5 Cake Tips From Sylvia Weinstock
Known for creating cakes that are beautiful as well as deliciously edible, the cake designer shares her thoughts on selecting the perfect cake for weddings, birthdays and other special occasions.
When planning a special event, it’s hard enough deciding on the guest list and décor, but equally important is choosing a tasteful dessert that has visual appeal. Do you want a cake that is classic and traditional, or edgy and bold with a bit more visual extravagance? Think about what you really hope to achieve. We asked Sylvia Weinstock, the “grande dame” of cake design, for ideas on how to choose the right cake to suit the occasion.
Wedding cakes are a large portion of Weinstock’s work. As couples move away from traditional settings, so does the style of the cake design. “Lovely country inns have become a popular venue for weddings, so the environment becomes a major component in the design process,” Weinstock says. “I recently had to emulate birch bark on the surface of a cake for an outdoor wedding space.”
Weinstock suggests choosing a design or flavour that reflects the celebrant’s personality. Start with a favourite hobby (e.g., chess) or interest (e.g., vintage cars) that can be displayed in fun and creative ways. With tools like sugar dough and edible glitter, what could be more fun?
His personality should also be applied to the groom’s cake, which typically is either chocolate or fruitcake but can take on many forms and flavours. Weinstock once designed a cake in the shape of a backgammon board, complete with playing discs and dice, for a groom who loved games.
For the newly engaged, Weinstock suggests considering where the couple met or where the proposal occurred. If the location is interesting, that becomes the focal point (e.g., Eiffel Tower, Paris) of the design.
Special anniversaries can be celebrated with colours and objects symbolic of the year (silver, 25 years). You can also replicate the original wedding cake or take elements from that design, which may be memorable to the bride and groom. No matter the occasion, Weinstock emphasises the importance of being “originally appropriate” in whatever design you choose.