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Buttercream Wedding Cake Myths: Don’t Get Your Tiers in a Twist

Top tier of a textured buttercream wedding cake filled with handmade wild sugar flowers including ivy, daisies, cosmos and sweet peas in tones of dusky pinks and ivory placed against a blue background

There are a lot of common misconceptions about buttercream wedding cakes. You may think they only really suit rustic or traditional style weddings, that they won’t withstand hot weather, and even that they’re cheaper than their fondant counterparts. We’re here to whip up a quick batch of the truth and bust these buttercream wedding cake myths.  We love working with buttercream and know it can create some truly beautiful, luxurious designs.

The first thing we want you to know about buttercream wedding cakes is that they can really be pretty much anything you want! Traditional or contemporary, smooth or textured, simple or intricately designed, white or colourful…buttercream is really very versatile. It also takes on flavours beautifully.  In fact, the flavour is really intensified when a little is mixed into the homemade jams and curds we use in all our designs . Your guests will be talking about how scrumptious your buttercream cakes were and how vibrant the flavours tasted.

Icing a small tiered wedding cake with summer berry buttercream

Slice of tipsy champagne and strawberry sponge with a cup of tea in a bone china cup and cake fork and sage green napkin to the side
Buttercream takes on flavours beautifully, and when a little is mixed into the homemade jams and curds we use in all our designs the flavour is really intensified.

There are three different types of buttercream: American, Swiss and Italian. The type you choose is really down to personal taste preference, with the American version being the simplest and most common (and sweetest). It is made with icing sugar, softened butter and Madagascan vanilla extract, while its Swiss sister combines egg whites and sugar for a silkier, less sweet finish. Italian buttercream is more technical, with boiling hot sugar, egg white and caster sugar. They are all delicious and all make excellent bases for incredibly creative designs. It’s possible to texture buttercream, or to pipe or even hand paint onto.

Buttercream Wedding Cake Myths: Resigned to Rustic

A lot of couples we speak to have a preconception that buttercream cakes will create a rustic look, and it’s true that they have become synonymous with barn settings and textured, laidback designs…but they most definitely don’t have to be. It is possible to create elegant, luxurious designs in buttercream, so whilst your wedding venue may influence your creative choices you shouldn’t let it restrict you when it comes to your cake.

We worked on a stunningly classy, all-white buttercream wedding cake for Sam and Oli’s Eastwell Manor wedding.  It featured silky smooth American buttercream, handmade white sugar roses and foliage, and a formal finish that fitted perfectly with the atmosphere of their day.

Close up of white on white buttercream wedding cake finished with white handmade sugar flowers and hints of sugar foliage. Cake topper with the letters "O" and "S" placed int he centre of the design
Close up of Sam and Oli’s traditional white wedding cake filled with sugar flowers at Eastwell Manor, Kent

Buttercream Cakes Call for Fresh Flowers

Often we hear this, the next of our buttercream wedding cake myths – they need to be decorated with fresh flowers. In fact, we don’t add (or allow your florist to add) fresh flowers to any of our wedding cakes. By the time we deliver your cake, the design is already exquisitely finished by us. But rest assured that if you want florals on your cake, we’re your girls! We handmake bespoke sugar flowers for many of our wedding cakes (you could say it’s our specialty), and these are custom made to match your bouquet or harmonise with your theme. The beauty of sugar flowers is that the sky really is the limit when it comes to how your buttercream wedding cake can look!

Close up of nearly naked wedding cake finished with specks of gold leaf and hand made pink sugar roses, gorgeous rich green succulents and sugar foliage
Yes, we’ve even created handmade sugar flowers for semi naked wedding cake designs

Buttercream Wedding Cakes Are Cheaper

As we mention in our recent blog on dummy wedding cake tiers, the cost of your cake depends less on what it’s made of and more on the complexity and extravagance of the design. We make our buttercream wedding cakes in exactly the same way as our fondant finish designs, so more often than not there is little to no difference in price. Sometimes buttercream finishes can even be more expensive than fondant, since it can be a bit trickier to work with!

Sketch to cake - sketch of original wedding cake design and the final two tier design of the intricate sugar flowers
Sketch to Cake highlighting the detailed sugar flowers included in the final design

This leads us onto the last of our buttercream wedding cake myths…

You Can’t Have Buttercream In Hot Weather

We understand; you have a horror-movie vision of your cake melting into a puddle in extreme heat, but buttercream is much sturdier than most people think. Our trick is to finish our cakes with a layer of Belgian chocolate ganache, followed by a skim of buttercream to produce a much firmer design.

That being said, hot weather is something that needs to be taken into consideration whatever the finish on your cake. It should never be placed in direct sunlight on a hot day, but there are lots of things we can do to work around this. If you’ve set your heart on a buttercream cake, fear not!  We’ll make sure we plan with the weather, moving your cake if necessary or delivering it right before your reception in the evening. We can even turn the arrival of the cake into a grand entrance! Other options are to have your cake cutting with a champagne toast before sitting down to your meal. It can then be moved into the cool of the kitchen and cut to be eaten later.

Sugar flower bouquet filling the top tier of a two tier textured buttercream wedding cake
Our trick is to finish our cakes with a layer of Belgian chocolate ganache, followed by a skim of buttercream to produce a much firmer design….we can even turn the arrival of the cake into a grand entrance!

In extremely hot weather we’ll always get in touch with you and suggest an alternative to buttercream, discussing changing your design to a fondant iced cake. It holds up much better in hot weather, but we’ll only do this if absolutely necessary and we’ll make sure the finished design is still as dreamy as you imagined! Some couples are hesitant about fondant because of its reputation for being thick, super sweet and ‘peelable.”  We use a layer of chocolate ganache and then a light layer of fondant to finish, making it wafer thin and delicious.

You can find out more about our modern fondant wedding cake designs in our recent blog.

Dispel some common buttercream wedding cake myths

We hope we’ve been able to dispel some common buttercream wedding cake myths, and perhaps opened up a new possibility for your design. Why not browse our wedding cake flavour menu to whet your appetite.  When you’re ready to chat to us about your design we’ll be here to advise on the best finishes – just get in touch!

Erica and Charlie signature

 

 

Photos:  Rebecca Douglas Photography, Fiona Kelly Photography, Andrew Prod Photography, Elena Popa Photography

 

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