Ocean-Inspired French Charlotte
This one-of-a-kind cake is ideal for a beach wedding. The lemon-flavored cookielike tea cakes are tied around buttercream tiers with gold ribbon -- every other one finished with a bow.
Scoops of fruit sorbet, served with a smaller madeleine, are a lovely accompaniment for cake slices.
For a wedding by the beach, a coral motif is always in fashion. New York baker Gail Watson piped coral branches in royal icing on fondant-covered tiers. Cotton fabric pinned around the cake board echoes coral's other famous hue. Sand-color fondant blankets the board.
Confectionary pearls of graduating sizes and scallop shells formed from gum paste are brushed with luster dust to mimic the natural opalescence. Impressions in the ivory fondant were made with an embossing tool. Sugar sprinkled on the tops of the tiers and the cake board sparkles like white sand.
Asian-Inspired Wave Cake
On each tier of this modern creation by Wendy Kromer, a different wave design (three in all, impressed with double-thick rubber stamps) graces the fondant panels.
Sailors' Valentine Cakes
These masterly cakes, made by Wendy Kromer, have romantic seaworthy roots: They are styled after sailors' valentines -- keepsake boxes, decorated with intricate shell patterns, that 19th-century mariners gave as gifts to their beloveds. The originals inspired our mosaics of gum-paste shells, arranged in concentric circles, rosettes, and monograms.
Tropical Wedding Cake
Use fruits and flowers grown without pesticides to top this cake. You will need a clean straw mat for texturing the fondant.
Madeleines, miniature French sponge cakes, are made in special scallop-shell-shaped pans. These are enhanced with rose water and sprinkled with pale-pink sugar.
Shark and Beach Cupcakes
Cupcakes serve as a fun alternative dessert for children guests at a beach-themed reception. Easier to serve than cake, they require no slicing, no plates, and no forks -- and every child gets her fair share of icing.
Tropical Fruit Compote
This beautiful dessert is made up of a medley of tropical fruits: papaya, mango, pineapple, star fruit, and passion fruit.
Juicy, tropical fruit is a refreshing finale to a meal high on flavor. Cut the fruit in the morning and refrigerate, and then sprinkle on tequila an hour before eating. Skewer right before serving.
Pineapple and Mango Rum Cocktails
With its sunny color and sweet taste, this cocktail belongs on the beach.