It’s been a disgracefully long time since I blogged. As a one man band, I rarely have the time but it’s January and with the New Year comes the chance to swap hours in the kitchen for hours on the computer. I guess a change is as good as a rest 🙂
I survived an amazing Autumn/Winter wedding season that was, at times, as busy as Summer and now I’m enjoying some down time (read: housework; admin; helping with school work; drawer tidying; cooking proper meals). As is customary at this time of year, I’ve prepared a ‘top ten’- a resume of the last 12 month’s highlights, alongside some commentary on the designs.
I’ll be looking at themes, how cake design is changing and….dare I say it??? TRENDS!! Like it or loathe it, most of the wedding industry- from cakes to canapés, photography to flowers- is ultimately powered by fashion which is powered by trends. Fin. You don’t have to buy into them but they are there!
Last year kicked off with this Baroque wedding cake for an Italian/Greek-Cypriot + Irish union. Bride, Lu-Lu, knew exactly what she wanted- an opulent design in red & black with ornate gold detailing. These mouldings in metallic finishes have been with us for a while- despite being relatively easy to make they provide maximum impact. I think we’ll see more of these highly decorative design elements in 2016 wedding cakes.
If I could sum my 2015 wedding cakes up in one word, it would have to be RUFFLES!! Hours upon hours (6-8 for one tier) of rolling, cutting, frilling and fixing. Good job they’re gorgeous!! I think I must have recreated the design below, a dozen times since I first put together the display cake that inspired many repeat performances. Each time there’s a tweak that makes it personal to the couple who chose it. Different shades, different configuration but always RUFFLES!!
Will our love of texture carry on into this year? I think so, but with more unique variations.
Petal Ruffles; Ombre Ruffles
Florals and wedding cakes have always gone hand in hand and never more so than now. Forget simple stylised flowers, it’s all about realistic, botanical blooms! This is one of my favourties from last year and if ever a cake suited it’s bride, it’s this- oriental, radiant and modest. Julia chose a completely plain cake, a blank canvas with sprays of hand made sugar cherry blossom. The perfect choice for their Asian-Spring theme and as luck would have it, cherry blossoms were putting on an amazing display on their wedding day!!
More botanical inspiration from 2015…
I was delighted to work on a styled shoot on the North Antrim coast with Paula Mc Manus (photography), Betty Williamson (styling) Floralearth (florists) Paper bark (stationary) and The White Gallery (bridal wear). This little semi-naked, gold brushed beauty is just one of many fabulous shots from “The Secret of the Sea”editorial at White Rocks. For me, this is rustic with a little polish and finesse! Judging by the enquiries I’m receiving, the ‘semi-naked/ nearly-naked/ lightly-frosted/ whatever-you-want-to-call-it-cake’, is going to remain very popular.
It also looks like there’s no stopping the Naked cake!!
Ditto the Buttercream cake which comes in a variety of finishes, all perfect for an informal gathering/ boho vibe.
As a fan of anything vintage 1920’s, I LOVED making these cakes…
On trend for this year- beautiful metallic lustres in champagne, gold, silver and copper- overlaid with intricate detailing such as beading, brush embroidery or lace, or clean, simple and contemporary. For a full-on foil metallic effect, go for gold/ silver leaf.
No cake commentary would be complete without a mention of the Straight Edge!! The soft curved edge on traditional buttercream cakes are taking a back seat, making way for the super-sharp edges seen in many contemporary designs. These cakes have to be skilfully coated with chocolate ganache before the sugarpaste covering is smoothed meticulously. The end result is a clean, flawless finish- great for the minimalist look!
Finally, The Dessert Table! Gone are the days when the wedding cake had to be displayed all on its lonesome. Many brides are now breaking with tradition and opting for a full spread of cakes in different sizes and finishes and all manner of tiny treats. The entire display can be styled around a theme or colour scheme which creates an eye-catching and tempting centrepiece. Here are a few I created in 2015…
With so much choice in wedding cake design, wading through the thousands of online images can make it difficult to come to a decision. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what’s hot and what’s not, just go for whatever you’re drawn to, anything goes!! Do, however, remember the old cake adage, “Good cake isn’t cheap; cheap cake isn’t good”.
So looking forward to seeing what this coming year has in store for cake design….happy wedding planning!!