Rhonda Delaney, vice president, sales & merchandising for Lawrence Foods, Inc., suggests that for spring holiday displays, set up your production strategically. This allows you to pipe and decorate efficiently. One color or flavor at a time moves production more quickly.
“Make your flowers and decorations ahead of time and freeze them. It takes the pressure off and allows you to focus your energy wisely,” she says. “Florals are in the spotlight right now. Big, bold, realistic blooms that catch the eye are definitely in.”
Shawna LeMott at Lucks Food Decorating Company says the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year, Living Coral, fits perfectly into spring trends. Make a pleasing pop of color within floral designs by pairing with more subtle colors. Or else throw it in with bright and shocking hues like pink, aqua and mint green for a happy, kid-again color palette.
Delaney suggests chalkboard cakes with lots of flowers. “Black cakes iced with pastel and muted flowers make a statement for spring. We’re also seeing very monochromatic color schemes — simple creamy whites with richly textured sides and sculpted flowers. A very elegant presentation any time of year!”
Mark Seaman, Certified Master Sugar Artist and specialty application chef for Barry Callebaut North America, points out that tulips provide the canvas for a wide range of color experimentation. “It doesn’t cost more to add color to gum paste flowers, but you can charge a lot more for them,” he says. Choose two or three varieties of tulips (Parrot, French, and Fringed, for example) and then produce several unique color palettes of each. Reference Dutch tulip seed magazines for inspiration.
On the flip side, muted colors used to make beautiful succulent arrangements are hot as well, Delaney says. “We are also still seeing quite a bit of the naked and semi-naked cakes still in vogue. And obviously still important is the trend to cross-showcase. Layering macarons, candy, cookies and mini donuts all lend flavor and textural interest to build sales.”
Flavor Right technical counselor Joe Garza points out the naked cake was big for a while in 2018, “but from what we hear is, more intricate cakes will see a big request in 2019.” Garza adds that couples are opting for late night snacks or an extra special or creative dessert, in lieu of favors like mini cookies, mini fun cupcakes with sweet and salty and caramel.
Seaman points out that consumers expect 60% of desserts to have chocolate. Incorporate a marbled tulip chocolate cup (available from Mona Lisa) into the cake décor, he suggests, and fill it with cake scraps and top it with a buttercream flower, a chocolate decoration, or garnish to match the cake flavor. He also recommends using vibrantly-colored modeling chocolate to cut daisies or other springtime flowers for the top of the cake (white Barry Décor).
Jean Haynes, technical sales representative for Dawn Foods, says the people at Dawn have a little extra fun and help kickstart creative ideas with customers around holidays and other seasonal moments in time. As a technical service rep, she typically starts the exploratory phase of this process by looking at what is trending on Pinterest and other social platforms.
“When doing so, it’s important to bring ideas to life that are quick and simple to execute for our customers. For example, watercolor cakes are very popular, but a lot of our customers do not have the time to stand there and paint a cake. As a solution, we often recommend to our customers that they instead create cakes using color icings piped on the side of a white iced cake using a bowl or icing scraper to smooth and blend colors. This option looks beautiful and is also easily executable for our customers. Dawn keeps the designs simple, clean and on trend.”
Haynes points out that Dawn collaborates with customers to ensure they’re thinking about ways to decorate their cakes and help inspire their designs. “In many cases, we have partnerships with third-party vendors that are experts in this space to help bring these product offerings to our customers. From simple chocolate pieces to sugar decorations, there are numerous ways for bakers to add decorative accents to their cakes. In springtime, examples include chocolate butterflies and colorful pastel flowers along with sugar lady bugs, bees and Easter assortments.”
Garza says go to your favorite cake decorating store and check stuff out — like the new fondant patterns and cutters. “The geometric shapes cutter works great with Custom Ice from Flavor Right,” he says.