“Consumers are looking for a cake with immediate wow factor – something wonderful that takes their breath away and creates that sense of celebration,” says Susanne Edler of the Anglo-Austrian Patisserie and Gloriette Patisserie in London. “Our experience indicates that consumers want quality celebration cakes with high levels of individuality and creativity that have a visual impact.”

And David Grieve of bakery ingredients manufacturer Renshaw (Liverpool, Merseyside) claims this impact can be achieved simply and profitably by selecting the most appropriate ingredients and applications. “Simply choosing the right sugarpaste can be crucial in terms of the production of celebration cakes,” he says. “Bakers should be looking for products which suit their individual production style, whether this be semi-automated or hand-finishing and which suits the application skill levels available.”

Renshaw manufactures Regalice, which the company says gives a smooth even covering without excessive rolling, making it quick to use. “Not too stretchy and not too soft, it doesn’t tear or crack when drying out,” says Edler. “The consistency of Regalice means that it always performs the same enabling us to maintain production schedules, as we do not need to adjust our application techniques to suit individual batches of sugarpaste.”

Choosing ingredients that give bakers the profits they want is a more complex decision than just buying the cheapest product on the market. “Sacrificing performance for bottom-line price may not be the answer,” says Grieve.

Considering products that have more than one use is one good way to optimise expenditure, control stock rotation and minimise losses caused by deteriorating products. “Ideally, look for cake decorating ingredients made by companies with tight batch production control to be assured of the consistency of handling characteristics and colour,” he advises. “With new sugarpaste products with cleaner and more natural ingredients, Renshaw can help bakers meet market demands and create a route to increased trade and bigger profits,” he adds. “Regalice is also now made using non-hydrogenated fats.”