A cheese wedding cake is something a little different but also absolutely brilliant. Full wheels of soft, savory cheeses, such as Humboldt Fog and Coupole, are stacked and served with chocolate, honey, and fruit to appeal to everyone. Including the keto crowd.
Even before the unusual and unforgettable last year in which weddings have become, by necessity, less and less traditional, cheese wedding cakes have been a thing. One could argue it’s largely due to the trend toward more and more diverse and personalized weddings, although the author of Cheese Boards to Share, Thalassa Skinner, explains, “Since some prefer cheese over dessert, this growing trend actually makes perfect sense.” Especially in an era of keto conscious guests, whether at a wedding or any gathering.
Skinner continues to explain in her book, and excerpted below, more about this trend and how to create your own impressively fashionable tower of cheese tiers.
What is a cheese wedding cake?
For the uninitiated, a cheese wedding cake is simply a towering cake composed not of sugar, flour, butter, and fondant but wheels of different types of cheeses. And it’s just as–if not more so–impressive as the traditional wedding cake.
How do you make a cheese wedding cake?
Use full wheels of cheese to build your cake, but make sure that the tiers (at least the top ones) are soft and able to be cut easily—and that the very top tier is small and delicious and perfect for the bride and groom to set aside for their wedding night.
You might want a hands-on cheesemonger with special knives to break down the “cake” for service, or it could get a bit messy. But as long as there is a cake-like look and it can be eaten, that’s what matters most.
You can have as few or as many tiers as you prefer, from three to, well, somewhere between practicality and infinity. And yes, you can repeat a tier if you have a favorite cheese.
If you dare to break further from tradition and want to make sure that the cheese is eaten and truly appreciated, cut the “cake” first to kick oﬀ the reception and use it as the appetizer course. It’ll help cut costs as well by serving two purposes.
What types of cheese should I use to make a cheese wedding cake?
Whatever you want. Well, within reason. Below are some suggestions, including ample options.
TOP TIER: COUPOLE
Vermont Creamery (Websterville, Vermont, USA)
This dome-shaped goat’s milk cheese with an eye-catching wrinkly rind is a sureﬁre crowd-pleaser. Gently shaped in special forms to capture as much moisture as possible, the texture is delicate and luscious, tasting of buttermilk with a touch of sweet cream. The cheese ages from the outside inward, so the rind will be softer than the center but no less delicious.
Flora (Capriole Goat Cheese; Greenville, Indiana, USA)
La Taupinière Charentaise (Fromagerie Jousseaume; Poitou-Charentes, France)
Sinodun Hill (Norton & Yarrow; Oxfordshire, England)
Damona (Briar Rose Creamery; Dundee, Oregon, USA)
MIDDLE TIER: CRÉMEUX DE BOURGOGNE (B)
Fromagerie Delin (Gilly-lès-Cîteaux, Franche-Comté, France)
Produced in the heart of Burgundy by a maker that excels in triple-cream styles, this small, unassuming round is a decadent cow’s milk cheese. Made with the addition of extra cream to ensure that it is both luscious and buttery, the Crémeux has a pillowy white rind that’s entirely edible. Because this wheel will be supporting weight, ask your cheesemonger to choose one that’s not overly ripe (too soft), or else it might turn into a pancake.
Pierre Robert (Fromagerie Rouzaire; Île de France, France)
Supreme Brie (Marin French Cheese; Petaluma, California, USA)
Brillat-Savarin (multiple producers; Burgundy, France)
Triple Rose (Ballylisk; Armagh, Northern Ireland)
Vignotte (Fromagerie Raival; Grand Est, France)
LaLiberté (Fromagerie du Presbytère; Centre-du-Quebec, Canada)
LOWER OR BOTTOM TIER: HUMBOLDT FOG (C)
Cypress Grove (Arcata, California, USA)
Perhaps the most iconic cheese made in the U.S., this goat’s milk wheel is also one of the most popular. It comes in two sizes—mini and grande—and both are used here for maximum height and layering. Once it’s cut open, a thin line of edible ash running through the cheese is visible, and makes for elegant presentation. Creamy yet slightly crumbly, milky yet slightly tangy, this is a cheese that encourages seconds and thirds.
Délice de Bourgogne coupe (Fromagerie Lincet; Saligny, France)
Cremet (Sharpham; Devon, England)
Raven’s Oak (Butlers; Lancashire, England).
What can I serve with the cheese wedding cake?
You can set out any of the usual accompaniments to cheese alongside your tower of tiers and wait for the compliments. Options include:
Honey or honeycomb
Fresh fruit, such as strawberries or cherries, or grapes roasted on the vine
Bittersweet or dark chocolate