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Jewel-Inspired Wedding Cake
No wonder King George went mad! He was likely driven to distraction by the opulent jewelry Englishwomen took to wearing during the 18th and early 19th centuries. This cake is an homage to those showstoppers, with four regal tiers of spearmint-hued fondant, royal icing piped to mimic pearl strands, and sparkling edible baubles, each ringed in a "pave setting" of royal-icing pearls.
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Marbelized Wedding Cake
Call it a novel idea -- this colorful cake evokes marbled endpapers. The pattern is done in aqua-tinted white chocolate using chocolate transfer sheets applied to buttercream. The treat inside combines moist dark-chocolate cake, dark-chocolate ganache, and semisweet- and white-chocolate buttercreams.
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Art Nouveau Wedding Cake
Inspired by jeweled insect pins popularized at the turn of the 20th century, this cake is concocted from royal icing, gold luster dust, and edible pearls. The enchanted-forest backdrop provides the perfect perch for a pair of delicate sugary dragonflies. They whimsically evoke the happy couple, poised to take flight.
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Pleated Wedding Cake
The edible pleats here recall the crinolines beneath a cream puff of a wedding dress. White wafer papers, cut with scallop scissors and folded, were painted with gold luster dust and petal dust in pinks and greens. They were then piped with white royal icing and attached to the mint-green fondant-covered tiers with more royal icing. The fluted pastry cups, filled with pillow mints, complete the pleated theme.
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Woodland Wedding Cake
Tiny treasures of the woods are rendered sweetly in marzipan on an ivory marzipan-covered cake. A ladybug signifying good fortune rests on the frond of a fern; a fiddlehead with royal icing foliage uncoils overhead. Mushrooms with gum-paste stems, acorns, oak leaves, and fallen bark made of shaved chocolate further adorn the tiers.
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Monogrammed Green Wedding Cake
A traditional tiered confection covered with pale-green fondant has fresh hydrangeas between the layers (each cake tier is topped with clear acetate so flowers don't touch the icing). The Monogram is made of royal icing sprinkled with nonpareils for texture.
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Quilted Wedding Cake
Handmade "double wedding ring" quilts (a popular matrimony gift) have been keeping newlyweds warm since the 1930s. The interlocking-circle motif is perhaps a take on 16th-century European gimmal rings—engagement bands worn by both men and women. Once the couple wed, the rings were fitted together for the bride to wear as one. This cake captures the symbolic pattern with overlapping circles of pale-green and ivory buttercream.
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The net-and-bead fabric displayed as a tablecloth served as the model for this cake. The four tiers were covered in seafoam-green rolled fondant, then decorated with "reeds" made out of hand-piped royal icing; the beaded icing "leaves" on each stem were painted with luster dust to add shine. On the inside, light white pound cake and lemon frosting pair nicely with the grassy design.
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French Hydrangea Cake
This five-tier buttercream cake, made by Sylvia Weinstock of New York City, is covered with sugar hydrangeas, which we also added to French macaroons.
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Cheerful Birds Cake
Cheerful birds that the bride found at a crafts store perch atop the intentionally homemade-looking cake.
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As far as we’re concerned, mint and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Here, pros at Magnolia Bakery in New York City worked the combo (also referred to as Grasshopper) into another classic, the icebox cake, by layering chocolate wafer cookies with a whipped cream mixture. Serve it as part of a dessert buffet with other treats, like mini chocolate cupcakes sprinkled with crumbled pistachios or whoopie pies filled with minty frosting. You can also serve it alongside miniature mint-chocolate shakes.
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Tropical Flower Wedding Cakes
Setting vivid (and long-lasting) orchids against spring-green fondant-covered tiers results in a look that's fresh and utterly modern. There are hundreds of orchids to choose from; we used (from left) cattleya, dendrobium, lady's slipper, and 'Japhet' cattleya.
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Fondant-Covered Cake Squares
Fondant-covered squares are adorned with edible embroidery—made of piped royal icing—to resemble patchwork pieces. And though they might look like the perfect mouthful, each four-inch sweet is sized for sharing.
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For a wedding cake that is equal parts refreshing and delicious, try this minty tiered confection made with fondant and buttercream frosting.