Wedding cakes with Harry Batten

Friend of the Ravenswood, Harry Batten, is a talented cake maker who we have welcomed to weddings here. He has offered his advice on what to take into consideration when deciding on your wedding cake –

‘The cake is probably the final thing you should consider when planning your day since the style of the cake can be customised to suit any type of wedding. I personally love putting fresh flowers on a cake, and it looks extra special if the flowers match the bouquet or the table decorations. Even details on the wedding dress can be recreated with icing.

If you’re on a budget there are plenty of ways to save on the wedding cake, firstly you may not need a cake as big as you think, the cakes that I do are larger than average so a 3 tier should be sufficient for 100 guests, of course in reality not everyone will have a slice.

If you do go for a smaller cake but have visions of something grander then there’s plenty of ways to make it more imposing, flowers between tiers for example or a taller cake stand.

Consider the flavour carefully, unusual and extravagant flavours are on trend at the moment, along with having different flavours in each tier, but this is costlier than having just one simple flavour. If you choose to have a fresh cream filling over buttercream it will have to be refrigerated until it’s ready to be served. Any food intolerances should also be considered, it may be necessary to have a separate gluten/dairy free cake, or have the whole cake meet any dietary requirements, I frequently do tiered gluten free cakes and don’t put nuts in any of the cakes (unless it’s specifically requested)

Naked/semi naked cakes are really popular at the moment and I do a lot of them in the bakery, these either have very little buttercream on the outside (semi naked) or none at all (naked) and are simply decorated with fruit or flowers, or both. Outfit the cake with a log slice cake stand and it looks really fresh and informal.

Fondant covered cakes with sugar flowers are decreasing in popularity and I don’t do them at all any more at the bakery – for a variety of reasons but mainly because I strive to make my cakes as delicious as possible and find a rich, smooth buttercream complements this better than an overly sugary fondant.

Other trends at the moment include texturised buttercream, this involves fully icing the cake and adding different textures and colours and creating a ‘watercolour’ effect on the outside, this looks great when combined with edible gold leaf and some fresh flowers.

My final price of advice for anyone looking to order a wedding cake is, there’s no need to rush, it may be necessary to book your venue 1 year+ in advance but for the cake maker, 6 months is absolutely fine.’

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