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TRENDS: Wedding Cakes

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We’ll have to get married in Seattle, just so
we can have one of Mike’s Amazing Cakes.
Did Rick & Ilse live happily ever after, after
all? Here’s looking at you, kid. Photo
courtesy Mike’s Amazing Cakes.

Planning a June (or anytime) wedding?

As you may have gathered from the parade of wedding cake programs and segments like “The TODAY Show Plans A Wedding,” the cake design is secondary only to the wedding dress.

No longer content to have an elegant white cake with frosting flowers, brides are looking for fashionable cakes. Here are wedding cake trends for 2010 as reported by Stratford University, a Virginia-based school that offers culinary arts degrees (along with a traditional university curriculum).

Slightly Different Cakes

  • Initials. Couples are opting to have their entwined initials monogrammed on the side of the cake.
  • Height. Many people are opting for taller cakes—up to seven tiers high.
  • Nature. Nature themes are popular as cake toppings. These can range from fresh flowers and leaves or fresh fruits to pine cones, seashells and other decor.
  • Being Green. Many guests don’t like classic wedding cake, covered in fondant (to be fair, homemade fondant can be delicious, but some cakemakers purchase premade fondant, which is less so). So why waste the cake: Order something people will eat (see next bullet).
  • More Than Cake. Lose the cake and opt for favorite treats: a tiered “cake” of cupcakes or a tree of mini desserts, such as cheesecake, tarts and brownies. If you must have a cake to display, see Rent A Cake, below.
  • Matching Dresses. A big trend matches the cake decoration to the bridesmaids’ dresses. Another option is to decorate the cake with real lace and ruffles.
  • Bold Colors. Who says the cake has to be white…or even chocolate? If your favorite color is red, go for it!

 

Really Different Cakes

  • Artistic. Choose your favorite famous painting and have the wedding cake decorated with it, using edible paints. (It’s probably best to avoid Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and Picasso’s “Guernica.”)
  • 3-D. Another hot trend in wedding cakes is for 3-D accents as part of the cake’s decoration and design. For the ultimate in 3D masterpieces (and an absolutely gorgeous gallery of wedding cakes), check out Mike’s Amazing Cakes in Seattle (designer/baker of the cake in the photo).

 

Saving Money

  • Rent A Cake. In this economy, many people are looking for ways to save on their wedding. A new trend for budget-cutting is to rent a mock wedding cake for display (it’s been decorated with real fondant, rosetts, etc., and looks real, but you can’t eat it—instead of cake underneath the frosting, there’s styrofoam). Then, serve a budget-friendly sheet cake that is cut and plated in the kitchen.
  • Go Faux. Another trend for saving money on the wedding cake, which can typically cost from $600 to thousands of dollars, is to have a faux bottom one or two tiers (frosted and decorated styrofoam, as above). This will allow the cake to look impressive to guests and for pictures, but can help bring the cost of the cake down quite a bit.
  • Cupcakes. Tiers of cupcake-style wedding cakes continue to grow in popularity. They also allow for vegan and gluten-free versions so those on special diets can join in.

And now, we’ve got to go find a piece of cake to eat!

 





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