Wedding Desserts: Taking the Cake

Today’s wedding confections are going far beyond traditional fondant and flowers.

Naked Carrot Cake: Courtesy The Glass Knife; Marble Wedding Cake: Courtesy of Sprinkles Custom Cakes; Geode Cake: Courtesy of Valhalla Bakery

Wedding cakes have a history that dates back to Ancient Rome when it was custom to hit the bride over the head with a cake to ensure the couple’s good fortune. Today, cakes run the full spectrum when it comes to color, style and taste. And with each season, bakers are getting even more creative.

One design that will impress your guests  is the geode cake, a confection made to look like a crystal-filled geode. To create the design, the baker layers the cake with fondant, then cuts out a piece of the cake and decorates the interior with a mixture of food coloring, buttercream frosting, piping gel and rock candy. Creating the final look is no easy feat.

“It takes a lot of time and skill,” says Celine Duvoisin, owner of Valhalla Bakery in Orlando. “If you do them wrong they look awful, so you have to plan and definitely have reference photos.”

For many couples, it’s more than just having a pretty wedding cake. “I think people have always identified with birthstones and geodes,” Duvoisin says. “The geode cake is a fun cake that also makes a great gift and stunning centerpiece.”

For those wanting a one-of-a-kind cake with a graphic element, it’s all about the marble cake. To get the look, sugar artists blend two or three shades of fondant and then twist and fold it until a pattern begins to develop. Then the fondant is rolled out thin, revealing a marbled vein effect. Finally, the blanket of sugar is placed over a pre-iced cake.

“I love that the marbling is ‘organic’ and no two cakes are the same. The design can also be as bold or as subtle as a couple desires,” says Richard Gregory, owner of Sprinkles Custom Cakes in Longwood.

Gregory adds that the key to creating the design is to balance a natural look while embellishing the veining with metallic elements. “The effect must look natural,” he emphasizes. “Metallics really can take a cake and bring it to life.”

Rustic and organic wedding themes are behind the “naked cake” movement. But just because there is less icing and fewer decorations doesn’t mean the cake lacks in creativity or individuality. Any baker will tell you it’s quite the opposite.

“As a baker and artist, you always spend a great deal of time creating stunning cakes and delectable fillings—and in the case of a naked cake, is has to be baked to complete perfection,” says Chef Stuart Whitfield of The Glass Knife in Winter Park. “There is no hiding behind the frosting to cover any missteps.”

Whitfield notes that so much care is taken with creating the naked cake look that the style, colors, textures and flavor are what take center stage. “It’s definitely the best of both worlds—you truly are getting a cake that tastes as good as it looks,” he says.

From cakes that are filled with sugar rock crystals to marbled effects and the less-is-more approach, wedding cakes are looking, and tasting, better than ever.

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