Wedding season is upon us and I thought I’d take this opportunity to share how you can easily make a trendy and elegant, non-traditional Cheese Wheel Wedding Cake. Below is a list of things to consider for this easy DIY project.
How Much Cheese Will I Need?
As a general rule, you should plan on 2-4 ounces per guest. For the cake above (which I made for my daughter’s wedding), I knew how cheese crazy our guests were, and I also knew I could easily freeze any cheese that was leftover, so I opted to go with 4 ounces per guest. If you’d like to do the same, follow these amounts as a guideline:
100 guests - 25 pounds of cheese
125 guests - 32 pounds of cheese
150 guests - 38 pounds of cheese
175 guests - 44 pounds of cheese
200 guests - 50 pounds of cheese
250 guests - 64 pounds of cheese
What Size Cheeses Wheels Should I Get?
From a design standpoint, the height of each cheese wheel isn’t as important as the diameter. You’ll notice in the “cake” I made (shown at the top of this post), the height of each wheel varies greatly, but the diameter of each progresses in the same way the tiers of a traditional wedding cake do. If you don’t have a specialty cheese store in your area, here are some options you can order from amazon:
3-inch diameter Boursin (5 oz) - HERE
4-inch diameter P’Tit Basque (1 lb) - HERE
6-inch diameter Cheddar (3 lbs) - HERE
8-inch diameter Manchego (7 lbs) - HERE
9-inch diameter Reggianito (10 lbs) - HERE
10-inch diameter French Raclette (7 lbs) - HERE
10-inch diameter Reggianito (15 lbs) - HERE
12-inch diameter Brie (7 lbs) - HERE
13-inch diameter Jarlsburg (24 lbs) - HERE
Can I Use Half Wheels or Wedges?
You sure can! I was unable to find a whole wheel that was the right diameter to work as the middle tier for my “cake”, but if you look closely, you can see I faked one by placing 4 wedges of artisan blue cheese together to simulate a whole wheel. The same could be done with half wheels.
How Do I Stack the Wheels?
It’s actually easier than you might think. Just make sure the top of each wheel is flat (you can trim with a sharp knife if they’re a bit domed). For hard and semi-hard cheese wheels, simply stack them on top of each other. For softer wheels, cut wooden skewers to act as internal supports (see below).
For this soft wheel of brie that was the large bottom tier of my Cheese Wheel Wedding Cake, I inserted wooden skewers, every few inches, to act as internal supports. I cut the skewers flush with the top of the brie, using a pair of wire cutters. Then I topped the brie with a cardboard cake round that was about the same size as the next wheel of cheese in the stack (to help distribute the weight of all the tiers that were going to sit on top).
How Do I Cut the Wheels?
Soft cheeses can be cut with a standard knife, but large tiers and hard cheeses are much easier to cut with a double handled knife designed for cutting wheels of cheese. I have this one and it worked great!
The blade is 15-inches long so it’s good for slicing pizza and large cakes too.
How to Decorate the “Cake”?
I absolutely love the how a stack of cheese looks displayed on a rustic, bark-covered wood slab (aka a slice or round). I used a large slab of black walnut.
And just like I would decorate a cheese board, I added fresh figs, grapes, blackberries, and dried apricots to decorate my tower of cheese. Florals and herbs sprinkled around the base were a nice touch as well. A variety of nuts would also work nicely.
How to Serve the Cheese?
Cheese is best served at room temperature so be sure the “cake” is set up and allowed to temper for several hours ahead of time. Have plenty of fruits, nuts, and crackers to serve along side.
We served our “cake” during the cocktail hour before dinner so it served as our appetizer course.
What About REAL Cake?
Anything goes these days so it certainly isn’t necessary to serve real cake in addition to the Cheese Wheel Wedding Cake, but we opted to have large sheet cakes that the kitchen staff cut behind the scenes. After dinner the staff presented guests with plated slices. If you’re interested in a scaled down version of the chocolate cake pictured - here’s a link.
So there you have it - everything you need to consider when considering a Cheese Wheel Wedding Cake. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions. Enjoy!