Hottest Cakes For Northern California Brides
Cakes that make a statement
Catch the Wave
Although bakers still field requests for the traditional white Victorian cake, the current trend is definitely for something more streamlined and classic. Butterfly Cakes’ chic, contemporary approach has made this patisserie newcomer an immediate success. Picture the difference between a poufy prom dress from the 50s and a sleek number by Valentino, and you’ll understand why Hong bypasses fussy embellishments in favor of sophisticated polish. Feminine details are still “in,” but are applied with more style, discretion and innovation.
Design themes in demand include cakes made to resemble gift boxes with life like ribbons and bows of frosting or chocolate, and edible gift cards. Cakes resembling a stack of hatboxes are a whimsical way to capture the flavor of yesteryear. Rather than the typical rounds, Susan Morgan of Elegant Cheese Cakes suggests mixing up the shapes, and perhaps piling the layers off-kilter for greater dynamics. Her signature re-creations of gorgeous Limoges boxes come with gold hinges, white scrollwork, and gradations of French blue that make them seem like they belong in a fashionable 19th century drawing room.
Also in vogue are styles that evoke cultural heritage. Elegant Cheese Cake’s “Frosty Fruit Cake” has a Mediterranean flair, with sugared pears, figs and grape clusters that recall a Tuscan vineyard. Sam Godfrey takes the cake with his 12-foot Pagoda of magenta, blue and purple, lined with hand-painted chinoiserie panels, elephants at the base, and frosted Samurai swords. For a Hawaiian bride, Butterfly fashioned the “Tropical Island Cake,” with gum-paste hibiscus and icing in a traditional Hawaiian print design. Their banana cake with mango-cream filling was also a refreshing summer treat. Another seasonal offering that worked perfectly was Beaux Gateaux’s “Haunted House,” made for a Halloween wedding where the wedding party wore costumes. Making frequent appearances at weddings-by-the-sea are coastal cake accents such as chocolate seashells, marzipan starfish, and sugar sand.
The Color of Cake
“White on white is out; color is in,” says trend-watcher Karina Diaz, a San Francisco wedding photographer who appreciates the way a really special cake can light up the lens. Susan Morgan agrees: “Cake trends follow fashion trends, and this season red is hot, hot, hot.” One baker designed a cake frosted entirely in fiery red, which signified good luck to the couple’s Chinese-American relatives. “More and more people are asking for jewel tones,” observes Maralyn Tabatsky, whose whimsical application of blues and purples in her stacked cakes would brighten up any venue.
Both real and hand-crafted edible flowers add splashes of color to the usual monochromatic palette. “Real blossoms make the cake look fresh,” Karina Diaz observes, “especially in an outdoor setting.” Roses, orchids, calla lilies and even cheerful gerber daisies are sought-after selections, but these days anything goes. Some of the most spectacular blooms you’ll see on cakes are actually fashioned of chocolate, and virtually indistinguishable from thereal thing. Morgan’s spectacular “Good Luck Cake” features tiers of “bamboo reeds”—really rolled chocolate—in beige to pale green hues right out of nature. The luscious red roses atop the cake are also chocolate, but you wouldn’t guess it until you took a bite! Most cake makers work directly with a bride’s florist. “The flowers on the cake might coordinate with the bridal bouquets, boutonnires, even the centerpieces, for a very ‘tied together’ look,” says Sam Godfrey.