Betsy Thorleifson, owner of Nine Cakes, embraced the season and created seven beautiful confections that are perfect for an autumn wedding date.
Summer generally gets credited as the best season for weddings. While it's definitely a favorite time of year for brides and grooms to tie the knot, there's just something about a fall wedding date that gets us so excited. As it turns out, we're not the only ones. More and more couples are beginning to wed in September, October, and November than ever before, and wedding planners, photographers, florists, caterers, and bakers say this season is their favorite to work on.
That's why we caught up with Betsy Thorleifson, owner of Nine Cakes in Brooklyn, New York, to talk all things fall wedding cakes. "I'm loving the subtler fall color palettes," she says of wedding cake designs. "Blushes, tangerines, golden creamy colors with hints of plum and rest. Overall, a moodier look." With that, Thorleifson says more couples are asking for black, navy, and deep plum colored cakes. "They're so dramatic!" As for flavors, Thorleifson is partial to unexpected pairings. "My favorite fall flavors are our almond cake with poached pears and a hint of cardamom, and our chocolate cake with pomegranate buttercream and crystallized ginger."
Here, Thorleifson talks about even more trends and she loves for autumnal desserts. Even better, the pro baker whipped up seven fall-inspired designs and asked Judy Pak to photograph each. Get inspired by her creative confections and start dreaming up your own fall wedding cake.
This cake was created in various shades of yellow, playing off the idea of changing leaves in the fall. "I think the more muted, deeper hues of yellow feel a bit more fall like rather than the soft, clear yellows evocative of spring," Thorleifson says. As for that gorgeous peony on top, the baker tells us that it's okay to use non-in-season flowers, too. "While we try and coordinate with the floral design of the wedding, if there's a flower that works well on the cake, or is somebody's favorite but out season, they should use it!" she adds. "That's one of the added benefits of using sugar flowers."
Inspired by hand-dipped escort cards that layered various colors for a rich, saturated look, Thorleifson set out to create a watercolor wedding cake. Striking and simple, the idea works for any season, but these colors in particular speak to a fall wedding date. "I would draw from other colors being used throughout the wedding, perhaps from the floral design, linens, and invitations," she advises couples who'd like to mimic the look. "From there, you can just lighten or darken the main color to get a larger range and more dimension with the design."
"My inspiration for this cake was a glowing early fall sunset," Thorleifson says. "All of the rich, saturated colors of late summer, but with the overall golden glow of fall." When it comes to adding accents, she adds that it's okay to be playful, especially on "a colorful cake with an exuberant vibe." "I'm not as concerned that the flowers are hyper-realistic or even actually exist in nature," she says. "Just have fun with it and make something luscious and memorable."