1 of 13
Wedding Cake with Delicate Dots
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.
2 of 13
Seven-Tier Classic Wedding Cake
For as long as brides have dreamed of multitier wedding cakes, they have envisioned icing swirls and swags adorning them. Today's bakers (and brides) continue to make wonderful use of traditional piping techniques. As these creations show, designs can be fresh and unique.
The designs on this dramatic tower mimic the elaborate cake-decorating style of Joseph Lambeth, a master baker in England during the 1920s and '30s. Fine garlands and latticework are piped onto the fondant in royal icing, as are delicate roses and bunches of grapes. The star and C-scrolls on top are examples of a technique called overpiping, in which a shape is layered over again and again, giving it depth.
3 of 13
Wedding Cake with Royal Icing
Smooth poppies and white-on-white patterns cover a square cake with cropped corners; gossamer ribbon brings out a hint of green in the fondant blanketing its tiers. The flowers were made using floodwork: A border was outlined and then filled in with royal icing, which has a fluid consistency. The blooms were transferred to fondant panels, which were then applied to the sides of the cake.
4 of 13
Wedding Cake with Piped Roses
A garden of roses in pink, peach, and yellow encircles a full-size cake. The flowers' variegated look is achieved by placing two colors of icing side by side in the pastry bag. Rows of dots are piped in the same buttercream that covers the tiers.
5 of 13
Miniature Rose Wedding Cakes
Simple designs, such as the luscious buttercream blooms atop these tiny cakes, can make a big impression. Just three inches high, these beauties could be the highlight of a dessert buffet or be served at each place.
Swipe here for next slide
6 of 13
Basketweave Wedding Cake
The top and bottom sections of this grand cake display a classic basketweave design, while the thick whorls (made with a petal tip) and braided wreaths (a round tip) of the middle tiers copy the artistry of baskets made by Maine's Wabanaki tribes. Mocha buttercream is also unconventional; along with a brown satin ribbon around the stand, it gives the cake an autumnal air.
Photography: JASON FRANK ROTHENBERG7 of 13
Embellished White Wedding Cake
This white detailed cake with piping sat atop a white cake stand decorated with red-and-white grosgrain ribbon. On top of the cake sat a vintage cake topper (it belonged to the bride's grandmother) that was painted to look more like her and the groom.
Photography: Con Poulos8 of 13
Rose-Piped Wedding Cake
This happy rose confection may look couture, but just about anyone is capable of re-creating it. Start with a plain fondant cake from a bakery. Next, print out our template of abstract roses, place parchment paper over it, and trace with a piping bag of royal icing. Once dry, peel the paper from the piped roses, and adhere the designs to the cake using gum paste that's been mixed with hot water.
9 of 13
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.
10 of 13
Long ago, the heart was thought to be the origin of all human emotions. Though modern science proves otherwise, the phrase "giving your heart" is still the best way to express that you'd sacrifice anything for the one you love. Jay Qualls of the Tennessee-based Maples Wedding Cakes printed our designs on paper, covered them in parchment, traced them with royal icing, then transferred them onto fondant.
Swipe here for next slide
11 of 13
Delicate French Silk Wedding Cake
The delicate and elegant detail of a circa-1900 French silk looks every bit as gorgeous at the dawn of our century. Ron Ben-Israel meticulously re-created the fabric by pressing the fondant with a rubber stamp to mimic the weave, then piping on petite mimosa blossoms and stems, and applying sugar-paste leaves. The flowers were painted with powdered yellow food coloring mixed with luster dust for a silk-like shimmer.
12 of 13
Swiss meringue buttercream icing, piped through a petal tip with a slight wiggle of the wrist, is the medium for the squiggles enveloping the cake. Buttercream is soft, free form, relaxed -- and very delicious. Each buoyant, cushiony tier of this peach-tinted powder puff of a cake is almost imperceptibly elevated above the preceding layer.
13 of 13
Just try to resist this delightful cake enhanced by a zesty lemon curd filling. Natural and yellow buttercream were piped from the same bag to create the ombre latticework. A topper of silk flowers and millinery lemons makes this perfect for a casual garden wedding.