Today's wedding cakes range from castle shaped miracles of architecture to round mini-cakes stacked in gravity defining simplicity. With barely a glance back to the traditional white cake piled high with fondant and icing roses, bakeries are now creating whatever a couple can imagine. Layers can go horizontally and be joined with decorative bridges to symbolize the path your marriage will take. Each layer can be different flavors to appeal to a large guest list. Natural decorations such as edible flowers, fruits and nuts can be added. Themes, such as butterflies and motorcycles, are added to wedding cake tops or built into the entire design.
If a wedding cake isn't your style, try something less traditional. Cupcakes have been making a huge comeback in both the fashion and baking world. Professionals can arrange individual cupcakes into amazing designs to match your wedding theme. How about a dessert table? Offer a long table with all your favorite treats. Pecan pie, pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie would be great for a fall or Thanksgiving wedding. Cream filled sweets and tarts would follow your Victorian theme. Look to your family history for dessert ideas. Germans traditionally choose a nut sponge cake which has been soaked in a liquor for weddings. Use in season fruits for tartlets and strawberry shortcake to save your budget.
If you want to tap into the southern part of Missouri, offer a groom's cake as well as a wedding cake. The groom's cake has its roots in the tradition of a bride's gift to her new husband and it symbolizes the sweetness of marriage. You can serve this cake at the rehearsal dinner, offer it along the side the bride's cake and make it a complimentary flavor or slice it for guests to take home as a wedding favor. This is a perfect option if your heart is set on a traditional cake, but you love the design elements of more trendy cakes. Cover the bride's cake in traditional roses and fondant, and then let your imagination and creativity take over for his cake. Rum cake with golf club decorations or chocolate cake with fishing poles, make this cake all about him.
Cake toppers are another place to express yourselves. The traditional bride and groom figurines now come outfitted with sports equipment, bent into sculpture pieces or complete with accessories such as scuba diving suits. Crystal hearts and gold tone rings are available for those who don't want the traditional couple. A new trend is monogram letters for the cake top. These come in glitzy versions with inset faux jewels, wooden letters with a hand-hewn feel or stately crystal to reflect candle light. Your cake topper will set on your mantle for the first few years of your marriage, so choose something you like.
When looking for wedding cakes, do some research before you head out for food tasting. Have an idea of what type of cake you are wanting. Websites such 360 St. Louis show many different cake designs and flavors. Prices are listed by the slice to give you an idea for budgeting. Wedding Wonderland Cakes in Florissant, offers many fruit filled cakes and a different selection of pictures to give you ideas. Ask family and friends for bakery recommendations. I know free cake always seems like a good idea, but choose your top three or four bakeries to sample first. Tasting every wedding cake available will be fun, but it will surely lead to confusion.
Wedding cakes are personal choices. Any flavor of cake can be made to look traditional and the traditional can take a walk on the wild side. Let your wedding cake be a reflection of all you hope for in your new marriage; a sweet experience built on a solid foundation, and decorated with your personalities.