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Cakes: One Singular Sensation

We love a lavish dessert table, but chic floral details & innovative methods put cake center stage | Photographs by Lara Ferroni | Event Design by Geranium Lake Flowers

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pbg2014-pbg-cakes-spring2014-83Great Heights

“I wanted to push the bar for the typical wedding cake silhouette, but still keep things pretty and elegant,” says Artisan Cake Company’s Elizabeth Marek. Mission accomplished. Four hand-painted fondant tiers are stacked asymmetrically and then balanced by graceful arcs of handmade sugar anemones, dogwood, salmon berries, and peonies edged with real gold (yes, it’s edible!) that appear to weightlessly wind in and out of the cake itself. Slicing into this stunner reveals ombré pink Champagne butter cake layered with Swiss meringue buttercream. With cakes in the spotlight, Geranium Lake Flowers’ Kim Foren kept the setting tastefully simple, employing muted linens, gilded plates, and creamy, lush blooms like the roses, peonies, sweet peas, and magnolia pictured here in her grandmother’s Belleek china. “We have lovely vintage containers and unique glassware for rent, but will also happily fill our client’s containers,” Foren says. “There’s such a lovely sense of class and tradition when you incorporate family heirlooms.” Details throughout: Floral arrangements, linen, and raspberry bliss cocktail by Geranium Lake Flowers. Classic Vintage Rentals provided the cake plates, forks, milk glass cake stand, pink glass tray, and Champagne flutes. Silver cake stand courtesy Artisan Cake Company

 

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Taste Maker

In the contemporary wedding cake world, “grand” needn’t equate with stuffy or over-the-top frills. For this big-impact tower, Jutta Bach of La Joconde Cake Studio + Bakery chose to showcase playful pattern and texture. The middle tiers bloom with fondant circles layered off-center to resemble the spiral shape of rose blossoms—the stacks are achieved using royal icing as glue. On the bottom tier is another fondant take on stylized flowers inspired by a 1950s print from Finnish design company Marimekko. The flowers’ luscious colors are repeated inside with vibrant stratum of fresh-raspberry buttercream, raspberry-fig buttercream, and yellow and dark chocolate cakes (see slices, below). “We are so drawn to a beautiful interior,” Foren says. “The aesthetics of food play a huge part in the enjoyment of it.”

 

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Cake Etiquette
Traditionally the cutting occurs after you’ve danced off dinner, signaling the reception will end in about an hour. Feed your spouse a bite, and then serve your parents first.

 

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In Line

Check out M. Robin Cake Design’s website and you’ll discover boldly patterned tiers that read more modern art masterpiece than typical party pastry. Owner Marcella Robin, who has a degree in sculpture, crafts her cakes using the entremet technique: a decorative naked-cake façade conceals an unexpected, highly designed inside built from layers of delicious fillings. It’s a time-consuming process, so Robin developed a tailored striped style to speed things up in budget-friendly fashion. This variation, embellished with a keepsake gumpaste poppy, is hazelnut sponge cake and diplomat cream over dreamy raspberry bavarois and white chocolate hazelnut ganache. Arranged in a mercury glass vase, Foren’s romantic burst of sweet peas, jasmine, and pastel poppies softens the scene.

 

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Letters of Interest

Who knew eating your words could be so tasty? It’s also a white-hot wedding trend, as is edible wafer paper, which Seri Lopez of Serious Cake used for both the sweet sentiments wrapped around this elegant double-barrel showpiece and the lush peony accents. “Made from potato starch, wafer paper flowers are not as intricate as gumpaste, chocolate, or fondant versions, but still feel delicate and have the added benefit of being less expensive,” Lopez notes. Here they adorn three tiers of fondant, painted with luster dust on the top and bottom for subtle texture. Inside, chocolate and French vanilla cakes are layered with raspberry buttercream. Pick your favorite font to personalize your cake with pretty poetry, meaningful lyrics, or your vows’ greatest hits.

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