Swanky Cakes
Invigorate your wedding cake with one of these five trends
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–––Story by Erin Lippitz-Gelsthorpe
Scratch the vanilla cake with white frosting and opt for rich, decadent chocolate. Pairing a moist chocolate cake with a chocolate fudge or ganache frosting is a trend that is growing in popularity. If you’re worried about a double chocolate overload, serve fruit such as fresh strawberries, raspberries or kiwi on the side, which also makes for a beautiful garnish.
Black and White
Many couples are opting for simple designs for their weddings, bringing in just one or two colors to decorate the cake. Black and white cakes are elegant and classy and can accent just about any color. Intricate lace-like designs are especially popular for black and white cakes.
Bridal Gown-Inspired Cakes
Incorporating the design of the bride’s gown into the cake is a newer trend that’s gaining popularity, Williams said. Choosing an aspect or two from the wedding gown, such as the lace work or ruffles, is a beautiful look that can make the cake more personal.
Whimsical Cakes
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Whimsical cakes can have bright colors, mix unusual shapes or even stack cake layers off-kilter. These designs are catching on fast, thanks to cable television cake shows. Round tiers may still be the most traditional way to go, but square, hexagon and even heart-shaped cakes are coming into fashion. These shapes can lend an air of easy sophistication and beauty to your cake without the use of fussy decorations.
“The crooked cake is in this year, and bright, bright colors,” said the sugar artist Colette Peters, who invented the ‘topsy turvy’ cake and is a regular on the Food Network.
Custom Cake Toppers
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Custom-made cake toppers help bring the bride and groom’s personality into the cake. A couple can show off their sense of humor or style with this adornment.
Buffy Vance, of Madeline’s Confectionary in Urbana, makes toppers in her studio in downtown Urbana and views them as a keepsake for the couple to enjoy after the wedding. She makes them out of Styrofoam and covers them in fondant.
These toppers vary from the popular monogram and sugar flowers to the more unusual toppers depicting a hobby or a family pet.
“It dresses the whole cake up,” she said.
For example, she has made toppers including a long-haired Chihuahua in a Louis Vuitton luggage carrier to top a Louis Vuitton wedding cake, a sugar crafted coy fish and sugar flowers to match the bouquet.
“You can pretty much get your cake wherever you want, and I’ll make your custom cake topper,” she said.
Even if the topper chosen is of the groom’s favorite cartoon robot, “I still make them pretty,” Vance said.
Tips To Get The Cake You Want
• Schedule several cake tastings with different cake artists. Don’t be afraid to choose imaginative flavor combinations.

• Pay close attention to the icing, as not all buttercreams are created equal. Vance said buttercreams taste different according to how they are made. An icing made with Crisco tastes different than one made with real butter or egg whites. Look for a smooth, subtly sweet icing that complements the flavor of your cake.

• Bring inspiration from books or magazines to your consultation with your cake artist, Williams said. She encourages clients to bring some element of their wedding to the consultation, such as an invitation, a picture of the gown or a centerpiece. The couple can incorporate these into the design of their cake to make it truly their own.

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