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Wedding Cake Tips from a Cake Decorator

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One of cake decorators whose work I photograph the most is Lori from Cakes by Lori.  Her office is based out of the Hawthorn Suites in Champaign, and she answered a few questions for me pertaining to wedding cakes.  I've also shared a few of her creations that I've photographed (and tasted!!!) in the photos below. Lori says the first thing people should consider when planning their cake is their style and budget.  It's important to know much you're willing to spend up front, and also the overall style or theme of the wedding to match the cake to.  Do you want a classic style?  Maybe something more edgy and modern?  Are cupcakes more your style?  Is there a particular aspect to your wedding that you want to incorporate into the cake design?

Champaign-Urbana wedding cakes

Champaign-Urbana wedding cakes

What are the current trends in cakes?  Lori says the big trends are texture and metalllics.  She noted however that most of the cakes you see with the metallic finishes are not edible. The metallic finishes have not been approved by the FDA for consumption. Cake decorators can use them on any cakes as they are non-toxic and are approved for food use, but they are not to be consumed. We agreed this makes no sense, but still good information to pass along!  I had no idea!!

tennis theme wedding cake

tennis theme wedding cake

Lori's favorite type or style of cake are classic round stacked cakes. She says there is something simple and timeless about a round cake. Her favorite design is something detailed -- she says (for selfish reasons -- ha!) she can get lost in the details paisley and lace embossing when working on a cake.

Hollywood art deco black and white wedding cake

Hollywood art deco black and white wedding cake

I asked Lori about her dream job and she says she already has it!  She loves to help couples plan their cakes, seeing their faces when they see the cake, or hearing from them after the wedding.  These things bring her so much joy.

east central Illinois cupcake tower

east central Illinois cupcake tower

Lori's advice for bride's planning their cakes -- don't stress!  She says choose a cake artist that you can make a connection with and makes you feel at ease. You will be spending time with them and you should feel at ease and confident that your vendor can do what you are wanting. Also, check reviews online she adds.

I also asked her about her favorite color combo.  She said it's classic red and white because it is so pretty on the cakes.

That's it!  Thanks Lori for sharing a bit of yourself and your business with us on my blog!  I can't wait to eat some more of your delicious creations this wedding season!!

Vendor Spotlight | Erika's Cakes & More | Champaign bakery

Erika from Erika's Cakes & More is my featured Spotlight Vendor this week. Erika does beautiful wedding cakes, but also makes fantastic cake pops, custom cookies, cheesecakes, and more (obviously!). ;) Erika has some cake tastings scheduled for this fall--October 16th and November 13th from 5:30-7:30. She requests that attendees RSVP by the Friday before (10/12 and 11/9) so that she can plan accordingly. Contact info is on her FB page. I did a little Q&A with Erika, and here's what she had to say!

1. How long has Erika's Cakes and More been serving the brides of Champaign-Urbana? I have had this business for about 6 1/2 years.

2. How did you get started making wedding cakes and cake pops? I have always baked, way back in high school that was the thing I liked to do. I did not start decorating until I had children. The first cake I decorated was my son's 1st birthday cake. I did my first wedding cake for a friend about 4 years later.

3. What is your favorite flavor of cake and/or frosting? It changes, depending on my mood. Sometimes I'm feeling chocolate--okay, most times I can go for chocolate! LOL but sometimes I want something fruity and refreshing so I go for lemon, usually with a berry filling. I am always working on new flavors so whatever is new is often my current favorite. (Holly note: My favorite is lemon! My fallback though is always chocolate.)

4. Do you have a favorite cake you've ever made? What are your favorite techniques to use (if applicable)? One of my all-time favorites is a 3D Mater truck (from Cars the movie) that I made for my friend's son. I don't know if I have a favorite wedding cake, they have all been fun in different ways. I like to work with fondant to create different textures.

5. Why should couples choose your cakes for their wedding? I try to make the process as simple as possible--cake should be fun! I also realize that it is my job to enhance the wedding guests' experience, to make the couple seem like great hosts of this beautiful event. I take a lot of care with my cakes and offer a very personal service. I am always overjoyed when my brides stay in touch with me (and a lot of them do). We establish a relationship so, to me it is much more than just making a wedding cake and moving on to the next client.

6. What current wedding trend do you enjoy the most? I am looking forward to brides incorporating color into their special day. I also love it when brides want to do something different, not the same thing that was seen at the last 10 weddings.

7. What is one fun fact about you (or your business) that brides might like to know? I sing to my cakes! LOL Seriously, I do listen to music and often sing along as I work since it's just me and there is no fear of embarrassing myself. The cake will never tell :-) (Holly note: Love this comment from Erika! Great confession!)

Thanks for sharing with us on the HBP blog today, Erika! Here are just a few photos of Erika's creations that I have photographed. From Sarah & Adam's wedding in August 2012: