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Desserts: Surface Level

Inventive takes on texture make your wedding cake a modern taste sensation

Photographs by Lara Ferroni | Styling by Anna Sachse | Event Design by S. Major | Shot on Location at Pure Space

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Smooth Moves

It’s a marital magic trick! Inspired by the optical illusions in Dutch graphic artist M. C. Escher’s “impossible constructions,” La Joconde Cake Studio’s Jutta Bach used meticulously placed vanilla fondant diamonds to create the perception of 3-D cubes. “It gives the cake bold, playful texture and depth despite a completely flat surface,” Bach says. A gold-foiled second tier ups the elegance, while gold-painted squares on top echo the rum-soaked yellow and chocolate cake pattern inside (paired with bourbon vanilla Swiss buttercream).

The Scene “I think couples tend to overlook the presentation of their desserts, when it may only take a simple backdrop to make it all come alive,” says S. Major designer Stephanie Major. Here the graphic cake and silver-rimmed flutes of Champagne with rock candy swizzle sticks really pop against a luxurious gray velour drape. Another illusion that’s ideal for DIYers? This cake stand was constructed from a silver platter and candlestick.

Local designer Sophie Chang’s charmeuse high-low short dress ($398), Sophie Chang Collection. David Tutera’s pavé crystal earrings ($49) and crystal cuff ($180), Charlotte’s Weddings & More. Details throughout: florals, cocktails, and serving pieces by S. Major. West Coast Event Productions provided the drape, linens, furniture, stemware, dessert plates, and flatware.


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Sand Blast

Chanelle Sabo of Lux Sucre Desserts employed sanding sugar to branch out from her usual romantic style and create this geometric twinkling treat inspired by city architecture. “The different sugar textures and colors side by side creates dimension,” Sabo says, “producing a skyscraper-like cake that feels both masculine and pretty.” Applied mosaic-style, the sugared vanilla Italian meringue buttercream panels conceal a tantalizing interior of vanilla bean and chocolate cakes and buttercreams in fudge and (crazy good) mint chip.

The Scene “When styling a big-impact dessert, it’s important that the surrounding elements are complementary and simple,” Major says. For example, this clean, contemporary arrangement of striking anemones echoes the cake’s height and hues without competing. Crisp white drape, gold-sugar-rimmed cocktails, and gilded favor jars of Meadow salts keep the mood light and fun.

Sophie Chang’s chiffon and lace high-low short dress ($288), Sophie Chang Collection. BeadforLife necklace (price upon request), Red Sail. Vintage ring, find similar at Maloy’s Jewelry Workshop.


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Break the Mold

Bas-relief isn’t a detail you often see on wedding cakes, but done right the molding effect is downright captivating. Cake in point: the array of gold-dusted birds, flowers, foliage, and bees that virtually come to life against chic plum fondant on this edible work of art by Sara Stringer of Country Cake Shop. The soft blush tones inside (ombré pink Champagne cake with boysenberry Swiss meringue buttercream) repeat on the delicate sugar ranunculus above (each one has 58–70 petals!). “The flowers’ sculptural structure and placement keep them feeling modern and couture,” Stringer adds.

The Scene All glass walls and concrete floors with a towering hangaresque ceiling, the Pearl District’s Pure Space is the perfect blank-slate venue to let a couple’s imagination run wild, Major says. Create intimate, themed spaces with drape or simply play up the urban atmosphere. Here Major gives the room stylish ease by arranging unconventional wedding furniture to display the cake.

Allure Romance gold and ivory lace mini (price upon request) and Margaret Rowe crystal earrings ($195), Charlotte’s Weddings & More


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Spot On

“Our business model is simplicity itself,” says Elizabeth Beekley of Palace Cakes. “The goal is lovely, understated cakes that complement all the elements of a wedding and really allow the bride and groom to shine.” This three-tier charmer is the bakery’s chocolate Joe cake (a touch of coffee amplifies the cocoa flavor) with generous dots of vanilla bean buttercream between each layer. By skipping the outer icing, naked cakes put the pastry’s own texture on show. A lavish table that also includes dot-bedecked Bucky cupcakes and cookies by sister company Two Tarts Bakery ensures everyone has a sweet to get excited about—and get in hand faster.

The Scene Integrating the floral into your cake is a great way to forge continuity in a dessert display, Major says. “You also want to incorporate different heights to help bring balance and fullness to the overall design.”

Sophie Chang’s charmeuse and tulle peplum tea-length dress ($890), Sophie Chang Collection


Hair & Makeup: Kirstie Wight Makeup Artist
Model: Siobhan Blake / Option Model & Media

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