Executing Simple Wedding Cake Designs

Sugar flowers add an appealing element to wedding cakes.
 
Earthy, whimsical wedding themes are hot this year, so it’s no wonder this same aesthetic is big for wedding cakes. “Millennials are much more into having the taste of the cake be as good, if not better, as the look of the cake,” says Amy Noelle of Sugar Flower Cake Shop in New York City. To get the look, choose an edible white or ivory color and accent it with fresh or lifelike sugar flowers and leaves.

One simple-to-execute idea is to create a white cake topped with a wooden tree ring decorated with moss and leaves.

Mark Seaman, culinary applications chef, specialties, for Barry Callebaut, says watch for a flurry of nature-inspired trends in 2017.

Gemstone (or geode) wedding cakes “are huge right now,” Seaman says, “and I think a lot of cakes will be created based on the bride’s birthstone.” A gemstone cake is made by removing parts of the center and adding a gemstone made of rock candy or other edible materials. Popular gemstone cake ideas incorporate amethyst, rose quartz, agate, and turquoise and gold.

Andy Bowdy, a young and creative pastry chef working on bespoke cakes in Sydney, Australia, says that “cakes need to taste as good as they look,” he writes. “For me, the best part of the cake is always the cream, so why is it so scarce? It shouldn’t be like trying to find Wally in Wally World. Somewhere down the line the cream to cake ratio got all mixed up. I’m seeking to undo these cake crimes. Fry the dry and lubricate the cake.”

A quick tour of “drippy cakes” on Pinterest reveals clever combinations like chocolate salted caramel cake with caramel ganache drip or the watercolor drip cake from Slice Cakes in Melbourne, Australia.

Juniper Cakes in the United Kingdom offers a festive fall idea for a spiced apple and caramel cake, drizzled with caramel sauce down the sides. The cake shop suggests covering the cake in apple buttercream and pouring the caramel sauce on top and “use a clean spatula to push the sauce to the edges so it drips luxuriously.” For the grand finale, you can add mini fondant apples, fudge pieces or cinnamon sticks to your cake to add visual appeal.

Image courtesy of Juniper Cakery
 
What is so notable about this trend, and many others, is how universal the cake decorating business has become. Cake artists worldwide can find each other’s work with ease on Pinterest or Instagram, and the results are globally inspired.

Bowdy makes gorgeous cakes in unique flavor combinations, such as vanilla butter cake with strawberry mousse, vanilla cream, salted caramel and lemon jam. Another favorite is what he calls the Turkish Delight, featuring chocolate fudge cake, dark chocolate mousse, rose water, roasted pistachios, strawberries and pomegranate.

According to Craftsy.com, here is a simple way to make a delicious glaze for a drip cake. Weigh out equal measurements of chocolate (white, milk or dark) and heavy cream. Stick to a 50/50 recipe for a ganache glaze, as this creates a really great consistency for drips and drizzles. Combine the chocolate and cream in a microwaveable glass bowl or cup and mix well.

Microwave the cream and chocolate mixture until the chocolate melts. Heating up your ganache can vary depending on your appliance, so remember to take it out and check it every 30 seconds.

Once your ganache has melted enough that both ingredients mix together to form a runny, silky and bump-free glaze, you’re ready to roll.

Turning your ganache glaze bright and vibrant colors is definitely one of the best steps. Add the gel or paste to achieve the color you want. You’ll need a good gel or paste food color that works well with chocolate, so make sure you check the label. There are a few food colors out there that do not play well with chocolate.

Remove your chilled cake from the fridge. A super-cold cake is ideal for adding a ganache glaze, as it helps slow down and set the glaze. Your warm glaze is definitely not going to work well with a room-temperature cake.

Now you can fill in the top of your cake with the rest of your glaze. Try not to add too much. Instead, spoon this on bit by bit. If you add more glaze than you need to, you’re going to end up with an out-of-control mess.