Be it a birthday, marriage, anniversary, or simply a date, a special cake is a must-have if you want to celebrate any occasion. However, with so many varieties on offer, picking the perfect one may be daunting. Should you get a round chocolate cake for the occasion, or a square strawberry one? Will your guest like a sponge cake, or will they prefer a regular pastry? Will buying the cake from a local bakery be better than buying it online? You might need some tips to choose the perfect cake for every special event if you want to make it a memorable one.
Before buying a cake, the most important thing you must remember is to decide the exact type and flavour you want and what your guests prefer, followed by fixing a budget and selecting the bakery to buy it from. Next, don’t forget to taste a sample before buying. Finally, take care of the finer details of the delivery, and you will be all set to enjoy the most perfect cake for any occasion!
To help you out further, we have compiled a step-by-step guide to buying the perfect cake. Also included is a small sample of the wide assortment of cakes that you can purchase according to the flavour, occasion, type, shape, and size. Read on to know more.
Step by step guide to choose the perfect cake for every special event
Here’s what you need to follow to select the perfect cake:
Decide what you need
The first thing to figure out is what you are looking for. Will it be a small and simple cake or a customised grand offering? Is your cake going to be served at a large party, or is it for a small and intimate event? Do you want to add some excitement with a unique flavour, or do you want to stick to the traditional ones? Answer these questions and zero in on the exact type of cake a special day demands.
Guest number and preferences
While selecting the cake, don’t forget to consider your guests. If you are throwing a party, a shortage of cake will be simply unacceptable! On the other hand, any excess might turn out to be expensive. Moreover, some of your guests might be vegetarian, preferring eggless cakes. Knowing the number of guests in attendance and their preferences beforehand will help you finalise the size and amount you need to buy.
Fix a budget before you go any further because your budget for the cake will play an important role in your choice. If it is a birthday, the cake will be a significant portion of your overall spending. If it is a wedding, there will be other large expenses as well. Designer cakes and customised ones will be more expensive than the simpler varieties. Finalise your budget and proceed accordingly.
Choose a bakery
The next step in your cake buying journey will be your choice of the bakery. Getting it online may be faster and more convenient, but it will limit customisability. On the other hand, a physical bakery outlet can offer a wider variety of options, but you will have to visit yourself to make your purchase. In addition, the quality and charges of bakers also vary widely. Thoroughly check the product catalogues of bakeries and go through customer reviews before finalising one.
Some bakeries may offer a sample of their products to potential customers. If they do, always take this opportunity to taste the cakes of your choice before you pick one. Please note that this may not be possible in the case of customised cakes or for online bakery stores.
Finalise the theme
In general, your choice of cake will depend on the occasion. For instance, getting a heart-shaped red-velvet cake will not be appropriate for your child’s birthday party. On top of that, if you are hosting a theme-based event, your cake has to match the overall theme. It will again look slightly odd if you serve a Batman-themed cake at a Star Wars-themed birthday party!
Confirm delivery details
After finalising your cake and selecting a bakery, you are ready to purchase it. While making the final order, do not forget to specify the minor details to your baker. These can include the date and location of delivery, manner of decoration, type of packaging, etc. If you order a grand multi-tiered cake for a wedding, make sure that you specify the manner of assembly and set-up. Keep these details in mind, and your special occasion should go off without a glitch.
Types of cakes you can get for a special event
Picking the right cake for a special event can be a formidable task. This is due to the mind-boggling varieties offered by an ever-increasing number of bakeries, both online and offline. To help you choose the perfect one for you, here are the different types of cakes you can purchase for any special event based on various parameters.
The choice of cake will depend on the occasion. The various special events and the cakes you can purchase for them are as follows:
- Birthdays: When speaking of occasions that demand a cake, a birthday tops the list. No matter the size of the event, no birthday party is going to be complete without a cake. Therefore, the types and varieties of birthday cakes are also numerous. Almost anything can go for birthdays. However, children usually like colourful cakes with decorations. Cartoon cakes, superhero cakes, and car cakes are among the most popular varieties. If it is a themed party, the cake can be custom made to match the theme.
- Weddings: Weddings are grand affairs and cakes, being the centrepieces, are equally magnificent in design and flavours. Multi-tiered cakes are most commonly ordered for weddings, and these are some of the most customised cakes purchased. These are usually adorned with elaborate fondant decorations and topped with a representation of the bride and groom.
- Anniversaries: Anniversaries are an important event in couples’ lives. Cakes for such occasions often reflect the shapes, colours, and flavours commonly associated with love. Cue: heart-shaped strawberry cakes. You can also add some unique touches of your own with cakes of different flavours and designs essential to you as a couple.
