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How to Make a Wedding Cheese Tower: The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Wedding Cheese Tower: The Ultimate Guide

 

In the age of a pandemic, having multiple small wedding parties to celebrate a marital union has become quite normal.  This is how my husband and I decided to organize our wedding festivities this year, so family and friends didn’t have to travel. In the end, we truly loved having four different wedding celebrations stretched over three months.  Not only did we get to extend the quality time with our loved ones all over the country, we also got to make two different wedding cheese towers.  As the owner of a specialty cheese storage and cheese subscription business, would I really have it any other way?

For the cheese lovers out there who have a savory tooth, this guide provides you with the framework for building your own customized wedding cheese tower. And for those who can’t decide between savory or sweet wedding cakes, who says you can’t have both?  We certainly did.

Need help designing your multi-tiered wedding cheese cake?  You’re in luck!  We offer that, too. Picking from our broad catalog of artisan cheesemakers, we can design and ship full wheels of cheese for your wedding day. All you’ll have to do is unpack and assemble. Reach out to us at [email protected] or contact us here.

What Types of Cheese Do You Use in a Wedding Cheese Cake?

This is your special day, so the first criteria should be what types of cheese you and your partner will enjoy the most.  The second question to ask yourself is what types of cheese your guests will enjoy.  If you know you will be pleasing a crowd of people who are not too adventurous in their cheese consumption (for example, they might turn their nose at goat cheese or blue cheese), here are styles we’d recommend that are guaranteed to be success no matter the preference.

Bloomy Rind Cheeses (Brie, Camembert, and Robiola)

Brie and camembert are crowd-pleasing cheeses that most resemble a traditional wedding cake, except instead of white frosting, you cheese tower will boast a white, bloomy rind.  The rind has savory flavor notes of white button mushrooms that serve as a nice balance to the creamy, vegetal flavor profile of the past of the cheese.  Depending on your desired aesthetic, you can have more than one wheel of bloomy rind cheese in your wedding cheese cake. And since there are a wide variety of size wheels in this category, they can be easy to stack. 

Natural Rind, Semi-Hard to Hard Cheeses (Alpines and Tommes) 

Natural rind cheeses are semi-firm to firm styles where the rind is able to develop in open air in the cave.  Theses are brushed and flipped at least one a week to maintain even rind development, and certain styles are rubbed with salt or washed with a brine solution intermittently to add extra flavor to the cheese wheel as well as to control the types of natural, edible mold that develop on the surface. Others may be rolled in herbs or spices to add additional flavor and visual appeal.  These cheese types are often somewhat larger in height and diameter than bloomy rind cheese, and so they can make an excellent middle or base cheese tier in the cake. Some recommendations are alpines, natural rind cheddars, or tomme styles, but source wheels of the smaller format variety than your average fifty pound Gruyere wheel for a smaller event.  For the more adventurous wedding party, a natural rind blue can be a lovely choice.

Washed Rind Cheeses (Taleggio and Raclette)

Washed rind cheeses are pungent in aroma and meaty in flavor, with varying levels of tacky to dry orange rinds depending on how frequently they are washed with salt-water during their aging process.  For a wedding cheese tier, it is easier to manage a rind that is a bit on the drier side, as the tower will be less pungent and easier to cut and serve than a tacky, softer textured washed rind cheese.  Go with a Raclette-style or Taleggio-style like Dorset (if you are open to a square shape in your tower), the aroma may be more pungent but the rind will have flavor notes of peanuts and the paste will be meaty, rich, and delicious.  

Waxed Rind, Hard Cheeses (Gouda and Cheddar)

Waxed rind cheeses like Gouda and Cheddar don’t have an edible rind, but they can make for an incredibly solid base for a cheese tower.  The wax provides an additional layer of protection, making this the hardiest cheese style to place in your wedding cheese cake.  Plus, you can choose from a myriad of wax colors to make your cheese tower pop. However, if you’re going for a more natural or rustic look, then we’d recommend sticking with the bloomy and natural rind styles.

How Much Cheese Do You Need in a Cheese Tower?

When designing your wedding cheese tower, plan for at least double the quantity of a normal portion per guest.  The standard serving size per person is 4 ounces, but that can be doubled to at least 8 ounces or more. After all, we want this cheese tower to be a bountiful statement of your union, and cheese leftovers are the gift that keeps on giving for weeks on end. Grab some cheese paper from our store, and you can wrap leftovers as party favors.

Consider the Texture, Height, and Diameter When Stacking Cheese Wheels

Wedding Cheese Tower Tutorial

The base of your cheese wheel wedding cake needs to be composed of the hardest and largest cheese in the stack.  As you move up the tower, the cheeses can become softer in texture, as long as they can support the weight of the cheese that rests atop it.

For the sizing of the cheese wheels, it is smart to have cheese wheels vary in diameter by 4 to 8 inches.  This difference in diameter allows for a wedding cake-like appearance to the final look, and allows space for garnishes on each layer of the cheese cake.

The height for the middle cheeses in the cheese tower cake can vary, as long as the texture rule is followed.  Placing the smallest cheese with a slightly taller height on the top gives the entire cheese celebration cake a nice structure, and serves as a great platform for placing stunning flowers, or your wedding figurines.

Use Fresh Flowers, Fruits, and Herbs for a Natural, Beautiful Garnish

Flower and herb garnishes for a wedding cheese tower

Seasonal flowers, herbs, and fruit make for an excellent natural look that accentuates the cheese wheels.  You can decorate the open space on each cheese tier with a wreath of rosemary or other herb of choice, and you can balance different flowers and fruit (like raspberries) to give a remarkable color pop to your cheese tower.

How Do You Serve a Cheese Wedding Tower?

How to cut and portion a wedding cheese tower

Serving surfaces

 A simple cake stand is a great way to display the cheese cake as a standalone statement and serves as a trick of the eye since this isn’t your average wedding cake.  When you are going to cut, serve, and portion the cheese tower, however, a large cheese board or cutting board can be more fitting.  You can dress the space around the cheese tower with accompaniments such as olives, fruit, nuts, and crackers, as well as decorative leaves.  Just be sure to leave space on the board to cut cheese wedges. It is also a good idea to have a second cutting board to portion the cheese into smaller pieces.

How to cut portions of each layer in the cheese tier

The first step is to cut a wedge from the top wheel, and continue to do this on each layer, removing the cheeses wedges from the different wheels and placing them on your second cutting board.  Then, you can follow along our cheese cutting guide here to portion each wedge into 1/2 to 1 ounce serving sizes. Allow guests to enjoy this freshly cut artisan cheese with your plated pairings as they would any cheese and charcuterie board.

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Jessica Sennett is the founder and inventor of Cheese Grotto. Her whole life is cheese – seriously.

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