Cake, what a delectable tradition! The sweetness of your love celebrated metaphorically through a beautiful and delightful artistic creation. Today's ritualistic inclusion of cake at your wedding reception also represents the fresh start of your new life together, a wish for good fortune, and the sharing of your love with the guests at your celebration.
While consulting with your baker, caterer and wedding planner about options is obviously the best way to come to a decision about what type of cake/s and desserts you'll want to include at your wedding... it's a time saver to do some of your own preliminary research as well. That way you have ideas of your own, and a knowledge of current favorites, as you begin consultations with your select wedding vendors.
Here's a convenient introduction to Today's Decorative Trends, Flavors & alternative Dessert Options!
Minimalism: Clean and minimalist designs are continuing to gain popularity, with cakes featuring sleek lines, geometric shapes, and simple embellishments. These designs often focus on elegant and understated aesthetics, and can be a way to focus more on texture and flavor as opposed to the decoratives. Naked Cakes are also in this category: covered with a thin layer of frosting, or no frosting at all, these popular cakes spotlight exposed layers of cake and filling. They give a more rustic and natural look, and sometimes a lower calorie count... and easily lend themselves to minimalist decorations or organic ones such as dried fruits or cascading florals.
Metallic Accents: Adding a touch of the metallic to a wedding cake can add an elegant and glamorous touch, and of course it's an easy way to include the accent colors you've chosen for your overall ceremony palette. Gold and silver are the most popular, but copper and rose gold are also trending. Edible metallic paint or foil are often combined with other design elements to create a stunning effect: add customized lighting and your cake becomes a true work of art!
Watercolor and Ombré: Inspired by artistic techniques, watercolor and ombré cakes feature soft, blended colors that create a beautiful gradient effect. These designs are often paired with delicate sugar flowers or other artistic decorations. Opting for rainbow pastels can provide an elegant way to include the symbolism of LGBTQ+ pride in to your celebration.
Hand-Painted Details & Textured Finishes: Hand-painted cakes showcase intricate designs and personalized touches. Skilled bakers can paint unbelievably ornate patterns, landscapes, or even portraits onto the cake and bring the artistic side of your dessert to life! Cakes with textured finishes, such as ruffles, lace patterns, or bas-relief designs, add depth and visual interest. These textures are often created quite simply, using fondant or buttercream, though edible beads and other embellishments are also available.
Floral Designs: A traditional favorite! Floral decorations, including both real and sugar flowers, are widely used to enhance the visual appeal of wedding cakes. Popular flower types include roses, peonies, and succulents, as well as more exotic blooms like orchids or ranunculus.
Drip cakes: These cakes have a drizzle of frosting or ganache descending down the sides, creating a playful and indulgent textured effect. Rainbow drizzles are a beautiful option!
Non-Traditional Shapes: Some couples opt for non-traditional cake shapes, moving away from the classic tiered round cakes. Geometric shapes like squares, hexagons, or even asymmetrical designs provided a modern, eye-catching and unique twist. Triangles, a nod to LGBTQ+ history, are also extremely popular.
Personalization: Most couples incorporate personal elements in to their wedding cakes, such as monograms, initials, or custom cake toppers that reflect their wedding theme, a memorable moment from their unique love story, or shared vision of their future together.
TODAY'S FAVORITE FLAVORS:
Red Velvet: A popular choice for weddings in recent years, this cake's distinctive deep color, rich texture and unique hint of subtle cocoa flavor make it an eye-catching and delicious option.
Lemon: Lemon-flavored cakes offer a refreshing and tangy taste that is well-suited for spring and summer weddings. They can be paired with lemon curd or citrus-infused fillings for an extra burst of flavor. Decadent, thick frosting is an indulgent choice, or keeping your cake lightly frosted or not frosted at all, to showcase texture and fillings, is another very popular trend.
Seasonal and Fruity: Couples are increasingly opting for fruit-infused cakes to add a fresh and vibrant element to their wedding desserts, and oftentimes prefer to source the fruit locally and certainly based on the season. Flavors like strawberry, zingy raspberry, orange or passion fruit are popular choices. Apple of course is still a favorite for autumn weddings. Coconut is another flavor that has gained popularity in recent years, especially for beach celebrations. Coconut cake can be infused with coconut milk or flakes and paired with tropical flavors like pineapple or mango, or lime.
Floral and Botanical Flavors: Incorporating floral and botanical flavors adds an elegant touch to wedding cakes. Options like lavender, rose, elderflower, or even unique choices like jasmine or hibiscus can provide a delightful and fragrant experience.
Salted Caramel: A trending flavor in recent years, salted caramel has made its way into wedding cakes as well. The combination of sweet caramel and a hint of salt creates a delightful balance of flavors. Additional accent flavors might include coffee, apple, chocolate or zingy ginger.
Matcha: With the growing popularity of matcha, green tea-flavored wedding cakes have become a trendy choice. Matcha provides a unique and earthy flavor profile that can be paired with a wide variety of complementary fillings and frostings.
Alcoholic Infusions: From champagne (which offers a light and delicate taste) and prosecco, to liqueurs like Baileys or Amaretto, incorporating alcohol can create unique, sophisticated and inherently celebratory flavors.
Funfetti or Rainbow: Funfetti cake has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially for weddings with a more playful, casual vibe. Layered rainbow cakes, or with a hidden rainbow reveal, continue to be a wonderful way to include the LGBTQ+ theme in your festivities. Don't forget the sparkler cake toppers!!
Non-Traditional Cakes & Dessert Tables: Many couples are opting for alternatives to the traditional tiered wedding cake. Cupcake towers, macaron towers, cake pop displays, donut walls, or even dessert bars with a variety of sweet treats are becoming increasingly popular. Most couples today are finding ways to offer GF and vegan options as well. Instead of a single cake, dessert tables feature a variety of treats like cupcakes, macarons, and mini cakes, and provide the option to serve many dietary needs and flavor preferences... Inviting guests to bring in family-inspired recipes of their own to share is also a fun idea: this can allow for even more selections to choose from, and provide a symbolic way for the families to join together through the sharing of favorite desserts that have often been passed down for generations. Brilliant conversation starter!
Remember, wedding cake trends vary and change, but of course what matters most is that your personal style and preferences play the most significant role in the final design & flavor selections. If the dessert options at your reception are an important part of the vision you have for creating an unforgettable celebration, and your ideal Special Day, then make it a priority to work with your wedding vendors to create the style, flavors and enhancements that you're dreaming of. Dive in, and savor the symbolism that your celebratory desserts offer in starting off your next chapter together in sweet, indulgent life & love!