So sweet

Wedding cakes are meant to look, taste like ‘slice of heaven’

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When couples are shopping for a wedding cake, most are selecting unique cakes that will inspire the guests to ooh and aah!

Not only are wedding cakes expected to look fabulous, they are also expected to fit with the overall wedding theme and taste like a little slice of heaven.

According to Tony McClanahan, of First Fruits Bakery and Catering, one of his most requested wedding cake flavors is a vanilla bean vanilla cake.

“It offers an incredible flavor that is more intense,” McClanahan said. He scrapes fresh vanilla bean and puts it in the batter, providing an extraordinary taste of real vanilla.

Local cake designers are expected to keep current with wedding cake trends that brides and grooms see in magazines and on the internet.

“Wedding cake bling bling is becoming more popular,” McClanahan said. He said that monogrammed jewel toppers are being used. The jewels also are being used in floral centerpieces and bouquets as well.

Other popular trends for wedding cake designs is incorporating the wedding colors in with the cake design. McClanahan said brown is a favorite color among brides. Some choose to pair the brown with pale sage green or pale pink. Another hot color is black, especially when coupled with pale sage green, hot pink or even mustard yellow. McClanahan said in a recent cake design he used a black damask edible image overlay on a fondant cake. It was alternated with a dark sage green fondant frosting ribbon. He used hot pink fresh roses for the topper arrangement and for base accents. The entire cake was outlined with black swiss dots and was a hit with the bride and her guests.

A popular cake used in summer weddings is strawberry, McClanahan said. He said he uses he uses real strawberries in the batter that gives it a beautiful color that is perfect for any summer wedding.

For a traditional white wedding cake, McClanahan said he has designed a cake covered in buttercream frosting and then covered in white chocolate curls. This combines the best of both worlds, a white traditional look and chocolate.

According to Sarah Greenway, the general manager of The Lily Barn, another wedding cake trend is cupcake tiers. One advantage of cupcakes are the variety of flavor combinations that can be used. Also, with cupcakes, slicing is not required, neither are plates or silverware. Plus, everyone, especially children, love to eat cupcakes. A cascading tier of cupcakes can be lavishly decorated in black and white lace-like design that can be just as elegant as a formal wedding cake or they can can be designed with bold colors and whimsical decorative accents, whatever suits the personality of the couple.

Sweet Celebrations may be a new business in Blount County, but they can boast experience when it comes to wedding cakes.

“I’ve been doing weddings for 25 years,” said Dena Kyle, cake design specialist and baker at Sweet Celebrations. “Kate Kiser also decorates. We consider ourselves to be cake artists. With us, the bride gets two creative minds, two experts, to collaborate,” she said. “We also have a couple of really good bakers. Both have gone to culinary school and both worked at Blackberry. Between the four of us I don’t see where you could get a better opportunity to have the best team of professionals,” Kyle said.

The groom’s personality is also featured in the groom’s cake which is usually chocolate. McClanahan said he created a mosaic design using Hershey’s bars for a mouthwatering groom’s cake. He also covered another groom’s cake in mini-chocolate chips, an irresistible treat for the chocolate lover.

For those couples on a budget, some are choosing a smaller tiered wedding cake and then having the caterer serve guests a sheet cake made from the same ingredients.

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