All The Wedding Cake Terms You Need To Know

Getty iStock

Getty iStock

Don’t let cake speak send your head into a spin. Here’s all the jargon you need to know

 

Buttercream

A creamy, smooth icing made with butter, cream and eggs. It is also often used as filling, for piping and to make floral decorations.

 

Fondant

This sugary dough is made of sugar, corn syrup and gelatin. Though it’s soft to begin with it hardens with time. It can be rolled into sheets, poured over a cake or moulded into many decorative details.

 

Ganache

A chocolate and cream mixture, ganache is soft and rich and is used as icing or filling.

 

Marzipan

A sweet paste made from ground almonds, sugar and egg white. It can be rolled into sheets and used as icing as well as fashioned into edible decorations.

 

Meringue

This fluffy mixture is made by whipping caster sugar and egg whites together at high speed. It’s then shaped and baked, resulting in a meringue which has a crunchy exterior and soft centre.

 

Pillars

Wooden or plastic ‘legs’ used to separate cake tiers

 

Piping

A decorative technique used to create decorations like leaves, flowers, borders and intricate patterns such as cornelli lacing. Created using a piping bag filled with icing or fondant, the metal tips you can attach form the decorative elements.

 

Tier

A layer of a multi-layer cake.

 

Truffles

Either used for decoration or served as petit fours and eaten as is, these little balls of deliciousness are made of chocolate ganache then rolled in cocoa. 

 

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Cheesecake

Consisting of a cream cheese poured over a biscuit base a cheesecake is firm and custard-like.

 

Croquembouche

A tower shaped like a cone made from profiteroles (balls of choux pastry filled with cream or custard) covered in toffee.

 

Cupcake

A small cake baked in a cup-like mould and usually covered in icing.

 

Naked

The ‘naked cake’ is a pared down creation that doesn’t have an outer layer of icing so the texture of the cake and the colours inside are visible. This type of cake has become more and more popular with brides over the last few years and works particularly well for rustic or more informal weddings.

 

Fruit Cake

Not as popular as it once was, this traditional celebration cake is made with dried fruit, nuts and spices. Often couples choose to have one tier made from Fruit Cake which can be frozen and then used later to celebrate the first wedding anniversary or first baby.

 

Hummingbird

Fruity, spicy and moist, it’s usually iced with cream cheese and passionfruit.

 

Kransekake

Hailing from Norway, this almond-based cake is fashioned from rings made into a cone tower and covered with icing. The rings are hard on the outside but chewy inside.

 

Macaron

Two crisp, almond-based biscuits coloured with food colouring and filled with jam, ganache or buttercream to give a soft centre.

 

Marble

Sponge cake with visible swirls of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate batter.

 

Mud Cake

Dense and decadently rich, this cake is moist and doesn’t crumble.

 

Red Velvet

Rouge-coloured sponge cake often paired with cream cheese icing.

 

Sponge

Usually used to sandwich fillings, this light airy cake can also be flavoured – think lemon zest and orange and poppyseed.

Torte

A dense cake made with eggs, sugar and ground nuts.

 

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