Pictured clockwise from top right: A classic ruffled wedding cake with floral details by Ashley Tauss of Cravings Bakery and Cafe; hand-painted birch tree design by Tauss; Evelyn Keplinger, owner of Treatie Beatie Cakes, with a cake with edible flowers.
Wedding cake designers do with sugar, flour and butter, what fashion designers do with fabric.
They’re always looking for trends and cutting edge design ideas to make their client’s special day standout.
This year, local cake designers are embracing a few trending techniques, including greenery for garnishing and a using donuts as decoration.
Here we talk with some of the Capital Region’s wedding cake designers and others about what they’re making this year:
From the kitchen at St. Luke’s on State Street, Evelyn Keplinger creates cakes out of a fairy tale. She runs Treatie Beatie Cakes by Evelyn and has found in the last few years that there’s an increasing need for luxury wedding cakes in the greater Capital Region.
Part of what makes a luxury cake is the presentation, the amount of time creating it, and the quality of the ingredients used. It’s part of the reason she’s been getting so many requests for edible flowers.
“Sugar flowers are huge this year,” Keplinger said. She makes each petal by hand, using a sugar paste. It’s not only flowers too; she also makes edible foliage, which is also big this year.
The process is arduous and delicate, using sugar paste. Each leaf or petal has to be formed and decorated one at a time. Keplinger is using those flowers to add in pops of color to classic white wedding cakes, as well as.
“It gives a romantic, soft look,” Keplinger said. Whether it’s just a small amount of detailing, or whether it takes up the entire cake, this icing method makes for an elegant cake design.
Ashley Tauss, owner of Cravings Bakery and Cafe in Gloversville finds that her clients are often looking for a classic style, though they don’t always know how to ask for it. In most cases, they’re looking for the ruffled look.
A walk in the woods
Over the last few years, the black, white and brown birch tree bark pattern had been incredibly popular in the world of home decor. It seems they’re also popular as wedding cakes as well, said Tauss.
With her birch tree cakes, she paints the design on a stark white cake and then tops it off with winding greenery.
Throw them for a loop
A wedding cake can double as dessert and decor, but the donut wall trend takes it to a new level.
For those who haven’t yet come across the trend, it’s essentially a pegboard, with donuts hanging from the dowels. These have popped up all over Pinterest and other social media platforms over the last few years, but the desire for them only seems to be increasing.
It’s an increase that Cider Belly Donuts has been all too aware of, said co-owner Jennifer Novak.
Over the last two years, they’ve gotten hundreds of calls about donut walls. Novak encourages couples to make or decorate their own peg boards to fit their wedding theme and people have gotten really creative with it. Some have spelled out their initials using the board and the color of the donuts.
Cider Belly Donuts has also gotten a few requests for donut stands, where donuts are stacked together on a dowel. For both the wall and the stands, people are looking for more classic donut flavors and designs like cider donuts or glazed donuts with rainbow sprinkles.
There’s no need for a silver lining here. Alissa Woods, owner of Cake by Alissa in Schuylerville, said that she’s seeing people go for gold; whether it’s in the form of gold leaf or a gold spray. She often pairs it with greenery, but it can also work just on its own.
When she first started her business, Woods said customers usually play it safe when it came to flavors. But last fall, clients started to branch out.
“I’ve had people ask for hops and barley and even eucalyptus,” Woods said. They also request pumpkin and spice cakes.
Rachel Womble, the owner of Oh Goodness Cakes in Saratoga Springs, has experienced a similar trend with her clients.
Womble said that while geo cakes and the rustic-themed cake designs are still hanging on, it’s what’s underneath the design that’s really piqued her client’s interest.
“My brides are looking for flavor, not just a centerpiece,” Womble said. Her pink champagne flavor has become more popular, as well as her Irishman cake, which combines a Guinness stout-flavored cake with Jameson dark chocolate ganache and Bailey’s whipped buttercream frosting.