Trends that Take the Cake

After finding the dress, choosing the right cake ranks high on the list of priorities. Go traditional or eschew convention with these modern takes on reception sweets.

Vows exchanged, rings donned, rice thrown or sparklers ignited. Following the ceremony, the party really starts at the reception where music, food and laughter create fantastic memories. Part of that includes wolfing down that first slice of exquisite wedding cake. And thanks to local bakeries, there are more cake and dessert options than ever before. Here, preview only a handful of the most popular new cake crazes from which to choose.

A three-tiered buttercream frosting cake with a metallic gold accent tier by Little Cake Shop. Flowers by Belle Bouquet. Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

Heavy Metal

Last year’s popular metallic motif is still rocking many a wedding reception this year. And it’s no wonder why: With a huge assortment of tints, it’s easy to add a dash of bling to the cake. “One particular trend we’re seeing is gold, lots and lots of gold! It’s being incorporated not only into wedding décor, but also directly on cakes, cookies and assorted mini treats, ” ellenJAY’s Christ shares. Choose metallic and effortlessly up the glitz factor!

Meet You at the (Dessert) Bar

Why limit your post-ceremony sweet to a single cake? Create your own dessert bar complete with rice cereal treats, cake pops, custom iced sugar cookies, mini cheesecakes and more. Perhaps even opt for multiple, smaller cakes over one large tiered cake. “Brides have more styling opportunities than they do with a single cake, ” ellenJAY’s Jennifer Christ says of this trend. “A full dessert table has several components that allow a bride to showcase her own unique style. We weave a bride’s chosen theme and color scheme throughout custom sweets, cake pedestals and dessert table decor.” In other words, the more options, the merrier!

Easy as Pie

Maybe you have less of a sweet tooth, or maybe you just really like pie. Either way, ordering a handful of pies is perfect for a Sunday brunch ceremony or a smaller gathering of close friends for the nuptials. Looking for a different way to incorporate vintage elements into your big day? It gets no more vintage than a classic family recipe for pecan or apple pie. Plus, rest assured that guests will always remember your unique pick well after you’ve exchanged “I Do’s.”

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Go Gluten-Free

With more and more people avoiding gluten, some local bakeries have adapted. Salle Beagle, owner of Sally’s Piece-a-Cake Bakery, loves creating delicious masterpieces for folks with various dietary restrictions, including gluten, corn, dairy and soy. “We always try to work around people’s restrictions. I spend a lot of time researching different recipes and what can be substituted, ” Beagle says. Her sweet and light frosting and airy gluten-free cakes attest to her devotion to provide a wedding cake for any bride, no matter what dietary challenges she faces.

Naked cakes, or those with minimal icing, continue to rise in popularity this year. Cake by Pollman’s, flowers by Cleveland the Florist. Photo by Jennie Tewell

Au Naturel

Naked cakes have been sweeping the Pinterest boards for months now. The concept? Bake the cake layers, put filling in between, and very lightly ice the outside or simply skip the outer coating altogether. Add fresh blooms and voila! The result is a stunningly fresh look perfect for a rustic Southern affair. “People like the outdoorsy feel, ” Chloe Wishinsky, co-owner of Couture Cakes in Daphne, says. “It’s all part of the vintage, outdoor experience.”

It’s Totally French

For some brides, the best wedding cake isn’t actually a cake at all. Macaron trees—tiered stands decorated with multicolored wafer-like cookie sandwiches — have been a growing trend for years, especially for brides not fond of cake. The sweet, decadent pick-ups add a dainty touch to a Parisian-inspired reception while also incorporating pops of the wedding color palette.

Contrasting Hues

While the classic white-on-white décor will never fade away, cakes with dramatic and bright color schemes are set to burst onto the scene this year. “I’ve found that wine-colored cakes are being requested often, ” Beagle reveals. From deep shades of burgundy or even black to bold reds, yellows and blues, incorporating some nontraditional colors will make your cake the centerpiece of the scenery in tasteful (and tasty) fashion. 

Scribble a Note

Chalkboards have come into wedding vogue in a big way in recent years, and cakes are no exception. Pam Newberry, owner of Buttercream Dreams Bakery, remembers one beautiful wedding cake she made by request. “The wedding cake was black and the piping was white, to look like a chalkboard. Down the tiers, it read, ‘All you need is love, ’ as in the Beatles’ song, ” Newberry says. This style is a unique way to incorporate a charmingly vintage, incredibly memorable look into any wedding day.


Buttercream Dreams • 859 Pinemont Dr. 605-7237
Couture Cakes • 1905 Main St. Suite E, Daphne. 626-9895
ellenJAY Stylist Events and Sweets • 2158 Airport Blvd. 219-7406
Sally’s Piece-a-Cake • 5638 Three Notch Rd. 219-6379

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