When you start planning your wedding, one of the trickiest things is getting used to all the new terminology that surfaces as you meet with vendors. When you start looking at the various types of wedding cakes that are available, your vocabulary will start to grow exponentially. It is never easy feeling like you are limping by in a conversation with a wedding cake supplier because you’ll feel like you don’t actually know what you’re going to get. Many brides find themselves just going along with whatever their baker suggests because they aren’t educated enough to know what certain things are. Fortunately, we have put together a guide to wedding cake terminology to help you prepare for your trip to the wedding cake bakery and know exactly what you’re going to get.
Common Wedding Cake Terminology
Buttercream: The most common type of icing. It’s soft, creamy and sweet, made of butter, sugar and milk. Your baker can use it to cover the outside of your cake and/or as a filling in between the layers.
Cornelli: A form of piping that creates a three-dimensional pattern of lace and squiggles.
Dragees: Decorative silver-coated balls made of sugar.
Fondant: Icing made of sugar, gelatin, corn syrup and glycerin that has a firm yet tender texture and a smooth, porcelain-like finish. It’s more expensive than buttercream because decorating with it is more complicated and labor-intensive.
Ganache: A dark, rich combination of chocolate and cream used as a filling or icing.
Genoise: A French sponge cake that’s drier than American cakes. Typically soaked in a liqueur syrup and layered with fruit fillings or flavored whipped cream.
Marzipan: Hardened almond paste and sugar, this confection is traditionally used to make realistic cake toppings. It can be rolled and used as icing.
Royal Icing: A hard, brittle and not-very-tasty type of icing made of sugar and egg whites. It’s used mostly for sculptural decorations, like roses, swirls and dots.
Table Cakes: Can be used as a substitute for floral centerpieces, which can save you money. These individualized cakes can be used as centerpieces throughout the meal.
Going to the wedding cake bakery should be a fun and delicious experience for you and your fiancé, and the fun should never be spoiled because you aren’t 100% sure about some of the terminology. If you take a few minutes to read through the terminology above, you can prepare yourself for the trip and rest assured that you’ll be able to design the perfect wedding cake of your dreams.