While many hyper-realistic cakes need a full-time cake artist on hand to complete, executive chef Melissa Trimmer of Dawn Foods shares her take on hyper-realistic cakes that are approachable for any baker and still just as unique and fun.  

Using a simple ingredient can double as hyper-realistic objects, like the classic “dirt” with chocolate cookie crumbles and gummy worms.   

A unique twist on “spaghetti and meatballs” features butter creme, truffles, strawberry filling, and a classic grass tip.  

With the popular Netflix show “Is it Cake?” taking the foodie world by storm with mind-bending cakes made to look like everyday objects, bakeries have an opportunity to leverage this hot trend and showcase their creative talents.

“Everyday bakers can do clever things like spaghetti and meatballs or hamburger cakes,” she said. “There are definitely ways to get on board this trend. A lot are using purchased cake rounds, so it will hold up for sculpted cakes. Cream cakes can be used for Bundt, muffins and round cakes. We also keep seeing cakes infused with flavors – a nostalgic cake design with a nontraditional flavor.

“Maybe now people are willing to try hot honey cookies – a throwback dessert with a twist.”

Trimmer identifies several key trends emerging in the cake sector. One is the evolution of floral cakes.

Say a wedding couple is planning a popular “barn” wedding, and they need the right look. Start by pressing edible flowers (you can put them in books or flatten them carefully on your workbench) and position them as eye-catching décor on the top of the wedding cake. This is called “bringing the outside in.”

“They are really beautiful,” Trimmer said. “I would use a full sheet tray with liner on the bottom and the top, and then place the flowers on very gingerly.”

Another option is individual cakes for wedding tables. Trimmer points out “what’s old is new again.”

“Sugar flowers are back. I remember 20 years ago when gumpaste flowers emerged, and there was the emergence of really beautiful intricate designs. It is really a great way to showcase talents of your cake decorators, and it’s very Instagrammable.”

Cake hoops are an emerging trend on the cake design front, as decorators are integrating plastic or metal hoops (about the size of a hula hoop) into the cake design and putting edible flowers or greens on them.