Sweet Seasons

When guests arrive at your wedding reception, chances are the first thing they’ll notice is your wedding cake. It is the centerpiece of your celebration, and you want it to help create the right mood for the hours ahead. A cake that reflects the time of year — from the richness of autumn harvest to the bright blooms of summer — can make the sweet statement you want. A traditional, and beautiful, design for fall (shown here) features a mix of fresh fall-tone flowers with fresh fruit like crab apples, grapes and pears laced with pepper berries. The cake was done by Debby Mansor, owner of Creative Cakes by Debby in Nashua (882-1666). She says brides also like ivy mixed in with fall flowers and fruit. Whatever the season, Mansor says brides are trending toward a simple look, one that’s not overdone with heavy decoration, and with less color than in recent years. “All white and all ivory are the most popular designs,” she says. “Neutral fits with anything.” Tami Despres, pastry chef at Jacques Pastries of Suncook (485-4035, www.jacquespastries.com) agrees. “Brides don’t want lace and scrolling all over the cake anymore; they want sleek and simple.” She says basket-weave cakes, so popular in the last few years, are seldom seen now. Jacques Pastries’ snowflake cake — white gum paste snowflakes set on a white three-tier cake — is a good example of today’s simple designs. Despres says ice blue is a subtle color that works well for winter weddings. “You can also have edible sugar snow sprinkled on the cake; it makes the ‘snow’ seem like it’s glistening.” Red roses on a white cake can be a striking winter look, as can all-white icing with the metallic touch of silver or gold. For a Christmas wedding, Mansor likes cakes with square offset layers that look like presents. Because the cakes are more labor-intensive, she warns, they’re more expensive. For spring and summer, brides ask her for cakes with a “gardeny feel.” Spring colors tend to be more pastel than those of summer, when the colors are “deeper and more vibrant.” Hot colors for the warm months — hot pink, yellow, purple, green and fuschia. Despres says many brides want a 3D look, with butterflies, dragonflies, bumble bees and ladybugs among the sugar paste creatures that seem to flit around the cake. “Ladybugs with acorns and falling leaves, all sugar paste, are great for fall cakes,” she says. Suggestions from Bakers: It’s never too soon to select your wedding cake. Plan to do it six months to a year ahead. It’s OK to go to the baker with clippings of the cake you want, but see what cakes the baker offers, too. The cost of a cake is determined by design, ingredients, size and the baker. Don’t eat before you come. You’ll want a good appetite for tasting. If you request a Martha Stewart-style cake, understand that her cakes are not made to be easily transported. Save money by doing a cake that’s smaller than the number of your guests. Then have a less-expensive “kitchen cake” that can be cut to make up the difference. NHB Edit Module
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