Posted on Mar 23, 2014 in ,

A couples guide to ordering a wedding cake.

What’s Inside a Wedding Cake –  

Myth 1 – you can’t make a wedding cake out of  all cake – False

A few months ago I went to a dinner party and the person next to me started telling me about her wedding cake. She had a beautiful wedding that was marred by a really, really bad cake. Bad enough that when she thinks back to her wedding, that’s what she think about.

Here’s the visual



The cake was not at all what she had wanted or even anywhere close to what she had ordered.

Beyond that, though, 3/4 of every tier were plastic. So that as she cut into the cake, the knife went down about a 1/2 inch and then hit plastic.

When she said that I thought that’s weird – I’ve never heard of that before.

She posted it to my Facebook page  and asked the question “Are all wedding cakes fake and I didn’t know it?”

A few days later, I noticed a supplier had sent me a catalog that had a plastic cake tier that advertised that you could put a thin layer or cake on top of it, and then decorate the plastic/layer of cake for an easy wedding cake.

I must be misunderstanding?

But they were kind enough to include an example:



I have used a faux cake before – usually for an editorial shoot, window display or if a bride has a wedding, for let’s say 100 people and wants a much larger wedding cake. As in the cake below. The first four tiers of the cake were all Real Cake, and the bottom two tiers were faux decorated to match the top 4 real tiers.

Tiered Cake By L'Atre Dell Torta di Melanie Secciani in Florence, Italy

Tiered Cake By L’Atre Dell Torta di Melanie Secciani in Florence, Italy

But I had never seen a cake that had a tier was made of plastic and then, a tiny bit of cake on top of it.

Then, on Friday, I was talking to another pastry chef who was showing me pictures of the cakes his friend (a pastry chef) had made over the weekend at cake decorating school. I said they were nice, and asked if the cake was real since the cakes were about 2 meters high. – I’m thinking, My Gosh a lot of work. “oh yes, of course- well the top of each tier because you know you cannot really make a tiered cake with all cake“…


Is this seriously becoming a thing? Are pastry shops telling that to couples who want a wedding cake?

I am a cake designer. I am telling you



Elegant Tiered Wedding Cake in Florence Italy by Tuscan Cake Designer Melanie Secciani.

Elegant Tiered Wedding Cake in Florence Italy by Tuscan Cake Designer Melanie Secciani.


This one was Chocolate Cake with Baileys Mousse and Chocolate Ganache done for a Wedding in Florence, Italy.  There was no plastic or foam in this cake. A normal tier of cake has 3-4 layers of cake inside each tier and 2 – 3 layers of buttercream, ganache, or mousse – depending on the bakery, the kind of cake, or cake designer you use and how they do it.

Most standard tiers of cake will be 3-5 inches high – again depending. At L’Arte Della Torta di Melanie Secciani our cake tiers are just over 4 inches.


Slices of Wedding Cake

There is nothing wrong with having a faux tier on your cake. Sometimes it is a great solution – as in,  you’re having a wedding for 100 guests and only need about 100 pieces of cake. But would like something larger for impact.

In that case, since the cake is being cut from the top down, and each of the top four tiers are real cake which have enough cake to serve your 100 guests, the 5 and 6th tiers would never be cut into anyway – real or faux.

But, I think, if you are going to have a faux tier, or a tier that is made from mostly plastic, then it’s something you should know. Not find out as your knife hits the plastic, in front of all your guests.

Maybe this is only a Wedding Cake in Italy issue. Or maybe as decorated cakes have become more popular, and more pressure is put on pastry chef’s who don’t have the experience making tiered cakes to produce them, other solutions are being sought. But evidently in any case, this seems to be becoming more common.

So I’m going to leave you with three questions, you can ask when you are trying to order a wedding cake.

1. What is the cake made from?

2. Do you use faux tiers and if so, where would they be on my cake?

3. Can you show me what a slice of one of your wedding cakes look like?


To read #2 of this article – How much does a wedding cake cost?


For more information about Wedding Cakes in Tuscany by L’Arte Della Torta Di Melanie Secciani please visit



























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