For a less conventional wedding cake, consider chocolate. Give our gallery a look for some delicious inspiration.
Fancy: Yes. Fussy: Not in the least. To make these mini chocolate-covered desserts, we poured a glaze over each cake and piped on lines -- and, in the case of the cake in the middle, circles -- of melted white chocolate. (Perch the cakes on a wire rack so excess glaze doesn't pool.) Then we gently dragged a toothpick through the lines to create the designs.
This cake reflects a dreamy spring moment amid the cherry trees, when a breeze scatters the dainty blossoms into the air. Here they seem to drift from the top of the cake, where they are densely massed, down to the bottom, where the pink petals break apart as they would in nature. There are enough sugar blossoms to adorn each slice of cake when it is served. Chocolate fondant covers the layers, a striking complement to the shades of pink.
This rich chocolate and chestnut cake is reminiscent of roasted chestnuts by the fire, making it perfect for a winter wedding. Decorated with sugared fruit and laurel leaves, it's great for both fall and winter -- you don't have to worry about using flowers that may not be in season during colder months.
Delight guests at a wedding or shower with their own tiered "cake." For these fudge treats, which can be made with white or dark chocolate, cookie cutters form bite-size layers resembling those on a wedding cake. Pink sanding sugar serves as icing, and paper doilies enhance the dainty display.
The icing on this coffee-infused cake starts out light and becomes deepest in color and flavor at the bottom. The meringue drops, tinted with cocoa and coffee extract, are dipped in chocolate, then set on the tiers. Extras can be served alongside the cake or distributed as wedding favors.
A graphic embellishment is all the more striking against rich, chocolate-brown fondant. These royal icing designs, piped in white and light-brown dots, echo the petal shape of the cake tiers and stand. A pattern was first pinpricked into the fondant and then piped over. The cascading design on the top tier forms an intricate, many-petaled flower -- an understated alternative to a cake topper.
Instead of one large wedding cake, bride and groom Maria and Robert offered a number of choices for their guests. "I wanted a country bake-sale kind of feeling," Maria said. The main cake was a square layered tiramisu decorated with Lady apples dipped in either caramel or chocolate. Other baked delights included (from left) a chocolate sour-cream pound cake with raspberry filling and chocolate ganache frosting, miniature cupcakes with apricot filling and topping, and a round layered spice cake with cream-cheese frosting. Hand-painted, calligraphed signs listed the names of the desserts.
Miniature posies of cosmos and fondant lamb's ears are tied with delicate satin ribbon and perch atop shimmering carpets of sanding sugar. The curves of the flowers' petals are echoed in the contours of each chocolate-covered tier, made by using petal-shaped cake pans; a slender satin ribbon is taped to the cake board to disguise its edge.
This opulent five-tier cake is a graphic interpretation of damask; it plays up the pattern, which is traditionally tone-on-tone. The intricate scrollwork is best suited to a square cake because the flat surfaces display the repeating motif to greatest advantage. To create this magnificent design, the pattern is placed under waxed paper, then piped over and filled in with royal icing. After it dries, the hardened frosting is removed from the waxed paper and affixed to the cake. The Wedgwood-blue fondant and dark-brown decorations look elegant with a chocolate cake.
Architectural yet intimate, our white-chocolate panel cake requires neither culinary talents nor design skills (other than the ones you learned in preschool). Just order a buttercream cake from a local bakery and a pack of chocolate panels from chocolatier Christopher Norman. The rest is a cakewalk: Adhere panels of varying heights onto the tiers, and fill the ledges with golden raspberries or another fruit. (Cake panels, $400 for 100 panels, Christopher Norman Chocolates New York, 212-402-1243.)
This stunner of a cake, with roses that appear to bloom before your very eyes, takes its cues from a swatch of graphic 1960s floral cotton. The leaf and bud designs were photocopied from the fabric to make patterns, then cut out from tinted sugar paste using a craft knife and transferred to the white-fondant-covered tiers. The finishing touch? A sprinkling of yellow sugar-paste roses throughout for an eye-popping embellishment. Cake by Ron Ben-Israel Cakes.
This suite of sweets by Wendy Kromer features a graphic calligraphy-style motif and words from the classic wedding vows. The designs are incorporated into white-chocolate panels using plastic transfer sheets printed with tinted cocoa butter. The panels are then adhered to tiers evenly frosted in buttercream, which is also used to create the string-of-pearls effect on each level. Pools of raspberry sauce adorn two of the cakes. (Transfer kit by American Chocolate Designs. Calligraphy by Nancy Howell.)
Adorn your wedding cake with one of these thoughtful handmade touches.See the Ideas