If you’re a 2015 bride and want a truly amazing wedding cake, we’ve rounded up the sweetest trends for 2015 and beyond…
Whether it’s an elaborately piped tower smothered in delicate sugar roses, or a mouthwatering buttercream confection piped with rose swirls and flecked with vanilla, wedding cakes are fast becoming so much more than the standard three white tier.
“A wedding cake can reflect your personalities if you invest some thought in it,” says South London-based cake designer Emma Page. “Just about anything can inspire your wedding cake design – the lace detail of your dress, a special piece of jewellery, the flowers in your bouquet, your joint enthusiasm for modern design, or even your travels and interests. A good cake designer can create a great cake design from the tiniest detail.”
Liz Chatfield, owner of East Sussex-based Sylvia’s Kitchen, agrees. “Give your cake designer as much information as possible – you can’t give too much! This will really help them create a unique design for you that will fit your wedding theme perfectly. Give them fabric swatches, wedding invitations, ribbon, the names of the flowers being used, photos of the venue and so on, so that your cake designer can really build a picture of the day and what style of cake will best fit the wedding theme.”
No idea where to start? Take a look at these gorgeous wedding cake trends – you’re sure to find a style to suit your theme and personality!
This delicious icing is hugely popular for its versatility – it can be piped into intricate floral or lace designs, or used smooth for a more contemporary finish. “I’m seeing a huge growth in demand for buttercream cakes,” says Emma. “In fact, I’ve stopped making fondant cakes completely!”
Everybody’s familiar with the rustic and ruffled designs that are currently popular with brides, but buttercream can be piped into elaborate patterns with real character. “I have worked up a design from a detail on a dress sleeve and even a Tiffany lamp!” says Emma. “A good quality crusting buttercream can be piped into hundreds of different flowers, embroidery, tapestry and even stained glass designs. It will remain fresh for days and it’s absolutely delicious.”
Ruffles and swirls
A ruffled or rose swirl cake will look at home in any setting, and this elegant design will need very little added detail. Fondant can be shaped into ruffles if you prefer a crisper finish to buttercream, or are aiming for a polar white. Ruffles and rosettes look best over an entire cake, but if you opt for one ruffled tier, make sure you balance that textured layer with something else – why not try pearls, lace or florals?
For super chic couples, ombre ruffles look fantastic, with colour fading from the base to the top. You can use brights for a bold, contemporary look, or a pretty pastel shade fading to a barely-there tone for more vintage-inspired weddings.
Rustic buttercream cakes remain a popular choice for a relaxed country or casual setting. Generously iced with a palette knife, they can be dressed with a few statement blooms, strips of hessian or edible gold leaf for a touch of glamour. As well as being stunning, these cakes can also pack a big flavour punch too, as the frosting can be flecked with vanilla or flavoured with fruit purées and extracts.
“Many of my couples have decided on a tiered buttercream cake with light, relaxed touches,” says Claudia Newberry of Kent-based Purple Flour. “These decorations could be anything from fresh flowers such as gypsophila and roses to personalised cake toppers and other fun accessories.”
When it comes to rustic wedding themes, don’t forget that the display can be just as important as the cake itself! “Couples ordering this kind of cake tend to choose rustic cake stands like tree slices, apple crates and pieces of vintage furniture,” says Claudia.
Edible flowers have become very trendy this summer as a decoration for rustic cakes – something so simple adds an extra special touch to your cake. They are perfect for a vibrant, relaxed look but can wilt very quickly, so make sure your cake designer has some experience with preparing them for use.
Metallics have become big for wedding cakes and they’ll only get more popular as winter approaches, as they reflect the glimmer of candles and fairylights beautifully. Metallic details can be delicate or glitzy – choose piped gold lace or embroidery for subtle opulence, or geometric shapes for a fresh, modern or Art Deco feel. An entire tier can be covered in gold leaf for a particularly effective way of adding some serious glamour to a rustic design.
“Coppy is big in urban interiors at the moment, so I’m expecting a few requests for copper leaf or detailing,” says Emma. “Rose gold shades look fab against a slate or peacock blue background.” Silver, although more conventionally associated with wedding accessories, needs to be used sparingly when it comes to the cake itself. Silver leaf can look more like tinfoil over large areas and some silver sprays can have a cartoony, matte grey finish.
“The naked cakes are definitely till on trend,” says Liz. “They suit so many venues and can really be dressed to fit in with the rest of the wedding theme.” The naked cake is deceptively simple, however – it’s not just a case of getting your granny to bake a few sponge layers! “Couples should bear in mind that they really must find someone who knows what they are doing with a naked cake,” says Liz. “They shouldn’t be literally stacked on top of each other (although this is how they should appear!) and they still need the internal structural support of dowels and boards, of which shouldn’t show at all.”
One of the best things about naked cakes is how they can be decorated with your choice of fruit and flowers to match your wedding theme – our favourites are fresh berries and roses, but you could go for a bolder look with sunflowers and physalis. Just remember to check that your flowers have been correctly prepared by your baker. “A good cake designer should consider the types of flowers being used, ensuring nothing toxic is going into the cake,” says Liz. “Floristry tape and posy picks should be used to contain the flower stems.”
“One thing to bear in mind with the naked cake is that they can quickly dry out if left for long periods of time, as they have no icing to protect them from the elements. “Naked cakes should always be baked the day before the wedding so that they are lovely and fresh and moist, then wrapped and refrigerated until it’s time to deliver and set them up,” says Liz. “Suitable sugar syrups can be used to help stop the cake drying out, in flavours that complement each tier.”
For a contemporary reception setting, eye-catching patterns – squares, chevrons, and stripes – are a fun, fresh twist, particularly when picked out in zingy acidic colours. Clever couples can tie the cake design in with graphic element used on invitations and seating plan stationery. These must be cut from rolled fondant with accuracy, using a measured grid pattern on the cake as a guide to ensure consistent and crisp lines, so ask to see images of any graphic cakes your designer has made before. Geometric designs can also be piped in buttercream, but it can be difficult to achieve without lots of practice, so make sure you approach a buttercream cake maker with lots of experience!
Mix it up
While some couples still like to have a traditional fruit cake, unusual cake flavours are becoming more popular as brides across the country break from tradition. “Chocolate, Madeira and carrot cake are still popular flavours, but more adventurous customers are asking for salted caramel, peanut butter, amaretto, banoffee and mint choc chip,” says Emma. “I think going into next year we’re going to see people having a lot more fun with their wedding cakes, with lots of moulded chocolate, shards of honeycomb, popping candy, sparklers and meringues. I can’t imagine a cake like that going to waste!”