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Cake Inspiration

Inspiration can spring from the most unusual sources -- even when it comes to wedding-cake designs. These 34 cakes take their themes from nature, haute couture, and everything in between.

Daisy Cake
The daisies on this pretty cake resemble something you might find in an old-fashioned notions store. The petals are shaped with a balling tool; the daisy centers are royal icing coated with crystallized sugar. While still pliable, the fondant is imprinted with a dressmaker's wheel. A veil-like sheath of sheer mosquito netting creates a dramatic outdoor display.

New Look Cake
This design was influenced by Christian Dior's groundbreaking 1947 fashions. Five tiers are wrapped with fondant ribbons that come together in neat bows; together, the tiers look like stacked luggage, with a handbag on top and a valise on the bottom. For this presentation, a "box" made from wooden canvas stretchers and silk panels is left open to reveal the cake, which is loosely wrapped in white tissue.


Grapevine Cake
This grape-themed cake is frosted with buttercream the color of antique linen -- shapes and textures reminiscent of the Tuscan countryside. Real grape leaves were used to mold the chocolate ones sprouting from the tiers of this cake, but any smooth nonpoisonous leaf can be used. Caramel-coated grapes and caramel "tendrils" complete the theme.

Rose Cake
This three-tiered cake is covered in swirls of brown-sugar meringue, then wreathed and topped by berries and bronze roses -- "Orange Unique," "Leonidas," and "My Lovely" --  for a result that is quintessentially autumn.

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