Bakers Journal

Making a statement

May 2, 2013
By Stefanie Wallace

Wedding season is in full swing, which, if you’re a cake designer, means
the pages of your order books are likely filled with requests for cakes
to mark the occasion.

Wedding season is in full swing, which, if you’re a cake designer, means the pages of your order books are likely filled with requests for cakes to mark the occasion. More and more, brides and grooms are coming up with their own ideas, but if you’re looking for a little inspiration, Bakers Journal chatted with four wedding cake designers across Canada to see what’s on trend for the 2013 wedding season.

Standard, white wedding cakes are a thing of the past. This year, brides and grooms are looking for grander cakes with unique details.   


The bigger the better?
If 2011 and 2012 were the years for cupcakes, 2013 is the year for grandeur. “I think there will always be couples who request cupcakes, but we are doing fewer cupcake orders [for weddings] this year than we have in the past,” notes Chrissie Boon, owner of Too Nice to Slice in Kitchener, Ont. Boon isn’t alone in noticing this trend. Sheila Comer, owner of Pink Ribbon Bakery in Vancouver, notes the same: “In 2012, the cupcake trend started to fizzle out a little, and so far, I have no cupcake orders for 2013.” That said, 2013 is the year of cake – and a lot of it. “There aren’t as many dummy cakes,” Comer says, adding that people are opting for lots of cake. Olivia Nguyen, of I Do Wedding Cakes in Toronto, agrees. “Last year we saw more cost-effective cakes,” she says. This year, Nguyen is noticing that there is a shift into a much grander cake. On the east cost, Shauna Austin, owner of City Girl Cakes in Dartmouth, N.S., says she’s still seeing orders for smaller cakes, for intimate, backyard weddings. “Three-tier is our average, most popular size, though,” she says.

Ruffles, romance and rich hues
In terms of themes, colours and décor, all four designers agree that rustic details are very on trend this year. “I’ve noticed a lot of rustic buttercream finishes,” Comer says, adding that fondant finishes aren’t as popular this year as they have been previously. In Toronto, Nguyen has lots of requests for lace, ruffles and vintage-themed cakes, with ornate details. Both agree that sugar flowers are making a comeback, and the simple cakes that were popular last year have been replaced with detailed elements, like lace, ruffles and piping work. Boon notes that customization is more important to her customers this year. “This year, I find we’re having more people coming in with a specific theme . . . we’re getting the opportunity to design more custom cakes as opposed to a traditional three-tier cake with a ribbon border and fresh flowers on top.” Austin says that although simple cakes are still on trend, many couples want to personalize their cake with something outside the box. “Everything else about the wedding is traditional but the cake is totally different,” she says. “I’m doing a lot more scenery cakes.”

But, the designers say, bold colours and patterns still have their place in the crowd. Ombre cakes, with colours going from light to dark, or dark to light, are popular from coast to coast to coast, and unique patterns and colour combinations are hot. “People are definitely staying away from black and white damask prints,” says Comer, noting that a chevron pattern has been popular. Neutrals are still popular among Nguyen’s customers, but bold colours, like turquoise, hot pink and deep purple, are making their mark too, report the rest of the designers.

Extra touches
In keeping with the customization theme, many couples – brides, in particular – are incorporating extra details in tribute to their groom. Groom’s cakes are growing in popularity, and Nguyen says she is seeing more of them recently. “They’re definitely more novelty-themed, as a small token of the groom’s interest.” But even more popular are elements added to or hidden within the cake to reflect the groom’s personality. “This year, I think the bride is letting the groom have more control over the actual wedding cake,” Comer says, referring to an order for a custom cake topper of a bride and Batman. Video game and sports-related elements are popular among Nguyen’s and Boon’s clients. These elements are most often a surprise to the groom; something that the bride arranges after the initial consultation.

No matter the location, all four of these designers agree that customization is the hottest trend this year. Whether it be with a rustic theme, bold colour palette or hidden detail, brides and grooms know what they want for their cakes, and aren’t afraid of going outside the box for something unique.

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