It is no secret that we are obsessed with cake artistry. From the first airings of The Cake Boss to the most recent season of Cake Wars, we are always in awe of the skill and dexterity these cake artists possess. Beyond the fondant-rolling and the cake-sculpting, there is a style that has flown slightly under the radar that is about to make a big splash in 2015: the hand-painted wedding cake. The trend, predicted by Buddy Valestro in 2012, initially blew up in 2013 when over-the-top cakes became slightly underwhelming.
“I came across hand-painted wedding cakes in 2008, I believe,” says Kim Forrest, editor at WeddingWire. “Hand-painted cakes are not completely new, but I do see the trend growing and expanding, this year even more so. We've seen hand-painted elements in other aspects of weddings as well, from watercolor-style wedding invitations and stationery to signage and more. Couples are really paying attention to the details and artistry of their wedding elements, and I think this is a prime example of that.”
The ability to concentrate on fine details is what made this trend so appealing to newlyweds.
“It goes beyond including colors and flowers into a cake, we can explore the personality of the couple and express who they are,” explains Sharleen Walton, owner and pastry chef at Sweet Celebrations in Ontario, Canada.
Across the globe, from Australia to the U.K., elaborate and jaw-dropping painted wedding cakes began to boom.
“Hand-painted designs are a gorgeous way to make a big artistic statement with your cake,” says Jessica Rapier, the managing director of Maggie Austin Cake. “By integrating colors, textures, and other design elements for the reception, the cake becomes a cohesive part of the overall look.”
Each bakery uses its own methods to achieve the desired look, but the basic formula involved covering the cake in sugar paste, transferring stencils, and boiling water, cocoa butter, and food coloring to decorate on top of fondant.
“We'll continue to see hand-painted cakes gaining even more momentum this year,” says Rachael Teufel, owner and cake artist at Intricate Icings in Denver, Colorado. “With wedding cakes becoming an artistic centerpiece at the reception, couples want to really show off true artistry. Cakes are not just about sugar, flour, and butter anymore, it's about creating a visual and sensory experience for your guests. The wedding cake shows an appreciation for art and is not just simply dessert anymore.”
Check out these beautifully painted cakes and get inspired for your 2015 wedding!
Stained Glass Cake
(photo by Eva Derrick, cake by Sweet Celebrations)
Bird in Flight
(photo by Dash Photography via Intricate Icings )