Julia Child once said, “A party without a cake is really just a meeting.” Who wouldn’t agree with that? Though the trend of creating a dessert display that has a host of different small bites and favorite treats is up and coming, the wedding cake isn’t going anywhere soon.
photography by Jordan Weiland / rentals by Treasury Rentals / Our Featured Bakers: Born And Bread Bakehouse, J’aime Cakes LLC, Nook Bakery
Grown out of the ancient Roman custom of breaking bread over the bride’s head for good luck, the wedding cake has long held a special place in tradition. While at one point a luxury and sign of status (the bigger the cake, the higher the standing), we have come a far way since. By the 19th century, refined sugars became much more accessible, though whiter sugars and flour were much more expensive. While few families could afford the brilliant white decadence, Queen Victoria’s cake was covered in thick buttered sugar, later coined royal icing. At one point, cakes were stacked as high as possible to watch the bride and groom kiss over and attempt not to knock it down. If a couple could steal a kiss without knocking the cake over, it was a sign of luck.” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_cake)
Though cakes may not hold the superstition and status quo they once had (thank God), they may be one of the most anticipated moments of the day. Whether it’s a three-tier naked cake, or a one-tier transcendent chocolate cake with a few simple blooms, the act of a new couple sharing a first bite never gets old. In all the newness of the day, the giggles and the smeared icing (whether accidental or not) as they try to coordinate exchanging forkfuls exude a sweet excitement and joy that can’t be matched.
Over the decades of its evolution, mainstream culture has certainly shifted and altered the cake’s place in weddings, allowing each one to be as personalized as possible. The design of your cake is another opportunity to highlight your big day.
Here, we present five inspirational cakes from J’aime Cakes, Nook Bakery, and Born & Bread Bakehouse. And while they all have the same color palette (black, white, and a mix of metallics), each displays how your unique aesthetic can easily shine through.
.01 / For the Glam Bride | WHITE FEATHER CAKE
This three-tiered masterpiece from J’aime Cakes took our breath away! Inspired for the bride who wants her cake to steal the show, we couldn’t get over the exquisite, individually placed white feathers. We matched the cake’s presence with the Ella cake plate from Treasury Rentals and modern brass serving set.
.02 / For the Rustic Bride | BORN & BREAD CHOCOLATE CAKE
This (honestly called) transcendent cake from Born & Bread Bakehouse is the perfect sweet treat choice for any rustic bride. The straightforward design of the chocolate cake is sweetened with a few garden-spray roses and complemented by the thick wooden cake stand. To bring in a bit more personality, we paired the silver cake servers with a matte-grey dessert plate.
CUT THE CAKE
.01 / Start by separating the tiers using the pie-shaped server. Most likely there will be a cardboard layer between the tiers, providing extra support as you lift. We recommend this so that entire tiers can be more easily saved and transported if left uneaten.
.02 / There may be plastic columns or dowel rods in the layers. Be sure to remove them as you cut the cake.
.03/Using the knife, cut an inside circle approximately 2 inches from the edge of your tier.
.04/ Then, cut roughly 1.5 to 2-inch slices downward. Remember, your first slice will be the least pretty. It gets easier from there.
.05 / Pro tip: Have a tall cup of water and a clean towel at the table with you. As icing builds up on the knife, dip it into the water and wipe off the knife on the towel. It will keep the slices clean and help you cut with ease.
.03 / For the Bohemian Bride | MACRAME & PAINTED CAKE
Nook Bakery created this one-tiered wonder for all of the Anthropologie-loving brides out there. We love the use of the unusual dried florals on the front, especially when paired with the macramé cake topper and chunky wooden base. The delicate gold leafing encouraged us to pair it with these beautifully etched brass filigree cake serving set and forks.
MAKE IT A CAKE WALK (AND OTHER HELPFUL THINGS TO TELL YOUR BAKER)
.01 / Avoid overspending! Only order dessert for 80 percent of your guests. One slice of cake per person, or two to three small bites per person (cookies, donuts, tarts, etc.).
.02 / Searching for flavor inspiration? Look to your favorite birthday dessert or a famous family recipe. Use that as an inspiration point, and trust your baker to help you tell your story.
.03 / Check your contract for the following: flavors, ingredients, decorations (a picture is worth a thousand words), date of the event, and time of the delivery.
.04 / Ask about any extra charge for cake stands and whether there are delivery/pick-up charges.
.05 / Think outside of the box with the cake topper. Instead of the traditional figurines or blooms, consider something like this bohemian macramé cake topper! Pictured on the left bottom.
.06 / Purchase (or rent …Treasury Rentals provided all of these!) a pretty cake-cutting set. It’ll make cutting the cake, and capturing the moment, a breeze for everyone. Pictured below.
.04 / For the Romantic Bride | GREY & WHITE CAKE
We asked J’aime Cakes to create a cake that would speak to a Southern Belle. We loved pairing the delicate white floral work on the soft grey background with the antique silver, heirloom-esque cake stand and servers. For all the traditional and romantic brides out there, consider dressing up your classic design with a modern cake shape.
.05 / For the art deco Bride | BLACK & GOLD ART DECO CAKE
Drama and edge — this cake brings the personality with its bold matte and glossy black accents. We were inspired by the little hints of gold and marble within J’aime Cakes’ design, so it only made sense to pair it with this stand from Treasury Rentals. The modern white and gold cake forks on the black plate match the intensity of its inspiration.