Sweet Sensations

Sweet Sensations


From the traditional fondant masterpiece to the naked cake slathered in buttercream, the possibilities for your wedding cake are endless. Kate Fitzgerald speaks with Sarah-Jane Wicks from Cake That! about the latest trends on the wedding cake scene.

Your wedding cake is more than just a cake – it’s a centrepiece for your big day. It adds a special layer to your décor and theme, and will be the first sweet bite you and the love of your life will take as newlyweds.

Owner of Cake That! Sarah-Jane Wicks says cutting the wedding cake is a truly special and symbolic moment for couples.

“[Cutting the cake] symbolises a new beginning,” she says. “[The cake] is a stunning centrepiece that has been mindfully chosen for such a special occasion. Seeing the joy and happiness on everyone’s faces as they watch the happy couple cut into their cake is simply magnificent!”

While there’ll always be a place for tradition in the world of weddings, imagination has taken hold of brides who are choosing to be more creative with their wedding cakes. Wicks says there’s a whole world of options outside the realm of white fondant cakes.

“I have been making wedding cakes for 20 years now, [and] fashion trends have certainly changed a lot since then,” she says. “While traditional designs have always been popular, these days they come with clean, crisp edges and are more contemporary in their styling.”

“A handful of years ago, novelty and cupcake towers were all the rage, [but] these days there’s a trend towards semi-iced designs and customised cakes, as well as loads of floral influence.”

Almost Naked

The naked or semi-naked cake has been a popular trend for a few years now, and it isn’t showing signs of slowing down any time soon! The beauty of this style is that it allows the beautifully baked layers to shine through, while the sides are pulled together with artfully placed buttercream. Dressed up with flowers, fruit or macarons, a semi-naked cake will make a statement at almost any type of wedding.

The exposed sponge of a naked cake appeals to both the eyes and the tastebuds, while buttercream is a tasty alternative to fondant. For a spring or summer wedding, berries will jazz up your cake as a filling, while apples, pears or other seasonal fruits will work beautifully for winter or autumn nuptials.

Keep It Simple

While the naked cake is stamping its name on the wedding scene, there’ll always be a special place for the traditional ivory wedding cake.

“Timeless designs are always requested,” says Wicks. “White or monochromatic designs with stunning sugar flowers [that] mimic the bridal bouquet [are always popular], as well as lace patterning [that complements the bride’s] gown. The technique used to achieve the final design has slightly altered, but [a] classic design remains popular and ever so elegant.”

You can dress up your white cake with sugar lace detailing or rosettes, or for a mouth-watering solution to your flavour selection problems, go for multiple tiers with each featuring a different flavour to satisfy every guest’s appetite.

Heavy Metal

In a trend that has trickled over from the fashion industry, metallic frosting is growing in popularity with couples who are after something a little more striking. Rose gold tiers are becoming a particular favourite, and this style of cake works well if the bride is wearing metallics herself.

Whether you decide to include a rose gold tier or you commission a cake that features scattered gold leaf across an otherwise semi-naked design, incorporating a metallic element will add a degree of lustre and elevate the whole aesthetic.

Sparkles and intricate patterns aren’t just reserved for your hair and makeup team, so if your wedding has an old-school glamour theme, why not invest in a glittering marvel of a cake?

Stand Tall

Wicks says she has also seen an increase in couples wanting sky-high, multi-tier extravaganzas.

“I find myself making super-tall cakes, which look so fabulous!” she says. “These days, you’re getting almost twice the height of a few years back.”

“As artists and decorators, there is certainly a trend among us to create large designs that often have an element of gravity-defying nature about them. I often attract couples who are after something [unique] when it comes to traditional wedding cakes. I encourage my clients to choose a design that flows with their reception and, of course, will etch into their guests’ minds for years to come!”

Banquet-style

If you can’t decide on just one type of cake, why stop at one? In one of the fastest-growing trends, many brides are opting for a wedding cake banquet or dessert table in place of the traditional single cake.

Popular for many reasons, a few smaller wedding cakes will help you cater to any food intolerances or allergies you or your guests may have, and will allow them to taste as many flavours as they desire. A variety of smaller cakes can also be less of a hassle to cut up and serve compared to a large, multi-tiered cake.

The Future Of Cakes

Wicks says she expects bright colours, extravagant designs and unique works-of-art to take over the wedding cake scene.

“I think the future of cake making is really bright, and with wonderful artistic possibilities!” she says. “These days, couples are willing to challenge you that little bit more, and they are excited to get that ‘wow’ factor from their cake.”

“A great decorator can offer you a showpiece that encapsulates your event. [Your wedding cake is] a creation that sets the mood for the function and centres your theme.”

Once you’ve decided on your perfect style, the fun part starts – choosing your supplier and starting to see your vision take shape! Before you book your vendor, make sure you do some research into the types of cake they are experienced in creating. Each cake maker will have a different strength, so it’s best to touch base early to ensure they will be able to deliver what you require.

Wicks says it’s important to build a strong rapport with your cake maker, and to also allow them to get to know you.

“Getting to know what my clients like is imperative to create a piece that flows with the rest of the day,” she says. “Knowing the venue and looking at the planned styling, as well as fitting the couple’s personalities in, is so important when designing a cake to suit [the couple]. You want your clients’ guests to gasp with delight over the cake, not look at it in horror!”

Your wedding cake gives you the opportunity to flex your creativity and show off your own personal wedding style as a couple! By thinking a little outside the box and embracing the new trends making waves in the industry today, you’ll be able to start your days as husband and wife in the sweetest way possible.