve its flavour. Wrap each layer of cake in multiple layers of cling film. This step creates a protective barrier against external elements. Once securely wrapped, transfer the layers into a durable plastic container, ensuring it is airtight to prevent any potential moisture or bacteria getting in.
Make sure to freeze your cake before you fill and decorate it. Freezing not only serves as a preservation method, but it also creates a slightly firmer texture to the cake. This new, firmer texture makes it much easier to precisely apply fillings and icings.
While sponge cake freezes well, certain fillings and icings may not freeze as effectively. By freezing your cakes before icing them, you not only make your decorating job a bit easier, but you also ensure that your cake and fillings will taste as good as it looks!
How Gaya’s Cakes can help
If reading this article has made you shudder at the thought of baking your own wedding cake (or entrusting it to an amateur baking loved one), Gaya’s Cakes are here to help.
We have years of experience in creating beautiful, bespoke wedding and celebration cakes for our customers. We love it when a couple entrusts us to bake and decorate their cake for their special day, and we pride ourselves on our creative flair and passion that goes into every bespoke order that we receive.
In addition to our bespoke offerings, we also make a wide range of other cakes and treats for every occasion. From classic layer cakes to decadent brownies, we have a sweet treat to suit everyone. Gaya and the team make and decorate all of our cakes with the finest ingredients to ensure that our customers get top quality products every time.