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Wedding cake ideas

My fiance and I are both chocoholics. We want to have a dark chocolate and raspberry wedding cake. We even found a recipe and tried it out - yummy! and very rich. Thing is, we really want the exterior of the cake to be white. I hate both butter cream and fondant, the traditional wedding cake icings. I've never tried Royal icing, but have a feeling its going to be way too sweet. My thought was a white chocolate ganache, but I've never had one and was looking for some feedback from those who have to see what its like.

I would prefer dark chocolate, but then it wouldn't be white, would it?

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  1. La folle, I have never baked a cake exactly as you describe, but it sounds like a novel flavor combination, and it should be do able from a aesthetic and structural stance.

    I would like to know what it is about fondant that you don't like? Fondant by itself has little flavor and it will accept flavors and other texture very easily. Many clients view fondant as non-edible, and peel it off the cake before consuming the cake underneath.

    I use mass quantities of royal icing, but is more for color and lightweight details/structures than delectable flavors.

    I don't see why you could not have a dark chocolate cake and a white ganache exterior. White chocolate is very adaptable and will accept many colors and additional flavors, as it is little more than cocoa butter.

    P.S. I know that they are many other excellent home and professional bakers on the forum, and I would like to hear their opinions.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Kelli2006

      Kelli2006, just a question out of curiousity--could white fondant and/or buttercream be flavored with a *colorless* raspberry flavor? Is there such a thing?

      1. re: blue room

        I tend to use raspberry schnapps for to flavor fondant or butter-cream, but Frambroise can also be utilized. It is colorless.

      2. re: Kelli2006

        Kelli2006 -- thank you for your reply.

        What I don't like about fondant is mainly the very thing you pointed out... it is inedible. I really don't want something that people are just going to throw away.

        I'm glad to hear you think the combination will work. Like I said we made the recipe we found with the dark chocolate ganache it called for, and while we found it excellent, the rest of the family said it was too rich. Would the milder flavor of white chocolate cut the richness factor?

        1. re: la_folle77

          La_folle77, i dont believe that kelli2006 said that fondant is inedible. you CAN eat it, its sugar. kelli 2006 said that some of her clients believe that it is inedible. If you think its too sweet, roll it out very thinly so that it just covers the cake with a think layer.

          1. re: la_folle77

            What about marzipan? I like marzipan so much more than fondant. If you like the chocolate ganache, you could use it between layers in the cake and then it wouldn't be as rich as having it as frosting. I find white chocolate too sweet. There are different types of buttercream like Swiss buttercream that are less sweet, too--have you checked out the different types?

            1. re: chowser

              Chowser, You have brought up many great ideas that I should have mentioned. I am a big fan of marzipan, but many clients don't know what it is, and are hesitant to use it, or they aren't willing to spend the slight addition that marzipan entails. Marzipan accepts colors and flavors just as well as fondant and I find the flavor much improved.

              I have 5 different recipes of butter-cream and those do not entail all the various flavors. Personally, I like Swiss or Bavarian, but almost anything is possible.

              The current trend is to have a smaller 2-3 layer "display/photo" cake, and the make sheet cake(s) using the same decoration theme, and they are served to the guests. The sheet cakes can be made with different flavors as the photo cake, plus there is still the option of a Grooms cake. The options are only limited by your budget and your imagination.

              Kater, I agree that chocolate allergies are quite rare,(my oldest sister is allergic to chocolate) but I have cake recipes that cover almost any known allergy and dietetic condition, but gluten is the most common recently.

              stacylyn, I have read of making smaller cakes at every table, but so far I have not had a client ask for this.

              Miss Needle, ganache is less stable, but there are structural changes that can be made if the bride truly wants a ganache covered cake.

              1. re: chowser

                My wedding cake was layers if rich chocolate mousse (would be wonderful with chocolate truffle) between layers of baked meringue and covered with marzipan. We still order a cake each year to share with friends. It would be fabulous to have a layer of raspberry!

          2. My sister and her husband had three cakes at their wedding. Two where bigger one choco with white and one white with choco and then they found this great ladder tier thingy that came up from either cake and met in the middle with a third smaller cake on top. This satisfied everyones palate including bride and groom who wanted chocolate but a white icing. (Mother in law was worried about only have a chocolate cake.)

            4 Replies
            1. re: bolivianita

              My Mom has already commented on the all chocolate cake... She is concerned about people being allergic to chocolate and not getting any cake. Her suggestion was to have the chocolate cake be a grooms cake since that is traditional and then a different kind of wedding cake (white). I told her we could always have a white sheet cake for them. My sister had four tiers to her cake, each a different flavor and two half sheet cakes as well. I don't think anybody could tell if they had sheet cake or actual wedding cake, but I don't want multiple show cakes and I don't want a bunch of different flavors in the cake either, so sheet cake for the white cake seems like the best option.

