The conventional wedding cake is a three-tiered white cake, often topped with a miniature bride and groom. Variations on this classic style abound; popular choices include flower decorations, either real or sugar, filigree designs often mimicking bridal gown fabric patterns, and fruit decorations.
Wedding Cake TrendsTrends in wedding cakes often follow trends in wedding gowns and wedding themes; cakes often reflect popular gown patterns, colors and textures. A few specific recent trends in wedding cakes include:
- Tiers don't have to be round: today, tiers in squares, triangles, hexagons or other shapes are popular.
- Bring the bling into your cake with glittering luster dust, metallic details or candy gems.
- Monogrammed cakes are popular as well; put your stamp on your cake with your new initials.
- Nontraditional cakes; see more below!
Alternative Wedding Cake IdeasIf you're planning an unconventional wedding or if you're just not interested in a classic white, tiered cake, here are a few alternative ideas to try.
- Cookie cake: A cake covered with cookies pressed into the icing; each guest gets a slice of cake and a cookie. The cookies, which can be very decorative, can be bake in an extra batch for favors.
- Cupcakes: Another popular trend, cupcakes can be as beautiful and delicious as a traditional cake, but are much easier to make and share among guests. Elaborate tiered trees for displaying the cupcakes can be bought or rented.
- Mini cakes: For a truly extravagant effect, you can supply each guest with a tiny, lavishly decorated cake of his or her own. Another option is to furnish each table with a different decorated cake.
- Dessert bar: If cake isn't your thing or if you like variety, you could offer a buffet of all you and your mate's favorite desserts rather than a single cake.
Picking Your Perfect CakeWhen looking for a cake supplier, your options are varied; you can hire a baker who specializes only in wedding cakes, find a pastry shop which offers various desserts including cakes or even ask a friend who likes to bake. Your caterer might offer cake-baking services as well; check to see. Some other tips to keep in mind while on the cake search:
- Will you be holding an outdoors wedding under the hot sun? Keep in mind that buttercream frosting melts quickly under heat -- fondant frosting might be a better bet for outdoor receptions.
- Are you trying to match your cake to your wedding colors? If so, make sure to bring a sample of your color to the bakery.
- Make sure you taste both cake and frosting to make sure you'll really get what you want on your big day.
- If you want to use real flowers to decorate your cake, be sure to pick organic, unsprayed flowers, and check with the florist or baker to make sure you're picking flowers that are safe near food.
The Groom's Cake: A Southern TraditionThe tradition of the groom's cake originated in the South and is still popular today in Southern states and elsewhere. The traditional tiered white cake is considered the bride's cake; the groom's cake could be offered at the reception as an alternative, or sliced, boxed and given as a favor. Tradition says that if single female guests put the slice of cake under their pillows, they would dream that night of the man they would marry.
Whether or not that myth is true, groom's cakes are a fun way to offer an alternative to the traditional cake. Often, groom's cakes are designed to reflect the groom's interests; the cakes could be in the shape of a golf ball, the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, a sports car, or anything a creative groom can think of and convince a baker to make!
Virginia Cake SuppliersA Cake to Remember (Richmond): A pastry chef specializing in custom cakes of all kinds.
Coffey Cakes (Lynchburg): Baker specializing in custom cakes including groom's cakes, tiers of cupcakes, cakes printed with images and more.
B & B Cake Designs (Chesapeake): Cake artist offering novelty cakes of all themes and sizes.
Simply Sweet (Fredricksburg): Family-owned business offering specialty cakes including groom's cakes and bridal shower cakes; Simply Sweet also offers cake-decorating classes and sells cake and candy supplies.