The best part of the wedding day for me is sampling the leftover cake and desserts! Wedding cakes have evolved into more than a 3-tier, symmetrical concoction of flour, sugar and buttercream. Thanks in part to reality TV, wedding cakes are becoming the focal point of the reception with price tags into the thousands.
Personally, I have never encountered the cake that comes with a construction team to assemble, but I have worked with amazing local cake designers and pastry chefs that create a beautiful and delicious compliment to the weddings.
A way to create an original cake, without getting overly designed, is to create a cake with tiers that vary in height,” says Sheri of Sherri’s Edible Designs. Sheri prefers to create a cake custom to the bride and groom as opposed to selecting from a previous design. Sheri starts with a design sketch and, after some revisions, the pencil sketch becomes reality!
When I asked Sheri about the cake that stands out in her mind, “It was a wedding cake that looked like luggage! The couple met on a layover in the Atlanta airport and the rest is history!”
Flavor profiles change according to the season. “In spring and early summer, there is a more of a direction of fruit-filled cakes, chocolate and carrot cake tends to be more popular in the fall,” Sheri states.
There are several trends happening out in the wedding dessert category. Often times brides will add a dessert bar along with the cake, and ice cream bar, a gelato cart (my favorite from Pino Gelato), or cupcakes.
“My cupcake requests have doubled this year over last year,” says Holly Slayton, owner of Sweet Carolina Cupcakes. “The cupcake trend is not going anywhere for a while.” Sweet Carolina Cupcakes has been on the Island for 3 years and is the only cupcake store on Hilton Head Island.
As wedding vendors we have encountered the non-traditional bride with her traditional family. “The best way to please them both is to have a cake topper for the bride and groom to cut (pleases the family), surrounded by assorted cupcakes and additional sweets (pleases the couple),” suggests Slayton.
Mini sweets, cake pops, and cookies are pleasing to the guests even after the cake has been enjoyed. “When the guests are dancing, and at the bar, they enjoy grabbing something quick and simple,” Holly concludes.
“I am even making whoopee pies for a couple for their dessert,” says Pastry Chef Susan Vogal. “I also do mini southern pies such as mini key lime pies, sweet potato pies, and pecan pies.” The southern desserts add to the ambiance of the southern wedding.
Pricing on wedding cakes and desserts can vary from $3 per person and up. The old adage “you get what you pay for” holds true with cakes and desserts as well. Tastings are important and forming a relationship with your chosen wedding cake vendor is important as well.
So, how good is the cake a year later? Sheri of Sheri’s Edible Designs said that she has actually gotten calls a year later from couples who said “it was actually pretty good!” Personally, being local, we asked our pastry chef to remake a small, single layer of the cake we had at our wedding. It was fresh and a nice treat since I don’t remember what the cake tasted like the night of my wedding. Too bad she isn’t here any longer, because I would have asked her to do the same for my upcoming ten year anniversary!
As a wedding planner I always recommend savoring every detail of your wedding, and this includes the sweet stuff!