              1. re: la_folle77

                Why not simply reverse your mother's suggestion? Stick with the chocolate and raspberry for your wedding cake and have a groom's cake made with white, yellow or lemon. The groom's cake doesn't have to be boring either. Personally I often have cakes made for family occasions that combine lemon and almond or lemon and raspberry - the former would be great for a fall/winter wedding and the later is ideal for spring/summer. I think that if you make the non-chocolate cake a bit more elaborate than a simple sheet cake, Mom will be happier and you'll have a nicer overall effect!

                You seem to have some great suggestions to frost the chocolate/raspberry cake. My first instinct was to suggest a whipped cream icing, but I do think that you will be more limmited when it comes to decorations if you go that route. Still bakeries use gelatin in their whipped cream frostings so that they're sturdier than what you might imagine.

                1. re: la_folle77

                  Ehh...think of all the allergies people have these days. There's no way you can cater around all of them (and actually, I can't remember the last time I heard about a chocolate allergy, though there are plenty of people that are allergic to dairy, wheat, shellfish, nuts...). You should have the chocolate cake you want without worrying about this.

                  1. re: la_folle77

                    That is exactly what I was going to suggest, either grooms cake or a separate layer on yours. I am guessing you perfer white for the 'cake picture', that is fine and good because you never really enjoy those bites of cake (You are too preoccupied with taking the picture... :P)

                    Another option is not to do the traditional 'tiered' cakes. Lots of people really like the look of a cake 'display' with multiple cakes (which in turn can be different flavors). Further, I've had GFs who did this and it turned out CHEAPER than a big old wedding cake.


                    And yes, while Chocolate may not be the most the traditional of flavors, every wedding I've been that had a chocolate option made all the Chocoholics in the family just giddy! :



                2. An Italian meringue frosting would give you the white color and good coverage of the dark chocolate layers of your cake. This type of frosting is made with a boiled sugar syrup and beaten egg whites.
                  The other type of frosting that gives a pure white color is classic American Seven-Minute frosting made by beating egg whites over hot water.
                  Both are beautifully fluffy, sweet and take other flavorings well. They're fat free but with all the other calories in the cake, that hardly matters.

                  Good fondant is perfectly edible. It's delicious and used widely in Europe and in many fine pastry shops in the US. You could use a poured fondant over a crumb coat of buttercream.

                  1. When Mike and I got married we had a chocolate wedding cake. It was March, in Portland, with all the rain and general yuckiness that implies, so we wanted lots of color in the flowers and decorations. Our cake was chocolate with raspberry filling, and had white icing and then wonderful multi-colored frosting flowers cascading down it.

                    I don't mind basic buttercream frosting (the inside was French cream, although I'm not absolutely sure just what that is, not being a real serious cake fan), but if I'd known about seven-minute frosting I might have had that instead--except I wouldn't have been able to keep my fingers out of it until the reception.

                    1. We did cake centerpieces on every table...instead of flowers. There were 5 different varieties, which became such a fun conversation piece. Everyone was walking around to each table to sample the different cakes. Our guest's table cakes were one tier, white with dark chocolate swiss dots, topped with fresh flowers, while ours was a 2 tier cake, dark chocolate with white swiss dots. Let's see if I can remember the flavors:

                      Ours: Chocolate Peanut Butter
                      Others: Chocolate Raspberry, Carrot Cake, German Chocolate, and something with lemon (can't actually remember!)

                      Anyway....our place cards said the guest's name and type of cake at their table. We all "cut" our cakes together, as my husband and I wanted everyone to be a part of it. It was REALLY fun and looked beautiful, and actually was less expensive than one big traditional cake. Plus, everyone found one (or more) that suited their tastes! Hope this inspires you!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: stacylyn

                        That is a really great idea. Makes me wish I had a friend getting married shortly (instead of 3 that just got married) so I could suggest it.

                        1. re: stacylyn

                          HELP...I plan on doing different cakes at each table as well, but how did you go about letting the guests know that they can go around and share cakes?

                          1. re: tratnikj

                            My husband and I did a "toast" to our guests and to thank our folks right before the "cake cutting." We let everyone know that we wanted them to join in on cutting their cakes and grazing the room to sample all the flavors as they wish. It was really fun....and yummy!!! (We also had the placecards say the person's name, and the table number plus cake flavor: "Mrs. Chowhounder, Table 5, Chocolate Peanut Butter". Definitely a conversation piece!)

                            1. re: stacylyn

                              Thank you so much for reponding. I will incorporate the toast right before the cake cutting too.

