When I got married 6 years ago I was on a budget, just like many brides and grooms these days. A few calls to local bakeries left me in a near panic attack, as they were all quoting prices of 4 to 8 bucks a slice for a traditional wedding cake. With 200 guests we were talking about a thousand dollars or more, depending on which cake I chose. Since my jaw was already dropped from sticker shock I went ahead and stuffed my mouth with some cake to dull my pain. But I snapped back into action, remembered a picture from a friend’s wedding, and set out to save money on my wedding cake. I went with a giant cupcake tower. We used UFOs from Pumpenickels Deli. These little delights are simple… yellow or chocolate cake covered in a chocolate icing glaze. At $1 apiece I would show those local bakeries who’s boss, or at least get my gig in under budget. We chose a small cake for cutting (photo op, really) and all the guests noshed little UFOs as their dessert.
Clearly I wasn’t the first, but in the years since, cupcake towers have become a huge trend in the wedding world. Everyone loves cupcakes, they are cute, you can use paper liners and sprinkles to match your wedding colors, or go with several flavors if you can’t choose just one. I created a lovely cupcake tower for my cousin Drew’s wedding to Margo. They chose 5 flavors… red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting, chocolate cake with caramel frosting, and banana cake with peanut butter frosting. For the groom’s cake I bought Bissinger’s chocolate cordial cups and filled them with frosting. Drew loves a good shot, especially a frosting one, and I scattered these around the tower. I made a lovely little menu, placed it in a simple black frame, and set it next to the tower so everyone would know their choices.
One guest at that wedding then ordered cupcakes for her daughter’s upcoming wedding. For one gal to make dozens of cupcakes in different flavors is a lengthy chore, and the customer must agree to me baking and freezing the week before the deadline date to make sure it is all done. This customer also chose 5 flavors… lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting, chocolate cake with mint buttercream, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, banana cake with peanut butter frosting, and red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Each has a garnish to sort of act as a context clue for guests… things like walnuts (carrot cake), red candy hearts (red velvet), and banana chips (banana cake). With a dozen regular size and 2 dozen minis of each flavor, guests get the choice to either go for the one they really wanted, or say “I do” to a couple different tiny ones. And the savings… Oy, don’t get me started! They are paying a fraction of what they would have shelled out for a traditional wedding cake. Plus cupcakes are easier to shove into your new spouse’s face for a really great practical joke!