Baking & Desserts

Real or artificial: Which wedding cake is right for you?

By: Shannon Tully South

Author: Canadian Living

Baking & Desserts

Real or artificial: Which wedding cake is right for you?

By: Shannon Tully South
Modern brides have more options than ever before, and this is never been more true than in the world of wedding cakes. With the unlimited choices of cake flavour, size, shape and colour, today’s bride can easily create a dream wedding cake. But a cake of foam?  Artificial wedding cakes are becoming more mainstream as many brides find artificial cakes are the perfect fit for a modern wedding.

What is an artificial wedding cake?

Just as it sounds; a fake cake. Cake professionals can buy special food-grade foam in any shape and size. These foam cakes are then constructed and iced in any wedding cake configuration, just as you would an edible cake. Often artificial cakes include a piece of real cake iced into the cake design for the ceremonial bride-and-groom’s cake cutting tradition. Otherwise, rental cakes simply have a slit in the foam for the cake knife to "cut" the cake.

Advantages to artificial wedding cakes
There are a few reasons why brides choose artificial wedding cakes over their sweet-tasting counterparts:

  • Artificial cakes are perfectly suited to outdoor weddings - they will not droop or melt in hot weather and bugs are not an issue.
  • Fake cakes are also light and easy to move around, although the icing and other decorations are just as fragile as a real cake. 
  • Many brides who choose artificial cakes do so because they want the tradition of a wedding cake but do not want to serve cake to their guests. This is often the case if a bride has a caterer serving a special dessert as part of the meal. 
  • Also, if a bride chooses a wedding cake design that is far too large for the number of guests to be served, her cake may include several artificial layers to avoid having large amounts of leftover cake. 
  • Lastly, brides often cannot afford their dream wedding cake, but can certainly rent one for a fraction of the cost!

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Rent-a-Cake or purchase your own
In the land of artificial cakes, brides generally have two options. Many cake shops have artificial cakes on display which are available to rent. At the end of your wedding, the cake is returned to the cake shop, just as you would return a tux or table linens. Often cake shops can “customize” certain rental cakes by changing the ribbon, flowers or other decoration. Generally, the price of rental cakes is very reasonable and the larger the cake shop, the more choices of rental cakes you will find. The drawback to renting a cake is that after the cakes have been in circulation for a time, they can sometimes lose that “fresh” look.    
Brides can also opt to have their own artificial cake created specially for them. The artificial cake is ordered and purchased just as you would any other decorative wedding item. The advantage to this type of artificial cake is that you can have it designed however you wish. The drawback is, what to do with the cake once the wedding is over?  (Type “artificial wedding cake” into an online classified or auction site to see how many used wedding cakes you can find!)

Costs of artificial wedding cakes
Your artificial wedding cake may be the same price as if it were an edible cake!  The price of a wedding cake is largely determined by the amount of time spent by the cake professional creating a work of wedding art.  This price will be reflected in any intricately decorated cake, whether fake or real!  

When budgeting for your wedding cake, be sure to take into consideration the cost of having your caterer serve a special dessert in addition to the cost of an artificial cake. In the end, it may be less expensive to order and serve an edible wedding cake to your guests after the meal.
Artificial wedding cakes have a useful and practical place in the wedding world.  Explore cake shops near you to find your dream wedding cake – whether it be sugar or foam.

Read more: Creative wedding cake toppers
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Baking & Desserts

Real or artificial: Which wedding cake is right for you?