Ah, the wedding cake–for a humble baked good, it’s definitely the epicenter of a lot of hand-wringing and option paralysis when people are planning a wedding. It also tends to take up a sizable chunk of the wedding budget, with some wedding cakes costing as much as a beat-up (but still running) used car. Wedding cake trends tend to change quickly, with some visionary baker or another always coming up with a new take on the classic. So before these trends slip away, let’s take a look at a few of the current wedding cake trends.
Fondant frosting, fudge drizzle or Buttercream? None of the above, say the bold bakers who started the naked cake trend. Instead of a cake that’s designed to be a delivery vehicle for frosting, the naked cake has no frosting at all, relying on the deliciousness of the cake itself (and the fruit filling between layers) to carry the day. It makes for a lighter, less cloying dessert, and on display a naked cake is truly striking, if not quite as elegant as a decorated cake.
The word “ombre” is everywhere these days–you see it used referring to hairstyles, clothes, fabrics, furniture, and now wedding cakes. Simply put, “ombre” means that it starts at one end (top or bottom) with a deep, saturated color, which slowly fades to a much lighter version of the color–or another color entirely–by the time it gets to the other end. So an “ombre” cake might be deep crimson at the bottom, shaded flawlessly through to delicate pink at the top. It’s definitely a striking look when it’s done right, and a good way to incorporate your wedding’s colors into the cake.
Gold and silver cakes are making a comeback, and not just for winter weddings or upscale receptions. Wedding couples are embracing the classic classiness of metallic elements to spruce up even a rustic wedding theme.
There’s long been a practice of painting details and designs on cakes, sure. But the new field of cake-painting means more than just brushing delicate color onto a decoration; cake artistes are painting entire impressionistic masterworks on the cake, to really make it the centerpiece of the reception (before it’s cut up and eaten, that is).
Okay, we’ve all seen these before on birthday cakes; but now couples are adding them to the top tier of their wedding cake as well. All you have to do is head to your local dollar store or fireworks store and pick up some of their discount wedding sparklers for a few dollars to pull this trend off. You just stick a bunch of the cheap wedding sparklers into the top of your cake, light them, and enjoy. There are also a few types of sparklers that are designed specifically for wedding cakes, but they are much more expensive and completely unnecessary.
For a long time now, wedding cakes have been covered in fondant so they’ll appear smooth and perfect on display. Now, we admit that at least half the purpose of the cake is to look good on the display. But at some point the idea is that the cake gets cut and passed around and eaten, and at that point every guest is stuck with a leathery, gross piece of fondant to drape over the edge of their plate like a forgotten bit of skin. So we love seeing buttercream make a comeback, especially with cake artists who do bold, crazy textures with it. It’s the opposite of the inedible bland uniformity of fondant.
When you’re looking for your wedding cake, try one of the above trends to really make your confectionery stand out. After all, your wedding cake is going to be served to your closest family and friends–why not make sure it looks good enough to eat?