If you fall into my club, as a person who has a strong dislike for eating fondant, and will peel off the excessively sweet covering before diving into the cake – I probably don't need to explain to you why you would choose a buttercream cake over a fondant-covered one. You know for flavour alone, that buttercream cakes taste delicious. And just to say my buttercream is always made with butter, and organic butter at that, so it has that delectable melt-in-the-mouth flavour. Of course, when it comes to making cakes for folk with food intolerances of course or for vegan bakes, I use a dairy-free alternative but I try and get the flavour as close to real buttercream as I can.
A question that crops up sometimes, most likely by couples getting married in the summer, is whether a buttercream cake is even suitable for their wedding. They worry about the heat melting the cake, especially if they're having a marquee / tipi wedding. I can assure you that I have measures in place to ensure the buttercream doesn't melt. I always transport my cake tiers separately and assemble them on site on the day of the wedding. And in warmer weather, I'll keep the buttercream cakes chilled right up until they are unloaded at the wedding venue. If it is warm, I'll time my arrival to be as late as possible, so that the cake isn't sat out for a long period unnecessarily.
Now fondant cakes have long stood the test of time because they are a reliable way to cover a cake and it suits a classic or traditional kind of cake, especially fruit cake. And it's definitely a great medium to be creative with. But my cakes are non-traditional and although they might be simple in style, they have an understated elegance and beauty which I've yet to see be achieved with sugarpaste. It's been a personal mission of mine to show people that buttercream is actually a very versatile medium in itself and can be used to make creative and unique cakes - it just requires a little thinking outside the box.
It's well known that you can create a sleek, smooth, polished finish for modern elegance (like the cake above). But you can also bring texture and a more rustic look to buttercream that would easily suit a relaxed, laidback, boho wedding. You can have every colour you want too, you can have ruffles (either like the hero image of this post or like the cake in this editorial), and you can even have bas-relief – an artistic, sculptural effect on the cake. I created a bas-relief cake with an organic, floral texture for a shoot last year and added touches of edible gold leaf to accentuate the 3D effect.
I've also created this grey concrete effect with an edible gold leaf pattern that would suit a modern, even slightly cool and edgy wedding vibe. This cake has been decorated with dried flowers which are perfect for a Winter's wedding when fresh flowers are not so readily available. You can hop over to this post for another kind of textural buttercream cake.
Oh and fresh flowers! Buttercream cakes are the perfect canvas for fresh flowers – the natural, organic, sensual appearance of a buttercream finish is the ideal backdrop for the delicate beauty and irregularity of beautiful, seasonal flowers. I adore working with fresh flowers and have been learning floral arranging skills from master florists just so that when I place flowers on a cake, they are placed in a thoughtful, considered manner.
Here is a cascade of fresh garden flowers for a quintessential English summer wedding:
And then a seriously understated buttercream cake with flourish of fresh flowers for a pared-back, simply beautiful effect:
Oh and how about this one for a bit of drama with its pop of bright, vibrant colours and striking flowers:
So I guess, what I'm saying is if you wish to have a buttercream cake - you can have whatever you want. If you choose a cake designer who is adventurous, willing to experiment and push through boundaries - your choices are limitless! So if your heart wishes for a buttercream wedding cake, you shall have a buttercream cake! Xx