People often mistake gourmet cakes for regular cakes that have elaborate decoration. While it’s true that gourmet cakes usually include ornate designs or intricate artwork, they actually differ in substance and construction. Professional bakers use different ingredients and bake these sorts of cakes with a different style or method. If you want to know what makes a gourmet cake unique from a typical cake, then read on to learn more about the differences.

Ingredients and Construction

Gourmet cakes demand higher quality ingredients. This isn’t to say that regular cakes are made of inferior products, but gourmet cakes typically include better substance. This might mean fresher eggs, refined butter and icing made with pure ingredients versus chemically manufactured sugars and processed products. In terms of method, professional bakers use different methods to bake a gourmet cake. They spend more time doing things by hand and crafting the final product to meet professional grade standards. Regular cakes can be churned out in large batches using industrial equipment because they require less attention to detail and include more processed ingredients. Gourmet cakes demand a certain level of care, which means they may take longer to bake and produce.

Aesthetic Styling

Stylistically, gourmet cakes are decorated by hand using expert skill and craftsmanship. Since they are typically used for very special occasions like weddings and formal gatherings, these types of cakes require a skilled hand when it comes to decoration. Many include a substance called fondant, which is an edible sheet of putty-like product designed to produce clean lines and a smoother texture. Few gourmet cakes are left without fondant because cakes tend to look less refined with regular icing, although some bakers decorate solely with regular icing. In this case, the icing is of a higher quality, and the cake may be decorated more simply.

Special Occasions

Regular cakes are purchased throughout the year for birthdays, office parties and family picnics. Gourmet cakes, however, are used for special occasions. They may serve as the centerpiece of wedding receptions, balls, state dinners and other fine dining occasions. Because of the skill and time involved in making them, gourmet cakes generally cost significantly more than regular cakes. They are usually sold by specialty bake shops or catering companies on a customized basis, meaning that people order them individually. Gourmet cakes can be custom-made and usually are, which makes the industry that creates them particularly lucrative.