Chic Confections: Wedding Cake Trends for 2012
Coveted wedding cake designer Maggie Austin tells us what’s baking for 2012.
By Brittny Drye
In a world where fashion meets fondant, wedding cakes have become as much of a treat for the eyes as they are for the taste buds. The wedding cake has evolved from an intricate après dinner dessert into a center stage spectacle. Maggie Austin, the ballerina-turned-baker who is now one of the country’s most sought-after confectionary artists, gives us the scoop on cake trends for 2012.
Trend #1: Textile-Inspired Texture
Confectionary couture featuring buttercream ruffles and fondant frills are rising in popularity. Whether it’s an exquisite Alexander McQueen gown or a traditional tartan pattern from the grooms’ kilts, fashion is a constant source of inspiration for cake designs. “Many couples are attracted to the frills, which are wonderful for making a modern yet romantic statement,” says Austin. “I also love the clean, architectural style of art deco couture, which translates beautifully to a cake design.”
Trend #2: Painted Flowers
Hand-painted designs are a way to turn a wedding cake into nothing less than an edible canvas. “I love how simple and delicate painted botanicals blend seamlessly with three-dimensional sugar flowers,” says Austin. “The trompe l’oeil effect makes a huge visual impact.”
Trend #3: Bold Color
Many couples are opting for bright colors over more traditional muted palettes. “This is a fantastic way to establish a fully-integrated look for the entire reception,” explains Austin. Whether the color comes from ombré detailing or the arrangement of sugar flowers, the key is to not be shy and let your true (bold) colors show.
Trend #4: Stained Glass
Whether it’s a Tiffany lamp or a window from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, painted stained glass is both unique and stunning. “Certainly diverging from the traditional idea of a wedding cake, these
designs never fail to draw a crowd,” says Austin.
Trend #5: Pedestal Cake Stands
While cake drums have their place, Austin prefers to display her works of art on an elegant pedestal. “This elevates the cake and gives it greater presence,” she explains. She recommends Sarah’s Stands, which are not only beautiful in design but supportive enough for even the heaviest of cakes.
Trend #6: Complex Flavorings
As vital as the design is, cake is ultimately meant to be eaten. Couples are opting for more complex flavor combinations, which is a signature of Austin’s, as her cakes are known for their three distinct notes. “One popular choice is vanilla and sour cream cake with peach apricot and milk chocolate Earl Grey buttercream,” she says.