Color on Cake

At The Americas Cake Fair in October, Ron Ben-Israel shared his insights on the importance of colors on cakes.
To some in the industry, white is the least interesting color for decorated cakes because white lacks the eye-catching appeal from a distance. Ron Ben-Israel could not more strongly disagree.

“In our eyes, when all colors merge together, we see white,” says the founder of New York City’s Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, one of the top couture cake studios in America, known for innovative and impeccable creations. “What does white mean to us? Light. Goodness. Innocence. Purity. Faith. The color of perfection.”

Ben-Israel celebrates white because it is the epitome of perfection, but he also cautions cake decorators when working with white cake designs. “You have to get your technique up because — with white — you can’t hide your mistakes.”

According to The Knot, the return of the lace wedding dress has led experienced cake bakers to create tiers embellished with beautiful designs, reminiscent of the most gorgeous lace gowns. “A lot of brides are looking for patterns copied from the lace in their dress, or their china pattern,” says Sylvia Weinstock of Sylvia Weinstock Cakes.

The Knot suggests deciding on which detail from the bride’s dress to highlight on the wedding cake. This can involve simple sugar-made buttons to ivory and white fondant lace appliqués wrapped around each tier. The key to pulling it off is in the color. This trend is all about texture and works best with light hues and little contrast.

Bright colors like yellow bring a different energy to cakes.
Gray is another sometimes less appreciated color in the world of couture cake design. Ben-Israel is a big fan. “I find that with gray you don’t have to do a lot of complicated designs. They just pop.” To this celebrated cake designer, gray casts a sophisticated, elegant look that is both soothing and comforting. “I would say that gray is balance.”

When working with metallics and hand-cut monograms (which Ben-Israel often does), he recommends working with white or even blue — the color of trust, loyalty, confidence and tranquility. For these reasons, blue is an amazing and effective color for wedding cakes, he says.

Brighter colors such as purple or orange can serve you well at different types of venue. “Orange is about fun,” Ben-Israel says. “A fashionable lady’s luncheon. An Indian wedding. A bat mitzvah.”

Ben-Israel says he recently did a purple celebration cake that involved a great deal of piping. “I’m back to piping now. I think piping is back.”

Green — the color of freshness and harmony — provides inspiration for cake decorators to embrace nature with vibrant hues such as chartreuse or sage green.

He also loves the color yellow for its energy and joy. “Yellow is warm and playful. It is the color of happiness.”’