Just a piece of cake?

WHY A WEDDING OR CELEBRATION CAKE IS MORE THAN JUST A PIECE OF CAKE

There are two types of cake, in my opinion – and no I don’t mean just two recipes, methods or flavours (what a cruel and horrific world it would be if there were only two cake flavours to choose from!)

There are everyday cakes, and there are wedding and celebration cakes.

So what’s the difference?

Fancy ‘a piece of cake’ with a cup of coffee? You need an everyday cake.

Taking a cake round to your nan’s for afternoon tea? You also need an everyday cake.

Having a very small, relaxed, and impromptu birthday party? You most likely still want an everyday cake.

An everyday cake is one that tastes comforting, and yummy, and sometimes even indulgent. It’s also a cake that usually (though sometimes nicely decorated) doesn’t take centre stage, doesn’t leave you with a lasting impression, and doesn’t help celebrate what makes you – ‘you’.

Want to serve guests great quality cake, whilst wowing them with a design that fits the occasion? Are you creating a special and celebratory atmosphere, with careful consideration of the details – whether for just your closest friends or everyone you know and love? Want wonderfully moreish cake, with a design that celebrates your personality without compromising on style? Then you need a wedding or celebration cake.

A wedding or celebration cake creates a sense of occasion in its own merit. Whether you choose to make a big moment of cutting your cake or not (I don’t believe in set rules) – a well designed wedding or celebration cake creates a lasting memory that not only you, but your guests, will remember for years to come. It helps set the tone for the event and, when designed with ‘you’ in mind, really celebrates you as a couple or individual. Not to mention the fact it should taste amazing too!

An everyday cake can often be rustled up in couple of hours (perhaps a little longer if a bit of effort is put into decoration). On the contrary a wedding or celebration cake can take days to make, from concept to delivery.

So often I hear people say “it’s just a piece of cake!” – suggesting there isn’t much worth in what they are seeing and eating. I can’t blame people for this opinion. If their only real experience of cake is from the everyday sponge cake they make themselves on the occasional Saturday afternoon, or perhaps even one from a box on a supermarket shelf, then why would they associate any sense of quality or worth to a wedding or celebration cake?

However, much like an oil painting isn’t ‘just a piece of canvas’ and there is a vast difference between a bunch of stems bought from a petrol station, a posy you pick from your mum’s back garden, and a beautiful, hand-tied, wired, cascading, bouquet you commission from an independent florist – there is a big difference in value between an everyday cake and a wedding or celebration cake.

The artist’s skill, care, and process is what turns a piece of material stretched over a wooden frame from a simple canvas to a piece of art. A florist’s knowledge, talent, and time turn a selection of simple stems into a tear-evoking memory every time you remember carrying your wedding bouquet down the aisle in years to come. Yes, the flowers themselves would be varying in quality which would ultimately change the value of the finished arrangement – just as different qualities of ingredients play a part in the quality of the finished cake – but the true worth is in the designer’s hands and eye.

At Brambleolai, my single tiered cakes can take anything upwards of 25 hours work to create (often much longer!), and over 6 days for a multi-tiered creation. It can even take as long as 2 weeks when a cake is very detailed or involving lots of handmade flowers. From the initial discussions and creating designs – to baking the cakes, making flowers or other elements, and decorating with hand painted or piped detailing (sometimes both) – right through to personally delivering the finished creation. It’s because of this level of organisation, detail, and care that I only ever take on a very limited number of cakes per month and I certainly don’t treat your design as ‘just another cake’!

I don’t make everyday cakes – I know you can happily make one of those yourself (or at least know a local supermarket who can make one for you!) – instead I focus on the moments in life when an everyday cake just wouldn’t do. The moments when you need a Brambleolai wedding or celebration cake.

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