                        2. Our cake had different flavors for different layers -- chocolate with raspberry filling for one layer, and white with lemon filling for another layer. (There were more than two layers, but only two flavor combos.) I wanted chocolate/raspberry, but knew my grandmother doesn't eat raspberry, so we went with the white/lemon. We had a butter cream frosting over the whole thing, which I happen to like (at least our vendor's version), so that doesn't help your original question. Just offering the multi-layer, different-flavor combo.

                          1. I'm a chocolate nut and for my wedding we had chocolate chip cake with milk chocolate icing and dark chocolate roses on top. It was delicious, but my mother in law made the comment, when she saw the cake on the display table, that she thought it was "made of cardboard" and was waiting for the "real" cake to come out. Ah, mother-in laws, gotta love them!

                            1. Maybe you could have something done like this? - With white chocolate scrolls -


                              1 Reply
                              1. Hello,

                                Just recently got married so I'll add my two cents about the cake thing. If you plan on having a stacked wedding cake, ganache may not work as our baker told us the layers have the potential for sliding very easily.

                                I may be wrong, but about the chocolate allergy thing, your mom may be diplomatically trying to say that she prefers a traditional white wedding cake (unless she specifically knows people who have allergies to chocolate). People generally have allergies to wheat, eggs, etc, not chocolate. But this brings up the issue of not everybody liking chocolate (I know, it's hard to believe, but it is true). As we also served a lemon dessert, we thought having a chocolate wedding cake would satisfy everybody. But I think having a non-chocolate sheet cake is a very prudent idea. I also like the idea of having different tiered cakes. And I LOVE the cake centerpiece idea. Wish I thought of it. Really encourages mingling.

                                I agree with you about the fondant -- never liked it. While it is edible, I don't find it very tasty. Not sure why you don't like the buttercream. Is it the taste or the aesthetics? We ended up having a 3-tier blackout cake without the crumbs coated with chocolate buttercream. They smoothed out the buttercream. While not as elegant-looking as fondant, it still looked pretty good and tasted superb. I've linked a pic of the cake. While it was buttercream, it did have the sheen of a ganache.


                                1. Thank you everyone for your many ideas.

                                  My fiance and I have a basic design figured out that we want. We plan to have four layers to the cake. A large layer on the bottom with the smallest layer on top of that - the topper would sit on this smallest layer. Then we plan to have columns raising the next two layers up above the bottom two, creating a gazebo effect. In a more traditional cake, these top two layers would be the two between the bottom and top layers. We then would like to have a dark chocolate bow on the very top, though I have also considered flowers. I like hexaganol cakes but we haven't really decided what shape the layers will be. I haven't been able to find a picture of what we want online.

                                  Several of you have asked what I have against different frosting/icings. I simply find them too sweet and think they detract from the flavor of the cake. I'm a dark chocolate fan, so prefer my sweets more rich than sweet. I have found several white chocolate ganache recipes online, and I think Bri and I will try making one of them to taste it.

                                  I like the idea of a grooms cake or similarly decorated sheet cake to get additional flavors and think the lemon idea sounds good. My mom does have a friend who is allergic to chocolate, so I think that is why she brought up having another flavor.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: la_folle77

                                    I think you're on the right track with? white chocolate icing. Then you have some chocolate taste and the white color.

                                    1. re: la_folle77

                                      Is it impossible to have the different layers for the cake and then lift each out at serving? Raspberry and chocolate are made for one another and so does it go with a white chiffon. Fondant is the decorators dream material and probably the most stable. Personally I don't care for fondant either and would not want it for a wedding cake.
                                      White chocolate ganache is doable, one of my very closests friends recently wed her cake the combination of choclate and white layers, and with white chocolate ganache frosting. It was incredibly good. A rich dark chocolate and moist cake, with a rasberry filling/and then a white cake with raspberry filling/and white chocolate ganache. The chocolate bow is something they can do. It will be lovely as well as tasty!
                                      Best Wishes!

                                    2. I'm coming in on this way late (heck, you could be long married by now!), but I went through a similar thing when I got married two years ago. I LOVE chocolate, and didn't want a groom's cake (the marriage is about unifying two people, so two different cakes seemed weird to me - plus, we had a small wedding that didn't really warrant two cakes). So I got the cake of my dreams: chocolate cake with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting and they did scroll designs in dark chocolate.

                                      You can't build your wedding around what other people might like or be allergic to.... so get the cake you want!

                                      1. You could always use a whipped cream frosting stabilized with piping gel. This would achieve both your nice white look as well as tone down how rich the cake is for those who you said had a hard time with it. It's also not overly sweet. It's my favorite cake frosting.