- Dates: This is where cakes turn from a large celebratory event to a small intimate affair involving only the couple. It is also one way for you to let loose your imagination and customise your cake to impress your date. You can represent important events of your love life from dates, locations, and pictures; the possibilities are endless. Pro tip: If you have been together for some time and planning to finally put a ring on it, bring the ring along and hide it within the cake for your partner to find. This is a sure winner.
- Religious festivals: Cakes are associated with several religious festivals worldwide. They feature most prominently in several festivals in Christianity and Judaism, from Christmas to Shavuot and more. Cakes for such occasions are usually customised according to religious requirements and themes.
Cakes are available in a much wider variety of flavours today than the traditional Chocolate and Vanilla types. Some of the most common flavours for your special event cake include:
- Chocolate: Perhaps the undisputed champion among flavours, chocolate cake is one traditional flavour that will never go out of style. It is widely loved and appreciated by billions of people worldwide and is the most common variety of cakes bought for birthdays.
- Vanilla: Another popular traditional flavour, vanilla cakes are known for their simplicity. A little bit of vanilla extract is used in cakes of almost every other flavour. Vanilla cakes are popular at weddings and anniversaries, although they suit every cake occasion mentioned above.
- Coffee: Coffee cakes have recently become popular due to the refreshing new flavour. Apart from the taste, another advantage of coffee cakes is their incredible versatility. You can buy a coffee cake for nearly every occasion and it will fit in!
- Strawberry: Strawberry is a prevalent flavour in cakes. Strawberry cakes are made with cooked strawberries, with ripe berries layered in between at times. These cakes are popular on dates, marriages, and anniversaries.
- Blueberry: Blueberry cakes are another variety gaining popularity recently. These are made with blueberries with a cream frosting. These are also versatile cakes for multiple occasions.
You can purchase cakes with numerous other exotic flavours and combinations. However, the ones mentioned here are simply the most common ones.
The word ‘cake’ refers to a collection of various desserts made with different recipes. Thus, there are several types of cake that you can get for your special event. Some of the commonest types of cake include:
- Butter cake: Recipes for these cakes typically include butter, cream, and sugar and may or may not include eggs. It contains baking powder or soda for leavening. Therefore, butter cakes are light in texture. Bakers can use various flavours and colours to make this type of cake.
- Pound cake: Dense and delicious, this classic type of cake gets its name from the amount of ingredients traditionally used: one pound each of butter, flour, sugar, and eggs. These are popular as a base recipe that can give rise to many other variations depending on other ingredients, flavours, and cooking methods.
- Layer cake: Layer cake simply refers to a cake with multiple layers instead of one. The layers are held together with fillings, icing, or fondant. Usually, uniform in nature and flavour, you can also experiment with it by making the layers with different flavours or recipes.
- Sponge cake: The light and airy sponge cake is made without leavening agents. It gets its texture from the eggs in the recipe. Eggs are whipped thoroughly for 15 minutes or more before being used in the final product.
- Cheesecake: Cheesecakes are rich and creamy desserts that are relatively simple to make, containing only a crust and a cheese-based filling. This simplicity makes it highly customisable in terms of flavour.
The shape of a cake should play a significant role in your choice when selecting one for a special event. While there is almost no limit to the shape of a cake, and pâtissiers today make custom model cakes, the most common shapes that you can buy include:
- Round: This is the commonest cake shape suitable for all occasions. It can be easily divided into equal pieces by cutting along the centre, which is the most probable reason for its popularity.
- Square: Square is the second most popular cake shape. It is a simple and beautiful design that suits all occasions while breaking the monotony of round shaped cakes.
- Heart: As the name implies, heart-shaped cakes are the most popular choice when the celebration involves a romantic side like anniversaries, dates, marriages, etc.
- Custom shape: Today, a cake can be made in any shape you want. From star-shaped novelties for kids’ birthday parties to live-sized replicas of popular monuments, every shape is possible.
The size of the cake you have to buy will depend on the number of guests you have at your event. While there is no fixed measurement regarding how much each person will have, here is a rough estimate of cake size and the number of people it can be served to:
- Half Kg: Serves 5 to 10 people
- One Kg: Serves 15 – 20 people
- Two Kg: Serves 25 – 30 people
- Three Kg: Can serve up to 50 people
Like custom shapes, custom sizes of cakes are also available for larger events where several guests will attend.
This article comprehensively guides you on various types of cakes and has several tips to choose the perfect cake for every special event. You can now proceed with your special day, confident of getting a delicious cake that your guests will remember for a long time.