How to keep your cool when it comes to al fresco big-day bakes

wedding cake displayed outdoors with a floating tier
Credit: Tom Jeavons Photography

This issue, we asked the county's experts for their advice on planning an outdoor wedding. Here, Chelsea Prior from Chelsea Buns Cake Design (www.chelseabuns.co.uk) tells us how to keep your cool when displaying your big-day bake outside.

Think about your cake carefully. Many people who go for an outdoor wedding choose to go for a more rustic, relaxed style cake (naked, semi-naked or buttercream finishes), which looks lovely and fits perfectly with the vibe of their day. However, during the summer months you have to consider the weather when choosing your cake. I always advise my couples of the risks that come with these cakes during the season as unfortunately buttercream and heat are not friends! If you take some simple steps though, the dangers hot weather will put your big-day bake in can  be reduced.

Make sure you tell your cake designer exactly what setup you'll have, allowing them to work out the best plan of action. If you have no indoor space at all and are wanting your cake set up in the middle of a lawn with no shade or cover, they'll definitely need to know this.

Ensure that your cake can be positioned in the coolest spot of your venue, tipi or marquee. If there are resources for a fan or cooling unit to be placed near the cake, that's great, use it!
Opt for as late a setup as possible. With all of my buttercream or semi-naked style cakes I speak directly with the venue to determine the absolute latest time I can set up. This will reduce the time it's out in the heat or open air. Perhaps, if possible, have it delivered during a turnaround time or after the midday sun to help reduce the risk.

All of my buttercream cakes have a layer of chocolate ganache underneath the buttercream outer layer to help with stability. Speak with your cake designer about the things they can do to help overcome challenges posed by the heat and ease any stress about the cake on the day.

Cut the bake straight after your ceremony. If the weather is particularly warm, move your cake cutting forward and do it before you have your meal. This way you can still have your cake-cutting photos before your caterer takes it away to keep it cool before serving it as planned.

Planning is key when having your cake outside in the summer.

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