Here's a proposal that doesn't require a bended knee: Serve a pint-size pillow of cake with a sweet candy sparkler tucked on top. Moist carrot cake, a cloud of cream-cheese frosting, and a smooth fondant overlay complete the conceit.
Three-Tier Wedding Cupcakes
If you're craving towering tiers and buttercream, this staggering confection is proof that you can serve cupcakes without sacrificing those classic-cake moments. Inspired by tradition, this vanilla cake is fresh, fun, and meant for sharing.
Buttermilk Cupcakes in a Jar
Sticky desserts as favors? Yes, you can. Our solution: Cushion a vanilla cupcake between a layer of raspberry jam and a dollop of cream-cheese frosting in a classic canning jar. Pair it with a wooden spoon, and voila -- you've got a pudding-rich, mess-free treat that guests can easily take home.
Molten Chocolate Cupcakes
Who needs finger food when you have the option of sticking your fork into this dessert? This miniature riff on the sophisticated souffle combines a dense, molten chocolate-ganache center with light, airy chocolate cake. Served warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and an edible gold-leaf garnish, our cupcake is sure to melt your guests' hearts -- one luscious bite at a time.
Rose and Ginger Cupcakes
With their sugar-brushed flower petals and fragrant, rose-flavored glaze, these delicate cupcakes are pretty in pink. On the inside, jewels of candied ginger are hidden in a zesty ginger cake that's just sweet enough to make you, well, blush.
Meringue Bouquet Cupcakes
Perfect posies aren't just for flower girls. Crisp on the outside and soft in the middle, this vanilla cupcake has a bevy of yellow, ivory, and pink Swiss meringue blossoms perched atop a bed of buttercream. Customize their flavors or match the colors to your palette. Either way, this is one bouquet no one will want to toss.
Mocha Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze
A little decadence goes a long way, especially when the words "triple chocolate" are involved. Moist, coffee-infused chocolate cake, milk-chocolate mousse, and a creamy chocolate glaze combine for a mocha moment -- complete with a coffee bean -- that's worth the indulgence.
Meringue Cupcakes with Strawberry, Rhubarb, and Creme Fraiche
Your guests will learn appearances can be delightfully deceiving as they dive into the ladylike layers of this charming cake. It's actually meringue, split and filled with strawberry-rhubarb compote and cream whipped with creme fraiche.
Bite-size brownie cupcakes topped with round candies are the perfect addition to a dessert table. Just set them out for guests to gobble up. Custom candy dots, Papabubble, 212-966-2599.
Individual Pavlovas are both whimsical and elegant when served in miniature cupcake liners. The dessert was named for a Russian ballerina. The "cake" portion of the cupcake is a puff of meringue, crispy on the outside and soft inside; each Pavlova is topped with a dollop of tangy yogurt cream and a sugared golden currant.
Cheesecakes with Raspberry Hearts
What's better than digging into a slice of cheesecake? That's easy -- eating the whole thing! Give each guest a tiny version of the classic creamy, graham cracker-crusted treat. These cakes manage to trump the original, thanks to whimsical hearts made from raspberry puree.
New York City-based Japanese bakery Kyotofu gave us their recipe for these vanilla and yuzu (Asian lime) cupcakes; we finished the frosting with a sprinkling of silver dust.
The yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit with a distinctive flavor. It can be difficult to find fresh, though bottled juice is available (Earthy Delights). Lime juice and zest can be substituted.
Use this recipe to create traditional white cupcakes, which you can decorate (or have your baker decorate) in a myriad of ways to match the color palette or theme of your wedding. Here, we iced the white cupcakes with blue frosting topped with a monogrammed candy heart.