What you should know about your wedding cake if you plan an outdoor wedding in summer heat.

So… it’s always been your dream to be married in a flower garden setting. You imagine butterflies fluttering around, the ceremony arch covered in your favorite blooms. The wedding cake would be sitting on the side surrounded by a garden of color.

Here is a little food for thought for planning a wedding reception in the summer heat.

outside wedding cake table in summer heatAs for the cake, insects love anything sweet; our icings at Just Simply Delicious are made with sweet butter, no shortening.

So they are a fly magnet. And unfortunately, once a fly or other insect lands, it is stuck.

We will usually suggest a fondant covered cake in high insect areas. They usually don’t attract insects like butter cream will, and if they do… they don’t stick.

And butter will turn into a liquid at 85 degrees…

shortening won’t start to melt unit around 120 degrees! That’s why so many “butter creams” are actually shortening and powdered sugar.  Or they have so many stabalizers in them the ingredient list is 500 words or longerSo the high heat of direct sunlight… and just the temperature in general could have your cake “melting” right before your eyes. Fondant also gives you a little bit of insulation. So your cake will hold the coolness a bit longer. Add to that, keep a tent or other covering over your cake. Shade the cake as much as possible.

I once had a wedding planner tell me that (not my cake) that when the couple cut the cake during the cake cutting ceremony, liquid poured out. And she wanted to know what that was.

Well, my educated guess is that the cake was filled with butter creams that were real butter or other filling that normally would be kept cool, and that cake warmed up to that 90 degree point.  Keep in mind that even chocolate will melt at 90 degrees. She did say the cake was outside on a table without a cover and had been out for hours.

If you really want that outdoor July setting, then we suggest getting the table ready but keep the cake inside in a cool area until right before your reception. The cake can be brought out just as your reception starts perhaps. Giving you the look and the photos you really want, but protecting your cake and serving beautiful slices.  If that isn’t available, again, keep the cake in the shade as much as possible.

If you are using sugar flowers they could melt depending on the humidity. Rain and wind can be a concern.

I have watched table cloths fold over tables if they are not pinned in place. Remember even placing a cake under a tent will not keep rain from being blown onto the sides. Fondant will melt with the moisture, sugar flowers will melt with moisture. You might want a second location in mind if the first one ends up in direct sunlight or rain.

Outdoor reception areas have other concerns as well.

Is the ground level?

It might look level, or level enough… but if you have a butter cream cake. The cake will soften and any slant to the table might just cause the cake to slide…. Even with supports, the cake could start looking like the leaning tower of Pisa. Take the time to use a level. You won’t regret it.

Also, the dirt will compact over time.

Your best location should be a solid surface. But cakes are mostly placed on the side on a table with its feet on the ground. And most tables have four very narrow legs. vintage outdoor wedding cake Lake Eden Asheville NCWedding cakes are quite heavy. And even though you’ve done your best to level the table… kicking a little more mulch under one the table legs to achieve that… well, it won’t hold. The legs need to be level and placed on a brick, piece of wood, etc. Something to carry that much weight, without compacting. Also, pedestal tables are notorious for their ability to wobble! The table must be solid. No cocktail tables! They are built to hold single drinks, not 50 pounds of a top heavy wedding cake. Remember your cake will be out there for hours.

Most professionals will know this. And will make adjustments as needed. But for a first time bride, these remarks are offered for your consideration.

We are Just Simply Delicious deliver cakes to outdoor settings all the time and we will do our best (excuse our insistence at times when on location!) to make sure your cake looks and tastes exactly as it should when you cut it as when it left our bakery.   Delivering wedding cakes to the Asheville and Western North Carolina area.

I hope this helps!