Trend-setting designs and styles in the decorated cake sector are migrating beyond realism for 2023, as eye-popping designs worthy of Instagram or TikTok grab attention worldwide. Mark Seaman, CMSA, culinary applications chef, specialties, Barry Callebaut, points out the hottest trends today.

“Is it cake?! The trend for those fun, cartoony cakes that are designed to look like something they are it a hamburger? No, it's a cake. Is that a purse? No, it's a cake. Trompe l'oeil is front and center stage on social media and at milestone celebrations,” Seaman acknowledges.

“Following the pandemic years of cake shows being canceled, the field is opening its doors again – and decorators are excited to come together to showcase all of the new techniques they've mastered while working in a forced vacuum for so long. The shows are a great way to find inspiration for your own work – even if you don't compete, get out there and see what's new!”

As for trending textures, he believes this could be something as simple as piping layers of differently colored buttercream in layers on a buttercream cake to textured fondant and using wafer paper and gelatin techniques to create a richer look for the cake. 

“Huge parties with huge cakes are not the norm anymore; adding fun colors and textures to cakes is a great way to add another dimension to the celebration,” Seaman says. “Even some older, more classic decorating techniques are making a resurgence in some markets, including modernized Lambeth-style piping.”

Pantone sets the stage for many color trends. The industry will still see lots of shades of purple from 2022 and lead into Pantone's color of the year for 2023, Magenta, he adds.

Outside of food, you'll start to see more magenta clothing and home decor items. Then will come the colored doughnut glazes and color coordinated cakes for bright dessert tables.