By Julie Deffense –
Life is too short to say no to cake. So what do I see as the biggest trends in wedding cakes for 2018?
For me, trends in wedding cake are just that, trends. Yes, every year brings new trends, such as different color palettes and textures, or a choice between a naked, not-so-naked, drip, buttercream or fondant cake, but as an artist it’s more about the story behind each cake from which the design emerges and makes each year’s cakes so very unique.
I spend half the year making one of a kind luxury wedding cakes in the Sarasota area, and the other half of the year doing the same thing just outside of Lisbon, Portugal. My surroundings in both places are often the backdrop for the initial inspiration for a cake.
Color is crucial: the light blues of the ocean, warm pale peaches and pinks that complement the setting, gold as an extension of the opulence and antiquity of a venue.
Texture is equally as important: smooth white fondant; glittering golden sugar sequins; delicately hand-piped lace to mimic a section of antique lace sewn into a bride’s dress. Finding something unique to incorporate into each of my cakes is an essential part of the process.
Scale and expectation: the wedding cake is one of the most anticipated elements in a wedding – for me, it should make a statement in the room, and equally as important, it should be as delicious as it is beautiful. I’m always so excited when a couple wants to feature their cake, whether it’s a 19 tier cake, each tier piped with different elaborate patterns, set in the middle of a ballroom and to be cut with a sword, to a hand painted, 5 tier cake, cascading with realistic-looking sugar flowers and sugar leaves that seem to be falling from tiers that have been painstakingly decorated with hand-pleated sugar folds to reflect a detail on the bride’s dress, every little detail is important.
Environmental and architectural inspiration: three-dimensional accents made in fondant such as flower swags, decorative scrolls and finials, vintage bows, acanthus leaves, pearls, cherubs, and more – I love adding custom decorative elements to my cakes.
One other noteworthy essential part of the process is getting to know each couple in the initial phase of design – it helps me to understand who they are and how to interpret their dreams into their cake. Finding a way to add an element of personalization that is one-of-a-kind and overall fabulous is what I strive for.
Trends that I plan on keeping for 2018 include hand painting, hand piping, delicate sugar flowers, custom monograms, edible gold sequins, translucent sugar ruffles, gold and sugar leaf, sugar lace, fondant marbling, mixing textures and techniques, and incorporating color when least expected. Trends that I will probably leave behind are the more rustic, basic cakes like naked cakes and drip cakes. Cakes that incorporate semi-naked cake tiers are still ok in my book, as long as the overall design is interwoven and unexpected.
I’m hoping that wedding cakes in 2018 continue to embrace everything that is romance, beauty and culture and I look forward to surprising my clients (and myself) with new, beautiful and unique edible art!