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Winter 2015 marks two decades of Martha Stewart Weddings. For our big birthday, we asked eight incredible confectioners to design cakes incorporating the classic 20th anniversary color. Each is a shining example—and would be a brilliant way to fête your own special day.
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With its lifelike facade, this bucolic design takes rustic-chic to a new level. To achieve it, Maggie Austin, of Maggie Austin Cake in Alexandria, Virginia, pressed a honeycomb pattern into fondant. Then she used molds to form sculpted fondant blossoms and bees, and added them to the cake. Decorate plated slices with the tiny bees, and guests will swarm to them like, well, bees to honey.
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To the Letter
Make your mark by asking your calligrapher for a design that celebrates your married initial, then have your baker render it in sugar. To create this design, Wendy Kromer, contributing editor and owner of Wendy Kromer Confections in Sandusky, Ohio, placed waxed paper atop a calligraphed pattern and traced it with royal icing. When the icing had dried, she coated it with edible silver and pearl luster dust, attaching it to the cake tiers with more royal icing.
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Here’s a sweet secret: A sophisticated cake like this is actually economical. The trick? Commission your baker to whip up an unadorned (read: affordable) confection, then add fresh flowers yourself. Our three-tiered buttercream dream from One Girl Cookies in Brooklyn, New York, is dressed up with fresh eucharis lilies, nerines, and dusty miller, which has naturally silvery-gray leaves. When set on a dessert table alongside platters of One Girl Cookies’ renowned orange butter-drop and vanilla-meringue morsels, the effect is très chic.
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A wrought-iron chandelier was the muse for this showstopper by Ron Ben-Israel, owner of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes in New York City. Using ornate antique light fixtures as models, he says, “I molded them in silicone, then filled the molds with sugar paste and used piping gel to attach the result to a fondant-covered cake to mimic a chandelier.” Once the trim was in place, he painted it with silver dust suspended in clear alcohol. For the inside, he suggests flavor pairings that are as elaborate as the exterior, like almond cake with blackberry and Mexican hot chocolate fillings.
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For a cozy winter wedding, add a few of these cakes—which serve two or three people each—to every tablescape. “It creates a memorable display, especially if you serve a mix of flavors for everyone to sample,” says Betsy Thorleifson, owner of Nine Cakes in Brooklyn. To make these enchanted-forest delights, she used a sticklike Dresden tool to carve lines that resemble wood grain into silver fondant, then topped each stump with fondant mushrooms and flowers before dusting on sanding sugar to look like snow.
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This symmetrical showpiece offers a contemporary take on 1930s design. Using a custom-made stencil and silver luster dust mixed with vodka, Duff Goldman, of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, airbrushed the pattern onto layers of cut fondant. While the exterior is both retro and timeless, Goldman suggests incorporating seasonal flavors on the inside. “Vanilla and Italian orange cake with Swiss buttercream would make a great choice for winter,” he says, “and yellow cake with passion-fruit buttercream is ideal for spring or summer events.”
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Struck by the intricate beauty of silk brocade, Sandy Patangay, owner of Crème Delicious in NYC, designed a different pattern for each of these eight-inch round cakes. She covered them in fondant, hand-piped the patterns with silver icing, and applied silver dragées and edible glitter. Each confection serves about 12 people; order as many as there are tables, plus another for the bride and groom to cut. Display them together at the reception, then have waiters bring one to each table after dinner.
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Proof that technology can be tasty, too: This cake’s precise geometric peppermint trim was created on a three-dimensional printer and slipped over fondant-covered tiers. The design is the work of ChefJet from 3D Systems, which operates like any other 3-D machine, but rather than printing layers of plastic, it uses a fondantlike frosting. More and more pastry chefs will be trying 3-D printing, says Liz von Hasseln, creative director of food products at 3D Systems in Los Angeles, letting them whip up “endless options, from cupcake toppers to custom sugar cubes.” Just check out these coupes’ delicate snowflakes, which melt right into Champagne. What better way to toast to a delicious future?
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