Specialty Cakes for the Holidays

Few things are more unique and personal than the gift of food. And during the holidays, when dessert often becomes the main focus at our celebrations, our options become almost limitless. With so many to choose from for that special holiday touch, specialty cakes might be our saving grace.

Cake has come a long way since the ancient Egyptians began making breads sweetened with honey more than 5,000 years ago. Breads that were made for sustenance back then gave way to cakes that today are designed to make a splash. Specialty cakes, as their name implies, are made for a special occasion. A specially decorated cake can make a holiday meal brighter and giving it as a gift can make your visit sweeter.

Holiday cakes are versatile, particularly eye catching, full of color and flavor. You can choose based on theme, content, color, and size. Whether you’re looking to make a decorating statement or a culinary one, a specialty cake could be the item that ties it all together with style.

There are several things to keep in mind when deciding on a specialty cake. Who will eat it? Is it geared for children or an older crowd, and if so, how many? How much do you want to spend? What will it be paired with? Do you want to bake it yourself?

If you want to use grandma’s recipe, consider the complexity and labor associated with this feat. Baking it yourself highlights your creativity, but buying it online might be a better alternative if you’re strapped for time. For example, a traditional Christmas fruitcake sells online for between $25 to $75, can be sent to anyone on your shopping list, and could arrive in a festive tin box just in time for Christmas.

Which cake is right for your holiday get-together? The list of choices varies from traditional to trendy and includes fruitcakes, panettones, cheesecakes, tarts, gingerbread and even ice cream cakes. Cupcakes are the latest trend in holiday treats; hundreds of stores catering to this niche have sprouted both as traditional stores and as online sites. The cupcake market alone is projected to grow by 26% through 2014 to more than $20 billion in sales.

“Fondant is not the only way to go anymore,” says Samantha James, a line cook and professional baker in State College, Penn. The trend in holiday specialty cakes is “simple, not as busy,” she adds. James’ holiday favorites include pies and spice cakes, which use nutmeg and ginger. A pie is an inexpensive and delicious addition to any meal and can cost as little as $5.

Ultimately, it may all come down to desert being the big finish, the pièce de résistance, or the icing on the cake, if you will. For those occasions when only a Santa cake will do, a specialty cake will leave guests oohing and ahing all the way to next year. Proof that you can have your cake and eat it too.

How to Get Specialty Cake Ideas

Specialty cakes are a whole new world of creativity and expressing oneself. New ideas on specialty cakes are available in plenty. With these innovative ideas, you can now make a cake at home for special occasions like birthday, Christmas or even a wedding. What you require is only a little patience and a willingness to learn new things.

In order to express your ideas and theme, it is imperative that you make a large cake. A large single-tier cake will spoil the look. It will look very bulky thus spoiling all your creative ideas and themes. Therefore, go for a three-tier or multi-tier cake that has enough space to convey what you want to.

Choose a theme: To stand out from those ordinary cake designs, what you need to do is to have a theme. Then all elements must be chosen/arranged in such a way that it matches the theme.

Use idea finder: There are lots of idea finder websites online through which you can get inspiring ideas for our cakes. Some of them are complex while others are simple yet elegant. Certain sites make idea finding very easy by providing options to choose based on categories like type, celebration, and theme.

Customize the cake: A specialty cake just does not become special based on the occasion alone. To make it really ‘special,’ you can add something related to the person involved in the occasion. However, this is possible only in case of occasions like wedding, birthday, etc.

Involve kids: Kids are not attracted to the finished product – specialty cake – but also interested in making the same. Therefore, it is a great idea to involve kids so long as they don’t spoil the whole attempt. You can witness many inspiring ideas from kids.

Improve, if not innovate: All of us cannot be innovative and find specialty cake ideas. And sometimes just following what is available in the net makes it less fun. So what you can do is to improvise and improve any given idea and put a lot of “you” in it. This way, it becomes a new idea which is also a customized one.

Getting specialty cake ideas is not difficult. You only need to keep your eyes, ears, and mind open. Ideas will flow automatically. The only prerequisite is that you should have a little experience in baking and have some basic ideas about making specialty cakes.

How to Make Charming Specialty Wedding Cake Designs

Everything is special about wedding, so is wedding cake. The people who attend a wedding give as much attention to the cake as given to the couple. The most important part of this cake is its decoration. Toppers and icing are used for the decoration. Natural and artificial flowers are also widely used for this decoration.

Specialty wedding cake designs are to be taken seriously. There are various types cakes. Some couples may prefer a unique specialty cake design for their weddings. They insist on a design never used before to enable it to stand out for the special and memorable event of their lives.

Whatever design you choose, the design should express the couple. The design should translate their vision. Moreover, they should also be works of art.

Here are three ways of ensuring a charming cake design.

Specialty wedding cake design: No compromise on design. Go for the professional hand. Go to the baker who is specialized in specialty wedding cake designs. Ask the baker to show the picture gallery. You will see dozens of pictures in the folder the baker provides. These pictures are of real cakes already made. Select the one which you think is most suitable for you. Ask the baker to make some changes in the design you selected so that it will look unique. You may decide on the size of the cake or leave it to the baker to decide to accommodate all the details of the design.

Wedding cake toppers: A topper is an important part of a specialty cake design. In most cases, the exact replica of the couple is represented in a couple of figurines on top of the cake. At least at some weddings, the topper used is the heirloom of the bride’s family and it is repeatedly used by them for every wedding in the family. There are several types of toppers like military toppers, crystal toppers, and monogram toppers.

Wedding cake charm: Pulling out a charm from the layers of the cake by the bridesmaid is a very old tradition. The charm is the symbol of good luck. It is placed in the cake and is attached to a satin ribbon.

Give a new dimension to the cake concept which is followed in every wedding for ages.