Ideas for creating and decorating a new kind of wedding cake, assembled from cupcakes
Delicious and beautiful cupcake wedding cakes
The cake is one part of the wedding planning process that tends to be fun and elicit less stress than other decisions. It is a part of the celebration that practically everyone enjoys, and you can be confident in almost any decision that you make.
So innovate! Experiment! Vibrant colors, new flavors, squares and other shapes besides round, and even non-tiered looks are becoming more and more common.
Yet one more innovation in the wedding cake department is the wedding cake assembled out of cupcakes. By arranging the cupcakes on stacked tiers, you can create an effect similar to the standard cake, yet totally unique.
There are several advantages to this. With no cake to cut, service time is shortened and everyone gets fed sooner. It’s much easier to offer a variety of flavors with cupcakes; you can do away with plates and forks; and most importantly, who doesn’t love to eat a cupcake? Especially at an elegant affair, children and adults alike delight in the seeming incongruity of such a fun dessert.
For do-it-yourselfers, the cupcake cake is a real boon. Cupcakes can be easily baked ahead of time and frozen for up to 2 weeks, and you avoid the tricky assembly and transportation problems of a regular cake.
A cake made out of cupcakes can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. Liners today are made in an incredible variety of colors and patterns, including silver and gold. For fun, alternate the tiers with different liners, perhaps indicating two different flavors.
The cupcakes can be decorated in as many ways as larger cakes. Simpler is perhaps better on a smaller surface, but simple doesn’t have to mean boring! Likewise, the tiered look will work better with some unity in the cakes, but they needn’t be exactly alike. One option that looks great and is totally accessible to beginners is to frost the cakes using a piping bag and a star tip, and top with a single blossom. (Tip: adding white chocolate to butter cream or cream cheese frosting will help it hold its shape longer, even in warm weather.) The flowers should correspond with the flowers in the rest of the wedding, and of course should be free from pesticides or other sprays.
You can also pick up on details from your dress, echoing perhaps the lace or beading. Frost the cakes with a smooth color, and then use either the same or a contrasting color for bead or lace filigree work. (Use a round tip for piping these—small for the lace look and larger for beading.) Similarly, a sophisticated look can be attained by placing your monogram or the wedding date on each cupcake. Sugar-dusted fruits, such as berries or champagne grapes, are another sophisticated idea. A look that is perhaps a teensy-bit over-the-top (but perfect for a wedding—especially a Valentine’s wedding!) is to dip the cupcakes in softened ganache, gently swirling the top. Before the chocolate completely sets, place a chocolate dipped strawberry or cherry on top of each cupcake.
The flavor of your cakes can vary as well. Of course the traditional white cake is lovely, and you can fill the cupcakes with any fruit preserve or filling you like (try raspberry or red currant jelly, or lemon or lime curd) by using a large star tip on your piping bag, and then pushing into the cake and squeezing out some filling. Frost over the hole, and the filling will be a delicious surprise. You can also make rich and decadent cupcakes such as chocolate with cheesecake filling, or mocha with chocolate ganache filling. For a brunch wedding, consider blueberry-banana cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, or apple-walnut. Adventuresome types should consider options like grapefruit or lime- poppy seed, ginger or peanut butter with chocolate filling (topped with a Reese’s peanut butter cup? why not?!), or chocolate with raspberry filling and white chocolate frosting. And don’t forget coconut cupcakes with lemon or lime curd and cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with toasted coconut.
The great thing about using cupcakes is how easily adaptable they are to your own personal tastes and to the theme and style of your wedding. Don’t be afraid to try something new—in fact, you can whip up a single batch of cakes and see how an idea looks before committing to it. Whatever you choose, make sure that you and your fiancé are excited about it. That excitement will come through, and the cake will be one more special part of your day.