May 13, 2013 at 9:11 AM ET
Wedding cakes have come a long way in recent years—they’re no longer those boring, bland-tasting, three-tier white affairs that remain half-eaten at the tables. Perhaps inspired by over-the-top cake reality shows, or perhaps just fed-up with plain old cakes, brides are getting demanding—and bakers are happy to get creative. Here are some ideas for mixing up your cake design:
Couples with more ultra-modern tastes are leaning toward square cakes nowadays, said pastry chef Jutta Bach of La Joconde Cake Studio + Bakery in Portland, Ore. One downside is that they are more expensive, because they are more difficult to make, she says, as bakers can’t use the turntable they do with round ones, so the perfect corners must be sculpted. But the upside: They look super hip.
Flowers have always cascaded down cakes, but now lots of brides are going for more complex designs, like delicate tree branches, garden themes or pained nature-inspire scenes, said Jesse Heap of the Denville, N.J., Pink Cake Box, which specializes in unique cakes. “Cherry Blossom cakes are a beautiful choice,” he added. And if you’re an autumn bride, don’t despair: The bakery does plenty of cakes that would feel perfect in October, like this one with acorns and falling leaves.
Keep it colorful.
Likes dresses, most cakes are still white, but more and more, brides are adding pops of color, with patterns, ribbons or other accents. Or they go all out, like with this standout cake from Cakes by Monica in Vermillion, S.D.
Make it personal.
Super customized, over-the-top sculpted cakes are no longer something you only see on shows like Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes” or TLC’s “Cake Boss.” Bakeries that turn out personalized cakes are going strong. “It’s not a trend, it’s what we do,” said Naomi Levine, owner of TipsyCake in Chicago, which, unlike most bakeries of this type, ships nationwide. “We want everyone’s cake to be custom. We consider ourselves artists,” Levine said. “The same old white wedding cake is getting routine—if you’re going to invest in a wedding and a cake, it might as well be something special and unique.”