Apples have been a symbol of love, fertility, and abundance since ancient Greek times, when the goddess Gaia gave her granddaughter a golden apple tree as a gift at her wedding to Zeus. Golden lady apples, painted with edible gold luster dust, are the focal point of this tower by Betsy Thorleifson of Nine Cakes in Brooklyn, New York. The vanilla-bean spiced apple cakeâ€”filled with caramel buttercreamâ€”is drizzled with luscious caramel.
More than one guest will do a double take at the sight of this cake, which looks like a lush floral centerpiece. Custom-made sugar flowers, created by Amy DeGiulio of Sugar Flower Cake Shop in New York City, were planted in a bed of chocolate-fondant-covered cake, which was set in a large gold urn. Fill the cake's layers with rosewater buttercream to call out its blooming adornments.
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.
Two tiers of the cake, by Elizabeth Loudon, are made with the mother of the bride's chocolate cake recipe. Set on a stand trimmed with felt, the confection is covered with bittersweet chocolate frosting and dressed with roses, fiddleheads, and sandersonia.
This towering confection is the traditional wedding cake of France. The name croquembouche, which means "crunch in the mouth," refers to the hard caramel that coats delicate puffs of pate a choux filled with vanilla cream. The top tier rests on an edible nougatine base, made of caramel and crushed almonds. The roses and ribbons are pastillage, a sugar paste that dries with a porcelain-like finish; the giant swirls are pulled sugar.
Instead of one large wedding cake, this bride and groom offered a number of choices for their guests. The main cake was a square layered tiramisu decorated with Lady apples dipped in either caramel or chocolate. Other baked delights included 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.
The monograms on these French patisserie-style charlottes, or molded sponge cakes, consist of piped chocolate batter baked into almond-flavored cake. Each confection is filled with milk-chocolate ganache and chocolate-espresso Bavarian cream; the top and bottom are sealed with chocolate cake rounds brushed with espresso syrup. Glossy chocolate glaze and a crisp twirl of espresso Swiss meringue complete the picture. Calligraphy by Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls.
Five tiers of dense double-chocolate brownies are glazed with caramel and trimmed with candied pecans. An acrylic pole keeps the tiers aligned; pieces of acrylic tubing slipped over the pole separate the tiers. Vanilla ice cream is served alongside. Use a custom-designed acrylic cake stand to support the brownie tiers.
Hidden beneath a gentle flurry of bittersweet chocolate curls are three tiers of mocha spice cake made tender with sour cream. The cake gets a lift from coffee, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloveâ€”each layer is brushed with ginger-infused syrup before it is frosted with chocolate buttercream.
Who knew palm trees and coconuts could be so chic? This beauty takes its cues from Hawaiian breadfruit quilts, which showcase bold botanical silhouettes inspired by the shadows cast by treesâ€”legend has it that anyone who crafts such a quilt will lead a fruitful life. Wendy Kromer covered the cake with mocha fondant, then spread white royal icing over stencils for a contrasting effect. To get the levitating-layers look, hide ribbon-covered boards between the tiers.
This cake reflects a dreamy springtime 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.