When you throw a bridal shower, it is traditional to serve cake (even more traditional than bridal shower games!). In any case, cake is not only delicious, it can make a lovely centerpiece for your party table. Whether you are planning a full luncheon or an afternoon tea, these tips will help show you how to pick the perfect bridal shower cake.
- Homemade or bakery made? Since a bridal shower is not usually as complex as a wedding cake, you may want to bake your own. However, if you are not an experienced baker, or just want to save time, your local bakery will be happy to create just the right confection for your wedding shower.
- How much cake? When you are planning your cake, you should assume each guest will want one slice. While some will decline, others may ask for seconds. A quarter sheet flat cake (usually 9" x 12") will feed around 16- 24 people. A half sheet (usually 11" x 15") should feed 30-40 people. Full sheet cakes (18" x 24") should feed 70-80 people.
- Cake flavors. While many people think of cake as chocolate or vanilla, they come in virtually any flavor imaginable. When you select a flavor, make sure you find out the favorite of the bride (and the groom if it is a couples shower). You can make it instantly unique by choosing apple spice, mocha or another unusual flavor. Keep in mind that the taste does not come just from the cake--the fillings and icing are equally important. Fruit-filled ones are very popular for bridal showers currently, as are those with dense chocolate ganache or other rich fillings.
- Themed cakes. If your shower has a particular theme, you may want to carry it through your cake designs. For example, if the couple is planning a beach wedding and you have planned a tropical shower, it should utilize elements such as tropical flowers, palm trees or seashells. Some hostesses have chosen elements from the bride's registry for a cake design; for example, you could have her china pattern recreated in icing. Of course, you can always use one of the classic themes, featuring hearts, a bride and groom or umbrellas for a "shower" design. Still others feature photo-realistic pictures of the bride and groom.
- Wedding style cakes. Other people choose to serve a preview of the wedding cake at the bridal shower. Tiered ones are always impressive, so guests are sure to love this option. However, make sure this style is okay with the bride, so she doesn't feel the shower cake is stealing the thunder from the treats she is planning for her big day.
- Petit fours and cupcakes. If you do not want to serve a traditional cake at the bridal shower, consider some of the smaller options. Petit fours are elegant individual cakes and even cupcakes are finding their way into the best bridal showers. These are great, individualized ideas.