Choosing the perfect wedding cake

STORY Laurie Wallace-Lynch

“Stacked, round wedding cakes are certainly the most popular and the round shape is said to symbolize eternal and endless love,” says Irene Chito, owner of Irene’s Celebrity Cakes.

Irene has seen a lot of changes in wedding cake trends in the 46 years she has been creating wedding cakes. “It used to be that people wanted fake cakes for the bottom layers and fruit cake for the top layer, with pillars used in between the layers to elevate the cake,” states Irene. “Today’s cake is most often a sponge cake with fresh fillings that is served to the guests for dessert. Today’s brides are smart in that the cake can be used for photos and then served for dessert.”

The most popular fillings include hazelnut, chocolate or fruit while the number one choice for icing is buttercream. “People are getting away from fondant because no one really wants to eat it,” explains Irene. “For spring and summer weddings, most brides choose soft blush or pastels, while the colors are darker in the fall and winter. Gold is very popular on wedding cakes, used either as a shade on the cake, draped over the side or edible gold painted or air brushed on to the cake. Many times I have used little pearl like candies on a cake and then airbrushed them with edible gold for a stunning sequin effect.”

When it comes to wedding cakes versus cupcakes, it’s a 50/50 split in customer preference at The Social Cupcake in Port Credit, according to owner Dina Sahlar. “Cupcake stands with a small six inch round cake on top are still very popular,” says Dina. “The bride and groom cut a slice from the small cake for photos and then they take the cake home and freeze it to save it for their first wedding anniversary.”

Just as April showers bring May flowers, spring and summer wedding cakes bring a multitude of requests for beautiful roses, hydrangeas, peonies or magnolias–either real or created from buttercream icing. “The colours for 2017 are definitely white, ivory and into blush tones. The most popular flavours are Chocolate Salted Caramel, Strawberry Shortcake, Red Velvet and Lemon Cake with Raspberry Butter Cream.”

Dina has seen an increase in demand for nut free and gluten-free cakes and desserts at her Port Credit shop which offers both. Along with offering tree nut free baked goods, they also offer vegan options. The Social Cupcake is located at 129B Lakeshore Road East, www.thesocialcupcake.vpweb.ca

Jane Pho, co-owner and cake designer at Dolled Up Cupcakes says 75 per cent of the cakes she makes fall into the rustic theme. “But I am also seeing some brides going back to cakes with two or three tiers. Many brides still want that grand look of a cake and are choosing to have the cake for photos and then the cake is served to guests, but they are also ordering cupcakes to go on the sweet table to be served later in the evening.”

Plastic bride and groom cake toppers—out. Personalized toppers—in. “Many couples have a die-cut image made of them in silhouette.One silhouette was of a bride and groom with their dog! Or they are choosing to use monogrammed initials or fresh flowers. One couple chose super hero figures. As I recall, it was Wonder Woman and Superman.” Dolled Up Cupcakes is located at 6550 Meadowvale Town Centre, www.dolledupcupcakes.com.

Brides and grooms are expressing their individuality in the design of the cake as well, according to Michelle Barreto, general manager of La Casa Dolce bakery. “We did one cake for a chef who was getting married, and he chose a garden theme with shades of baby blue, white and herb green in a naked cake which incorporated fresh herbs like rosemary, sage and oregano,” says Michelle. “Painted cakes and especially gold cakes are very popular, painted with edible gold paint or gold leaf. Marbled cakes are also on trend. But the number one choice for a wedding cake is the naked cake. It’s an unfinished-look which allows the cake layers and cream to show through, and when people see it, they comment, ‘ wow, that is going to taste great.’ People are definitely more intrigued by a naked cake than a fully dressed one!” La Casa Dolce is located at 755 Queensway Street East #101 in Mississauga, www. lacasadolce.ca.