Wedding cakes have come a long way since I was a kid. I remember one of my aunts squeezing frosting out of a pastry bag and deftly creating dozens of blue frosting roses on tiny little circles of cardboard so they could be placed on a family wedding cake, which was likely covered in plain white frosting before the rosettes were finally applied. Back then, one could expect to find the same basic cake at every wedding. But, while today’s wedding cakes generally consist of several layers of cake stacked one atop another and covered with frosting, they are anything but basic.
During the late 20th century, it was common to see white cake tiers stacked upon Roman columns. Architecture was a common theme overall, with some cakes complete with sweeping plastic staircases to link multiple tiered cakes in graduated sizes.
The cakes were generally decorated with thick, white butter cream icing to symbolize purity and trimmed with the couple’s favorite wedding color. These cakes were usually also covered with creamy frosting rosebuds and other flowers and topped off with a bride and groom cake topper. In most cases, one could expect to see the same basic design at every wedding reception.
Today, those plastic Roman columns of the 80s and 90s have almost disappeared in favor of tiers stacked one right upon the next. Support pillars, when necessary, are hidden among flowers and frills, which are also common on modern wedding cakes. In many cases, nature seems to have taken the place of architecture with many modern wedding cakes garnished with a variety of fresh fruits, flowers and greenery.
Modern wedding cakes are no longer limited to plain white cake with white butter cream frosting. Instead, modern wedding cakes come in a variety of shapes, colors and flavors. Today’s wedding cakes are culinary masterpieces which make a statement all their own. Rather than being a simple symbol of purity, modern wedding cakes are a reflection of the couple’s personalities.
Cake shapes range from the traditional round layers to contemporary squares, rectangles and even hearts. Modern wedding cake designs range from sheer elegance to whimsical, leaning Dr. Seuss-inspired towers complete with polka dots and stripes. And, instead of the usual butter cream frosting, fondant has become the covering of choice. This thick, creamy sugar paste often comes in rolls that can be easily draped across a wedding cake and cut into whimsical shapes to create a variety of designs. Still others opt to forgo the tiered wedding cake altogether and offer wedding cupcakes instead.
More Great Ideas:
–2010 Wedding Cake Trends from Project Wedding: Scroll down to see the marshmallow embellished cake at the bottom… such a fun idea!
-According to Stylish Wedding Ideas, tall wedding cakes are in for 2010.
–Modern Wedding Cakes on Wedding Ideas… check out some of these images. It is so amazing the detail that goes into wedding cakes today.
-Cake Channel has a ton of pictures of a variety of modern wedding cakes. I love picture number 5 with the individual square cakes wrapped in red ribbons.
-For some of those Dr. Seuss inspired wedding cakes, check out Eat Cake in Milwaukee, WI.