Cake Walk

By Nora Heston Tarte

Think of the wedding cake as the centerpiece of the reception. It’s part decoration, part cuisine. Not only should the cake compliment your décor—the colors, theme, etc.—it should also compliment the other foods served. Every aspect of weddings has been elevated thanks to Pinterest, reality television, and an overall growth in the high-end wedding market. And while other desserts are popping up at weddings, too, none are more celebrated than the infamous wedding cake. Take your dessert high in the sky with a multi-tiered creation, or get creative with frosting and flavor for a next-level confectionary. The best recipe for a memorable wedding cake is a perfect balance of design and taste.

Take Your Time

Crafting the perfect wedding cake for your affair takes time. You wouldn’t rush the baking process and there’s no need to rush the design process either, as long as you’re planning ahead. Wedding rule of thumb says cakes should be ordered two months before nuptials, making it one of the last large elements planned.

Taste is Everything…

Meet with your baker for a tasting and design consultation. Whether this is one appointment, or multiple, is up to you and the cake creator. Taste as many flavor combinations as you can stomach to expertly combine fillings, frostings, and flavors. And when you need to, ask the advice of a professional.
One of the benefits of the cake deadline coming last is that your dinner menu has likely been cemented. Bring a copy of the menu to share with your baker so you can pick flavors that will enhance the taste of dinner and drinks.

But so is Design

Pinterest is a good starting place when it comes to choosing a cake design. Peruse the popular wedding website and pin designs you love to your wedding board. Share these shots with your cake designer to give an idea of the look you’re after. Instead of copying the photo exactly, designers can create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece inspired by your pinned photos.
Expert bakers go beyond classic cakes with floral toppers. Frosting can look mosaic or ombre, be bright and colorful, muted, or, beautifully bare (naked cake trends are on the rise and perfect for those who dislike an overload of sweet frosting), or trade those flowers for fresh fruit instead. The choice is yours!
While there are many avenues to stroll down on this cakewalk, the design should compliment the overall feel of your wedding. Don’t feel limited by wedding cake norms either—tradition has gone out the window as brides look for the next big wedding cake trend! Help your cake designer out by bringing photos of the other design elements of your wedding—think décor, reception space, even your dress! It’ll help create a cohesive look for the reception where the cake will be on display.

Take Shape

While the colors and toppers are important pieces of your cake design, the shape is another matter that must be addressed. Round tiers are the classic option, but brides today are thinking outside of the box—er, circle.
Go square, hexagonal, heart-shaped or spherical (a growing trend for grooms cakes). Create a Leaning Tower of Pisa out of sugar, flour, and eggs, or take the Mad Hatter’s approach to a mismatched cake.

Step it Up

Want your cake to tower on its tabletop? Add layers! Looking for a cake that appears to be covered in pearls? That’s easy! Are sugar flowers in your future? A cinch! Don’t feel limited in your quest for the perfect cake. Welcome the unusual and imprint your initials, embrace texture, and really infuse your style into dessert. Guests will have a full evening to marvel at the design work before diving in to taste.

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