Ask any cake decorator which is the most stressful part of the job? You’ll get a resounding chorus of “the wedding cake delivery, of course”.
Wedding days bring extra stress because not only have you got to deliver the cake to the venue in one piece, but it’s the most important day of someone’s life. There’s 100+ people scrutinising it, and it’s the centrepiece of the whole day. No pressure.
On a positive note, one of the joys of making wedding cakes is you get to visit some beautiful venues and North Wales has plenty of them to choose from.
Recently it was Nant Gwrtheryrn on the Llyn Peninsula, in North West Wales. It’s primarily a Welsh Language Centre but has recently expanded to include gorgeous self catering accommodation, very special wedding venue and lovely cafe.
Let me tell you – the place is stunning. I feel slightly ashamed that I’ve lived in North Wales all my life and never ventured to this amazing spot. It was once a self contained village nestled in the valley with stone built homes, a day’s work on the quarry and a little chapel for Sunday worship. A simple Welsh life.
The access is stunning and a little alarming, especially when you have a cake on board.
You wouldn’t find it by accident. It’s tucked away on the coast between Trefor and Nefyn. A very steep alpine road leads down into the hidden valley with twists and turns clinging to the side of the mountain. A low gear is recommended so you can easily stop to allow cars to pass on their way up the valley.
By this time, I am fearing the worst, wondering if the sturdy cake travel box has done it’s job and survived the journey.
There is a reward for all this anxiety and it came when the trees opened out to a magnificent vista up and down the coast, even a clear view of the famous Ty Coch Inn on Morfa Nefyn.
You’ll be pleased to know that the cake survived without any damage and was delivered safely to the happy couple.
The beautiful fresh flowers were provided by the very talented Meiriona, at Petalau Pert Florist.
If you’re prone to anxiety like me, there’s a few things you can do to make the journey a little less stressful and give you confidence that your cake will arrive looking as beautiful as when it left your kitchen.
Here’s my 5 tips for avoiding cake chaos.
It’s hard to underestimate the importance of packing your cake well and taking care of it during the journey.
The Box – You need a really sturdy, purpose built, reinforced box designed to take a heavy stacked cake. I’ve just bought a new one from Windsor Cake Craft and it did well on it’s first outing. I bought the 14/16 inch size with a cut out base to sit the board in so it doesn’t slide against the side of the box.
The Car – You need to find a good spot in the car and don’t be tempted to put it on the seat next to you. This won’t be level or stable and could easily fall into the footwell if you have to brake quickly. I find the best spot is the boot – it’s spacious and level. If you can wedge it in with other heavy flat things so it doesn’t move, all the better.
The Temperature – Cakes need to be cool but not cold, so even if it’s the middle of winter you need to keep the temperature in your car moderate. Too warm and it will start to melt, too cold and you’ll start to freeze!
I’m a planner so this comes naturally! You can make yourself a list to include:
At the end of the day, when you’ve done all the preparation that you can – try and relax, enjoy the journey and take in the view. Worrying won’t make any difference so you might as well just take it in your stride.
I exaggerate not – the sense of elation and relief when you drive away from the venue is quite overwhelming. The cake is set up on it’s special table, atop it’s rustic wooden stand, festooned with fresh flowers and looking gorgeous. Everything is perfect, the photographs are taken – and breathe!
One of the special rewards of this wedding was catching a glimpse of the bride in her gorgeous vintage gown, her bridesmaids in pale powder blue and her 2 18 month old daughters as flower girls. The wedding party made their way up to the chapel as we headed back up the scary hill and home.
So reward yourself – do a happy dance, treat yourself to coffee and (someone else’s) cake, have a windswept stroll along the beach, or get your husband to take you for a spontaneous lunch out. Whatever floats your boat.
Then when you’ve had your moment of elation – take a deep breath, and do it all again next week.
So thank you Kate and Meic for asking us to make your special cake. We’re glad you loved it and were honoured to play a small part in your big day.
I’m Judith. I’ve been caking since 2012. I also love to write, photograph, travel, drink coffee and read books. This is my cake blog where you’ll find recipes, and baking tips and all my latest cake projects.
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